eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Monon Trail

Sahm’s Ale House 1435 E. 86th St.

About three years ago the Sahm’s family opened their first craft brewery, right on the Monon Trail, Big Lug. Shortly after they opened their second Rockstone Pizza next door. I thought a pizza joint was a perfect match to a craft brewery. However after one year they decided to close the pizza joint and turn it into an Alehouse.

I have always been a fan of the way Sahm’s conducts their business. From their side dish offerings to the extensive salad menu and that they still serve a slice of sour cream coffee cake with every salad. These guys know how to run a joint.

I had my eye on their seafood bisque so I was pleased that I could get it as a side; for $1 up charge.

It was a much larger portion than I expected. It was very creamy and had a very good flavor.  Except for the clams you really couldn’t taste any other sea food though.



However I would probably order it again and just consider it a fortified clam chowder.

To go with my “bisque” I got a meatball sandwich.

I found this to be the perfect sandwich size and the soft roll the perfect mate to the tender meatballs. It is nice when the bread and filling both separate at the same time. As for the pricing it is as you would expect. My sandwich was $10.99 plus a buck for the soup. Pat’s tenderloin was $11.99, which I thought was pretty steep. However Pat certainly seemed to enjoy it regardless of the cost. Of course they had beer. Big Lug beer as well as the guest kegs. Once again Sahm’s has hit it out of the park. Good food, good beer and good service. Definitely worth a return trip. With or without a bike.


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.

Big Lug 003

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.

los challaquilles and big lug 010

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.

Big Lug 005

These are the cutouts from the outdoor sigh;downstairs.

Big Lug 006

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.

Big Lug 009

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

Big Lug 010

Big Lug Canteen 001

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

Bent Rail Brewery

bent rail 001

bent rail 003

Another new joint. According to the Star newspaper twenty new places are opening in Indianapolis this year, most of which are locally owned.  This place was the most anticipated, to me because it was the most ambitious project. A large property right on the Monon Trail with a huge old building that started its life in the 1930’s as a commercial cleaner. I doubt that the folks that put the building up could have guessed that 70 years later it would become a brewery. Or at least will soon be an actual brewery. Right now they are pouring other local beers. Of course some folks are whining about that. After all this time, etc. My thoughts are, get a million bucks and try your hand and see how easy it is.

I got a look at the menu just the other day and I was pretty excited. Naturally it all depends on the execution if it flies or not.

bent rail 021

The place is enormous. It will seat 200 folks. Right now they are not jamming tables into every inch, so there is plenty of room to move

bent rail 007

Yep that is a pin ball and a Pac-Man game. They also have a pool table by the brewery tanks.

bent rail 009

Surprising,to me they have a three-way license so they can sell spirits at their bar.

bent rail 011

But we are here for the food. I knew it would push Pat’s comfort level because all of their sandwiches are complex builds. That is to say they offer a protein and other “stuff” to both enhance the taste and the size. Pat likes, basically no more than two things on his sandwich. Preferably meat and cheese. I think he would have enjoyed other sandwiches on the menu, but he decided on the pulled pork.

bent rail 017bent rail 022

bent rail 020

One comment on Pat’s reference to cumin as a herb. Most folks consider it a spice as it is a seed from a plant related to parsley. Like coriander is the seed from cilantro. He is right though, cumin has become rather trendy around here.

bent rail 013

I got the Banh Mi. It was not traditional, but I think it held true to the intent. Pork and sausage spiked with the pickled veggies, and punctuated with fresh jalapeno and mellowed with cilantro. The mayo was very unassuming, as it should be. The portion of meat was not huge I would guess it to be in the 4 to 5 oz. range but the other “stuff” made it  a big taste. I think anymore meat would have been a distraction. All food,especially sandwiches should have a proper balance and I think this one achieved that.

Oh as for Pat’s coleslaw it was very good. It would most definitely rock on a BBQ sandwich. As for the pricing it definitely has a downtown price, but then it is downtown food. I really want to go back. I mean look at that menu. And pints of a great beer for $4.50. Well needless to say we both liked this place. I think this joint will be rocking Sobro when it gets warm,especially when they start pouring their own beer.

Bent Rail Brewing on Urbanspoon