This is another Patachou Inc. project. This new space is unlike any of their other locations. The others focus on cooked to order meals and full service. This Urban Kitchen and Grill is more cafeteria than restaurant.
They have a menu on the wall as you walk in. I couldn’t get a good picture of it so I stuck a link to it here. As you can see they offer several different vegetable medley and they decrease in price the more you order. They also have the usual proteins and some not so usual for $6 to $8. Everything is alla carte’. You decide what you want to eat, tell the nice young lady with the tablet, the tablet transmits the order to the kitchen, you walk down the aisle,pay the man and get your food. Not unlike Micky D’s. Now that remark is in no way meant to be snide or mean. Regardless of the food McDonald’s business has been pretty successful.
This is on the wall directly opposite the front door. A very laudable goal. For that reason people should be hoping for their success. Goals aside this is a business. In order to do their acts of charity they must sell food. So will this newest venture follow with the success the others have shown? This particular joint has been opened less than 2 weeks and when we visited the place was full. So it seems like it has a good start. But the food will keep it that way.
They change their soup daily. This particular day the offering was a vegan carrot topped with pine nuts. It didn’t trip my trigger.
The red smear is hot sauce Pat got for the chicken. All of the condiments are at one central location opposite the kitchen.
Pat’s chicken was over done in my estimation. I tasted a piece and it had a heavy breading making it difficult to taste the meat. The carrot soup was pretty tasty, also pretty thick. To me I don’t think I would pay 6 bucks for that particular soup.
I ordered an Israeli cous cous combo with sun-dried tomato, red onion, oregano and feta cheese with olive oil and lemon juice. The portion was abundant and the flavors melded well together. The amount of red onion etc may have been sparse but I would definitely eat it again. I paired that with trout. A big piece of trout. It was very tasty,possibly a tiny bit under done, but a nice job over all. The two together made for an excellent lunch. And I think $14 was a fair price.
All in all we had a nice lunch. There are some things that may or may not pose trouble down the line. Payment for one. From what I saw, considering the crowd, things went smoothly. After lunch I went back to get a couple of cookies. They were brought up quickly, yet I had to wait behind two ladies who were splitting a trout with kale salad. I could see my cookies. Languishing by the register. Mocking me. Well maybe it won’t be a problem. Maybe I just need to remind my self to be patient. But seriously the space is on the small side and it wouldn’t take much to get the diners stacking up like planes at O’Hare. Just another incentive for everyone to bring their ‘A’ game, every day.
Here are our cookies. Oatmeal lace and chocolate chip. Six dollars of cookie. Worth it? They were well made. As you would expect from a Patachou Production, but Pat and I both lean more toward a softer cookie. All of their sweets are on display in the kitchen area behind the glass partition that separates the production area from the public. Which leads to another area I am curious about.
All of the veggie and grain combos are ready-made and setting on a heat rail. The proteins are not cooked to order per se they are cooked en masse. A cook prepares several at one time and stores them on the heated platform. Small amounts ;sell quick; no problem. Actually my main thought is the fish. Regardless of the type of fish they have delicate flesh. Anything continues cooking after it is pulled from the fire. Put it on a warming apparatus and it will just cook more. With fish that can be a calamity. So time will tell
Back to my original purpose. The joint is very good. It fills a much-needed niche in Indy, in my estimation. A place that offers some seriously thoughtful grub in a very casual atmosphere. They are also heavy on local sourcing and their cause is just. It can be cramped, it can be noisy but it’s cramped because people want to eat well and it’s noisy because people are talking to one another. Live in person. So next time you are north of the Canal I recommend it.
I took some pictures of the back side, facing the trail but they didn’t turn out. Hey they have a fire thing out side. A long box with a gas line covered in lava rock. Not sure what they are called but it is both warming and cool.