Anyone familiar with the Indy food truck scene is aware of Chef Dan. They have served their food out of a little yellow truck since 2011. Their decision to go the brick and mortar route is a big move for them and Indy. Now everyone knows exactly where to go to get their Delta food itch scratched.
As you can see the menu covers the Mississippi and Louisiana food culture pretty well. You order at a counter and the food is brought to you when it is done. We ordered an appetizer and dessert when we ordered our main meals. We wanted to try as much as we could. Without going crazy. We started with Boudin balls.
Without getting into the weeds on explanation Boudin is a blood sausage with rice. A piece is removed from the casing, breaded and deep-fried. These were pretty good. As expected it had a nice smooth texture with that welcome coppery flavor you find in cooked blood or organ dishes. They were served with a mayo based dipping sauce. The sauce was so-so and I found it too thick to actually dip the sausage in. But actually I think the balls can stand on their own without the need for a sauce.
I took a of Pat’s chicken breast and I agree it was indeed exceptional. I opted for a catfish dinner so I could get 2 sides.The presentation of the fish is very down home. By cutting the fish and bread in half I was able to have 2 sandwiches. Which is a pretty good deal. The fish was nicely breaded and nicely fried. Nothing to make it unique but it was tasty . I ordered greens and beans and rice as my sides. As Pat said the greens were indeed spot on. They use smoked turkey when they cook down the greens so I guess it could pass for a healthy dish. The red beans were nicely done as well they didn’t have much rice in them though and no sausage. The last part enables them to say that they are vegan.
As for our dessert, beignets they were pretty good. Although I thought they were more dense than I have had before.
So there you have it. Chef Dan’s and his Southern comfort food. A nice little joint that is well worth a visit. I plan on going back to try something from the Louisiana side of the menu. And some pie, and or pudding.
Located on Indiana Avenue;across the street from the Madame Walker Theater a new joint opened up just before the Super Bowl.It is where Zing and some other place were situated;I can’t remember the name;but from what I gather neither are greatly missed.Pat and I first went there for beers after eating at Duos.That’s our modus operandi;we check a place out while having a beer ;check out the menu and put it on the list.
The place is a large two-story building with its own parking lot.The down stairs dining area is either used for dinner or overflow;because when you enter you are directed up stairs.The down stairs area is dark and cozy,while the upstairs is spacious with wall to wall windows and a super great balcony.As you can imagine they offer Creole and Cajun food;gumbo,jambalaya ettouffe and the notorious Po’Boy sandwich; the whole delta experience.They offer you a choice of fries with the sandwiches;unseasoned,or spicy.Pat got a grilled chicken Po’Boy with plain,naked unseasoned fries.Angel our excellent server said the spicy tasted like Rally’s;and I think their fries rock.Pat’s fries were crinkle cut,which is always a pleasant surprise.His chicken was both tender and moist and somewhere in the $10 range.
I,on the other hand wanted to be a little more adventuresome;and ordered the New Orleans plate ( I think that was what it was called ) no matter, it came with a garden salad or potato salad,a cup of jam,beans and rice a cup of corn and crab chowder,and 2 pieces of catfish all for $15.The tater salad was of the mashed variety as opposed to cubed again one of my favorite versions.The jambalaya had an excellent flavor with bits of sausage and shrimps.That was the only thing I could fault it on,a steam table cooks all the while it is on and little shrimp become tough when over cooked;as was the case here.The beans and rice were nice and creamy but I prefer bigger hunks of sausage;but that’s me.The chowder was smooth, creamy and slightly sweet from the crab and corn,pretty good.My biggest surprise was the catfish;I ordered it blackened,so naturally I expected it to be done in a cast iron skillet;but it wasn’t.It was seasoned with spices and then char grilled.Don’t get me wrong it was perfectly grilled,Pat even liked it;and as a general rule he likes his fish battered and fried.I just had “my mouth set ” for the cast iron experience.So if you want something a little different for lunch you really ought to give the Avenue a try.