eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “mac and cheese

Paleo Soul 7305 E 96th Street

I found this place on a net search. I thought that such a clever name needed further study.

The Paleo Diet is an eating plan that tries to duplicate the eating habits of our ancestors; 10000 years ago. In other words food a hunter gatherer would consume. That means no grains, legumes or dairy. The owner came up with the idea because members of her own family have some food allergies and she thought Paleo could be an answer. Not all the menu is Paleo but it has a few items and if our lunch is an indication all of it is delicious.

I was tempted to order beans and rice and chicken and noodles two of their non Paleo dishes for $3.95 each. However once I learned that the meatloaf was just out of the oven I could not resist.

I know I said that I would never order mac & cheese out again but I just had to try theirs. I am glad I did. This was creamy and cheesy with a slightly crisp top. A great partner to the meatloaf. As for the meatloaf I thought it was delicious as well. It was seasoned perfectly and I loved that it had a bit of ketchup on the top. When you took a bite you would taste the savory gravy and then a taste of vinegary sweetness from the ketchup.

Both of our entres were $10.99; drink included. After consuming my meatloaf I was beguiled into ordering a piece of cheese cake, for $4.

This wasn’t a cheese cake that you would get at GFS or Sysco this was scratch made by the owner’s cousin. It was thick and rich without being overly sweet. I don’t know that I have had better.

Every thing in this little joint is made from scratch. The food is excellent and the prices are good and the only thing left to comment on is the staff. The folks here are wonderful. They went out of their way to make us truly feel at home. It was like eating at a friend’s house. It is a shame it is so far from me. I will try to get back soon.


Jimbo’s BBQ 9211 Crawfordsville Road

This joint is located in an old house right on US 136. They have limited seating and parking in the rear. Just in case you aren’t sure where you are this is on the side of the house.

It is small place that is as neat as a pin. All of the food they offer is listed on 2 chalkboards on the wall.

As soon as you park and step outside your car you can smell it. When you walk through the front door you can smell it. A carnivore’s dream. Smoked meat. Pat and I both enjoy BBQ and have eaten at several but I don’t recall that many joints that offer chili; and none that offer Brunswick stew. The stew tempted me but I was there to try the BBQ so I ordered their brisket special with one side and drink for $8.99.

The bun was pretty generic but the brisket was far from being run of the mill. It had a nice smoke ring and an excellent smoke flavor. It was also very tender and lean. The sandwiches come undressed but they offer 4 different sauces at the table. Texas, Memphis, Kansas City and Carolina. The first three are tomato based with varying degrees of sweetness. The Carolina a vinegar based. I liked a combo of Carolina and KC. While the meat was exceptional the mac and cheese was ho-hum. Macaroni with canned cheese sauce. Very cheesy just not what I look for in a Mac and cheese.

Pat is right there are several joints that do a good job with pulled pork. It is just a matter of how good that determines where to go. That and location. Clermont is pretty far for the both of us so I can’t see me hanging out there. However I can see myself going back for the stew. That is not something you see every day.

Jimbo's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Thunderbird 1127 Shelby Street

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The sign is a bit misleading. The Thunderbird opened as a night club in 1950, and “rocked” it old school until 1972. I was never there. I went to old-time “divey” bars and for late night entertainment there was Broad Ripple.

I think this new incarnation opened 2 years ago as a dinner house. They just recently decided to give lunch a go. Here is a link to their website.

http://thunderbirdindy.com/

I suggested this place a couple of weeks ago. I think Pat agreed just to humor me. As he has said many times he is a simple man with simple tastes. Also he has a well know aversion to onion.

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I don’t agree with Pat’s assessment that this place is a bistro. Their food is pretty much comfort foods with a Southern focus and a chef driven spin. Are their prices high? Yep;on some items. A 9 buck grilled cheese is high. On the other hand at $3 my biscuit sliders were quit reasonable. Especially when you realize a McDonald’s bacon, egg and cheese biscuit costs more.

One thing Pat commented on was how oily the chips were. Tasty but oily. Evidently they flash them in the fryer for a bit and then sprinkle them with old bay seasoning.

They have okra fries on their menu. I like fried okra. Finding it around here is difficult. The few places that offer it give you this frozen stuff in a bag . Here they buy it fresh, cut it and fry it to order.

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You get a nice sized bowl for $5. They offer a spicy mayo based dipping sauce I wasn’t really a fan of. I did enjoy the okra though. It is pickled before it is breaded and fried. Which adds a whole new layer of flavor and it also adds a bit of acid to the mix. Now for the biscuit sliders.

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They offer two options. Braised pork belly and fried chicken. I got one of each. The belly was melt in your mouth tender. They topped it with an onion jam, which was pretty sweet. It fit well with the fatty pork but after a few bites it became almost cloying. The next time I get it I will 86 the jam.

You can get your chicken biscuit mild or hot. I chose hot and it had a pleasant burn. The chicken biscuit comes topped with their slaw and house pickles. The slaw was vinegar based and played off the spicy crunch of the chicken nicely. My taste for slaw leans more towards the creamy style but this variety did its job well. I think a side of the slaw might be too “dry” when eaten by itself. The biscuits themselves were nice. Flaky yet substantial enough to hold up to fried chicken. The pickles were unique to my taste buds. They are of the refrigerator variety. You slice ’em; pickle ’em and stick them in the fridge. I enjoyed them.

This place is well-appointed with lots of wood and custom light fixtures. The whole joint has a dimly lit ambiance. Suitable for an evening of cocktails and snacks. I think that would be the best way to enjoy this space. With some friends and a few cocktails and eats. They offer craft draft as well as wine but I think they take their mixed drinks very serious. The bartender has several bottles of syrups that they use to flavor some of their liquors. The bartender is also serious about Bourbon. He likes to keep Bonded bottles around. Nothing says commitment like a few bottles of 100 Proof bottled in bond liquor.

Thunderbird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Johnson’s BBQ Shack – Food Truck

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Like most cities Indianapolis has a growing population of food trucks. These are trucks or trailers that go to different spots around town and sell food that has been prepared in their brick and mortar kitchens. Commissary style. Occasionally more than one gathers and it is a ClusterTruck. This is what converged on an IU Health facility at 250 N. Shadeland Ave. today.

In addition to Johnson’s was Gaucho’s FireAuthentic Brazilian Food and Flying Cupcake. I had envisioned getting a BBQ sandwich, a Brazilian snack and a cupcake for desert. Didn’t happen. After a BBQ sandwich each Pat and I were pretty full. I might have had room for some Coxinhas but they didn’t have them this day.

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Pat’s sandwich was 7 bucks. The chips were $2, as were the other 2 sides. Mac & Cheese and Corn Casserole. Considering that each sandwich was one half pound makes this THE best bargain around.

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I decided on a brisket sandwich for $8. Boy O Boy. It was one heck of a sandwich. It was tender and juicy. Which is the hallmark of good Q. The juiciness came from the fat that was partially melted into the other flesh. There was a small piece that escaped the heat but that just made the bite that much more sweet. The smoke was pervasive throughout. It was on my hands the rest of the afternoon. We went to Manley’s Irish Mutt afterward and Pat threatened to bite by hand; just because of the aroma of smoke.

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I love eating smoked meat as much as I like smoking meat. In the above pic notice the slight evidence of bark. That wasn’t sauce. I did add a touch of their sweet sauce just to wet the bun. So I really think this is one of the best; if not the best; smoked brisket sans I have had in Indy. Hell even if it isn’t it is worth tracking down. If you can’t get to Bargersville by all means hit Twitter for the location of their food trucks. You will not be disappointed.

Johnson's BBQ Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Stacey and Rick’s Soul Food 3399 N. Sherman Dr.

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This place is primarily a take out meat and two joint. It does offer 2 booths on opposing ends that will accommodate 8 bodies; if they know each other well. Their small meals are a reasonable $10.

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I decided on a small tip dinner with greens and mac and cheese.

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Well the tips they serve are some of the skinniest I have had in a while. The meat was still tasty,just not a whole lot of it. Their sauce seemed to be a mixture of a prepared BBQ sauce doctored up with some hot sauce. Nice flavor just pretty commonplace. The greens were pretty good,hardly if any meat but they still held that hearty greens taste. The mac and cheese was pretty boring though. Cooked macaroni and a weak cheese sauce. The corn bread tasted like Jiffy. Which is fine with me,I like all types of corn bread; Jiffy included.

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So I would give this place a 3+ out of 5. Good greens and decent cornbread and a fried pork chop that Persnickety Pat liked. I am sure their other food is at least as tasty,it just isn’t a destination for me. However I think if it was in my neighborhood I would try other things if for no other reason than curiosity. And to support local independents.


Divine 2 8748 W. Washington Street

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This is a BBQ joint;no more no less. It occupies one half of a building in a predominately industrial area.

When you drive up you can see a smoker out back and a big catering truck on the side. It is built for cue,not for style.

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The sign out front says it all. Chicken,ribs and pulled pork. Of course,as their menu board suggests they also have some more non typical fare,like BBQ nachos and a BBQ Manhattan; which is bread topped with mashed potatoes, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. I’ve never heard of that before but pig and taters does sound interesting. Pat ordered his usual pulled pork sandwich with a mild sauce. They dry rub their pig so the sauce is served on the side.

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The portion they offer is easily a half pound,that is why it is served in a basket with the bun on the side.  With the amount of meat you get you could have made two sandwiches.

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Pat’s sandwich was $5.25 and the porkburger was $3.25. I neglected to take a shot of the burger,but I did get a bite. It was really good. Nice and moist with a decent hint of smoke. I would recommend it as an alternative to the common pulled pork sandwich.

I had the rib dinner for $12. It came with 2 sides and bread,plus sauce. I too got the mild and it had a slight taste of cumin,which I thought was interesting. For my sides I ordered mac and cheese.

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It was creamy and cheesy just not smack in the mouth out of this world. I guess folks don’t finish mac and cheese off in the oven any more,with buttered bread crumbs. For my second side I picked baked beans.

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These were some of the best I have had in town,if not the best. Brown sugar sweet and seasoned with bacon. They would be a wonderful foil to some peppery coleslaw. This brings us to the center of the plate. The ribs. I got 6 nice size bones. The amount was such that I would consider it a half slab;or close to it. The meat was super tender and the smoke waited for just a bit before it hit your taste buds. A bite off the bone,dip in the sauce,repeat. Not only were they delicious they were fun to eat. Definitely worth the trip.

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The place is called Divine 2 but I never got around to ask where or what Divine 1 was. The catering truck? No matter this humble little joint does sell some great BBQ. I think it is more than worth the trip.

Divine 2 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Barbecue and Bourbon 1414 W. Main St. Speedway In.

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Yep here we are. Speedway in May. There is just something special about the month of May in Speedway. Granted it is not the month-long spectacle it once was, but it is still a fun time. I would guess Barbecue and Bourbon has only been open for a couple of years, but as you can see from their sign they know how to make you feel welcome.

They don’t have a real big menu but they have all the essentials needed for a BBQ joint, done on their smoker out back. The first thing we ordered was mushrooms for $5.99.

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These were quite tasty. Nice firm mushrooms with a slight coating that stayed in place went you bit into them. Some places just toss them into a pile of breading and hope for the best. These guys do it right.

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All of their dinners come with 2 sides, ala carte they cost $1.99. Pat ordered a pulled pork sandwich for $6.79 and a side of fried cabbage. I got sliced brisket and mac and cheese. The brisket sandwich will cost you $7.99.

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Way back there in the distance you can see the stands that Pat referenced. Not a great view but that sound is hard not to notice.

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My brisket sandwich was nicely done. The meat was moist and tender, lean and tasty.I didn’t detect a lot of smoke but that’s all right it was still a good sandwich and the toasty bun was great. The mac and cheese was better than your average BBQ place. I can only think of one maybe two places that do it better. But it is a side dish after all and it complemented the beef well.

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It was a beautiful day so we ate outside. However we decided to go in side for our adult beverage.

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It is a compact little joint with a compact little bar. However compact or not they have one of the best, if not the best, collection of Bourbons around. Pat had a light beer for $3.75. Me, being the bargain hunter that I am got a Long Island Ice Tea for $2.50. Now I can not remember the last time I had one of those. No matter how dim my memory is I think that this was an out standing cocktail.

So we had good Q and good drinks, all reasonably priced. So the track isn’t the only reason to head to Speedway. Remember. Don’t go Bacon my Heart.

Oops. I put up the wrong pic for Pat’s pulled pork.

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Here it is.

Barbecue and Bourbon on Urbanspoon


King Rib’s Bar B Q 3145 W. 16th Street

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King Rib’s is an old-time local chain of BBQ joints. They have four restaurants, and according to some folks this is the best. I don’t know about that; but this place is pretty darn good.

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This is their “smoking” area. They have three of these bad boys out back. It has fencing all around so you can’t really get too close. I took these shots from the car, only because it was too cold to get out.

They have a small and sensible menu, featuring smoked meats, a few sides and pie. That is probably one of the reasons for their success and longevity.

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Pat’s ribs were big, meaty and cost 9 bucks and change. No sides. I decided on their Tuesday special. Rib Tip dinner with two sides for less than $8.00. Their prices are more than reasonable. Especially when you factor in the amount of food you get.

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They offer their sauce three ways. Mild, hot and mixed. I ordered my tips with mixed. I also got mac and cheese and baked beans. I read one review that suggested that their sides were their weak link. Well I am not sure I necessarily agree. The beans were tasty, just not as thick and gooey as I like. As for the mac and cheese it was more than passable. There are better examples out there. Unfortunately more, that aren’t as good. Now as far as the main act goes it was right on point. In addition to being a generous pile of meaty and tender pieces it had an excellent smoky presence. The sauce they prepare is thinner than the more Southern style. But it had enough leg to cling to the meat. All in all I think it was a stellar example of the smoking art.

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One last thing; the pie. They have Chess Pie and Sweet Potato Pie, both made in-house. Both $2.25 per slice; $8 for a whole pie. I had a piece of Chess pie. Wow. It was good. Very good,and very sweet.

So we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. Good food with good prices. Just make sure you save room for pie.

 

King Ribs Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon