I am sure some people will ask the same question that is always asked when a new brewery opens. “Do we really need any more breweries?” Well I don’t see how that is possible. Can you have too much happiness or too many smiles? I don’t think so.
Happy Brewing opened in one of the defunct Double 8 grocery stores. It opened about 2-3 months ago with typical brewery hours. No lunch just evenings and noon opening on weekends. My first trip there was on a Sunday to sample some beer. I really enjoyed the beers I tried. They have a nice ale and a great cream ale but the show stopper was their Happy Hopper. Be advised though it has a ABV approaching 11 so it is best consumed in small quantities. Their cream ale is less than 5 ABV so it is more like a session beer. A brew you can drink while mowing your lawn. I think the owner Gabe has plans on canning it in the future. As of the past week they took the bold step to open for lunch.
Their menu is small and concise and it is all done in a kitchen without an exhaust hood. For those who don’t know all commercial kitchens require an exhaust hood when the cooking process produces fumes or smoke. Further more you will also need a fire suppression system. All of this runs into a bunch of dollars. Dollars they did not want to spend at this time. So now they have an impinger conveyer belt oven, a Panini press and a soup warmer. I think they pulled it off well.
On my first trip there I had their Italian sausage. It was a solid sandwich. The sausage had a slight spiciness to it but what carried the dish was the red sauce. It was very good. I ordered it with chips and pickle but in the future I will probably just opt for the sandwich alone. Beer carbs are superior to chip carbs.
On my return trip I ordered a pizza. They buy all the pizza product from Delco a Hoosier firm founded in 1957 that sells all things Italian related. That includes the raw dough they use for the pizza and the Calzone.
I thought it was a nice pie. The crust had a slight chew and again that marinara sauce has great flavor and richness.
I have only tried 2 items on their menu but I plan on trying more. This joint is very close to home so I can see myself there weekly. I had a very good conversation with Gabe on my first lunch trip. He has some great plans for his place. Patio seating and even a rooftop beer garden and in time he would like to have a “proper” kitchen. I am always excited for new places to eat. Especially one so close.
11 – MaybeShow of hands who has never been to the peppy Grill? I don’t see too many hands. It’s no wonder the peppy Grill is an Indianapolis institution. Back in the day it was always the final destination after an evening of partying. Unless you made a friend in which case you went to waffle house; that always seemed a classier joint to take a lady.Now at my age it’s just a great place to go for a good lunch. The one in Fountain Square is sort of small and seems to be constantly busy. Pat had their Wisconsin cheddar soup and half ham and cheese sandwich both of which he found to be tasty, good honest food that hit the spot on a particularly nasty day.I chose the meatloaf plate, a thick slab of meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. The meatloaf was nicely seasoned and well made. The green beans were pretty good with little pieces of bacon in them. The potatoes were instant but nicely seasoned and the gravy fit pretty well even though it came out of a mix.Afterwords Pat ordered a piece of pistachio pie. All their pies are made in-house by the nighttime cook. I had a little taste and thought it was pretty good. The crust appeared to be of the of the prebake variety,but the filling was quite tasty and was covered with a whole lot of whipped cream rosettes. The consistency of the filling seemed like a marriage of pistachio pudding and gelatin. But nevertheless I thought it worked. So if you’re just plain hungry and want an honest simple yet tasty meal don’t forget the peppy Grill.