This place has been opened for about a year or so and is very close to Pat’s house. It is also very close to the Thai Restaurant we went to last week. That was how we learned of their rib special on Friday’s. We stopped there for a beer and learned from the bartender that they have the “best rib special” around on Fridays. Since we had already decided that we would do lunch on Friday this week it was a done deal.
I used the wrong camera to take the shot but you can see how rich and juicy those ribs look. My default position on all things porcine is dry rubbed, smoked and SOS (sauce on the side). These didn’t quite fit that bill but they definitely fit the taste bill. These were some of the tastiest ribs I have had. I could not detect any smoke but the meat was succulent and tender and the bones pulled right out. It did taste as though some sort of spice base was laid prior to the baking and or saucing; however the chef was a wee bit coy when I asked. Regardless, these ribs were a great example of what I call Hoosier Q. Spare ribs slow cooked in a sweet sauce until they fall off the bone. The special is a half slab with two sides for $12.95. As for the sides they were your typical choices.Fries,slaw, cottage cheese or pasta salad. Not sexy at all just basic. I opted for fries and slaw. The fries could have been fried longer but the slab of ribs were placed on top to add another dimension to them. The slaw was excellent. It was a brand called Grandma’s. A brand I am quite familiar with and do really enjoy.
I really wish I had done a better job with the pictures so everyone could see how great the ribs looked. Regardless of how they appear I don’t think you can go too far wrong from a rib dinner at Thompson’s House. Or a mushroom cheese burger for that matter.
After our trip to Working Man’s I was inclined to hit a BBQ place or a newly opened brewery. Pat was leaning more towards a meat and pick two kind of place. Since he was just back from Chicago, where he and his wife had biked 200 miles in two days,for charity,I thought it best to forgo debate and head to Mann’s Grill.
What can I say about Mann’s Grill? It is an older place located in an industrial area on the west side and is notorious for its low prices and big portions. It also serves breakfast all day. They have done some remodeling since the last time we were here. Turning a counter that separates the kitchen from the dining area into a wall with a pass through and adding faux brick to the dining room walls.
As far as food goes it is your usual diner fare. All of their dinners are $7.50 and the sandwiches are in the $4 to $5 range. You can also get a breakfast of 2 eggs, meat and potato choice and your choice of pancakes,french toast or biscuits and gravy for about 6 bucks. That is the kind of joint it is.
I decided on beef tips and gravy. For my sides I opted for corn and mashed potatoes.
I had to take 3 different shots to capture all the food. The beef was done well. Falling apart tender and smothered with mushrooms and gravy. The beef was tasty, the mushrooms were canned and the gravy was from a mix; never the less it was pretty good. The potatoes were nicely seasoned and tasted like real spuds. The corn was also canned but they did season it well. So you know what to expect here. Nothing exotic or fancy. Just a nice meal at a good price. Our lunch tab was $15. Remember ambiance costs.
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.
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.
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.
As you can tell from the header this is an old place. I believe this is where I ate the 2nd submarine sandwich in my life. And until yesterday I haven’t been back. Also as you will readily see there are no pictures of our food due to a slight camera malfunction. Had the lunch been better I’d probably go back and take some shots. However I don’t think the trip is worth the bus fare to relive.
I think Pat enjoyed his sandwich more than I did mine. I had an 8 inch mushroom steak sub. For $5.25, you can’t complain about the price. Oh and they bake the bread in-house, so that was pretty good. But that is about the end of the compliments. The “steak” had the taste of a “formed” beef product. That is to say no taste. The only flavor was from the canned mushroom gravy. And that was far from great. Oh and on top of the bad sandwich I also got a cup of “chili” with beans. Straight from a can. I heard that this is a new owner. If that is the case he might want to rethink his position. I am not sure but I just can’t imagine any joint staying open for over 40 years with no more on the ball than this. The help is far superior to the food and that is a shame. He ought to wake up and smell the “5 dollar foot long” before it’s too late.http://www.greinerssubs.com/cpsiteframepage.lasso?-token.lpuserref=119771.113129