eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Red beans and rice

Some of This…Some of That 2405 N. College

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SOT SOT started as a food truck. After a couple of years the owner decided to build a brick and mortar Cajun Table while keeping his food truck rolling. He picked an old abandoned building in a less than hip part of town and refurbished it. From what I hear he did most of the work himself. The result is a very good looking place with lots of exposed brick and shiny distressed wood flooring.

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Cajun and Creole food are some of my favorites bites; and I have a bit of experience in it as does my bitter/better half. Since she didn’t want to come out to play I thought I would do carry out. They offer the obligatory Po Boy sandwiches as well as your typical entrees. They offer Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee; Jambalaya; Bourbon Chicken and Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice. They are priced out at $7 to $10 each but you can order a pick two for $11.50 and a Sampler for $14.50. They also have Gumbo; either Seafood or Chicken& Sausage as a cup for $5 or a bowl for $10.

I ordered a pick 2 of Etouffee and Jambalaya and a bowl of Gumbo; all to go. When I got home I did not re-plate for the picture-taking. I took the pics as they are.

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This is the pick two. The Etouffee is in the foreground and the Jam is in the background. Also the garlic bread is on the left. Well to be concise we were both underwhelmed and disappointed. The Etouffee had the best flavor and a nice “Cajun” feel to the veggies however we could only find one shrimp and one Crawdad tail. Lee ( my partner) was the lucky winner and she thought the shrimp was over cooked. The second part of our pick two was the Jam and it was definitely the least enjoyed. The texture was “mushy” and it had an odd taste that neither of us could name.

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Our final dish was the $10 bowl of Gumbo.SOT 007

I probably should have re-plated it but the only rice provided was in the bottom of the 12 ounce go bowl. Needless to say the picture is not very appealing. Apologies. We both thought it was a bit thin but that is probably subjective from what we are accustomed to. We differ on the basic flavor of the gravy. I thought it pretty good; reminiscent of a dark brown roux she did not. Another thing we were in agreement in was the dearth of veggies and meat in the dish. We ordered the chicken and sausage version and we got a few pieces of chicken and a rather mediocre sausage. So I don’t know what happened. Was it a very bad day and I should give this joint another go? I am not sure.

In summation. The Etouffee had the best flavor;just no shrimp or crawfish. The Jambalaya was a dish we could not finish and The Gumbo needs a bit of attention to the Trinity and the type of sausage. It is a nicely renovated building and I wish them the best.

 

 

 

Some of this Some of that - SOT SOT Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Restaurant 5539 E. Washington St.

Anyone familiar with the Indy food truck scene is aware of Chef Dan. They have served their food out of a little yellow truck since 2011. Their decision to go the brick and mortar route is a big move for them and Indy. Now everyone knows exactly where to go to get their Delta food itch scratched.

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As you can see the menu covers the Mississippi and Louisiana food culture pretty well. You order at a counter and the food is brought to you when it is done. We ordered an appetizer and dessert when we ordered our main meals. We wanted to try as much as we could. Without going crazy. We started with Boudin balls.

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Without getting into the weeds on explanation Boudin is a blood sausage with rice. A piece is removed from the casing, breaded and deep-fried. These were pretty good. As expected it had a nice smooth texture with that welcome coppery flavor you find in cooked blood or organ dishes. They were served with a mayo based dipping sauce. The sauce was so-so and I found it too thick to actually dip the sausage in. But actually I think the balls can stand on their own without the need for a sauce.

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I took a of Pat’s chicken breast and I agree it was indeed exceptional. I opted for a catfish dinner so I could get 2 sides.chef dan 026The presentation of the fish is very down home. By cutting the fish and bread in half I was able to have 2 sandwiches. Which is a pretty good deal. The fish was nicely breaded and nicely fried. Nothing to make it unique but it was tasty . I ordered greens and beans and rice as my sides. As Pat said the greens were indeed spot on. They use smoked turkey when they cook down the greens so I guess it could pass for a healthy dish. The red beans were nicely done as well they didn’t have much rice in them though and no sausage. The last part enables them to say that they are vegan.

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As for our dessert, beignets they were pretty good. Although I thought they were more dense than I have had before.

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So there you have it. Chef Dan’s and his Southern comfort food. A nice little joint that is well worth a visit. I plan on going back to try something from the Louisiana side of the menu. And some pie, and or pudding.

 

 

Chef Dan's Southern Comfort Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Jiallo’s African-Caribbean Cuisine 4202 W. 56th Street

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This place is in a strip mall next to 3 in 1 Restaurant we reviewed some weeks back. At that time we put it on our list. I did my due diligence in research, considering Pat’s issues with onion. I told him it was doable. Fortunately he agreed. Let’s have a round of applause for the self-proclaimed “…plain kinda’ guy.” stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something different.

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The space is a good size, clean and well-appointed with comfortable and attractive furnishings. If you came to be entertained by the decor or “ambience” then you came to the wrong joint.

Jiallo’s is about food, in an attractive setting, serviced in a gracious manner. Our server was just that; gracious. I neglected to ask her name but when Pat told her about his onion issue she made repeated trips to the kitchen to get all the details. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and more than happy to answer our questions.

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They offer 2 different types of rice with their lunch specials. White rice or red beans and rice. The white rice is a small-grained African rice cooked down. Nothing fancy just a nice rice bed. The red beans and rice is a Jasmine rice cooked in red beans liquor with thyme, rosemary, red beans and onion added. So Pat opted for the Jerk Chicken with white rice and plaintains for $8.95.jiallo 004

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I wanted to keep it simple so I ordered the Curry Chicken with red bean rice and plantains for $8.95.

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Now this dish was crazy. If you see a little “ghost” in the pic that is the steam coming off the dish. I could see it in the view finder. In my dish they used legs. They “Frenched” the bones of the drumsticks. That means they cut away anything on the leg, below the knob of meat. Then they chopped off the bulbous end of the drum sick; in order to expose any marrow to the cooking liquid. In this case a curry sauce. The sauce was not a spectacular curry sauce it was a good curry sauce. Both sweet and slightly spicy with a wondrous aroma. The chicken appeared to have been braised in the sauce,and they were perfectly cooked. Fall off the bone tender with a great flavor. Marry that with the red rice and beans and the sweet plantains and you have a winner. Every time.

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On Urban spoon this particular joint has over 200 check ins with a 90% like. The only bad comments has been about the “slowness”. I noticed that on the reviews and our Super Server said the same thing. She is the only server that works there. Lunch and dinner. So…for what it is worth. Folks take a look around any joint you enter. If it is busy and the wait staff seems light. Reevaluate.

Well all I can add is this joint has some good food. I have to go back. They have some stuff I haven’t eaten yet.

Jiallo's African-Caribbean Cuisine on Urbanspoon


Bourbon Street Distillery 361 Indiana Avenue.

I wanted to come here so I could sit out side. Today was a pleasant and bright day, without the oppressive humidity ,usually associated with a Hoosier July. Pat said we already ate here, pre blog days. I don’t think so.

Even though they have Distillery in their name they don’t distill any alcohol. They do have a decent cold beer selection and some good food. They aren’t heavy with Cajun fare, as the name would imply. They do offer a nice selection of smoked meats, crawfish etouffee,oysters,catfish and a sprinkling of blackened dishes. Pat has been her more than a few times, so he knew the menu pretty well. They did have 2 new offerings. A French Dip and a house smoked brisket sandwich. Their sandwiches come with a small side of slaw and fries or home-made chips. He opted for the Dip, with chips for $8.50. He also tried a cup of Lobster Bisque for $4,25.

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

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I don’t think the angle of Pat’s picture did the presentation of his French Dip justice. The amount of chips was huge. And they were very well made. They buy them already cut and fry and season them in-house. Good seasoning and great execution.

Blackened Trout with Etouffee and hush puppies

Blackened Trout with Etouffee and hush puppies

The Blackened Trout was a lunch special. It came with etouffee, slaw and garlic toast for $8.50. The puppies were an add on for $1.25. The fish was very good. I found their blackening interesting. Different to what I am used to. But in fairness most of my blackened meals have been made with my own spice blend. Not better or worse, just different. This spice mix was light on the front end and little stronger in the middle and with a nice finish. Not at all excessively hot. It fit well with the fish. The etouffee was good as well. Abundant, which is good because a measly cup of etouffee is just a taste. The slaw was so so, but it did bring a nice texture to the party. One thing I am not happy with is my picture. I should have had the idea of rotating my plate so as to good a good shot of the fish. A blackened piece of fish is beautiful. Dark and glistening with a slight sheen from the oil or butter.

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They also have a list of Po’ Boys. Now that is next on my list a Blackened Catfish Po’ boy. Seriously I can’t think of any reason not to go there. Good food, good pricing and good service and a nice out-door seating area and an upstairs balcony. What more can you ask for.

Bourbon Street Restaurant & Distillery on Urbanspoon

http://bourbonstreetdistillery.com/


B’s Po Boy 1261 South Shelby

To anyone who has been to New Orleans, you know that the ubiquitous Po’ Boy is the quintessential handheld treat from the city noted for its food. In Indianapolis, you will find an authentic example at B’s Po Boy in Fountain Square. It is located on Shelby Street across the street from the Fountain Square Brewery; which is quite convenient. They buy their bread direct from Leidenheimer, a New Orleans bakery, and it is the real deal.A little crisp on the outside and a little chewy on the inside, a nearly perfect bite. Some of their filling options are not typical of what you would find in Louisiana. They offer barbecue pulled pork, chipped roast beef (which they cook off themselves), sliced ham (which they don’t cook themselves) and homemade chicken salad with a dressing of mayo and Creole mustard. They also offer the usual suspects; andouille sausage, fried shrimp, barbecue shrimp and fried oysters.

I ordered a half andouille sausage and a half oyster. Pat ordered a half ham and we both shared an order of sweet potato fries.The andouille sausage was really quite good, good spice background without being overwhelming. What I couldn’t figure out was the fact they get it from Ireland. I never met a Cajun leprechaun before, but hey, this is an international economy. But as good as the sausage was my hands-down favorite were the oysters. They buy fresh select , lightly bread them and perfectly fry them. On the other hand, Patrick’s ham was merely okay. It was just a good deli style ham.The sweet potato fries, although a “store-bought” product, they were top-notch shoestring cut taters.They dress their sandwiches with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayonnaise. But obviously you can eliminate anything you want. They also offer red beans and rice and chicken, sausage gumbo; as both a side $3.50 or as an entrée for nine dollars and $10. Their sandwiches are priced at six dollars for a half and nine dollars for a whole. It seems more than reasonable, because they don’t seem to skimp on the portions. And if salad is your thing , they also offer three entrée salads. I’ve no idea how big they are but they seem to come loaded with stuff.They also offer scratch made beignets. If you are not hip to beignets just think Hoosier fried biscuits, only lighter.

As for refreshments. They offer both bottled and draft beers. And since they are right across the street from the Fountain Square brewery what would be better to wash down andouille sausage and fried oysters, then a cold pint of Hop For Teacher;I think the name says it all.I know this would hardly qualify as a heart healthy lunch; but if I have but one life to live let me live a sated one.<a
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