eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “grouper

Basey’s Downtown Bar & Grill 419 S. West Street.

If you’ve gone to either a football game or a baseball game you have probably seen this place. It is close to both Lucas Oil Stadium and Victory Field. So for anyone wanting to grab a bite before a game this would be a logical starting place.

Well as the man said now is time for Savor Downtown. This is another marketing ploy to get folks out to eat more. It is just focused on Downtown restaurants; unlike Devour which covers all of the city.

Basey’s menu has few surprises. It appears that they may make their own Mozzarella sticks but neither of us were hungry enough to find out. One item they offer is grouper. They do it grilled, blackened or deep-fried. I prefer it blackened but so many places just dust the fish in “Cajun” spices and grill it. I got mine just plain grilled and they did a very good job with it.

Some folks have a tendency to over cook fish but this one was cooked just right. I couldn’t eat all the roll because it was very chewy and tough to bite through. Not sure why that would be. Sometimes a microwave will do that to bread, but I couldn’t see any reason to nuke the bread. If I return I can get it on a salad.

You get a choice of side with a sandwich so I ordered coleslaw. Of course. And it was pretty good. It brought a nice crunch to my lunch.

It was a good lunch and the service was solid. There was just one server/bartender working and she was very busy. She had a big party working when we walked in and customers just kept coming. She did a nice job with it all.

I might be back to try the Mozz sticks. I have a thing for Mozz sticks.

Basey's Downtown Grill & Spirits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fire by the Monon 6523 Ferguson

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This place has been around a few years. Located North of the Canal in Broad Ripple it doesn’t get the attention joints farther South receive. It also doesn’t have the traffic and noise some of those other places get. It is a pleasant old building with very nice outdoor seating. However with the weather we have had dining out doors was not an option.

I think I have passed this place up because the menu was;for the most part; a bit typical of so many other taverns. The reason I reconsidered was a food blog I read that praised their Grueben sandwich. That would be  flash fried grouper on grilled rye bread with Swiss, slaw and Russian dressing. In other words a Ruben sub fish. As it turned out I didn’t even order that.

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I didn’t order either the dirty Mac and Cheese or the almost famous Fish Tacos. I did order their Blacken Mahi, with side choice for $9.95.

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The fish was a very nice piece. The spice level was low so I really didn’t get the “Cajun” effect but it was flavorful. The fish was a bit overcooked, but with such a firm piece of fish it wasn’t a deal breaker. The onion rings were plentiful and tasty. However the batter was pretty salty for my tastes. Of course I did manage to finish them so I guess they weren’t TOO salty. I think I would order it again just with a different side. The rings were really filling.

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The size of the fish on Pat’s plate reminding me of another place we went to. They offered big chunky pieces and the batter was so thick it didn’t crisp up all the way through and the fish was “steamed”. That wasn’t the case here but the batter was as salty as my onion rings. Also I was able to taste a piece of the cod and I though it was very well done.

I also tried one of the $4 beers. That particular “flavor” of Upland I have wanted to try for a while and this was my first opportunity. I found it to be a very crisp and refreshing beer; perfect for the days of August. I can see my self coming back here. Sitting outside having a beer and a Grouper sandwich. It doesn’t overlook the Canal and it doesn’t have the people watching available South but it looks comfy and shady,and they have a good Draft menu.

Fire by the Monon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Iaria’s Italian Restaurant 317 S. College

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Iaria’s has been around since 1933. So don’t expect Fusion or Cuisine Minceur when you go. What you will get is Old School Italian dishes from very Old School recipes.

The establishment is composed of a dining room and a bar room that has several tables and booths.

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They use plenty of glass blocks in their decor. I think the blocks are great. They were out of favor for a while but they are making a comeback,from what I hear. Iaria’s had them before they were cool.

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As soon as Pat and I decided on Iaria’s we both started having a “taste” for Italian. Pat Alfredo me Piccata,with capers. I had it on good authority they offer an outstanding version with grouper. Pat stayed with his first thoughts,after much rumination. As for me as soon as I walked into the aroma of fresh bread,tomatoes and garlic I knew it had to be red sauce and red wine.

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Pat and I decided to split a half carafe of Malbec for $15, good for 3 glasses,but actually a bit more. It was really a pretty good wine choice. Pat decided on it because he abhors whites. I would have been happy with that or Cab. Once I decided to go red it was an easy decision for my lunch. Spaghetti with red sauce and a meatball. For a 75 cent up charge I got a link of their homemade Italian sausage. Both of our lunches came with a soup or salad choice. Pat;obviously chose salad. I chose a cup of the homemade Minnestroni soup.

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It was pretty good,not outstanding,but good. They also had a SOD; a chicken gnocchi. In the future I will give the SOD a try. As for the main course it was what you would expect from folks that have made sauce for so many years. While some red sauces are too sweet or too tart. Too thin or too thick. Or too much or too little. This was Goldilocks “Just Right”. The amount was enough to wet the pasta, enough leg to properly coat and just enough sweetness to whet the appetite and not sate it.

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As for the star of the show,the meatball. It was expertly seasoned and nicely formed. It may have had a bit too much compaction for my tastes. But different boats etc. This brings us to the sausage. Now this was a wonderful sausage. A great fennel presence with a touch of crushed red pepper for some heat. I think the sausage stands right up their with any I have eaten

Both of are lunches were about $8 with soup or salad and a basket of homemade bread and butter. They also offer pizza and sandwiches. I think the most expensive lunch item was the Grouper Piccata for $11.95. They do a very brisk lunch business with lots of regulars and I can see why. Cozy surroundings,very good food and charming and friendly service. Worth a visit.

Here is a link to their website  Since Zomato seems to have fallen down on the job.


Iaria's Italian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Seafood Market 7460 North Shadeland Ave.

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This joint is the real deal. Not only is it a premier facility for fish mongering it is also a pretty nice little place to get a fresh fish feast. In addition to a set menu of favorites they also offer the guests the option of picking from their large selection of fresh product and having it prepared for a flat $2.50 fee.

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Just about any fish product you might desire I think you can find here. From whole Grouper to U 10 scallops to 4 count shrimp. Trust me that in itself is rare in Indy.

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I am a very simple fellow. Show me a fish market or a sausage shop and I am a happy man. Give me the opportunity to eat some of my favorite foods at said location and my eyes become as big as a full moon. In other words I invariably over order, and subsequently over eat.

As soon as I walked in I saw a sign on the first cooler cabinet advertising Blue Point Oysters for $1.59 each. That was my mandatory “first course”- 6 fresh Blue Points; shucked for free.

A delightful combination of sweet and briney. A great start to any meal.

A delightful combination of sweet and briney. A great start to any meal.

After that was ordered I inquired about the sandwiches. They offer a Caplinger’s Special for $ 4.99. I thought it might be an ever-changing special but I think it is a constant Basa sandwich. For the sake of brevity when you think of Basa think bottom feeder. Think catfish. It is a sweet, and firm white fish. In addition to the sandwiches they also offer the same fish choices in a dinner. Now that comes with a bigger portion and 2 hush puppies and choice of 2 sides. I am ashamed to admit that I forgot that they offer hush puppies as a side. I wanted to try the Special sandwich.

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I try not to engage in superlatives. However I do admit that when I bite into something I really enjoy I act like a 13-year-old boy who kissed his first love. That being said. My first bite into my Basa sandwich was damn near perfection. Soft, sweet and tender,with a slight hint of heat and a crisp,salty breading. Oh- the bread. To me it was an excellent accompaniment to the fish. Again the bread is from Roll With it Bakery in Irvington.

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You would think that all of that food would satisfy me. But oh no. You see when I review a joint I feel compelled to try as many food items as possible. Hey. You must suffer for your craft. So I had to try the Chowder. Clams, potato and cream.

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This was a delicious display of simplicity. True to their description. Great hunks of clam. Tender pieces of ‘tater and…of course cream. This is a great example of chowder. Thick, and wonderful.

By now you would think that I have consumed enough. Oh no. I had to try their “New Recipe” crab cake. A 4 oz. cake made exclusively of  lump meat. That is all I can say about that. They produce a thick cake full of lump meat that is really a good buy at $6.99 for an add on.

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Pat naturally opted for the cod sandwich. He couldn’t try any of the chowder; because of onion.

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Well boys and girls if you like fish. If you think  you like fish this is the joint you must go to. Fresh oysters, yellow fin tuna. Hell the list goes on. Even Pat; the most critical fish fiend in the city liked the cod sandwich.


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Caplinger's Fresh Catch on Urbanspoon

Northside Kitchenette 6515 N. College Ave.

All of Broad Ripple Village is divided into 2 parts. That which is south of the canal, affectionately referred to as SoBro, and property north of the canal, affectionately referred to as joints north of the canal. NoBro may not have as many attractions as SoBro but the quality of the Kitchenette’s food is unequivocal.

It’s not a large place, but the seating is efficiently arranged and the counter and chairs give it a sleek Nuevo diner feel. I should have taken more pictures of the interior but I foresee a return trip when it warms up.

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This is the tea bag that Pat found so...charming.

This is the tea bag that Pat found so…charming.

northside kitchette 002northside kitchette 012northside kitchette 005northside kitchette 009All of their sandwiches are in the $10 range and are huge. Their bread is made by Scholar’s Inn, so you know that is an added value. And speaking of added value, their apparently house made pickles are out standing. They are of the “bread and butter” variety, and are large, crisp and tasty. A good addition to any sandwich.

The one item on the menu that intrigued me the most was the blackened Triggerfish. Our server told us that it was related to Snapper. Holy Gulf Coast, I had to try it. The fish was excellent. The texture and taste were reminiscent of Grouper, but I thought I detected a slight sweet after taste. But it was hard to tell with the sweet remoulade. I really enjoyed the mild blackening of the fish. That is definitely the way to go. I was only able to eat one-quarter as a sandwich. After that I reverted to a 12-year-old and de-constructed it to get at the fish. I think I would enjoy it again just as a piece of fish, with a little salad and citrus vinaigrette on the side. Oh and an extra pickle.

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The service was as excellent as the food. She was efficient, knowledgable and very pleasant. This is definitely a must go to place.

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Northside Kitchenette on Urbanspoon