I know. Another bar. We have been going to several of these lately because we can’t find any Independent lunch joint that we haven’t already been to. I love bars, taverns, saloons; what ever you want to call them but sometimes we want something different. Actually we came here by a happy accident. The joint we were going to visit had abruptly changed their hours and stopped serving lunch during the week. The Thirsty Turtle was a place I have been by a few times and never took the time to stop.
This day they were having a very busy lunch. They were selling 50 cent wings, or maybe it was wings for a quarter. They do a wing special on Wednesday and Thursday, 50 cents one day 25 on the other. Either way it was crazy. Especially since the kitchen staff consisted of one young woman. I sat at the end of the bar and was able to see all the action in the kitchen. The work is strong in this one. She did an outstanding job and I had a grand time watching.
I wasn’t in a burger mood so I opted for catfish. I decided on “blackened” for two reasons. First I didn’t want to compound the kitchen’s fryer load. Also I was curious to see how they did it.
They had a nifty little stove and griddle combo featuring a 4 eyed stove and oven as well as the flat top. So the fish could have been prepared in a skillet or on the griddle. As you can see from the color of the fish it wasn’t really blackened. It was cooked on the flat top and seasoned with a “cajun” spice. It was still nicely done and I liked it.
I really enjoyed our lunch. It was nice to see some real kitchen work. It has been a while. It isn’t close to me but I would like to go just because the people are just so darn nice. Oh and the prices are fantastic. The food totaled $15 and my Lite bottles were 2 bucks and Pat’s Rolling Rock was $3. You won’t find that Downtown.
We hit upon this place more by accident than design. We had intended to visit the Silver Circle Bar in Fountain Square but they weren’t open at 11 as scheduled so we found this place. We didn’t do any research on it so we didn’t know that they are part of a small chain out of Chicago. Even though they don’t actually fit the criteria of the blog the joint is small and has the feel of a Mom and Pop and we were already there so we stayed.
The Monster slice is as “big as your head.” At least that is what the guy at the counter said. They offer it as a one topping special with a drink for $5. Pat ordered it with mushrooms.
I wanted to try one of their calzones. I ordered an Italian. Sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms all rolled up with marinara and cheese. It was 10 inch long monster for $8.49.
It was a beautiful piece of work. It was brushed with butter and topped with Parmesan cheese giving it a lovely sheen. It was a knife and fork affair served with 2 sides of marinara for dipping. It was delicious. Crisp crust with a lush and savory filling. I really enjoyed the freshness of it all. The big chunks of meat and veggies made it a treat to eat.
I think this little joint has an excellent calzone; possibly the best in the city. As for the pizza Pat enjoyed it. I may try a Monster slice when I go back. That way I can taste for myself. They deliver with in a 6 mile radius and in addition to the typical Italian fare they offer chicken wings. Being right across the street from Fountain Square Brewing should make this a popular joint. Pizza, wings and beer is a culinary hat trick.
Well it seems like we are off on the right foot again. We stopped at a place that knows how to cook. It’s a small and modestly furnished place that is very neat and tidy and has a super clean kitchen in view of the dining area. Pat and I had a friend join us and while we waited we chatted up with the owner. She is a super nice lady and is also a student. She is in the last year of her Masters of Divinity degree from the Christian Theological Seminary. They are open early and serve breakfast all day. They close at 2 PM during the week and have Soul Food Sundays. During the week in addition to their regular menu they offer daily specials. The specials today were breaded and fried chicken wings or Turkey Tips, both were $8.50 and came with 2 sides and choice of roll or corn bread.
Now I am sure you are wondering what is a turkey tip. Well they are de-boned turkey ribs. As to what a turkey rib is. I don’t know. The only info I have is from a sales rep several years ago. He offered that they were not formed nor processed. They were honest pieces of white meat cut by a special method that has been patented. That was the first and last time I ever thought of them until today. Lynn offered us a taste and they were really good. Moist and tender with a light BBQ sauce. On the inter-net someone did say they were pressured cook prior to shipment. I don’t know. I could not detect any signs of overcooking. A lean piece of muscle meat will invariably be chewy if it is over cooked. That was not the case here. The included link might be helpful
I ordered corn bread, sweet potatoes and greens to go with my turkey. At the first bite I was impressed with how the tips tasted. An individual piece was tasty but a plate full was greater than the sum of its individual pieces. In either event they made be a believer. The sides matched the center of the plate well. The greens were cooked long enough to exude a nice liquor and developed a great flavor. The sweet potatoes were of the fresh variety and were whipped like russets. The candy like sweetness was a great foil to the slight bitterness of the greens and the slight smokiness of the meat. The cornbread was well made as well. It did seem a touch old but that was hardly a deal breaker.
Our guest decided on a grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat with fries. We didn’t make her write a review, but she cleaned her plate and remarked it was all very good.
After lunch Lynn gave us a piece of chocolate cake to share. Three layers of dark deliciousness.
So the west side scores another one. This place is a definite keeper. Good food and a great lady running the joint. Remember Soul Food Sunday.
I know this is a lousy shot but that is one great looking stove. Double ovens, 8 eyes and a flat top. A beauty.