Oh Goodie! Just what Indy needs one more hip coffee-house with pressed sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against coffee houses it’s just that they all try so hard to be hip. In much the same way coffee joints in the 60’s tried to be psychedelic and in the 50’s more bongo and beatnik. And Panini can be a delightful lunch. You just have to be a tad circumspect about the fillings otherwise you might have a “mushy” sandwich. This particular joint is in an excellent location at the corner of 16th St. and Alabama St. An area that seems to have changed over night from semi hood to more metropolitan. For want of a better word. As far as decor I would call it industrial chic or proletarian casual. They left the concrete floor untouched. Chipping paint and all. They also enjoyed the use of gray corrugated metal siding and wood. Whoever owns this place put some bucks into it. It was just not my cup of chai. But they obviously are targeting a young crowd, not old farts like me and Pat.
As far as food options go they offer some breakfast options, including pastries from Circle City Sweets, a local bakery that has a pretty good reputation. They also offer soup from Circle City Soups. As I understand it Sweets and Soups are owned by a husband and wife. And no I have no excuse as to why we have not tried these places before. For lunch they offer 5 pressed sandwiches each with a historic Hoosier name. As far as meat options they have smoked turkey, Mortadella and City Ham. They proudly announce that the ham is from Smoking Goose . A well know local meatery. So from that I guess we can assume the turkey and Mortadella are from the same source. Pat tried a Tarkington. A turkey and provolone sandwich 86 mustard.
I tried the Harrison. I am a sucker for avocado. One thing Pat and I both noticed, at the first bite was that they stuck romaine in the sandwich and then toasted it. Now I really like wilted lettuce but toasted romaine? Not a big fan. To me it had an odd taste that detracted from the flavor of the ham. They have spinach on the menu I think spinach would be a better choice than romaine. To me the biggest deal was the lack of texture. The only crunch was the bread, which had a nice toast to it. Between the melted Swiss and avocado the overall effect was rather bland and mushy. It needed some prominent texture and some distinctive flavor. But I am not going to go through the entire menu and suggest alternatives. This is not my joint and they did what they did for a reason. Best of luck to them.
I almost forgot my soup. Gazpacho. It was the best part of lunch. Ironic that they don’t make it here.
Today is Father‘s Day. Four days earlier was my 63rd Birthday. My first-born son called me and told me he and my grand-daughters wanted to celebrate both days with a Pizza Meal. We decided to go to the aforementioned 3 Wise Men in Broad Ripple. Since the last time I was there they have changed their menu. They have added more calzones and sandwiches. For their sandwiches they use their own bread; made from their pizza dough with Smoking Goose meat. This post to me, is about food, as a family event. I am sure I forgot to take pictures of some of the stuff we ordered. No matter. I know the girls ordered a garlic bread app. I forgot to snap a shot.
This is a picture of my son and two of my grand daughters. Natalie; the 10 year old on the left split a calzone with her dad.
She was adamant about substituting red peppers for green. She then proceeded to remove them from the calzone. She evidently only likes raw red peppers.
Naturally one large pie had to be involved. Half pepperoni and half sweet sausage. The crust is almost cracker thin.
I opted for a Smoking Goose sandwich. Mortadella, capacola and pepperoni smeared with a roasted red pepper spread and topped with swiss cheese. Smoking Goose Meatery is the local shop that makes all sorts of meat products.
For desert the ladies ordered an elephant ear ( a Indiana State Fair tradition ) and an individual German Chocolate cake.
This was too big to finish. Carry out box please?
This is the plate that the cake was served on. You gotta’ be quick with a camera when chocolate cake is involved.
Well look at us. Two weeks in a row we’ve gone to a couple of the “fancier” joints in town. Bluebeard isn’t really fancy they just have a fancy sounding menu. Trust me Pat and I wouldn’t go to a truly fancy schmancy place; even at lunch. We are like a pair of brown shoes in a tuxedo world. To me Bluebeard is a visual delight. Exposed beams and brick work; mis matched bar stools and dining tables. Not enough to be tedious just enough to be hip. Not in the angst driven Sinking Ship way more in an urbane way. But what the hell do I know? I’m just one brown Florsheim.
The menu is geared for foodies. An eclectic array meant to share. Of course not all the plates are sufficient size to share. And you have to be careful. You can run up a sizable lunch tab without too much trouble. They vary the menu daily which can be a bummer. When we found out they make their own lardo we ordered a small bread appetizer. Lardo is like the name implies. Pig fat that has been cured. It takes 30 to 60 days to process properly. That day lardo was something they varied; substituting mortadella spread. It was nice, but no whipped pork fat. But the spreads all took a back seat to the BREAD. They make their own bread on premise and all of their varieties rock. Pat didn’t want to play what’s that food. I don’t blame him. It’s tough enough to find food with no onion of any kind. So he opted for a sandwich.
Much to my surprise they get their oysters and octopus in fresh. Since I haven’t had octopus since the last time I was in Florida that is what I started with. The presentation was rather disappointing. The had toast points on top, obscuring the view. The octopus was tender and very nicely done. The bagna cauda was spot on. Full of olive flavor; since they opted for olive rather than anchovy, I thought it fit the octopus nicely. I did find the fennel flavor lacking. Which is odd. Usually when you low roast veggies in oil the flavor is enhanced.
After the octopus I tried a couple of oysters. Admittedly I am hardly an expert on oyster varieties but this particular sort was on the small side. Small but delicious. And the mignonette was a perfect match. The salty,sweet of the oyster and the slight shudder of the vinegar. But in my gluttonous eagerness I forgot to take a picture of the oysters.
But I wasn’t through yet. Remember my cautionary remark about being careful. I decided I needed a salad. And I figured that if I picked the right one I could forego desert. So I picked the one with mixed greens and asian pear and avocado. Damn if I don’t think that it could be the perfect salad. From the sweetness of the pear to the buttery creaminess of the avocado and with the bitterness of the greens, crunch of the sunflower kernels and the brightness of the citrus in between this was definitely my favorite.
Are we through yet? Oh No. Our über pleasant and efficient bartender, Cali, thought we should try their signature buttermilk bread pudding. So she brought us one to share. Just look at it and think of white chocolate sauce, and coco nibs. So on that note we say good-bye.