eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Frikadellen

St. Joseph Brewery & Public House 540 N. College Ave.

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This was actually a church from 1880 to 1949. It was owned by the Diocese from then until it was sold to private concerns in the 1990’s. Nothing was done with it until a group bought it to turn into a brewery. This same group owns a couple of other joints in town. Chatham Tap and Ralston Draft House. Now both of these places are solid. I like them both. However I gotta’ say this. Considering the magnitude of this project they might wanna’ kick it up a notch. So let’s go in

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When you first walk in you are simply amazed at the size of the place. Wood floors. Wooden pews and foot worn stairs leading up to the balcony for the choir. Wood and windows gives it bright and warm atmosphere. I spent a half hour just looking at stuff.

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All of these last shots were taken from the loft. They also have seating up there. Pat and I decided to set downstairs. I  ordered a flight of 4 beers. I picked two and Pat picked two

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The flight was $7. That is pretty typical.

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Pat chose his lunch from the small plates or appetizer section of the menu.

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Pat was right. His small plate was $8.50. Small sweet tater tots, a few scraps of bacon and a bit of shredded cheese. They were pretty good, but they were pretty pricey.

I thought the menu was spot on. Of course, as always it depends on the execution. All of their sandwiches come with a choice of fries, pickled veggies, slaw or fruit. I decided on their burger. Named after the chef/partner.

Reifen Burger

Smoked cheddar, pork belly, red onion & Beer B-Q sauce

Sounds tasty, doesn’t it. Well it wasn’t what I thought it would be. There was no bacon,pork belly. As it was explained to me the pork belly was incorporated into the patty, like a frikadellen. That is nice but it should have been written that way. I ordered my burger mid rare. It came out medium. Which is as it should be if there is pig in the mix. Tell people please. Also the smoked cheddar was shredded cheddar. Sorry I do not get it. Shredded cheese is good for a quesadilla. Not a burger.

The BBQ sauce was pretty good. The fries were ho-hum. And I really think a $12.50 price tag was a bit much.

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The bun was really good. Crisp and toasty.

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I did like their choice of greens. So I am not too concerned about this joint. They have experience. They have skill. I am just miffed that my burger wasn’t what I thought it would be. Of course your IPA was pretty good. So I know you will get it together. Just a matter of time. Just do it the way you say you will do it.

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Ludwig Bavaria Haus 4302 S. E. East Street.

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It does have a bit of a Bavarian feel to it, doesn’t it. Originally it was built as a Steak and Ale. That was a local chain of joints that tried for an English Manor house effect, as you can tell from the name. This particular incarnation opened a few months ago. Since then it has been savaged by some of the reviewers. As a general rule I ignore the most complementary post as well as the meanest one. In this case I noticed that some reviews were awfully hostile, just because their steak was tough. Some almost seemed personal. You always have to realize that some folks will trash a place for reasons other than food and service. Just like some friends of the owner will try to help by heaping on the praise. Frankly I think the former is worse than the latter. If you get canned from the joint,deal with it. It makes no sense to trash a restaurant simply because you couldn’t handle the job. Move on already. And as for the friends of the owner you aren’t really helping the place out. Eventually every place stands or falls on what they do. Not what others say.

So one thing the new owners kept was the Salad Bar. A foundation of the 70’s and 80’s it is not seen much anymore.

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I know I took an awful lot of pictures of the salad bar, but as I said people don’t seem to have them around much;except for buffets that is.

They started out with dinner only and then opened up for lunch after they were under way. They have a nice website which features both menus so I didn’t add that to my post. I did get a scan of the beer menu,which I am adding at the end.

For lunch they offer a few lunch portions of their dinners as well as sandwiches. With the plates you get a side and a trip to the salad bar. Pat decided on Schweinbraten, slow cooked pork shoulder.

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What you see here is a Frikadellen. Germany’s burger! Fresh ground pork and beef, herbs, and spices come together in this awesome sandwich. Char-grilled with caramelized onions and served on a pretzel bun.      8. I have seen these at Claus’ before. Claus is where they buy their sausages. I asked our server if that is where they got theirs. Oh no they make their own. Sold me.

The sandwich was nicely built on a pretzel bun with lettuce and tomato and topped with carmelized onion and a white cheese. The cheese offered a nice creaminess and the lettuce had a wonderful crunch. The bun was able to stand up to the patty which had a great mouth feel to it and  a nice crispy exterior. The bite was reminiscent of a sausage, tight but still moist. It was really a great sandwich. I opted for German Potato salad for my side. It was cubed red potatoes and the vinegar flavor wasn’t as pronounced  as I have had before. I enjoyed it and I thought the potatoes were done perfectly. Not soft as in some cases just properly done with a slight bite to them.

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So needless to say Pat and I both enjoyed this place. All I can say is if your want a taste of German food try this place out. I don’t think you will be disappointed. And if people are indeed trashing this place simply because they have an ax to grind all I can say is stop it. Let these folks get on with running a business. Let the customers be the true arbiters.

Here is the beer menu.

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