When you see the inside mural the first thing you notice is the little jail bird in the center. He seems to glow or have a light surrounding him. Don’t worry you have not been over served nor is it an epiphany. It is just painted with a window behind it. That is the bottom picture. The one on the outside wall. I thought it was pretty clever. Clever is a good word if you just wanted one word to describe this joint.
As I understand it this place was opened by the same fellow that opened Thunderbird, which is just a few miles North, also on Shelby. Thunderbird is a more sophisticated joint. More sophisticated in that both food and cocktail menus are more complex. One thing they have in common is. I believe what ever you order it will be expertly prepared and tasty.
You can see the kitchen from our position at the bar so I was able to see the cook take ball of ground meat, place it on the flat top and smash it down. Sort of like the Culver’s commercial. So, yeah they are “old school” burgers.
They don’t prepare their sides in house. The fries, etc come in frozen. Which is fine with me. Half the time frozen fries and rings are as good or better than “house made”. That holds true for mozzarella sticks as well. Their sandwiches are served ala carte. I ordered a meat loaf sandwich with a side of mozzarella sticks.
This was one great sandwich. Their meat loaf is simple and good. Nothing fancy. A nice thick slice heated on the flat top, topped with an onion ring and a chipotle ketchup. All put together on a lovely toasted Brioche bun. The mozz sticks were as good as they ever were and they serve them with a very nice house made marinara sauce,
So Pat and I both really like this spot. If you go for lunch hopefully Morgan will be there to be your server. I can not say enough nice things about her. Pleasant and efficient and she does make a very good Whiskey Sour. Thanks again Morgan.
Here is a link to their menu
More than 7 years ago when we started this Blog we ate at Shelby Street Smokehouse in Fountain Square. At that time it was on one end of a building with End of the Line Public House on the other and a self-described lobby bar in the middle. Imbibe. Now that bar has become a restaurant and the Smokehouse only exists in the form of 2 sandwiches that are on the new joint’s menu. The pulled pork and brisket sandwiches. Since I was not really impressed with my first meeting with the brisket I opted for the pulled pork.
As you can see it is a very healthy portion and the sauce is on the side. This is a very good sandwich. It has a definitely smokiness to it. However I believe a lot of that is enhanced artificially with liquid smoke. No matter it is still a good sandwich. The price is $7.99 side included.
Side Choice: Krinkle Kut Fries, Curly Fries, Beer Battered
Onion Rings, House made Waffle Chips, Creamy Cole
Slaw, House made White Cheddar Mac & Cheese As you can see the side options are many. Also for an extra $1.99 you can get a second side, side salad or cup of soup or chile. Sorry but BBQ is not complete with out cole slaw.
My 2 sides, onion rings and slaw were excellent as well. The slaw was creamy and sweet the rings were crisp. I just wonder if they were truly hand battered in-house. Regardless they were very good.
I believe the pizza is a take away from Side Kicks pizza. A short live pizza joint that occupied the End of the Line space when they vacated.
The basic price of a 9 inch pie is $7.99 and each topping is $1.29. So all the food pricing seems reasonable. Even their beer prices are inline with most joints in the area. Five to six bucks each. I enjoyed my food very much. It is nice to see potentially empty space occupied. Also Ambrosia is working on a casual Italian restaurant in the area where the Smokehouse was. Now that would be something.
Now this place is far from our normal turf but it seemed like it would be a good choice for today. It took over for a Drive In by the name of The Frosty Mug,which opened in 1954 but was forced to close in 2011. The owner of local Tyner Pond Farm bought it at auction in 2013 and started selling the usual drive in fare;with a twist. All of the product is local and the beef and pork all come from his own farm.
Their basic burger is a quarter pounder with cheese,white onion and pickle for $2.75 and grows from there;culminating in a triple patty with triple bacon and cheese for $9.50. I started with the “Two and change Burger” for $2.75.
It certainly isn’t much to look at but it was just what I wanted,a tasty little piece of meat with white onion and pickle.
I don’t think a shot under the cover helps much;does it?
I also wanted to try one of their dogs. They offer a “Kiply Dog for $3.50. That’s one of their dogs topped with Sloppy Joe meat. They have a Sloppy Joe sandwich for $3.75.
It was very good. They make the dogs at Tyner Farm and they are excellent tasting more sausage than Ball park dog. The Sloppy Joe meat was a bit sweet; as it should be and made a very nice balance.
The last item I ordered was the house made onion rings. I was a bit disappointed in these;only because they added mustard to the batter. Not a big fan. Wouldn’t get them again.
Yes I was slow in eating my lunch;but I had two sandwiches and rings to deal with and Patrick only had one sandwich. Speaking of which he gave me a hunk to try and I was impressed with the quality of the meat. Oh here is a pic of Pat’s naked dog.
I personally would love to go back and try their Cuban and their pulled pork. And some other stuff but they are so damn far. Luckily they are adding a second place in Irvington; sometime. It was supposed to be open by now I have no idea what the hold up is. They also sell a locally source ice cream. What brand I do not know. I do know they have a sweet corn flavor as well as a maple bacon. Can you image a waffle cone with one scoop of each in it. Ain’t Indiana Grand.
I think without realizing it Pat and I have been pursuing long operating establishments. A couple of weeks ago the Kitley Inn,established in 1946 and now Edwards an original Dog and Suds from 1957. Whereas Kitley looks as though it hasn’t changed much since ’46 Edwards definitely has had a face lift or two.
These replicas are on the side of the building and probably 3/4 size of the original rides. On the inside you will find a very swank and refined space with no vibe you may expect from an old-time diner.
The interior may be too refined and contemporary for that 50’s look but they offer non stop music from that era. If you are an old guy it will make you smile. They still offer curb service too. You order at the front counter,given a ticket and they call your number when ready. Everyone was very friendly and most helpful with my too many questions. The biggest reason I wanted to come here is I was certain that,with the exception of the root beer little of the food was done from scratch. I have no idea where or how I got that impression I just did. Well I was wrong. This place actually has cooks. My apologies to Edwards Drive In.
Wednesday they offer a $1.99 BBQ slider. For a 3 buck and change up charge you can add onion rings and a medium drink. In my case that would be a Root Beer.
Well the sandwich was so-so. Not a bad bite for 2 bucks but nothing to really make you shake,rattle or roll. Now the rings were a different story. They were crisp and flavorful and abundant. Often onion rings are a touch soggy from excessive batter. Not these. Sometimes they are just too greasy. Not these. I hesitate to call them the best I have had because I am sure I used that line before. I just have to say that these are an excellent product and they were masterfully prepared. As for the Root Beer it was as delicious as you would expect or if you are old enough as you remember from years ago.
Pat told me that we had been here before. I couldn’t remember. He also said that his breaded tenderloin last time was very greasy. This time his food was on point. I still say I have not been here with him.
I think this could be a very nice joint to visit when it is warm. Onion rings and a Root Beer. If they use the same ring batter for the mushrooms then marry that with a coney dog and Root Beer and call me satisfied.
Well we have a new brewery in town. I think that brings the number to an even 2 dozen. Some say this influx will glut the market; I say; is it possible to have too much beer?.
Last week after lunch at Black Diamond we stopped there for beer.
The place is a looker. Expansive with high ceilings,exposed brick and interior garage type doors to separate the different dining spaces. They also have a beautiful outdoor seating area,complete with bocce ball court, herb gardens and even bee hives for their brewery.
The menu they are currently using is a pared down version of their opening menu. As I was told the kitchen had trouble keeping up with the huge rush of the hungry and thirsty. So they trimmed the menu down with plans on adding more options as the crew became more proficient.
Their house soup is Tomato soup with bacon and Creme Fraiche. A cup is $3.99 That is how I decided on starting my lunch.
The soup was really good. A nice bright tomato presence with a hint of herbs and slight creaminess. The addition of bacon is always good and the slightly tart creme balanced it out nicely.
As for the entre the only thing I was sure of ,was that I wanted to try their onion rings. For that reason I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. Normally I don’t order chicken breast out. The boneless,skinless breast can be a pretty boring piece of meat. What sold me on the Coop sandwich was that they added Gouda cheese and apple slices to the chicken and served it on a Brioche bun.The resultant sandwich was really good. The basic sandwich was $10.99 and for onion rings you pay an extra dollar. The rings were excellent. The batter they make is great and the result is crisp and tasty.
Pat’s pizza was about $12, and you might notice that they use a cheese blend for the pies. Personally not a big fan of cheddar on pizza. I do agree with is assessment of Lisa. She was a perky delight.
The whole joint is just what you expect from a Lux restaurant. A well-trained staff and nicely crafted food. Oh and the beer is pretty great too.
After going to more contemporary joints the last couple of weeks I thought we needed a change. We needed to go back to our roots. So we decided to visit a local legend. The Working Man’s Friend. Pat and I have both been here several times but this is the first time we visited together. Sometimes we forget that the older joints have as much to offer a community as the newer more trendy spots. This place opened in 1918 as a lunch counter built by an immigrant from Macedonia named Louie Stamatkin. We met the third generation owner; Becky, and she has as clear a business perspective as her ancestor. She showed us a copy of the history of the joint, the short version;but I didn’t bring my scanner so I had to rely on the phone camera.
I apologize for the poor copy. I was unable to find an alternate source so this is all I am able to give.
The place offers several tables and a 60 foot long bar. A bar that was the longest in Indianapolis when it was built in 1952. Since their menu is limited they rely on 2 signs to tell the clientele. A small one on a side wall.
And a more extensive sigh behind the bar.
As a bar they do offer the basic liquors and bottled beer. As for their drafts they only offer Bud and Bud Light. Of course they do sell a 32 ounce frosted goblet for about 5 bucks.
As for the “ambiance” it was as old-time as you would expect. No exposed ducts or art work. Just the usual beer distributor give a ways behind the bar.
Pat and I both opted for burgers. They do have a fish sandwich,but Pat forgot that,or didn’t notice so he ordered a double with fries.
About their burgers. They are simply ground beef, nothing proprietary,just plain cow. They seem to be put up in 4 ounce patties and then smashed on a hot griddle. The seasoning is minimal;if at all. The appeal is the beefy crispness of the burger. The bun is a generic store bun but the overall flavor makes this an exceptional bite. They use shredded lettuce;which I do like, even though I opted for just onion and pickle. For the double they give a middle bun;like a Big Mac. But you can get it without.
My single was crispy and tasty. There is always a danger that a smashed burger can be dry. But if they are done with the proper amount of attention and brought out in time that is not an issue. Pat opted for fries but I decided on onion rings. These are beer battered and fried and are delicious.
I was very impressed with the rings. I know they are the bane of Pat’s existence but if you aren’t allergic a good battered onion ring is a wonder. So if you want to wander into an Old School lunch room then by all means try this one. They are open from 11 to 5 and only take cash.