eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “ham

Sunshine Breakfast House & Grill 5116 West 38th Street

Sometimes Pat and I like to change things up and do breakfast instead of lunch. Usually when Pat has something else to do on Wednesday afternoon. Such was the case this Wednesday.

This place has only been open for 4 months. It is in a building that used to house a Mexican restaurant and you can tell from the hand painted murals on the walls. Their breakfast menu is pretty standard but I thought the prices a bit lower than most joints. Which is a good thing. I went all in on their Sunshine Breakfast platter for $8.99. It was 2 bacon, 2 sausage links, 2 pieces of ham, hashbrown potatoes and 2 eggs your call. Plus a choice of pancakes or toast. I couldn’t resist the siren call of pancakes so I ordered my eggs scrambled. I mean why have all that egg yolk without toast to mop it up.

Everything was very nicely done. The shredded potatoes were crisp, as was the bacon. I especially like the slight “char” on the ham from the griddle.

The pancakes were light and fluffy, not exceptional, but good and they went well with the salty meats.

So we had a very nice breakfast, relatively cheap. As Pat said there isn’t any foo foo stuff on their menu just good solid food. Well worth trying.


A2Z Cafe 4705 East 96th Street

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This little joint changed hands about 2 years ago. Before the change it was an Italian eatery. The current owners, Gina and her husband were frequent diners and friends with the old owner. Cut to the chase and they ended up as the new owners. New owners with no restaurant experience. We got all of this from our discussion with Gina;one of the new owners. She is a delightful lady with both charm and talent. An artist by trade;  and an I.U grad she and her husband are the guiding lights of a cozy little joint with a fun and slightly quirky menu.

It was a rainy morning and we felt we needed a sweet fix so. we started with an order of fried biscuits with apple butter for $4.

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These were delightful little bites. Bits of fried dough covered with sugar. In an act of lily gilding they serve them up with apple butter. Add a cup of coffee and you have a really tasty start to your day.

They serve breakfast and lunch most of the day. In addition to the traditional cafe items they offer some fun dishes. Such as the Tater Tot Scramble. That is two eggs scrambled with ham, bacon, sausage and tots then covered with sausage gravy and then topped with cheddar cheese. It comes with toast for $8.50.

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This is not haute cuisine. It is a a fun and filling dish featuring all of the basic food groups you would expect for breakfast. From a strict culinary standpoint it has too much stuff in it,but that’s okay. The eggs were very soft and the gravy was very creamy. Actually I was impressed with the overall execution of the dish. The only reason I wouldn’t order it again is because all of the other fun stuff I would like to try.

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For a couple of rookies Gina and her husband are doing a really good job. I am including a link to their menu because I think it is a fun one.

http://a2zcafe.com/menu.html

 

 

A2Z Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Big Lug Canteen 1435 E. 86th Street

Well we have another Brewery in Indy. Or as some folks called it a few years ago Nap Town. This particular place is unique if only in the fact that it is part of the Sahms’ Family of businesses. The Sahm family has been involved in the restaurant business for more years than I can remember,and I think their total stands at 10 across the city. So we have pretty high expectations for this, their first endeavor into brewing. They opened this past Monday and on Tuesday I went in to have a look. The place is a two-story beauty right on the Monon Trail at the corner of 86th St. and Westfield Blvd. To ease some of the traffic problems on 86th they provided a cut in onto Westfield Blvd. Good for them.

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This sign is a large sheet of plate steel with the name cut out by laser or water jet. Pretty dramatic. I was told that the cutouts were used for a sign in the upstairs dining area. I didn’t check that out then I thought I would wait until I came back. They offer their beers in sizes ranging from 20 oz. to 7 oz. The prices go from $6 to $3. So that means you can try 2 different beers and consume less than a pint doing it. I had a pint of their IPA and a Hoss-Dip appetizer for $7. The app was melted mozzarella cheese,topped with avocado mixed with Greek yogurt;Greekamole; spicy hummus and a black bean and corn salsa served with a big side of Frito scoops. The dip was pretty tasty. A nice bite to go with a beer.

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Today we both went,and we were both impressed with the space. An up stairs deck;overlooking the trail and an expansive patio mere feet from the Monon.

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These are the cutouts from the outdoor sigh;downstairs.

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These are the remaining letters.

Not only do they offer smaller pours for their beers they also offer half sandwiches and half salads. They even have a Big Lug Half N’ Half. That is a half a sandwich and a half a salad for 2 bucks off the regular price. That is what I opted for. A Bahn Lug; their facsimile of a Vietnamese sandwich with Smoked Pork Belly, Chicken Pate and Bahn Mi vegetables. I married that with a half Judo Chop Salad. The salad was a bowl of mixed greens topped with ham and cappacola as well as olives and bleu cheese. My choice may seem odd but all the flavors worked well together and there could not be any complaining on the size of my meal.

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Patrick decided on a BLT with grilled chicken and avocado; a full size and a half salad as a side.

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We spent $11 each for our sandwiches, a price I think is more than reasonable. The menu they give is unique and from what I have had well prepared. So. Good food. Good beer. Good prices. I especially liked that they offer “specialty” salads and each one offered a protein,be it chicken, veggie patty or ham. Basically all of their salads;except the House salad was a version of what could be called a Chef Salad. I am really excited about this place and what it can do to revitalize Nora.

Big Lug Canteen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Donut Shop Bakery & Restaurant 5527 N. Keystone Ave.

This joint is a diner. It started out as a donut shop and gradually it grew into a full-fledged diner. I have had their donuts before,and they are some of the best in the city. So I decided to see what else they had to offer. Their prices are more than reasonable, such as fried mushrooms are $2.99. For that money I figured they had to be the pull from a bag and drop in the fryer kind. But they weren’t.

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They took larger mushrooms and cut them in quarters, covered them with a simple seasoned flour dredge and fried them up. That is why they served them for 3 bucks. They were really very good. You could taste the true mushroom and they were not at all greasy. Definitely worth ordering again.

They serve breakfast all day and from the plates I saw going out on my earlier trip they serve a big boy size breakfast. For their lunch offerings you get a choice of side. Fries,onion ring, pasta salad or a tossed green salad. Pat ordered an Italian beef sandwich with a side salad for less than $6.

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I actually had a tough time deciding what to eat. I finally settled on their “unsinkable”. It is their take on a Monte Cristo. But with theirs instead of using bread they merely took the ham,turkey and Swiss cheese rolled it up with honey mustard and then battered it and dropped the whole thing in a deep fryer.

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It was really pretty darn good. It looked like a Chimachanga but when you cut into it you saw the meat and cheese exploded inside. When you bit into it you could taste the ham,turkey and Swiss. Much like a crispy club sandwich.

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I decided on a side of pasta salad. It was so-so. Penne pasta with a bit of broccoli and carrot and smothered with a Ranch dressing. The salad I probably wouldn’t do again,but the sandwich I believe I would. I am usually not a huge fan of fried sandwiches but this was really good.,and it too was less than 6 bucks.

I took half of my sandwich home so I could save room for donuts. Donuts are six for $3.75. So the donut prices are as reasonable as their other food. I wasn’t able to take any pictures of them but I did get this.

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I think a lot of people know of this place as a place for donuts and coffee or even a full breakfast. But now you know it is also an option for lunch and diner.

Donut Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Ripple Bagel Deli 850 Broad Ripple Avenue.

Now this place has been open since 2003. I first noticed it 1 year ago, and just now we visit. I guess we wanted to wait until they got all the opening bugs worked out. Well if they have any bugs in the beginning I don’t know. They certainly have a slick operation now.

I tried to take a shot of the exterior, however I couldn’t get the whole view in without stepping into the street. Since my momma always told me not to play in traffic this is the best I could get.

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The place isn’t real big but it is colorful

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You order from a long counter and they call you when it’s ready and you pay at the end. The counter has stools, so I guess it also serves as overflow seating. They have a few laminated menus lying around but the focal points is the huge menu chalkboard on the wall behind.

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They offered a bialy as an option on the menu, so naturally I had to inquire if it was the real deal. Well the young lady behind the counter was informed enough to satisfy me that it was indeed the real thing. It is refreshing to find someone who really knows what is going on in the joint they work. So many restaurant workers are McDrones that don’t have a clue. But the people we interacted with had their stuff together.

The young lady told us that the bialy comes from Cincinnati, and the bagels come from Bagel Fair in Nora. Those folks have been making bagels in this town for more than 30 years. They have, in my estimation the best bagels in Marion County, if not the state.

Pat was happy that they had so many onion-less options. He decided on The Natty Dread.

Now that is Bacon, Colby and smoked Cheddar cheeses, lettuce,tomato and sprouts on a bialy. Since this particular bread had onion in it he subbed a whole wheat bagel. This whole thing was only $ 6.00.

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When it was my turn I knew exactly what I wanted. A Tape Your Ankles, subbing bialy for an onion bagel. This tasty bite consists of ham,pepperoni, salami, provolone, red onion, banana peppers and Italian dressing. And it was only $6.95. I also ordered a cup of Santa Fe chili for $3.50.

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The soup is house made. Just not in this house. I was told they buy it from, I thought she said Bagel Fair, but I am not positive. In either event it was pretty good. It tasted like a lot of chili I have had in Indiana. I don’t have any idea why it was dubbed Santa Fe. Maybe it was because of the addition of black beans and corn. Some folks think adding black beans and corn into a dish turns into a Southwest offering. Well, not anymore than adding soy sauce makes a dish Oriental. But as I said it was pretty good.

As for my sandwich it was very tasty. I could taste the salami and pepperoni as distinct and separate meats. The ham sort of blended into the background, but I think were it not there it would be missed. the cheese delivers a nice unctuosness and the peppers do what pickled peppers always do. They bring a hint of both vinegar and heat. I found it to be a great bite and a great value. So. I am sure Pat and I are one of the last to learn about this place but just in case we aren’t you should check this joint out. Great bagels,creative combinations and nice folks working there.

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Oh one last thing. I don’t make a habit of taking pictures of bathrooms but I made an exception here. They offer one facility and all the walls are covered in old record albums, that’s right old school vinyl. So here you go.

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Oh one last thing. This might be a clue to the deliciousness of their bagel creations, After they build them whey foil wrap them and then steam the whole damn thing. Crazy huh? Crazy good.

Ripple Bagel Deli on Urbanspoon


Taste of Havana 810 Broad Ripple Ave.

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Most joints have a Cuban sandwich. In one version or another.What you need first is a long roll. Call it a hoagie, baguette, or a pistolette and you are good to go. Now stuff it with a cooked pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles; slather on yellow mustard and. Voila; an El Cubano. I have had several in many different places and at many different times. While they have all been good sandwiches I never considered them legit. Because none had real Cuban bread. Well guess what? Taste of Havana has the real deal. The bread has a flat almost lacquered finish on the outside. When you bite into it the bread offers a little resistance and then you break into a flaky interior. It reminds me of a thick bottom pie crust. A delicious way to enclose a sandwich.

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After the original encounter with the bread pastry you come to the stuff inside. They roast the pork in-house. They prepare and cook the ham on premise as well. So you won’t encounter the injected deli style “lunch meat” used by some joints. In addition to my sandwich I ordered a bowl of black bean soup for $4.25. They offer their sandwiches in 3 sizes. I believe it is small, medium and large. The size difference is all about the weight of the meat. The amount of bread stays the same. I got the mini for $6.50.

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The soup was as straight forward and tasty as the sandwich. I also like the fact that they didn’t “dress” the soup with sherry, onions or sour cream like some joints do. I talked with the owner for quite a while. He gave me a taste of his yellow seasoned rice. He even gave me a pack of Sazon. the seasoning he uses. He used to use Bijol, also called the poor man’s saffron. He changed to the Sazon because in addition unlike the Bijol it had a tiny touch of saffron. But the greatest score was his Picadillo. That was one of the specials today. He gave me a taste. This was straight up delicious. The aroma was rich and deep. A complex flavor of wine, tomato and olives. Just to start. This is something he has on the board weekly. So I will be back.

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I had a super good lunch and a wonderful time. This Father and Daughter team do a wonderful job, and are the most gracious pair I believe I have ever encountered. They are a great addition to Broad Ripple and I wish them all the best.

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Taste of Havana Cuban Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

http://www.tasteofhavanaindy.com/


Goose the Market.

 

In the last three years The Smoking Goose Meatery has become the go to source for unique sausage and chartercurie in general in Indianapolis. I would even go so far as to say The Goose has created the demand. Prior to their opening the sale of platters of meat and cheeses in restaurants was rare. Probably because the supply of appropriate meat was scarce. A young fellow by the name of Chris Eley changed all that by taking old school skills and marrying them with more modern tastes. Now any restaurant, tavern or bar can become “fancy”. Further more he made connections with local farms so all of the animals are locally raised and nurtured with out chemicals. They only deal with local cheese makers that follow the same criteria as the farms that supply the meat.

The Market is just that a market. It is located at 2503 N. Delaware St. In an area formerly know as Dodge City. And it wasn’t called that because of any scenic western vista either. To commemorate their humble origins they offer a Dodge City Salami. A few years back the area went through a gentrification. Now all the homes have a definite Victorian flair. Some were rehabbed and more were removed and new homes added. As a part of that renewal a few houses were designed as retail spaces on the ground floor and living spaces on the upper floors. Hence the Market. All the smoking et al is done at The Meatery at 407 Dorman. Across the street from Flat 12 Brewery. Convenient, yes. They don’t open until 4 PM  so it is not as convenient. But they do offer cry-o-vac portions of their products at a little better price point than the Market.

The joint on Delaware is small but they do offer sandwiches and their meat case is incredible. Downstairs, where they keep their stock they have 2 rooms each with picnic tables. One even has a mini bar good for a beer (bottle only) or a glass of wine. You can also have your group set at one and munch meat, cheese and drink vino.

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Actually the reason I am writing this was because of an Easter ham. I pre ordered a sugar-cured ham and I picked it up Thursday. It was cured and then cold smoked with cherry wood for days and then hot smoked to finish. The origin of the pig and the technique are more typical of hams as they were in the “olden days. The taste is as light as Spring. The flavor is addictive. A combination of all the seasonings used in the curing process. Unified by a gentle smoke. A taste to be remembered. A taste our grandparents would be quite familiar with. Which is pretty cool.

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Goose the Market on Urbanspoon

 


Manley’s Irish Mutt -7041 East Tenth Street

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Saloons…Bars…Taverns no matter what term you use Manley’s is a perfect example of one. A  menu heavy on appetizers and with certain must have, or you’re not a real bar, sandwiches. Namely a breaded tenderloin, a burger, some type of chicken and roast beef, or steak. All bars have these. Some do them poorly. Some do them well and in the case of the Mutt some do them extremely well.

We started off with some mushrooms. You could tell from the uniform size that they were probably not made in-house. However at first bite you might think they were hand battered and then breaded back in the kitchen. They were excellent. Very crisp on the outside and almost liquid on the inside. Sort of like a savory mushroom cordial.

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As you can see I nearly forgot to take the picture. That stain at the top of the basket isn’t grease. I’m not sure what it is. These ‘shrums were not at all greasy.

The lunch special that day was a breaded tenderloin, for $6.99. Believe it or not I really try to watch my fried food intake; so I took a pass. Not Patrick.

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I completely forgot to take any pictures until Pat was finished and I was half done. Luckily a guy next to us at the bar ordered one, and he was kind enough to let me use his plate as a stand in.

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I ordered a Cuban Sandwich. Jerk seasoned pork,ham, pickle and swiss cheese on a grilled hoagie. The fillings are pretty much the same at most places around here the only question is the pork and the bread. This version was $6.99 and the coleslaw was an additional $1.99. The sandwich was excellent. From the spicy tenderloin through the ham and pickle to the swiss cheese it was a complete hit for me. So very tender. All the components represented themselves in tasty fashion and the melding of the 4 created another layer of taste. As for the coleslaw it turned out to be a good complement to the sandwich. Creamy and sweet.

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Pat thought I should have tidied the plate up before taking the shot. Obviously I thought otherwise. I think Pat was right.

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They have the usual selection of adult beverage. A few crafts for $4 and more Irish whiskeys than I have seen in one joint in my life. And they sell them for 4 bucks on Saturdays. I must say it is refreshing to see a back bar that doesn’t have 25 different vodkas.Manley's Irish Mutt on Urbanspoonhttps://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=2342&preview=true


Foundry Provisions

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Oh Goodie! Just what Indy needs one more hip coffee-house with pressed sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against coffee houses it’s just that they all try so hard to be hip. In much the same way coffee joints in the 60’s tried to be psychedelic and in the 50’s more bongo and beatnik. And Panini can be a delightful lunch. You just have to be a tad circumspect about the fillings otherwise you might have a “mushy” sandwich. This particular joint is in an excellent location at the corner of 16th St. and Alabama St. An area that seems to have changed over night from semi hood to more metropolitan. For want of a better word. As far as decor I would call it industrial chic or proletarian casual. They left the concrete floor untouched. Chipping paint and all. They also enjoyed the use of gray corrugated metal siding and wood. Whoever owns this place put some bucks into it. It was just not my cup of chai. But they obviously are targeting a young crowd, not old farts like me and Pat.

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As far as food options go they offer some breakfast options, including pastries from Circle City Sweets, a local bakery that has a pretty good reputation. They also offer soup from Circle City Soups. As I understand it Sweets and Soups are owned by a husband and wife. And no I have no excuse as to why we have not tried these places before. For lunch they offer 5 pressed sandwiches each with a historic Hoosier name. As far as meat options they have smoked turkey, Mortadella and City Ham. They proudly announce that the ham is from Smoking Goose . A well know local meatery. So from that I guess we can assume the turkey and Mortadella are from the same source. Pat tried a Tarkington. A turkey and provolone sandwich 86 mustard.

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I tried the Harrison. I am a sucker for avocado. One thing Pat and I both noticed, at the first bite was that they stuck romaine in the sandwich and then toasted it. Now I really like wilted lettuce but toasted romaine? Not a big fan. To me it had an odd taste that detracted from the flavor of the ham. They have spinach on the menu I think spinach would be a better choice than romaine. To me the biggest deal was the lack of texture. The only crunch was the bread, which had a nice toast to it. Between the melted Swiss and avocado the overall effect was rather bland and mushy. It needed some prominent texture and some distinctive flavor. But I am not going to go through the entire menu and suggest alternatives. This is not my joint and they did what they did for a reason. Best of luck to them.

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I almost forgot my soup. Gazpacho. It was the best part of lunch. Ironic that they don’t make it here.

016Foundry Provisions on Urbanspoon