eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “prosciutto

Love Handle 2829 E. 10th Street

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Well another new joint has opened in Indy. This one is unique in that the owner/operators Chris and Ally Benedyke are from Indianapolis originally and have just returned from Milwaukee where they owned a similar place by the same name. The new place, like the old one features specialty sandwiches and small plates using local sources. Since they plan on changing the menu weekly they are relying on Facebook and not a web site. Since that was the case I felt compelled to do a bit of reconnaissance, or reconn-oink-ering if you prefer. You know since they do a lot with pig. Well in either event I went in on Tuesday morning for breakfast.

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It is a small place with a counter and a few tables, so it is rather cozy. I was told it used to be a Subway, if that is the case the size makes sense.

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The one item I was most intrigued with was their version of bacon,egg and toast for $7. It was a big slice of pork belly with a jellied egg yolk and toasted french style bread. It was probably one of the most unusual things I have put in my mouth but also one of the tastiest. The pork belly;or bacon is self-explanatory. Salty and unctuous ( I know I use that word a lot but sometimes it just fits) with just the right amount of tooth. The egg was odd in all the right ways. A poached egg yolk encapsulated in an aspic derived from the preparation of hog feet or trotters. Since it was cold it was a shock to my tongue after puncturing the jelly and seeing the yolk flow out but it was as good a mopping egg as any warm poached one. And you had the bonus of pig jelly. Any talk of egg yolk mopping has to lead to bread and their choice of Amelia’s was good but their treatment of it was better. The bread is toasted then spread with a mixture of unsalted butter, apple butter and a hint of seranno chile. It was delicious. The whole plate was a hit.

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I also tried some of their miso and brown butter ice cream for $4. A browned butter is the start of a caramel so if you add that to sugar and cream you get a true decadent caramel. You freeze it you get this. Again a good job. However I didn’t taste much from the miso. But the earthiness of a brown miso can mimick an aspect of caramal I suppose. Regardless it was a great ice cream I would not hesitate to try again.

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I also tried a sweet roll, a Miso- Ovaltine Sweet Roll to be precise, and in full disclosure Ally gave it to me. I guess she thought I wasn’t getting enough to eat. It was an excellent roll and sells for 4 bucks

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So this brings us to Wednesday, the day Pat and I have decided for lunch. I had told Pat about this place and how I was going to check it out beforehand,and he groaned at my oink joke as I am sure most people would. Actually I was surprised that he was willing to give it a try,possibly because it was my turn to buy.

I was pretty sure what I wanted to try from the beginning the Tesa, $7 and the Trotter Croquettes for $6.

Tesa is similar to Prosciutto in that it is slow cured and is eaten without further cooking. Where it differs is the part of the pig it comes from. Prosciutto is from the hind or ham area Tesa is from the belly.

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I received a big old plate of piggy goodness with a bit of cooked beet,sour turnip and jalapeno as accompaniment as well as a bunch of toast. I also got another one of Chris’s eggs as a bonus. Once again everything fit like a glove. Actually I found this more interesting than prosciutto. With the ratio between fat and lean as it is on pork belly it was like getting Lardo as a bonus.

I also had to try the Trotter. Before you freak remember that there is some good meat in a pig’s foot. It just takes a while to get to it,but you do get the added value of the gelatin. Like everything else these croquettes were very good. A crisp exterior and a moist and meaty interior.

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With Pat it wasn’t so easy. I think he just agreed to go just to humor me.

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I was too busy feeding my face so I forgot to take any shots of Pat’s food until the very end.

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Pat's Popcorn

Pat’s Popcorn

They toss the corn in bacon fat and then sprinkle it with Nutritional Yeast, the result is unique and tasty.

The sauces Pat referenced was a soy type reduction and a soda pop mustard both made in-house. They both went well with the Tesa and the trotters,especially the mustard. That was made with Tamarind flavor Jarrito’s soda pop and minimally ground. A very interesting taste.

One last thing. We shared a slice of Lavender and coconut cream tart.

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Great crust,nice and creamy with good coconut flavor. As for the lavender it wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it would be. Good pie regardless. So as you can see I really enjoyed this place and its food. Pat; not so much. But he was a trooper for going there with me. In either event I think it a place worth exploring.

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Courses Restaurant 2820 N. Meridian Street

I had the most singular luncheon experience today. Courses is a student staffed restaurant connected to the Culinary Program of Ivy Tech. From the preparation to the presentation, everything is done by the students. The building that the Culinary Program calls home was originally  Stouffer’s Inn. Built in 1966 it was operating as a hotel until 1980.

When Ivy Tech acquired it in 2010 the thing was redone to meet the needs of a growing College. I believe the Restaurant proper and its production kitchen are in what once was Stouffer’s Lounge and dining room. Some of that ambiance remains.

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They offer a Prix Fixe Menu which changes periodically. They also offer, beer and wine.

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Yes the price is $12. That is not a mis-print. Three miles North; Broad Ripple, or South: Downtown and a burger would cost you 10 bucks.

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Naturally I opted for the sausage and cheese plate. Their cheese offering was a medium hard Gruyer cheese and a semi soft brie. For the meats they provided a prosciutto, a type of dried sausage and a salumi. I thought the combination was well thought out and executed. By giving both spicy and sweet meats with differing textures of cheese your taste buds had a delightful workout. They also kept the pickled accents small. Enough to break up the richness of the meat and cheese but not enough to skew your mouth.

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For my entre, or featured part of my lunch I decided on the duck sandwich.

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I must say I was very pleased. The duck confit was excellent. Moist and unctuous,with a great flavor. The portion was massive as well and the addition of a slice of duck bacon was a most welcome Lagniappe. All in all it was one of the top 5 sandwiches I have had in the last couple of years. The bread, which they make as well, was a perfect partner to the duck. Speaking of bread. As soon as you are seated you are brought a basket of bread and a plate of butter. This particular service they offered a sourdough. To me the best possible bread with butter and sausage.

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Now what could possibly be the perfect ending to such a rich and luscious lunch? How about Chocolate pots de creme.

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Now when was the last time you saw something this decadent? The chocolate wasn’t completely smooth. Every now and then you would get a tiny chunk of chocolate. Chocolate so dense and thick your spoon stands up in it. Delicious.

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The restaurant is only open for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday with seating from 11:00 to 12:15 PM. And reservations are recommended. We first heard about it late last year but couldn’t get in. Unfortunately Pat had to go out-of-town this week so I had to go solo. They also serve dinner. So now I have to start going out in the evening. This is a hidden gem. Excellent food and a warm and wonderful staff. Very impressive joint. It is definitely worth the wait for a reservation.

Courses Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Tow Yard Brewing 501 Madison Avenue

I have been looking forward to this place opening for quite a while. It opened a few weeks back; during the sweet 16 Tournament, with very little fan fare. It’s situated in the old Chateau Thomas Winery space, and is huge. Prior to the winery the space was a garage of some sort as there are three large garage doors in the main sitting area that open to an expansive outdoor seating area. I took several pictures but pictures alone don’t do the joint justice.

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This is The Larder. Tow Yard’s kitchen. They feature a large selection of Smoking Goose meats as well as different cheeses and veggies. So it’s actually a deli as well.

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I found their menu to be quite unique. It was an interesting blend of oven roasting, braising and deli items. They even offer fried gator and grilled Long donuts, stuffed with cheese. A foodies paradise.

Pat opted for the whole Prohibition, a roast beef sandwich 86 onion, 86 mayo. Unfortunately when it came out it was a Bourdain, a more traditional deli sandwich with uncured ham, salami, and capiocolla. Our server naturally apologized,re ordered and brought a go box. So Pat scored a free sandwich.

The incorrect sandwich.

The incorrect sandwich.

The correct sandwich.

The correct sandwich

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Oh I forgot to mention one minor disappointment. They are about 2 to 3 weeks from having their first batch of beer ready to drink. I say minor because they have a great selection of local and micro beers available. Also I think the food is good enough to draw you in even if they only sold soft drinks. Speaking of which. They found a local place that makes craft soda products. Now that is unique.

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I decided to order a half Pig Vicious and a half Ty Webb. I had no idea the “halves ” would be so big.

I scanned the menu and am including it at the end. That way people can see the “stuff” in the sandwiches and the pricing.

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This is the Pig Vicious. A damn fine sandwich. Lovely pork, sweet chunks of pickle and a spicy horseradish mustard. I honestly couldn’t tell where the braised pork ended and the uncured ham began. As far as the onion jam goes I couldn’t detect any onion flavor per se but some of the sweetness may not have come from the refrigerator pickles. In time they might find that some of the ingredients are not essential to the taste. But regardless the Pig Vicious is a great tasting sandwich. And the stainless “pots” they but the sandwiches in are a statement in themselves.

My other choice, the Ty Webb was the most compelling. Merquez is a Moroccan sausage made of lamb or beef and seasoned with red peppers and spices indigenous to North African cooking. In this case it is made into “meat balls” and put in the largest pita bread I’ve seen. The slight heat from the sausage was nicely tamed by the yogurt dill sauce. The paneer was most unusual in that it was in cubes and seared on one side. Which, to me brought another dimension to the cheese. And bonus; the halves were so big I got a bunch of food to take home. Three sandwiches, three home runs. To all concerned great job.

Ty Webb sandwich

Ty Webb sandwich

Close up showing a cube of paneer.

Close up showing a cube of paneer.

Great food; great beverage and great service. Thanks to our server Jason. The only downer to this joint is the parking. There isn’t any. The nearest lot charges $10. But just north is street parking. So I don’t think this is a business killer. In general parking downtown leaves a lot to be desired. And as Pat pointed out the Tow Yard is a destination within a destination. I mean the joint is an Andrew Luck throw from Lucas Stadium. And the tailgate lot is a short block away. Also the NCAA basketball tourney has plans on using Indy in the future and those are all held at the stadium as well.

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Tow Yard Brewing on Urbanspoon