eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Massachusetts Avenue

Thaitanium 735 Massachusetts Avenue.

There is a fancy new Thai place on Mass. Ave. It’s a good-looking place with a clever name and better than average food. The offer several lunch specials for $8.99. Each one comes with soup, salad and a spring roll.

The soup is a nice broth with just a hint of spice. I could eat a couple of bowls of it. Minimal ingredients but the broth is the hook.

I ordered the Cashew Nut with pork. This is a stir fry dish loaded with peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts as well as cashews.

It was a huge plate full of food. The sauce was a simple brown gravy that matched up well with the pork and mushrooms. The small side of salad added just the right amount of crunch. As for the spring roll it was one of the best I have had and it wasn’t made in-house. It was full of cabbage with a delightful flaky skin. I would eat them again with gusto.

I hope this joint lasts longer than the previous inhabitant. I think it fits in well with the area.

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


The Eagle Food & Beer Hall 310 E. Mass Ave.

Well another new joint; at a familiar location. The Front Page Sports Bar & Grille occupied this site for a few years until late last year. After an amazing make over they opened the last of December for dinner and opened for lunch just this past week.

This is a sister to a place by the same name in Cincinnati so they aren’t rookies. They are noted for their bone in fried chicken. I know people usually associate fried chicken with the deep South but there is a long German tradition of fried chicken as well,and Cincinnati has a solid German heritage. Here is a link to their website

http://www.eaglerestaurant.com/.

Their menu is unique in that they don’t offer appetizers they offer “snacks”. Snacks that are a bit different from what you usually get. To start out I ordered a snack of their house made corn nuts for $3. I thought they were outstanding,Pat wasn’t as taken with them as I.

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One cautionary note on the nuts. If you can’t eat them all and you take them home they do get hard over time. So eat ’em while they’re hot.

I was drawn to their pork sandwich.

PORK pork shoulder, broccoli rabe, sharp Asiago, house made hot peppers ……… $9.00

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This was a superb sandwich. It hit all the notes. A large portion of moist pork layered with the pleasant “bitterness” of the rabe,the creamy sharpness of the cheese and finished off with just the right amount of heat from the chiles. Really an excellent job.

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We decided on sharing some of their pickled veggies with our sandwiches. Those weren’t as impressive to me. It was a nice assortment but I thought the strength of the pickle was too light and the $4 a bit much. Oh $4 is the price for all of their sides,but they seem big enough for two to share.

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Pat ordered a fried chicken breast sandwich for $9.

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In keeping with the current “trend” in modern dining they offer half salads and beer pours less than a pint. In this case 10 ounce. Some time back it would have been called a short beer. I really like this development in dining and I really like this particular beer and food hall. I can see a few more visits in my future. Especially when it warms and their patio opens. Also I don’t think I can say enough good things about the staff. They were all very helpful and seem genuinely happy to help.

 

 

 
The Eagle Food And Beer Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Cropichon et Bidibule 735 Mass. Ave.

Now isn’t that one hell of a name. From what I understand it is a meaningless set of words. The owners are from France and they use this as a term of endearment for their children. I think that’s sweet. Like an American calling a loved one snookums or pookie. As you can imagine it offers French food. It has been open for a few months, but I never could get Pat to go with me. As he said: “I do not want to eat at a place where I can’t pronounce the name.” So here I am, all by myself.

I am not overly familiar with French cooking. My experience consists of being taught French techniques and sauces in Culinary school and a few minor adventures in Quebec. I enjoy their love for food, and their influence has been felt throughout a great portion of the world. It just is not my first love.

I have heard a bit about the food here and it has generally been greeted with acclaim. The not too nice remarks have been directed at the interior design. I guess folks thought it should be like a quaint little bistro with small tables and an out-door seating area where you could lounge drinking wine and eating bread and butter. What they have is a small place with limited seating. When you walk in you see a hostess area directly in front of you.

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On your right as you enter  is a baby Grand piano with a bedazzled model of the Eiffel Tower, bedecked with silk roses serving as the candelabra.

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They have a nice menu, featuring crepes, charcuterie and galletes as well as sandwich type dishes. The galette that they offer is a Breton Gallete. A thin square buckwheat pancake filled with different savory components. The basic default dish is a Galette Complete. The pancake with cured ham and cheese and an egg. Their version features Gruyère cheese. Normally I would go there but they also have a Gallete Saucisse. Galette with sausage. Their version featured mirepoix with potatoes and a spicy mustard sauce.

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The sausage was cut into discs and placed off to the side with a mixed green salad on the opposite corner. The dish was an excellent composition. The crisp pancake filled with a wonderful array of carrot, onion, celery and potato excellently prepared. The veggies had just the right amount of tooth. And when you wanted to alter the taste grab a piece of sausage or a fork full of the salad. The salad was your typical field greens with a small addition of radicchio, to add attitude. The whole salad was dressed in a slight oil and vinegar dressing. It was transparent enough to let the greens shine and the vinegar had enough sweetness to play off the excellent horseradish and mustard sauce.

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I must say that this was an excellent dish. It was a classic and was done classically well. Also it was only $11. Now that is a bargain. Of course as I ate I became more desirous of some wine to help accentuate my lunch and decided that I needed a glass of Muscadet, for $12. But it was a great choice to go with the gallette. I think the reason I found it to be so darn good is normally I pay 12 bucks for 2 bottles of wine. I may have to review that. Oh one thing they may want to consider is the salting of the dish. I more I ate the more salt I tasted. It was as if they salted in layers and it all kind of fell to the middle. Also I must apologize for my pictures. Sometimes they look pretty good;other times, like now, no.

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Mimi Blue Meatballs 874 Mass. Ave.

This was the place I was headed to Saturday night when logistics got in the way. It is also the one joint I thought Pat couldn’t eat at. I couldn’t imagine a meatball without onion. As it turned out I forgot to even ask. Sorry Pat.

It is an attractive place, nice furnishings and decor. It is also on the small side. Which makes for a cozy dining experience. I arrived shortly after opening and they already had a good crowd. So I didn’t try to take any interior shots. I find it awkward taking pictures with a bunch of people in them. Not everyone likes their image up on the internet.

The menu is simple. You get a laminated menu and an erasable marker to check your choices. They offer five different meatballs and five different sauces. They also give you about 10 different sides to choose from for $5 each. All are available on the side or under the meatballs. The concept is simple, and pretty much self-explanatory. So much so that rather than confuse everyone by explaining, here is a link to their online menu.

http://www.mimibluemeatballs.com/menu/

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I decided on the 4 baller. Classic with marinara, veggie with garlic cream, turkey with mushroom gravy, and beef and spicy Bolognese. All on a bed of creamy polenta. A $16 meal with bread. For what it was I think the price was fair.

Each meatball had its own individual texture and flavor. The veggie was the most assertive, and not just from the cayenne pepper. It had a nice veggie component to it but it lost its charm after a couple of bites. I may have expected something more like a falafel. This tasted more cornmeal than chick pea. The turkey ball was fine. What you would expect. The classic was a nice example of a beef and pork combo. Flavorful and robust. The beef may have been my favorite because I tasted a bit of fennel seed in it. At least I think it was the beef. As for the sauces both red sauces were okay. If it weren’t for the spice I don’t think I could tell the marinara and Bolognese apart. One did have a darker color, as though it had been on the heat longer. The garlic and cream was good and just as advertised. The mushroom gravy was very delicate. I had it over the turkey ball,because I didn’t want the sauce to have too much competition. But really it is hard to keep all the tastes separate, after a while, on one bowl. On the bottom of all the balls and sauce was one common element. The polenta. It was indeed creamy and should have been an excellent accompaniment to all these balls,but I thought it was too salty.

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I think this place has a good idea. They have only been open 4 weeks so they are doing an exceptional job so far. I can see myself coming back for a slider or two.

Mimi Blue Meatballs on Urbanspoon


The Old Point Tavern

Pat and I have been very fortunate the last few weeks. Every place we have been to has given us a very enjoyable lunch. Good food pleasant surroundings and nice service. This week we decided to try the old point Tavern. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue. At the point where Mass. Ave. Intersects with Alabama and Vermont streets. This place has been open for several years. I have been there on numerous occasions just not to eat. First thing you notice about the menu is the lack of fried or grilled items. The only equipment they have in their kitchen is a microwave oven, conventional oven with stove top and cold tables. Their menu is pretty extensive, considering the lack of equipment.

We decided to try a different style for the blog. Instead of me writing for Pat he is going to write for himself. The idea being, he could write about his lunch later over a beer. He did get as far as the title. After lunch we change locations for beer and we both forgot for him to finish. As it turned out he wrote it at home and e-mailed me the copy. I think that is the way to go in the future.

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No, Pat there wasn’t any cheese but you did add avocado.

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I tried their pita, “sandwich”. It was indeed a curious collection of ingredients. The obligatory lettuce and tomato and avocado, cucumber and Havarti cheese, with dill. And the whole deal was spiced with Dijon mustard. The avocado and cheese were equally mild in flavor and the lettuce and tomato; while not adding to the flavor profile did bring a much-needed textural difference to the sandwich as did the cucumber. What really set the whole thing up for a trip to “flavor town” (apologies to Diners Drive-ins and Dives) was the Dijon mustard. For me, I still needed some crunch. So I added some of Pat’s kettle chips. My pita came with a fruit cup. Again another nice touch to fit the healthy meme they’re going for. I’d eat the same thing again. Next time I would substitute pepper Jack cheese and added some bacon. So once again we had another nice lunch . If you work in the area I highly recommend this joint for lunch. All the food items are quick pickups. The staff knows what it is doing and the outdoor seating offers some of the best people watching you could find.

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005-001 Old Point Tavern on Urbanspoon