Once upon a time there was The Stadium Tavern. It was called that because it is an Andrew Luck football throw from Lucas Oil Stadium; where the Colts play their games. In November 2016 a new set of owners took over and re-did the joint. The history of the building is quite interesting. It was built-in 1875 and for 113 years it housed various bars, taverns and saloons. I am including a link to their website which elaborates on its past.
They have an outdoor smoker which they use to smoke pork and chicken for pulled meat sandwiches. They also offer smoked wings and on Monday and Saturday they sell smoked burgers. After lunch we had a nice talk with one of the owners; a charming and enthusiastic woman with some good ideas. She told us the back story on the smoked burgers. A few weeks ago there was an Indy Burger week. Several eating places offered burgers at a special price to celebrate the ground meat sandwich in Indianapolis. The Tavern went from selling 15 burgers per day to 157 per day and they just couldn’t keep up. So they fired up the smoker and started grilling burgers on it. Evidently they were so well received that they reserved two days for the special burgers.
The menu is small but succinct. One of the first things I noticed on the app menu was Mozzarella sticks. House made Mozzarella sticks for $8.50
These were fantastic. Worth a return trip just for them. Wonderfully crisp on the outside and cheesy gooey on the inside. Everything you would want in fried cheese. Also the portion of Marinara ( house made as well) was spot on. So many joints insist on doling out the dipping sauce as a 2 ounce portion which is just enough for one stick. Here they give you enough for the entire order.
I opted for a lettuce wrap platter with pulled pork.
As you can see you get a pile of pig and several Romaine leaves to roll it in with a bit of pickle slices and chopped onion to add. The pork had a nice flavor but didn’t have a lot of smoke . The lettuce was a nice change of pace from bread and it also provided a nice crunch. I think I would have cut more of the core from the Romaine leaves; the bottom two were smaller than the rest. It was still a tasty and filling lunch.
Since Wednesday’s special was $1.50 smoked wings I had to try a couple. They use the full wing not those “Party Wings” that most joints use.
These were the real deal. A meaty wing with a health dose of smoke I couldn’t finish them all, had to take one home for later.
We had a very nice lunch without breaking the bank. Our main plates were $9 each and the craft beers were on special for 4 bucks. I got a PBR Tall boy for $2.25. Sometimes I just can’t resist old school beer. Even if it isn’t too good. When I go back for some more wings I am asking for some hot sauce. My left over was delicious with a few splashes of Crystal Hot sauce. So all in all I think this new joint is a welcome addition to the long list of taverns and bars in the area. I wish them luck.
We heard about this place when we had lunch at Jimbo’s, which is about a quarter-mile away. They don’t have a very big electronic foot print but I was able to find out enough to make me decide it was worth the drive. It is a basic BBQ joint with a basic menu. In addition to the usual pig and chicken they also sell fried fish.
Pat and I decided to share a full slab of ribs. A slab comes with 2 sides. Pat opted for greens while I decided on mac and cheese. Since we ate the same thing I only took 2 pictures. Unfortunately I screwed one up, so I can only show the one.
The pile of bones was huge. So big that we were able to eat our fill and have some left to take home.
I thought the ribs were pretty good. They had a good smokiness and while not falling off the bone they were still tender and juicy. I think they rank in the top 5 ribs I have had in the city. Their BBQ Sauce was excellent. We got medium and it had a bit of spice to it. They ladle sauce over the ribs just before service giving a nice puddle in the bottom to dip your bread in. The sides were rather small but with the pile of meat you get the sides are really secondary. I couldn’t make any comparison between this joint and Jimbo’s because Bear doesn’t do brisket. I can compare mac and cheese though and I liked Bears a bit more. It had a more “natural” cheese flavor.
It is a drive but I can see myself going back for the rib tips. Clermont is really a nice little town. It sits in the shadow of its more famous neighbor Speedway but it is doing pretty well on its own. Two BBQ joints, a coffee shop and a great little bar all within a half mile. It is large enough to support local business and still small enough to avoid the Starbucks encroachment. I think is a town with a future.
This joint is located in an old house right on US 136. They have limited seating and parking in the rear. Just in case you aren’t sure where you are this is on the side of the house.
It is small place that is as neat as a pin. All of the food they offer is listed on 2 chalkboards on the wall.
As soon as you park and step outside your car you can smell it. When you walk through the front door you can smell it. A carnivore’s dream. Smoked meat. Pat and I both enjoy BBQ and have eaten at several but I don’t recall that many joints that offer chili; and none that offer Brunswick stew. The stew tempted me but I was there to try the BBQ so I ordered their brisket special with one side and drink for $8.99.
The bun was pretty generic but the brisket was far from being run of the mill. It had a nice smoke ring and an excellent smoke flavor. It was also very tender and lean. The sandwiches come undressed but they offer 4 different sauces at the table. Texas, Memphis, Kansas City and Carolina. The first three are tomato based with varying degrees of sweetness. The Carolina a vinegar based. I liked a combo of Carolina and KC. While the meat was exceptional the mac and cheese was ho-hum. Macaroni with canned cheese sauce. Very cheesy just not what I look for in a Mac and cheese.
Pat is right there are several joints that do a good job with pulled pork. It is just a matter of how good that determines where to go. That and location. Clermont is pretty far for the both of us so I can’t see me hanging out there. However I can see myself going back for the stew. That is not something you see every day.
Yep; it is a bar. But to be more accurate it is a Rebar. Now what is a Rebar? Well in this case I would say it is a joint that has a wall of serve yourself beer. The concept is great. You get a plastic card. You place it on a sensor and the pour yourself as much beer as you like. You are charged by the ounce and they offer 20 different rotating taps. You can get 2 ounces for a taste or a 12 ounce glass to enjoy with your meal. To me it is a winner for everyone concerned. For the consumer you do not need to worry about an over worked bartender, and for the house the bartender is free to do other things. Plus the place gets paid for the tastes that folks expect to get. I should have taken a picture.
But we were here for the food. From what we sampled I would say that these guys have probably the best “bar” food around. The kitchen staff is composed of young people who went to the Chef’s Academy here in town. So they have a crew of knowledgable and creative folks that are in this business by choice. Which does make a difference.
They make the majority of the food from scratch. The exceptions are the buns, fries and cheese curds. The batter on the curds is reminiscent of what you would find on a corn dog. They were pretty good but there is better out there. It is a shame they don’t have the room to batter their own. I think they would probably hit it out of the park.
The dipping sauce they served with them was a dill Ranch dressing. Too close to tartar sauce for me but it was a decent condiment. They have set lunch specials. Pat opted for the house burger for $8.
Now isn’t that a splendid hunk of meat. Pat gave me a bite and it was as tasty as it looked. I decided on a pair of sliders for $7. You get your choice of an Angus blend burger, house smoked and pulled pork or a spicy sloppy Joe. I ordered the BBQ and the Sloppy Joe. Again I was impressed. I know pulled pork and sloppy Joes are hardly haute cuisine but some preparations are better than others . Even with the simplest of dishes.
Pat and I are in agreement about the chips. They served a whole bunch of them but they were fried too crisp for us.
This place is in a perfect location for me. It is a short block away from the new Transit Center. Since I do not drive downtown, and since it has a patio on a very busy street I can see myself sitting there having lunch and a couple of Adult beverages. Speaking of beverages they have a Adult milk shakes featuring Graeter’s Ice Cream with various liquors.
They are changing their menu soon so I am sure I will be back there at least once more when that happens. Actually I will probably be back with some regularity. It is a fun joint to visit.
Big Woods is a brewery AND distillery and originated in Nashville Indiana. They also have a joint in Bloomington Indiana. I believe last year they decided to make the move north to Speedway. The home of America’s Greatest Spectacle in Racing; the 500. It is a big beautiful building with an amazing interior of varnished wood.
Quaff On is the name of the beer they produce. Also each beer has an individual name. So when you order a Quaff On flight you get 5 five ounce pours of beers that are representative of their brewing skills.
I am not going to begin to describe each beer. I will say they were excellent examples of their craft. All for $13.
As soon as we pulled up I could smell their smoker. I love smoked meats. I find pulled chicken boring. Brisket is still hit and miss around here. A good smoked pork butt is getting easier to find and from the aroma of their smoker I figured this one should be pretty good.
It was excellent. A great smokiness and the pickled veggies were a marvelous counterpoint. Of course I would have enjoyed more and a larger variety but carrot and onion are pretty commonplace in most kitchens. The bun was nice and I appreciated the sauce on the side. Their side options were kettle chips with truffle oil and parm, fries or kicked up slaw. For some reason I chose chips. They were okay but I think the truffle and parm bit looked better on paper. I forgot all about the slaw option. That was silly. Next time. My sandwich was $11.25 and Pat’s 2 topping pizza pie was $10.95.
In the beginning I mentioned that Big Woods was a distillery too. Their brand of liquor is called Hard Truth. They offered Vodka, Rum and Gin at first. Now they have a whisky. It is a clear liquor; like moonshine. So in keeping with the spirit of adventure I ordered a Manhattan cocktail.
It was a wonderful beverage. It was incredibly smooth. Too often when all the components of a cocktail are alcoholic the first taste can be a bit astringent. Not here. That is a testimony to the bartender and the liquor. In my opinion.
Pat and I had a swell time. The food is good. The beer is good. The surroundings are good and the service was outstanding. I think Pat and I will both be back;even though it is a drive for both of us. We think it may be worth it.
This a very unique and interesting place. It is a small house in a predominately industrial area, stuck between 2 warehouse type buildings. For years it was just a grocery specializing in Eastern European foods. The place had a commercial kitchen and the owner would occasionally cook up since special meals from the old country. When he decided to retire he needed a special someone to take over. Enter Ernie. He was butcher by trade that had started a catering business that also was active in the competitive BBQ scene. He wanted a commercial kitchen so a deal was made. Ernie could sell his food from the kitchen as long as he maintained the European grocery and deli roots.
These are two of the smokers Ernie uses. He offers ribs, pulled pork and brisket. He also makes sausage. Both sweet and spicy Italian as well as Brats. Which he sells both smoked and raw. Their menu is small with a couple of specials tossed in. This day the specials were burnt end chili for $5.99 and beef and noodles for $4.99. For the beef and noodles he used short rib. He smoked them until they fell off the bone and them added them to broth and noodles.
I wanted the brisket. A decent smoked brisket is still hard to find around here. So that is what I got, for $7.99.
The meat was chopped which isn’t my favorite way of eating brisket. However I couldn’t complain because the amount I was given was more than generous. Also it had a wonderful smoky flavor. They serve the meat dry and you dress it with your choice of 4 different sauces on a cupboard to the side of the dining room. All of the sauces are pre-made. Sweet Baby Ray’s among them. That tells me that this joint puts it attention to the meat. For an extra 2 bucks I bought a side of baked beans. These were great. Thick and sweet; the way I like them. They could well have been the best I have had. We were also given a sample of their brat. It was delicious and practically melted in your mouth.
Grilliant also competes in BBQ competition. Hanging above the fireplace are the ribbons they have won.
So if you have a hankering for some real Q then you can get it on 96th Street. They also have huge breaded tenderloin. Speaking of which they have a challenge plate. One BT, a double order of fries and coleslaw and a full slab of ribs for $40. If you finish in 45 minutes you get your money back. A Fishers fireman tried and failed. I was told that a 119 pound woman body builder is set to try it this weekend. As Pat said it can be tricky to find. As soon as you turn off Michigan Road onto 96th Street start looking. It’s on the north side of the street. That big smoker is right out front.
Well the Dawghouse is the just the latest in the ever-growing chain of restaurants and brewhouses started by Scott Wise. The original opened in Muncie Indiana in 1996. Since then he has developed the 3 Wise Men breweries and expanded his original concept to 18 locations. He recently added one in Florida and is soon to move into Ohio. I have been to the first Wise Men brewery in Broad Ripple several times and the Brewhouse downtown a couple of times. Interestingly enough the joint is built into the Majestic building; where my gym is located. Purely co-incidental.
This place is in a golden place. It is across the street from the Holcomb Gardens and within a basketball throw of Hinkle Fieldhouse. When you sit on their patio you have a spectacular view of woods. Wrap all of that ambiance into a college campus add beer and good eats and you have all the earmarks of a grand time.
I decided to change-up my normal eating habits. I started off with a cup of chili.
It was pretty good. A bit of spice and heavy meat. The tomatoes were diced and hadn’t had a chance to cook down so there was a definite sweetness and texture. It also had a strong cumin presence. Pretty typical of this area. I also ordered 2 items from their Snacksty menu. These are “little bites”. Sliders, tacos, tots etc. They offer them for $2.99. A couple of nights a week and all day Thursday they sell them for 2 bucks.
I opted for a BBQ slider and a burnt end taco.
The slider was pretty tasty. A nice amount of meat with a decent sauce and topped with a good slaw. The bun was very good. It had a brioche quality which gave it a pretty good firmness. It was worth 3 bucks. My second choice was the taco.
This was very interesting. The ends weren’t what I consider burnt but they were pretty tasty. I wasn’t a big fan of the BBQ sauce, but that was my fault. The sweet from the taco and the slider added up. In the future I would 86 the sauce and opt for a bottle of hot sauce. I also wasn’t a fan of the slightly crisp flour tort. I prefer corn torts for my tacos.
Wings were my last choice. They had them as a special for $.75 each. I bought 4 with a pineapple jerk sauce. It was pretty good but I should have considered the sweetness factor in my ordering. So Scotty’s did its job well. The wings were really meaty. I think next time I would roll with a hot sauce. They charge 50 cents each for the celery and blue cheese. Which is not too common,but for .75 each,I get it.
Well, Pat really enjoyed the Dawghouse and so did I. Their menu is large, the service is prompt and pleasant and the space is amazing. Oh and did I mention it is just down the way from the Fieldhouse?
Like most cities Indianapolis has a growing population of food trucks. These are trucks or trailers that go to different spots around town and sell food that has been prepared in their brick and mortar kitchens. Commissary style. Occasionally more than one gathers and it is a ClusterTruck. This is what converged on an IU Health facility at 250 N. Shadeland Ave. today.
In addition to Johnson’s was Gaucho’s FireAuthentic Brazilian Food and Flying Cupcake. I had envisioned getting a BBQ sandwich, a Brazilian snack and a cupcake for desert. Didn’t happen. After a BBQ sandwich each Pat and I were pretty full. I might have had room for some Coxinhas but they didn’t have them this day.
Pat’s sandwich was 7 bucks. The chips were $2, as were the other 2 sides. Mac & Cheese and Corn Casserole. Considering that each sandwich was one half pound makes this THE best bargain around.
I decided on a brisket sandwich for $8. Boy O Boy. It was one heck of a sandwich. It was tender and juicy. Which is the hallmark of good Q. The juiciness came from the fat that was partially melted into the other flesh. There was a small piece that escaped the heat but that just made the bite that much more sweet. The smoke was pervasive throughout. It was on my hands the rest of the afternoon. We went to Manley’s Irish Mutt afterward and Pat threatened to bite by hand; just because of the aroma of smoke.
I love eating smoked meat as much as I like smoking meat. In the above pic notice the slight evidence of bark. That wasn’t sauce. I did add a touch of their sweet sauce just to wet the bun. So I really think this is one of the best; if not the best; smoked brisket sans I have had in Indy. Hell even if it isn’t it is worth tracking down. If you can’t get to Bargersville by all means hit Twitter for the location of their food trucks. You will not be disappointed.
Well the wait is over. The Mug East has finally opened. The Mug owner bought the building and did a wonderful job rehabbing it. Originally the space where the Mug is was a Christian Science reading room. The center spot was a laundromat. Now it houses a Tyner Pond Farm store. That is the farm that supplies the Mug with all of its protein. That too is owned by Chris Baggott. Owner of both Mugs. The end unit used to be a cafe but will eventually house an upscale restaurant.
The Mug’s menu is the same as the one in Greenfield. They have Draft beer here. They also raised the prices. What was $5 is now $6.75. What was $6.75 is now $8. Life in the Big City.
Jimmy has joined us on a couple of other occasions. Since he still has a job we have to plan in advance for the pleasure of his company. He ordered one of their excellent house made sausages.
I was tempted to order a chicken sandwich. All free range and stuff. I think I ordered a chicken sandwich once. To me grilled chicken is an option only if beef or pork isn’t. I think the 8 buck price turned me off. Not that $8 is too much for a sandwich. Just that maybe $8 for a grilled chicken sandwich is. Since I had already tried their beef and dog I opted for a house smoked pork sandwich. Covered in BBQ sauce and topped with homemade coleslaw, for $6.75. Formerly $5.
It was a pretty good sandwich. Not bad, just not knock your socks off good. I couldn’t detect much smoke in the pig and the sauce was average. As for the slaw I prefer a sweet slaw with a more prominent sauce presence. So a pretty good sandwich. A decent value at $6.75. Excellent value at 5 bucks.
I think their burgers, hot dogs and breaded tenderloin will keep people coming back. I know I will be back for another burger. One of the multi-patty ones. Their basic patty is one-quarter pound,so two will make a substantial sandwich. That is what Pat ordered. They also serve two forms of fries. One is your standard IQF variety which was $2.25 in Greenfield. ( same as McDonald’s) They also offer a hand cut version fried in lard for one dollar more. For an extra buck they will take any fry toss it in olive oil and then parsley and garlic. Like Boogie Burger in Broad Ripple.
So I think they will be successful here in Irvington. They offer good service and a good product and now they have beer.
This is a BBQ joint;no more no less. It occupies one half of a building in a predominately industrial area.
When you drive up you can see a smoker out back and a big catering truck on the side. It is built for cue,not for style.
The sign out front says it all. Chicken,ribs and pulled pork. Of course,as their menu board suggests they also have some more non typical fare,like BBQ nachos and a BBQ Manhattan; which is bread topped with mashed potatoes, pulled pork and BBQ sauce. I’ve never heard of that before but pig and taters does sound interesting. Pat ordered his usual pulled pork sandwich with a mild sauce. They dry rub their pig so the sauce is served on the side.
The portion they offer is easily a half pound,that is why it is served in a basket with the bun on the side. With the amount of meat you get you could have made two sandwiches.
Pat’s sandwich was $5.25 and the porkburger was $3.25. I neglected to take a shot of the burger,but I did get a bite. It was really good. Nice and moist with a decent hint of smoke. I would recommend it as an alternative to the common pulled pork sandwich.
I had the rib dinner for $12. It came with 2 sides and bread,plus sauce. I too got the mild and it had a slight taste of cumin,which I thought was interesting. For my sides I ordered mac and cheese.
It was creamy and cheesy just not smack in the mouth out of this world. I guess folks don’t finish mac and cheese off in the oven any more,with buttered bread crumbs. For my second side I picked baked beans.
These were some of the best I have had in town,if not the best. Brown sugar sweet and seasoned with bacon. They would be a wonderful foil to some peppery coleslaw. This brings us to the center of the plate. The ribs. I got 6 nice size bones. The amount was such that I would consider it a half slab;or close to it. The meat was super tender and the smoke waited for just a bit before it hit your taste buds. A bite off the bone,dip in the sauce,repeat. Not only were they delicious they were fun to eat. Definitely worth the trip.
The place is called Divine 2 but I never got around to ask where or what Divine 1 was. The catering truck? No matter this humble little joint does sell some great BBQ. I think it is more than worth the trip.