Well we headed back to Beech Grove today to visit our favorite range at Beech Grove Firearms. Subsequently we wanted a place close by to eat. Well, since the Grove is not quite the dining destination for Indy our choses were rather limited. This joint was recommended by one of Pat’s neighbors. And it proved to be pretty good.
It’s located in a strip mall close to an Inter-State exchange and surrounded by a plethora of fast food eateries. And judging by the speed at which out food came out Egg Roll fit right in. The interior was bright, and large. And it has the charm of a Wal-Mart. I don’t mean that in a nasty or snarky way I just mean the place is utilitarian and not at very “cozy”.
You order and pay at a counter, then sit and the staff brings you your food. I ordered an appetizer combo to share for $5.99.
It consisted of 2 crab Rangoon, 2 wonton, a beef stick ( that’s the kabob looking thing in the center ) an egg roll and 2 chicken wings. The Rangoon was unique in the fact that it wasn’t overloaded with cream cheese and you could actually detect a morsel, that I assume was crab. The wonton wasn’t as flavorful as I expected. They were actually pretty bland. The beef stick was pretty lackluster as well. Three pieces of tasty but tough beef stuck on a stick with 2 tiny pieces of green pepper and carrot. As for the wings, nothing exceptional. Now that leaves the egg roll. It wasn’t that bad, but I have had a lot better.
For my “main” course I got a soft noodle combo dish. That is a big plate of spaghetti, stir fried with beef, pork, shrimp and chicken and veggies all in a sauce of unknown ingredients. This was very tasty. I can’t say the same for the rather run of the mill rice that came with it. This dish, because it was a bigger portion than the lunch specials and it came on a real ceramic plate, not one of paper it cost $7.75.
They don’t offer menus. The food offerings are posted on the wall behind the order counter. And to the right of the counter is the obligatory pictures of the dishes.
Probably the coolest thing about this joint is the price of the lunch specials-$4.50. That includes an egg roll and a cup of soup. Pat being ever the frugal shopper ordered a lunch special.
So my friends. In summation I don’t think you can go too wrong eating here. The food is pretty good and the prices are more than reasonable. I might suggest you try the Pho; and let me know about it. I had wanted to try it but I became a deer in the head lights when it came my time to order. Maybe some other time. Egg Roll #1 Pho #1 4540 S. Emerson Ave. http://www.eggroll1.com/
- Lotus Garden Greenwood (kosherhamandcheese.com)
There is a new place in town and it just happens to be in my neighborhood. To say there was a need in this area, Mapleton Fall Creek , would be a pretty accurate statement. Saturday was their Grand Opening and from all accounts it was very successful. The owner really did it right. A nice wide open space with a lot of room to stretch your legs. And the man built the wooden bar and the tables with his own hands. Now that is special.
The menu is refreshingly different. They also have a nice supply of local beers. As you know Pat and I have been known to tip a malted beverage every now and again. I didn’t scan the menu but I am including a link for their website which shows their food and beer.
This joint does something different for the sides that come with sandwiches. They offer a small chef side that changes daily. In this case it was a potato “croquettes” with a Sriracha mayo. The little ‘tater cake was pretty tasty and spicy sauce fit well. I was drawn to the “cold pressed Spanish chicken sandwich. As it was explained to me after the chicken is cooked it is mixed with capers, anchovy, roasted red pepper and olives. Then a focaccia roll is split coated with olive oil and the “fixings” are stuffed inside. Then the whole thing is wrapped and pressed with a brick for two days. I am not familiar with the technique but the result is definitely worthwhile. The texture was soft and almost creamy. Imagine a bread rillette. The only thing else I can add is the flavor was very much a single note. An excellent single note but singular none the less. I added a taste of the spicy sauce that came with the potato cake and it added a nice spot of heat. It could have used some crunch. In my humble opinion.
I really recommend checking out the menu on the website. It might be a trifle hard to read but I think you can navigate it all right.http://www.shoeflypublichouse.com/
The post I made earlier was actually about our little adventure 2 weeks ago. I’m still a little behind from the Holidays. That post was short because; well… Let’s just say the lunch was not very good. This post will be short as well ,only because I neglected to take any pictures of our food. So Pat and I decided we need to revisit soon; with his better half Fran. They have lunch specials ;a whole board full of different rolls. Pat is not a big fan of sushi or sashimi but he is a fan of fried fish. So he ordered shrimp tempura. Five nice shrimp and veggies with miso soup or salad and a cup of sticky rice( the best rice of all ). All for $7.99. For me sushi,sashimi, nigiri etc are all my favorite. So I got a 2 roll deal. That’s 2 rolls;your choice; miso or salad for $6.99. I decided on the ubiquitous spicy tuna and cucumber& eel. I probably could have made a better selection for texture but I serious thought of a 3 roll combo. Thankfully I stayed with 2; and chose two of my favorite proteins. And what is sushi without sake ? Pat; believe it or not has never had hot sake. He merely had a taste. However he did discover the “allure” of hot wine. I don’t need pictures to describe our total delight at the quality of our lunch. However, since we ARE going back I will wait ’til then to be verbose.
At the corner of Capital Avenue and 13th street sits the Tip Top Tavern. Pat and I have stopped there a few times,but it has always been closed. A couple of weeks ago we found out why. The place has gone through a few owners the last few years and have never been able to make a go of it. Now the owner of the building has decided to have a go of it himself; and it appears as though he is on the right track. They only operate 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.;Monday through Friday. Which is probably a good call for the neighborhood.
It is certainly a good-looking place. Cozy booths around the perimeter of the dining room and several large dark wood tables down the center. The first thing you notice,when you walk in is the large ,dark, carved wood back bar. It looks antique;but it probably isn’t. The remaining area is spacious and bright; with an abundance of old school glass blocks in the walls ;that allows for a great deal of diffuse natural light to enter. Like I said, like coming home. The service is first-rate and the people are great. The owner is casual and friendly and Echo ;our server/bartender is a charming and lovely young lady that never stops moving.
The menu is pretty much what you would expect in a tavern;but although the fare might be common the execution isn’t. They cut their own tenders from a whole loin;and cube it themselves ; with an honest to gosh cuber; no hammer for these folks. I haven’t had a grilled tender in I don’t know how long. So when I learned they cube their own I had to have one. That hunk o’ pig was 8 ounces if it was a gram. They cook all their meat on a flat top griddle. Would that make it a Tip Top Flat Top? Nevermind. The sandwich was on point. The meat was cooked just to the right point. It offered enough “chew” so that you knew you were eating real meat; but not too much so it would wreak havoc on my store-bought chompers. Pat ordered a Philly cheese steak; and his only complaint was it needed more beef. But then who doesn’t like more meat? The sandwiches come with choice of fries,macaroni or potato salad or fresh fruit cup. I can’t remember the exact price of their sandwiches but I’m pretty sure they are less than 8 bucks. As for beer; well let me tell you they have a very respectable selection of craft brews for $3.50 to $4.00. That’s pretty good for”downtown”. Oh I almost forgot they also serve breakfast, hence the 7:oo A.M. opening. And their pricing is incredible. So it seems like a no brainer to me ,heading into work downtown on Capital pull off at 13th;they have a parking lot; and fuel up.Remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
We had planned on hitting a place in the “inner city” but we had to make a run to Gander Mountain in Greenwood first.And what do you think was right across the street?Well the Fireside Brewhouse that’s what.And I cannot imagine two men passing up any place that calls itself a brew house;even if it really doesn’t make its own beer.The place is huge and really GOOD looking;you might even call it beautiful.I took a few more structure shots than normal;since I forgot, again,to take any pictures of our food until the plates were in such disarray it would be a waste of time to try to salvage a shot.
But you should be aware that they practice Down Town Pricing;some one has to pay for the pretty.They offer over 100 beers;a dozen or so are on draft.I had a couple of Flat 12 Half Cycles at $6 each and Pat had a Hacker-Pschorr Weisse for 6 bucks;and it wasn’t even a big bottle.Like I said downtown prices.Their menu is standard Tavern fare,with sandwiches in the 9-10 dollar range.They offer a variety of Angus Burgers combos.They have one called The Dude.It’s a fully cooked burger topped with Velveeta cheese;placed on a bun and the whole damn thing is beer battered and deep fried.Naturally it comes with fries;as do all their sandwiches.Normally I like my burgers naked;no garden,no mayo, maybe cheese.However on this occasion I ordered their Tijuana something or other.A southwest seasoned patty topped with fried green chiles,onions,white cheese,guacamole and “chipotle mayo”.I added lettuce and tomato( a man needs some veggies )so the end result was quite a mouthful.The overall taste was quite good.The slight spiciness of the seasoning and the mild heat of the lightly breaded poblanos brought a welcome crunch to blend with the creaminess of the guacamole.The only negative is they don’t toast the buns,so near the end the mayo and the guac.made the sandwich a little mushy.
Pat ordered an Italian Beef sandwich.A decent portion of roast beef on a hoagie roll with red sauce,pickled veggies and provolone cheese.Per the bartender’s suggestion he got the sauce and veggies on the side along with a side of au jus.It came out open face so he ate it with a knife and fork.When I asked him how it was, he said the quantity was “street level”.Meaning he didn’t get enough meat.However when he attacked the other half he commented that the meat wasn’t “evenly divided”;so he was happy again.I thought he was enjoying the food because I thought I caught a glimpse of sparks coming from his knife and fork;but maybe it was just a trick of the lighting.One thing we both agreed on was the fries had a great house seasoning.
So; in summation if you live or work around here it’s a nice place to go for a bite;they even offer a kid’s menu.If you desire a beer after work before you head home to the Mr. or Mrs.they offer daily specials.Thursdays special was $2.75 domestic drafts,but since all I am allowed to drink at home is domestic light beers on Thursday I require a real beer.
I was really looking forward to our excursion to the Patriots Table. The menu seemed extensive and the reviews were rather diverse. They almost seemed to break on age groups. Older folks liked it , younger folks did not. One fellow even decided not to go in when he saw the condition of the parking lot (it had been re-patched many times). I guess he didn’t stray too far from Carmel or the immediate downtown area. The place is spacious all dark wood even some that appeared to be old barn beams.The patriotic theme and the military memorabilia was an excellent choice and a nice change of pace from the more usual modern “clutter”.
They offer a senior menu, with smaller portions at lower prices. Their regular menu has pretty good prices to begin with. Since Pat and I qualify as legitimate seniors we ordered off the senior menu. Pat chose the 7 inch personal pizza, with two toppings for about five dollars. The crust was definitely of the premade frozen variety. However the sauce and toppings were generously applied and the pie was nice and crisp. Overall Pat thought it was a pretty good job. I opted for the calf’s liver. A plate lunch featuring liver and onions with gravy, mashed potatoes with more gravy, country-style green beans and coleslaw. All for around six bucks. I won’t quibble about the age of the cow that sacrificed its organ for my lunch, however I can definitely say the liver was overcooked, and the onions were far from caramelized. The gravy on the liver was a brown mix gravy, a pretty good mix though. I think a good mix beats a bad scratch gravy every time; if for no other reason than consistency. Mashed potatoes were instant and the gravy was a tasteless white gravy mix. Why the difference I have no idea. The green beans were typical canned cooked down with bacon pieces, tasty but common.For some reason some lady walked over (an employee, not a total stranger) while I was chewing asking about my liver (my luncheon liver not my beer soaked personal one) and furthermore commented that their country green beans were the best in the world.She was raised in the country and she knew what she was talking about. After I had swallowed was able to speak again the only thing I could think to say was “I haven’t eaten all the green beans in the world so I really couldn’t say”. At that point Pat intervened and they had a pleasant little chat about country living as a child. The only reason I mention this is I had the impression that if I told her that I thought the beans sucked she would argue with me.Adjacent to the dining room they have an ice cream parlor that serves 27 different varieties; they also make their own cobbler. But we were too full to even think about dessert. You see even though my lunch was mediocre I could still clean my plate; that’s what a pro does.As for the coleslaw it was pretty good, they make their own dressing it was just a little sweet for me to eat it all.
Before I sign off I would like to mention a few peeves of mine about eating out. Servers: when inquiring about your tables please do not ask “how’s everything tasting?”; And always assume the customer wants change back. Asking if they want change is like pandering for a tip.and customers: if you don’t want change tell your server that, it’ll save them an extra trip. Also 10% is no longer the minimum tip.
So to sum it up if you like average food in large quantities cheap and want sitdown service then this is your kind of place.
05 – Bungle In The Jungle (2001 Digital Remaster) There’s a new place in broad Ripple.it’s the SoBro Cafe, it’s on 52nd St. just around the corner from the Red Key. There were three of us this time when we went, Pat’s, wife Fran joined us.It’s a cute little place, cozy not all pretentious considering it’s locale.Their big deal are pancakes, both savory and sweet. I think it’s a Dutch thing.Fran tried one of their pancakes, I think it was called the Popeye, full of spinach peppers and onions and I can’t remember what else. She thought it was pretty good however she would’ve preferred the peppers and onions to be sautéed. She did try the soup of the day, bean soup; and declared it the best she had ever eaten, that includes her own. Patrick had his usual grilled cheese, pretty exciting. They have a house soup which is a Thai coconut, the broth was delicious. The stuff inside I thought was superfluous. Tiny diced chicken, mushrooms and corn kernels just seems unnecessary. I also think toast fingers would have better suited the soup then fried wonton. I also had a salad, they offered it with chicken, steak or tempeh. I chose tempeh and it was nicely done. The only thing I can add to their salad prep is possibly refreshing the salad mix with cold water and draining it for service; and change your carrots to shredded.They make all their own dressings, I used tahini lemon; it too is pretty tasty however I think adding some lemon zest to the dressing would increase the lemon flavor.Their chef definitely has skill when it comes to vegetarian cooking. Oh I almost forgot one of the most important parts they sell Sun King for four bucks! ***A few weeks back I made a solo trip back to Sobro.I tried Chai for the first time.I have no idea what it is” supposed ” to taste like; but WOW it was like a festival in my mouth.Sweet,then cardamon then cinnamon with a final hit of clove.Very cool.I also ate their Good Burger.I am hardly an expert on veggie fare but this was a GOOD BURGER no matter what was in it.From the mixed greens to the Roma tomatoes to the buttery avocado I think it matches up with any burger around; animal or vegetable.Also the home-made ketchup is great to dip your Lays chips in.I down loaded the pictures right after my visit;tardy me just now got around to write about it.If you haven’t been there why?Oh,back to the Chai.I hear it’s the owner’s own special blend.
I believe I mentioned early on that Pat and I have been doing this for about 2 years and have hit 200 joints;give or take.I think I have also bemoaned the fact that we can only remember a few,really well,so we are going to have to go back to some.A lot of the truly great cafe or diner types are no longer in business.That’s a sad reality of the business that isn’t mentioned on the Food Network.But the good news is we’ve barely made a dent in the independent Taverns,Bars and Saloons that offer lunch.So don’t lose hope Indy.The Chains may take our strip malls but they can never take our burgers and beers.