The first District Tap opened up on 82nd street and then last year they had the opportunity to open downtown and I think it will be a good fit. We have not been to the first one so the whole experience was new to us. They have a very nice menu with several side options. Not just fries or tots. That is nice to see.
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to eat but I was pretty sure it wasn’t a sandwich. Then I noticed that they offer 2 wood fired pizzas on the appetizer menu. A Margherita or a sausage and pepperoni both $11 but on Wednesdays they were discounted a buck. Well the one thing better than pizza is a pizza on sale. I decided on a sausage and pepperoni pie. I also thought I needed some salad to precede it so I opted for a side Caesar for $5.
I was expecting a small “side” salad not this larger entree size bowl of romaine and dressing. It was a very good salad and an excellent bargain. I was even more amazed when my appetizer flatbread pizza arrived.
This pie was easily 12 inches. Big enough to be an app for a four top at least. Now only was it big it was good. Thin crust, tasty sauce and some wonderful anise loaded sausage from Gordon Food Service. Great pie and it too was a great bargain. I only have good things to say about this joint. Food was very good and so was the service. You guys should be proud of the job you are doing especially in the times we are in. Thanks.
Pat and I have been doing this for nearly 8 years and have reviewed more than 450 eating establishments. Some weeks are easier than others to pick a place. It is my function to find the joints to eat at. Pat has a hand in the process when there is a place he would like to try or when I come up empty. That was the case this week. He had a list from the westside and I thought Vinny’s would work. Of course I read it as Dive Bar and I figured that any joint that admits its diviness should be visited. Of course Pat and I were both wrong.
We started out with an order of Portabello fries. An interesting spin on the ever present breaded mushroom. They were pretty good. Thick and meaty and were served with a spicy ranch dressing. They were a pretty good way to start a meal and cost 6 bucks.
Their menu is typical bar. Basic sandwiches and appetizers. They offer BBQ and pizza as well but they do it with a different spin. The Q comes from BBQ Heaven and the pies come from Rolynos. That is a local joint that started putting out pies in the early 70’s. I find that interesting; especially the pizza. Their special that day was a Spanish burger with fries for $7.50. Now that would be a seasoned and hand formed burger marinated and then cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce with added green peppers, onions and jalapenos.
I thought it was a pretty good burger. Nicely spicy and good flavor but what really made it stand out was the compaction of the patty itself. If all of their pattys are done this way it may be worth a trip back to try one chargrilled. It could be a prefect candidate for a medium rare one.
When we review a place we don’t expect folks to drop everything and run and try it out. What we would like is for those times when people are out and decide they want to eat they may remember a joint nearby that we reviewed and want to give it a try. If you are in the area keep Vinny’s in mind.
Pizza King originated in Lafayette Indiana in 1954. They have expanded over the years with several “company stores” and some franchise holders. As far as I know they are only in Indiana. They were known for a thin crust, edge to edge toppings and a fine ground sausage. I have always been fond of a fine grind for pizza. This particular outlet is a company store on the far east side of Indy. Actually east of the little town of Cumberland. It is a very large place with an old school pizzeria decor.
They offer the usual fare you would find at a Pizza joint but today we were after pizza. They have an 8 inch 1 topping pie for $6.79 and charge 90 cents for additional toppings. That is what we ordered. Pat got a mushroom and sausage because that is his go to combo. I ordered the same because I could not decide, and sausage and mushroom is as good a combination as any.
Another thing I like about this place is they cut their pies in a “party style”. Instead of all triangle slices you get squares and triangles
I enjoyed my pie quite a bit. The crust isn’t as thin as I would like but it was nicely done and the price is very good. It is quite a drive but I can see myself going back. I would like to get an 8 inch Meat Feast pie. The Meat Feast – A delicious blend of sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, baked ham and bacon. That is $7.99
The Pizza Inn that Pat referenced is the Pizza Parlor that was in Southport when we were in High School. That is another old chain that started in Texas in 1960. They no longer operate in Indiana. I don’t remember much about their food though. Pizza King does operate in Indy and they put out a pretty good pie.
When we can’t come to a quick agreement on destination we know we can always agree on the ever popular, hardly controversial “dive bar”. Pat, because the food is simple and me because the beer is cheap. This place has been a bar for as long as I can recall. For years it was Bud’s Lounge. Bud’s closed a couple of years ago and Fat Cat moved in. Fat Cat was originally down the street at 38th Street so they have some experience in the bar business.
Their menu is pretty common with a bunch of frozen apps and a few basic sandwiches and pizza. We ordered a side of mushrooms to start our meal off for $5. They were pretty good. Like most things frozen apps are not all the same. Some ARE better than others. These were better than average.
Of course a picture should be taken before you start eating. Makes for a more professional effect.
I was leaning toward their fried catfish dinner but our great bartender told me it goes from $8 to $6.75 on Fridays. Unfortunately they stopped selling them with hush puppies. Their customers weren’t eating them. There is just no accounting for some folks tastes. So I went for the pig in the form of a grilled tenderloin.
This was an exceptional piece of meat. This was no light weight “fritter” this was an 8 oz. slice of pork loin that was pounded out and cooked really well on a flat top. Tender and moist with good flavor and just the right amount of chew.
So we really enjoyed this little place. It had good food, exceptional service and Domestic bottles were a buck and a half. So for 2 sandwiches, one order of mushrooms and three beers our tab was $25; with tax. That is a value. I will be back on a Friday and try their catfish special; even without puppies.
This pizza shop is also known as Puccini’s Smiling Teeth Pizza. I haven’t the slightest idea where that name came from. I do know they open their first location in this area in 1991 and now have 10 locations in Indiana and Kentucky. That was why we had to have a “conference” about our criteria. It is hardly a small little place with an owner operator but it is family owned so it fits.
I was leaning toward a Calzone my self until I saw their Ultimate Warrior pie listed. A unique combo of
sausage, pepperoni, onions, black olives, mushrooms & green peppers.
This was a really good pie. A crisp crust and an excellent sauce with a generous amount of toppings. Enough to make me overlook the jumbled placement of the toppings. Normally a peeve of mine. I had eaten some of their pies a few years back with my son but had forgotten how good they were.
I think this joint should be ranked up there with some of the best in the city. The prices are more than reasonable. Both our lunches were less than $9 each.
King Dough is a hip new pizzeria that originated in Bloomington In. Their main hook is a wood fired oven for their pies. Unfortunately that didn’t make the trip. They use a beautiful gas-fired one instead.
This little fella’ can get as high as 900 degrees when busy and cruises at 700 when not.
They offer several set pies with unusual combos that allow no substitutions. They also have a build your own which starts at $13 for a 13 inch pie.
The base for the build your own is sauce, no sauce. Fresh or aged mozzarella. Then you add toppings which run 75 cents to $4 more.
Pat ordered his with Italian sausage and double mushroom. I opted for something a bit different. kalamata olives and Anchovy with sauce and fresh mozz.
I must agree with Pat. They have a good pie but Mama Nita’s is as good. Matter of fact I think Nita’s crust and sauce are better. Their crust is chewy and the bottom is not as crisp as I would like. Also the sauce had no carmelization. I liked the way they chopped the fresh mozz into pieces to give more coverage and the way they pull the dough. I just think they need some more work on the baking thing. Of course I will be back because I found a deal for 2 $25 gift certificates for $25 that I could not pass up. I may try their appetizer list this time.
I found this place by accident a few weeks ago on my way to my son’s new house. They are an Italian food restaurant which offers the trio of Italian fare. Pasta, Pizza and subs.
However their main bag is the buffet; $5.99 for lunch. Honestly Pat and I were dubious about this joint because we really didn’t expect much for 6 bucks. Boy were we ever wrong.
It isn’t a large buffet but the quality of the pies is excellent. Both the sauce and crust were top-notch. They offer a basic salad service and they are constantly replenishing the pizza, keeping about 8 of them on deck at all times. The man even takes requests. He made Pat a mushroom no onion and a cheese burger pie; with dill pickle; for a couple of other guys. I think that is what I liked best about Mama Nita’s the guy put out pies with different toppings; not just the traditional. Buffalo and BBQ chicken and bacon plus he wasn’t afraid to load up different veggies.
They even have bread sticks and some are stuffed with pepperoni.
I know the pictures aren’t much but you know I have issues with taking pictures of buffets. For your sweet tooth there is a small freezer at the end which holds ice cream sandwiches. Only one per customer regardless how cute you are. He also has a cinnamon pie. It is simply a pizza loaded with cinnamon sugar and topped with a white icing. Like a breakfast bun.
I thought that was great, especially hot out of the oven. Try a slice with an ice ream sandwich.
So like that adage about books and covers you should never judge a pizza joint by its pricing. Here you will get an exceptional meal as well as an exceptional value. With the senior discount lunch for 2 was $11.17 with tax. Worth the trip.
Well one more bar.Or tavern. In other words a joint that sells alcoholic beverage with food; as opposed to a joint that sells food with alcoholic beverages. I have no problem with bars or taverns. However a few weeks back someone asked me if ; as a chef ; I found some places or some food beneath me. I had never thought of that before. I just go to different places that sell food, with Pat, we eat then tell folks what we think. I don’t consider any particular food type boring or “bad” I can consider the preparation of it sub par or as Pat would say “street level”. That being said lets talk about The Free Spirit.
This joint has been at this location nearly 4 years. I believe the former owner had it on Shadeland Ave. They have excellent food and beverage specials and the prices are more than fair. The majority of their sandwiches are under $8. They also sell pizza and breakfast all day.
Pat wanted to show the char grill on his burger because when we went to the Burger Study they aggressively char grilled his burger and he thought it barely edible. And that is a fancy upscale joint that charges $11 and up for their burgers and this burger was $5.49.
I decided on a Cocky burger. That would be a burger with cheddar, bacon. BBQ sauce and an onion ring for $7.49.
This was a delicious burger. I ordered it mid rare and that was exactly how it was served. Every element of the sandwich was on point. From the toasted Brioche style bun to the crisp bacon and the battered french fries. I have paid more for a lesser sandwich.
I think this place will do well. They have great food, excellent service and enough room for a crowd. I can’t think of anything missing. It is a fun place to hang out at.
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.
Bazbeaux is probably the first “gourmet” pizza joint in the city. That is to say the first joint to offer toppings other than pepperoni, sausage and mozzarella cheese. They opened about 30 years ago and are still pretty popular. They started in Broad Ripple and then expanded to Carmel and downtown Indy.
Patrick has long insisted that we have already reviewed Bazbeaux. My contention was no, we haven’t. We were on our way to some Mexican restaurant on the South side when Pat commented on an article from Nuvo. The article was about local pizza joints and of course Bazbeaux came up. So we decided to go there instead. We didn’t realize that this location was serving a lunch express only. That is when you stand in line to order a slice, some cheese bread or a side salad.
I believe they had 4 pizzas that day. Cheese or Pepperoni for $2.75 or a slice of Greek pizza or a BOT for $3.25. I opted for a slice of BOT; which stands for bacon, onion and tomato.
For some reason they added a chiffonade of basil on the top. Having a fresh herb on the top of a hot pie can be tasty at times but when the pie sits under a heat lamp some of the flavor is lost. The pepperoni was fine. Both slices were fine. Nothing special. A pizza may stay warm on a heated buffet and under a heat lamp but it certainly does not improve the flavor. From the size of lunch crowd this format has probably increased its business but I think the food may have suffered. Of course one could make the point that if people keep coming in what does it matter.
Should I try this joint again it will be at a location where I can get a pie made especially for me.
I am sure the name is familiar to several people. However if you can’t quite place it how about if you put the name on a truck.
Now it probably comes together. The popular food truck is now a brick and mortar on the South side. Folks that follow the food trucks know about the pizza but for the ones who don’t rest assure that this is the “real deal”. Also they have more than just pie at the shop.
Since it is so close to Pat’s house he brought the joint to my attention. Pat likes their product for the same reason most folks like it. It is good pizza and you can buy just a slice. If you want just a taste you can get a big slice for about 4 bucks. If you want more you can go the whole pie route in the form of a 16 or 20 incher. If pie doesn’t suit you try a Stromboli for $5.99. Now to me a Stromboli is a sandwich but here it is like a Calzone filled with sausage, pepperoni and cheese.
And it is huge and delicious
At first sight you might think that, as big as it is, it can’t have much filling in it. However you would be wrong. It had “stuff” in every bite. So it was big, full of cheese sausage and pepperoni and it was tasty as well. I could go on about the crust being an excellent partner to the creamy cheese and slightly unctuous pepperoni and sausage. Or the red “gravy” on the side added a wonderfully acidic note to the creation. But I will merely say it was good and oh so economical and you should try one.
So there you have it. The New York Slice. For when you are in a New York “frame of mind” and are hungry.
This posting will be different from the others; as I have few pictures to go with it. For some inexplicable reason my computer no longer recognizes my Canon Camera. I do have a few shots taken with my sorta’ smart phone.
This place originated in Valparaiso Indiana in 1968. Now it has over 100 joints covering more than just Indiana.
It has the feel of a small local pizza joint, although done up in “industrial chic”.
It has that aroma. The earthy scent of yeast mixed with the bite of red sauce and a hint of garlic.
They have other locations, that was how Pat knew they would customize his Stromboli.
Actually this is my Meatball Shell; that is what they call the Calzones. However they were same in appearance so imagine that it is a Strom.
Now here is my Meatball Shell.
It was wonderful. The meatballs were tender the sauce had a nice tang and the shell was done to a beautiful tender crispness. The only minor flaw was the amount of the sauce. However that was rectified by ordering extra solos of sauce. It is a large offering and I was surprised I ate it all as quickly as I did. It was good. Since it is right on my way to Broad Ripple I would image stopping there for lunch or carry out. The shells were $8.99 and they offer a pizza lunch special for $6.99. I can see why this place has lasted and grown. They have a good plan and they stick to it. Good house made food at a good price.
On the road again. Of course we picked one of the hottest days to do it but we had a reward of cold beer awaiting us. ZwanzigZ is not just a pizza parlor it is a small brewery as well. It has won awards for their effort so they take their beer seriously. Their menu is small; revolving around fresh dough, sauce and cheese.
I decided on one of their specials a 3 meat slice with 2 bread sticks, dipping sauce and drink for $ 5.49. I am not sure what Pat’s sandwich cost because of his modifications but the total was less than $11; with tax. That is the deal of the year. No wonder the place was full with a line.
My slice was huge. The crust was more bread like than I like but the sauce and cheese more than made up for it. It was a really nice slice and with the bread sticks a carb coma inducing bargain.
You order at a cashier station, take a number and they bring the food to you. We sat in the bar area so we could have some beer.
The beers we sampled were quite tasty. The ales were not overly hoppy and the wheat beer had a nice finish. The most unique was the Chocolate beer. It was a sweet amber beer loaded with vanilla. The stout was probably our favorite. The beers are as reasonably priced as the food. A flight of five is $7.50 and a growler refill is $7. This place may be new to us out of towners but it is definitely a success with the locals. It is only a 40 minute drive from Indy and I think it is worth it. There is also the added attraction of Zaharakos Ice Cream. We’ll save that for another time.
We hit upon this place more by accident than design. We had intended to visit the Silver Circle Bar in Fountain Square but they weren’t open at 11 as scheduled so we found this place. We didn’t do any research on it so we didn’t know that they are part of a small chain out of Chicago. Even though they don’t actually fit the criteria of the blog the joint is small and has the feel of a Mom and Pop and we were already there so we stayed.
The Monster slice is as “big as your head.” At least that is what the guy at the counter said. They offer it as a one topping special with a drink for $5. Pat ordered it with mushrooms.
I wanted to try one of their calzones. I ordered an Italian. Sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms all rolled up with marinara and cheese. It was 10 inch long monster for $8.49.
It was a beautiful piece of work. It was brushed with butter and topped with Parmesan cheese giving it a lovely sheen. It was a knife and fork affair served with 2 sides of marinara for dipping. It was delicious. Crisp crust with a lush and savory filling. I really enjoyed the freshness of it all. The big chunks of meat and veggies made it a treat to eat.
I think this little joint has an excellent calzone; possibly the best in the city. As for the pizza Pat enjoyed it. I may try a Monster slice when I go back. That way I can taste for myself. They deliver with in a 6 mile radius and in addition to the typical Italian fare they offer chicken wings. Being right across the street from Fountain Square Brewing should make this a popular joint. Pizza, wings and beer is a culinary hat trick.
This joint is a first for us. The food is cooked to order, but with pre- made product. They use a frozen crust and a ready-made sauce for the pizza. The pizza product comes from a well know purveyor that sells a good product. They also use an independent restaurant supply for the rest of their inventory.
We learned of this joint recently after visiting Jimbo’s BBQ. Actually this was where we heard of Soul Bear’s. The hook to us was the fact they were just blocks from the BBQ and they offered $1 domestic bottles on Wednesday. As for the reason we decided to eat here was solely because of Danielle. She waits tables, tends bar and cooks the food all with an amazing amount of energy and humor. She told us she wanted to go to a Culinary School but was having second thoughts. Her attitude about cooking and tending to the customers is very refreshing. She does everything to the best of her ability which is very exciting to see. That is why we opted to have lunch here. There are several joints that have one person doing it all. Serving drinks and cooking food and they are all independently owned and they deserve some attention as well as a Gastropub.
Staying with the “sausage” motif I opted for a corn dog as my app.
It was pretty dark in the bar so my pictures are less that stellar. For my “main dish” I chose a Stromboli. As Danielle explained it to me she prepares the sandwich the same as a deluxe pizza. Ground meat, sauce, peppers,onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and cheese all on a toasted Hoagie bun. All of the pizza product comes from Delco Foods, a well know supplier of Italian food products. This sandwich was a big hit. The bun was exceptional and the toast was just right. It hit all the right notes and went down quickly. For $6 it was a bargain.
This is a first for us. The J.E.Light Cafe is a student run cafe associated with North Central High School. We have reviewed Courses; the equivalent outlet for Ivy Tech; but I wasn’t aware Indianapolis High Schools had such programs. North Central isn’t the only one but it was the one with the most up to date media ensuring us they were indeed serving Thursday.
The menu was small yet quite eclectic, with an International flair. From Korean soup to Vietnamese sandwiches and All American cheeseburgers. The prices; as you can imagine are more than reasonable. The entrees were $6.95; soup was $1.50 per cup and desserts were $3 and $1.50.
We both started off with a cup of soup.
The soup was very well done. Chunks of smoked brisket in a rich chile infused broth. An excellent remedy for a rainy day. Prior to the service of the soup we were given a basket of house made chips.
Quite a few “professional” joints make their own chips. I don’t think any place does them better, and most don’t do them as well.
As I mentioned earlier their menu had a distinct International spin. As tempting as the choices were I decided on a lighter offering. Sushi. I was more than a little surprised by that option. Sushi requires a few years to become proficient. However I think that if young cooks are taught the basics of rolling and forming and the ever important knife work then those skills will be beneficial in all cooking. So a tip of the hat to the JEL Cafe staff.
Their Sushi plate was composed of spicy tuna roll, inside out roll, salmon and tuna Nigiri and seasoned edaname. Plus the ever popular wasabi and soy as well as pickled ginger.
Once again I was impressed with the dish. Actually sushi is difficult to critique for me. Most rolls are consistent in the ingredients used. The only difference is the portion of the ingredients. I found this offering most enjoyable. Last but not least I opted for a dish of their Chocolate Gelato.
Another hit. Well made and richly chocolate. A steal at $1.50. It is a shame that their “season” is nearly over. Next week is their last service. Cinco de Mayo. I just might have to go back.
I think North Central has a program they can be proud of. Now is an exciting time to be part of the culinary scene in Indy.
Some time back Pat and I made a small tour of Wanamaker eating at Extraordinary Pizza and Wheatley’s. We had heard of The Ordinary but never got around to going there. Last week our server at Rebar made a pitch for us to give it a try. He is a night-time cook there and told us they offered more than pizza.
I am not sure how old the building is but the floor looks ancient. The dining area is a comfortable size and the menu is of a reasonable length featuring all the foods you would expect of a Hoosier tavern.
Pat decided on an individual pizza for $6.50 with 2 bread sticks.
The bread sticks are fashioned from their pizza dough and are first-rate. They come with a generic canned nacho cheese sauce for dipping.
The first thing I noticed on the menu is the prices. They are very reasonable. All of their sandwiches come with waffle fries and one other side. I wanted a burger. Their basic burger is a half pound Angus for $7.95. I decided on the Texas BBQ Burger for $8.95. It comes with bacon, cheddar cheese, an onion ring and of course BBQ sauce.
It was a pretty good burger cooked on a griddle. I did order it mid-rare but it came out more medium. I think I may start ordering my burgers rare. Never the less it was a good bite. The bacon was freshly fried and the bun was nicely toasted. I would order one of their burgers again.
My other side dish was homemade potato salad.
It was a very good potato salad. Small pieces of potato that were almost of a mashed consistency. Not what I am accustomed to but still nice.
I like Wanamaker. In some ways that stretch of Southeastern Ave reminds me of a short stretch of Route 66 that is the main drag for Moriarty New Mexico. A whole bunch of restaurants and bars in a short piece of road. The Ordinary has some pretty good food with excellent prices and it is close to Indianapolis so I think it is worth a visit.
I am sure anyone familiar with the “food scene” in Indy has heard the term ClusterTruck. I think originally it referred to a gathering of food trucks. Two to four trucks would converge on a site and sell their food. It was perfect for a crowd with diverse appetites. It also allowed the individual truck to gain exposure to a different base of eaters.
Now before I go any further I have a few comments about the food scene in Indy. We have a great collection of restaurants in town and the quality and quantity is ever-growing. However the one aspect Indy sucks in is the delivery. Before now all the food delivery was done by a middleman who would pick up the food and then deliver it. That led to slow delivery and cold food. Now this ClusterTruck comes in. I am including a link to a Nuvo article that explains the origin of ClusterTruck better than I.
So for that reason this review is unique. It is also unique in that we had our lunch delivered to our friend, Jimmy’s office. Being a Realtor he has a tough time meeting us for lunch. Luckily his office is a stone throws away.
They have an expansive menu. One you can get access to at this link. You can also check out their delivery area.
This place seems to do a first class job of the delivery. In addition to having “fancy” go boxes they have their boxes and bags personalized.
Jimmy opted for a burger. Now the menu says it is a Bru Burger. What connection; if any it has to Bru Burger I do not know.
I believe he had a Bourbon Burger. That is a cheese burger with bacon and a Bourbon sauce. The sauce seems a bit thin for a burger, to me, but Jimmie though it was the best burger he has eaten.
As for me I wanted something different. They had a whole category of smothered tater tots. I decided on a short rib and kimchi topped order.
It was actually pretty tasty. It had an abundance of meat ,a slight amount of kimchi, but with kimchi the aroma precedes it and sates the appetite. The only complaint I had with the dish is that the kimchi sauce was thin and the dish was a bit on the dry side. Still it had a good flavor and the short ribs were nicely done. However I wouldn’t get it again unless the sauce was given a leg and maybe the amount was increased beyond a 2 ounce solo.
So Indy I think diners should be happy about this new place. You can actually get food from a place that knows how to prepare it and knows how to deliver it. No more reliance on a second-hand delivery agent. Also the prices include a tip. An actual tip not a hidden delivery charge.
Yes we went to the Kitley Inn. Laugh if you want but it is a piece Of Indianapolis History. It opened across the street from The Kitley Speedrome in 1946 and has been a viable joint ever since. Now the Speedrome is the oldest operating Figure 8 track in the US and is considered to be the first. I remember taking my boys there for races back in the 70’s. Great times.
Last week,after lunch at Tie Dyed Grill we decided to travel 2.1 miles South to check out the Kitley Inn.since neither of us had ever been there before. What we discovered was an old school bar with old school pricing and friendly customers. Our bar tender/ server; Nancy was a delight. Gracious and efficient she made us feel welcome. There was a handful of regulars sitting at a table playing a bowling game and drinking beer who welcomed us as we entered. Furthermore they told us goodbye and even remarked that it was a pleasure to have met us. I go out a bit and I never experience that in some other parts of the city. I think that,plus Nancy, was what prompted us to go back today for lunch
Now this is a bar with bar food. They offer scratch made specials, but the most of the food they offer is from Sysco. The appetizers are an IQF product, with the possible exception of one. The jalapeno stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon. I neglected to ask about that one. We ordered some fried mushrooms for $5.99. They are what you might expect from Sysco. Decent and nicely prepared.
Per Nancy’s recommendation Pat opted for a mushroom pizza. A 7 inch cheese is $6.99 with toppings an extra buck.
Well Pat was partly correct. This joint is older than us by 4 years. I think all 3 of us are holding up pretty well.
I decided on a shroom burger for $6.99,and for a $1 up charge I got (drum roll) tater tots. A whole bunch of tater tots. When we got are app. we were given both Ranch dressing and marinara sauce. I kept the Ranch for the tots. Not too bad.
That is a whole lot of tater tots for a buck. The only reason I was able to finish them was Pat “helped” me. It was really a pretty good lunch. The burger was a standard pre-made patty, slacked in advance and then cooked to order. Very common practice in most bars. The unique aspect of this joint is the large bun with a very nice char. As a matter of fact it could have used some more. Also it offered an abundance of shrooms and a nice cheese cover.
So if you want “scratch cooking” if it’s not the specials you ain’t gonna’ get it. If you want to have a few beers or a few cocktails and maybe meet some new friends then this is the place. If you want to grab a bite after a race, well this is the place. I mean,after all it has been the place for over 65 years.
Byrne’s is not a new name to pizza lovers. They have had a food truck for a few years and this is their first sit down with a roof . It is at the place that housed the Oh Yum Bistro. It isn’t very big but it does have several tables inside and a few out doors, for when the weather changes.
They have a nice menu offering salads, sandwiches and the typical Italian appetizers as well as their name sake pizza. To start the ball rolling I ordered a pair bread sticks for $3.25. You can also opt for 4 for $5.
As you can see they are your standard bread stick,nothing spectacular just a solid bread stick with a side of a very good red sauce. The sauce was full of chopped garlic which Pat and I both really liked.
Their individual pizzas are priced at $7 with toppings at $.75 each. A more than reasonable price for what you get.
They make their crust ,sheet it in advance and wrap them for later use. They also use fresh mushrooms, which I really like. After inquiry I learned that they buy a spicy Italian sausage made by Kincaid’s,right next door. That sold me so I got a sausage mushroom pie.
The pies they serve are thin crust and the result is excellent. A nicely crisp bite with a hint of char from the grill worked really well for me. The sausage was wonderful as well. A touch of spiciness and more than a hint of fennel made for a delicious pizza.
I am attaching a link to their website so you can see their whole menu.
Byrne’s has a nice wine list as well as 4 different craft brews on tap and several bottle choices. This isn’t a bar with pizza its a pizza parlor with beer and wine. I think their choices are spot on. The regular price is 5 bucks but Wednesday is their $3.50 pint day. So I was quite impressed with their pie. Nice thin crust with a great sauce, good toppings and covered with a blend of Mozz. and Asiago cheese. They also offer a white sauce for the less traditional pizza lovers, as well as Buffalo and BBQ. So I think anyone with a taste for good pizza should consider Byrne’s on Illinois. This place won’t move on you like their truck.
Going to a bowling alley just to have lunch probably isn’t commonplace. However, as usual, there is a story behind it. Last week a blogger friend and I were chatting,online,about the virtues of old-time drug store cheese burgers. She asked if they were similar to those found in a bowling alley. Well I don’t recall ever eating in a bowling alley so I had no point of reference. I did tell her, half-joking my mission would be to find an alley that sold cheeseburgers. Later in the week a friend called me and suggested that we give Beech Grove Bowl a try. Of course he had never been there,but he had friends who said that they offered a pretty good pizza and calzone. Well I usually trust his opinion on most things culinary so I thought it was worth a try.
We had a nice talk with Scott,the owner. He has worked there over 20 years before buying the joint 5 years ago. He spent a great deal of time and effort sampling different crusts, and sauces before he settled on just the right combo. And in our opinion the effort was worth it.
As for my calzone it was definitely the highlight of the lunch. They make them from a 10 inch dough round that they proof and then bake in an impinging oven with a conveyor. It is offered for $7.99 with up to 3 toppings. The result is delicious. They brush the whole thing with garlic butter and the result is at least as good as Three Wise Men; and cheaper.
As for the rest of the menu it is pretty much what you expect at most pub and grubs. I am including a link to their site.
I also got a cheeseburger. After all that was the reason for my search.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about it. A one-third pound patty cooked to well done,topped with a single slice of American and placed on a rather generic bun. Not bad but overpriced at $5.50. I think a better deal would be a BBQ or a Sloppy Joe sandwich,they are both under $4.
So I think this place might be a place to go for a pizza or definitely a calzone. Even if you don’t bowl they have pin ball and Golden Tee Golf. They also deliver,and as Pat already said,they have beer. It is about a 13 mile trip for me and I really think it would be a place to go back to.
Well one more brewery has come to town. Actually this one isn’t brand new. It originated in Bloomington where it still does a brisk business they just thought they would follow some of the grads to Indianapolis. Be careful with the address. The place is right on the corner of New York and Delaware in the new Pulliam Square project. Where the Indianapolis Star and News building used to be. How they managed to get Mass. Ave out of this I have no idea. This Pulliam Square is a rather swank affair and The Tap blends in well.
It is a large venue with 2 rooms and 2 bars. Above the main bar is a stage for a DJ and a pull down screen with a rear projector for sports. After all the Big Ten football tourney will be coming to town in December. In the above picture the forlorn Santa looking fellow is Pat,and behind him is the row of beer taps. Seventy of them. It doesn’t seem too long ago that a joint having 6 drafts on-line was a big deal. Progress.
Their menu is the new typical for a brewery/bar. The Zomato link has a path to their website showing both food and beer menus. They offer pizza which uses a pre-made dough that comes in frozen and they stretch it to shape. Pizza is always a great choice with beer.
I was drawn to the Ahi salad. A seared to rare sashimi grade Tuna on a salad bed. The bed is a coleslaw, sans dressing, topped with chopped romaine and cheese. In place of croutons they used crisp noodles. The kind that come in a bag that you serve over some Chinese dishes. Frankly I like them,they give a nice crunch without adding a big flavor. The tuna was expertly prepared. Rare and melt in your mouth tender with a great little punch from the Teriyaki glaze used. The salad part was so-so. I have had better salad mixes before. The shaved Parmesan would have been a nice touch had there been enough to have noticed. It was almost as if it was added as an after thought. One very nice part of the assembly was the half-dozen grape tomatoes on it. You don’t usually see that many. The dressing they served is a cucumber wasabi creation. I don’t know if they make it in-house or buy it ready-made but it was very good. I think you could take some fallen leaves from your back yard and add this stuff and it would be delicious.
So, overall I really enjoyed my salad, and like Pat. I would order it again. After the pizza;and burger. Another thing I like about this joint is that the windows let in a bunch of natural light so taking pictures is great. Also you can access their WiFi almost without trying. Parking;while hardly good;is better than a lot of places downtown. Of course the Pulliam Project is on going. There is a huge hole at the corner of New York and Penn. Still;I think it is worth a trip.
I don’t usually go out at night. Especially on Saturday night. However I decided to make an exception this Saturday night. I had plans to meet some friends at a new joint on Mass. Ave. I really wanted to check this particular joint out.
When I go downtown I always take a bus;or a cab. Parking is insane, and expensive. Bus fare is cheap and even cab fare is reasonable compared to driving. However I had no idea that there were two events going on at the Stadium and the Arena. So long story short I decided to head to Pearl Street. Pat and I have been there before, before the blog and we had talked about going back. Well I just jumped the gun.
I know from earlier experience they can make a good pie. I ordered an 8 inch deep dish pizza. The basic price is $8.75. For meat it is an extra $ 1.50 and $1.00 for veggies. That makes a sausage and mushroom deep dish pizza pie $11.25. I think that is pretty expensive. Another reason I prefer lunch. They do offer a cup of soup or a salad for an extra $1.99 with a pizza.
The soup they had for the day was a spicy chicken with gorgonzola.
A smooth soup with a bit of a bite and a touch of bleu cheese funk from the Gorgonzola. I found it to be a very good soup. What I enjoyed most about it was the bleu cheese component was added as a garnish so the taste wasn’t changed by heat.
Now the pie. I thought it was delicious. The dough was fluffy and bread like around the edges. With a nice buttery top
crunch and the bottom with the all the good stuff in it was nice and crisp. I think every part was great. From the sauce to the sausage and mushrooms I thought it was a fine piece of work.
I think this place is a wonderful choice for a pizza and beer. Right smack dab in the middle of the down town loop. It sits on Pearl Street. That is the alley that runs from Meridian Street to Penn. on the North side of the Century Building. In that area called the Wholesale District. So if your are in the area and have a hankering for a pie and beer this is as good as you will find.
Thursday was the first day of spring. Of course the silly Indiana weather wasn’t co-operating, there was still a little arctic in the wind. However the sun was out and the sky was blue so we decided on a road trip. Franklin is a small town south of Indianapolis. I have been through there a few times but never really looked around too much. So I was in for surprise. It is really a lovely town, full of old houses and friendly people. A down right charming place of Victorian architecture and mom & pop businesses. It’s also home to Franklin College. Maybe I’ve seen too many Andy Griffin episodes,but I think I could really enjoy living here.
Well back to Willard’s. This joint has quite the history. It was a hotel at one time. I am including a link to their website so you can peruse the history as well as the menu. Pat and Fran went there a few weeks ago and Pat was impressed with their fish sandwich. He was also seduced by the pizza that he observed going by his table. That’s why we went. Pat for the pizza and me for the fish.
As an appetizer we ordered a basket of breaded and fried pepper jack cheese cubes with Ranch dressing. They were really pretty tasty. Melted spicy cheese with a light breaded coating. What’s not to like. Of course we ate about 2/3 of the basket before we remembered to take a picture. It was indeed a healthy portion for $3.95.
Like a lot of taverns they offer quite a bit of fried food. I had my mouth set on an oyster platter. But our server told me they didn’t bread the oysters in house . So I opted for the fish and fries. Two 4 oz. cod loins, fries and hush puppies for $6.95. The fish was very good. Since they used cod loin, by nature a dense and rather thick hunk of flesh the batter was necessarily thicker than that which you would find on a fillet. So the result was a tasty and tender fish and a coating that stayed crunchy, even though my fish cooled because we were busy conversing with a local couple next to us. She used to work in Indy and he is a Franklin Firefighter. Small town friendly. Back to the food. The hush puppies were great. Standard IQF fare but it has been a while for me. They served 2 (two) pups. Why not three (3)? I’ve only found 2 places that offer hush puppies and they both give up two. They probably cost six or seven cents so I don’t get the rationing.
Pat got his pizza, but sometimes anticipation is the best part of a meal.
If you read Urbanspoon you will see that the only negative feedback for this joint is slow service. The afternoon we went their business was rather robust and I can see trying to get in and out quickly could be problematic. I think any flaw in service is a result of the layout of the place. The dining area is a bunch of small rooms around a central bar. The bar itself is somewhat of a bottle neck. The primary access way is only wide enough for one person to walk down when patrons are sitting at the bar. That in itself can be an issue while you’re trying to wait tables. Personally I don’t see that as a deal breaker. I think Willard is definitely worth the trip. You can even reserve one of the rooms for a kids pizza party. One was going on when we got there. So that’s something to keep in mind.