eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Pasta Bolognese

Iozzo’s Garden of Italy

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Iozzo’s is a place with history. The Great Grandfather, Fred, was the patriarch that started the family business in Indianapolis in the 1920’s. By 1925 he had 2 dozen grocery stores throughout Central Indianapolis. The gem of the empire was an Italian restaurant on South Illinois. It featured a band stand, 2 kitchens,3 bars and seating for 850. A tragedy in 1941 led to a quick and final demise of the restaurant. The family kept their recipes and traditions intact for over 60 years before they opened Iozzo’s Garden of Italy in 2009.

Since it was such a gorgeous day we sat in the garden. A small courtyard paved with cobble stones.

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Along the side were niches that framed some dramatic flame colored blossoms and at the end was a tall lamp-post with lead glass lamps.

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How ever as charming and mellow as the setting was the food was the center of our attention. Also they had half priced wine this day. Pasta, wine and beautiful weather all in a stone and brick courtyard. That just seemed to call to us.

I decided that I needed a glass of Argentine Malbec to start.

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The wine inspired me to have a plate of spaghetti with Bolognese sauce and a salad. The basic pasta with the Family sauce or Marinara is $9. A change to Bolognese is an extra buck and the addition of meatballs is $4. So my pasta and salad was $14. I think it was definitely well worth it.

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Now this was a swell little salad. A bowl of Spring mix,which I really like, one slice of Roma tomato and a cucumber slice. All dressed with a nice Basalmic dressing. Nothing fancy. A simple salad designed to start your appetite.

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My plate of pasta was nicely presented and expertly prepared. A good bite for the noodle and a good sauce made for an excellent lunch, by itself. Add in the meatballs and you get an outstanding meal. They use veal,sausage and beef in making their meatballs. Which,in my estimation is the best combination for a meatball.

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I was very much impressed with this little joint. From the fresh cracked pepper for the salad to the fresh grated cheese for the pasta. Everyone was on point for the service. Also they were short-handed and everyone stepped up and took care of business. That is something I really appreciate. Also, as an aside our server;Elizabeth is one of the grand daughters of Fred. I am not sure how many greats should be injected but she is of the Family Iozzo. A part of the chain. Which I also think is cool.

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The Garfield Park Eatery & Coffee 2627 Shelby Street

Well the Garfield Inn is gone, no more, kaput. In its place is an eatery/coffee shop. The new owners have done a major remodel of the old tavern. From a well-worn bar to a cozy little parlor with bright walls and comfortable seating.

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The old bar is still in use and behind the bar where there once were bottles of booze now sets an impressive array of coffee machines and the various supplies necessary for today’s coffee service. You order at the bar and they bring your food out to you. By the register they have big jars with cookies for $1.25 each, as well as other confections. The cookies we tried were pretty good. Mine was a chocolate chip that had a bunch of other stuff in there,like coconut and raisins. As you can see the menu is rather small and they don’t offer hamburgers. Although they did have one as a special, with fries.

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Pat ordered a breaded tenderloin, with fries for $7.95

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I ordered the special. Pasta Bolognese ( $7.45 ) and a cup soup ( German Sausage ) for $3.25. Unfortunately it was very bland. It was a brothy soup with potato, red beans, onion and potato as well as sausage and cabbage. First thing the amount of sausage was rather small, as was the rest of the ingredients. The idea sounded fine. The execution was way off.

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As for the pasta, to me it didn’t fare much better than the soup. A Bolognese is a classic. It is characterized by the use of chopped onion, carrot and celery (a mirepoix). I think what makes it a classic is the melding of the veggies with a red sauce and the reduction of beef stock and wine in the sauce. Not to mention the judicious use of nutmeg and milk or cream at the finish. What I was served was a multi colored rotini covered with a hamburger and tomato sauce with a definitely tart and tangy after taste. So guys lunch didn’t go over real big with me.

I think their idea of a coffee shop is very viable for this area. They offer free WiFi and all the espresso and latte stuff that made Starbucks rich. And even though I am no longer able to drink coffee I can still appreciate the idea of a good coffee shop. And the prices appear to be more than fair. So hopefully they’ll get the wrinkles worked out. Maybe breakfast is their forte. They scratch make the biscuits and gravy and on week ends they serve breakfast all day long. If I lived closer I’d try breakfast. I would pass on the pasta though.

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