The old Stutz Bearcat auto plant at 12th St. and Senate Avenue has been converted into the Stutz business center. On the ground floor of that huge building sits the Bearcats restaurant. Pat and I tried to go there last year, but apparently it was a nighttime joint. That must not have worked out for them because now it’s open for breakfast and lunch. They have a website but the menu shown is different from the one you see when you sit down. So I scanned the in-house menu. Hopefully that will eliminate any confusion.
It is a nice looking place full of industrial chic from the big overhead ductwork to the yellow caution tape on the floor. The menu was more than adequate for lunch service. Nothing unique just your typical lunch fare. But the one thing this joint was lacking was a big dose of happy server face. There were two servers working so they might have been shorthanded, which always leads to extra stress. However, it don’t take much energy to smile. At least try not to project the vibe: “why don’t you go away?”. Well enough about atmosphere on to the food.
We had wanted to share some mushrooms since they were fresh and hand breaded but they were out.I did notice that they cooked off their own corned beef. That’s not the same as making your own, but it is better than buying it already cooked in Cryovac. So I ordered a Reuben. It was very good. Nicely done with an abundant amount of freshly prepared french fries. I just wish those darn servers had smiled more.
So you can expect a good lunch here. Fresh and quickly prepared. And hopefully a more cheerful atmosphere. And no I don’t expect a server or bartender to entertain me. I do expect them to fulfill my food and beverage requests. And since I am old school I don’t think pretending to enjoy taking my money is out of line.https://kosherhamandcheese.com/?p=1799&preview=true
Southeast of Indianapolis is Wanamaker.It’s a community,founded in 1836, that has the charm and appeal of a small town. That is where we decided to have our Grand Adventure. First stop was Wanamaker Guns. It’s a small shop in a mini strip mall. They have a great inventory of old guns. Black powder long guns, old Springfield rifles and hand guns;and a plethora of military related models. They also have a nice supply of accessories. As a matter of fact I got a sweet deal on an Uncle Mikes holster; 6 bucks less than current list price. The reason we stopped there first was that it was on the way to Xtraordinary Pizza. The first thing I noticed about the place was the tableau right next door. It was a little wooden shack covered with old metal signs complete with a gas pump and an old tow truck. It even had its own intersection, with street signs and a Dog ‘N’ Suds drive in sign. My pictures of the little scene don’t even come close to doing it justice. Inside it looked the way a small town Pizza shop should look. Tables and chairs and signs celebrating the local High School,no fancy or fictitious ambiance,just utilitarian function. You ordered at a counter,open to the kitchen,sat down and the cook ( one of the owners ) brought it to you when ready. The pie you get is what you would expect from such a no frill joint. A big tasty no nonsense proletarian pie loaded with toppings. We ordered a 10 inch sausage and mushroom,and the amount of each was almost embarrassing. The crust was thin and crispy, but not brittle. It had a texture more reminiscent of a thin shortbread. Crisp to the tooth,yet sturdy enough to handle the load. It is definitely a pie I would like again. Our 10 inch gave us 8 big slices,so big we couldn’t eat it all. And how much was it? You ask. About 15 bucks,with 2 sodas. After lunch we headed down the street to Brewskies,for ,well some brews. Again the feeling of small town friendly. It may sound trite, but we felt right at home as soon as we walked in. A lot of the reason for that was everyone in the joint ,help included, was closer to our age than most places in the city. AND, for 4 draft beers ( one Killian and three Silver Bullets ) the bill was $9. I can’t remember the last time I ran into so many truly nice people; people who didn’t owe me money. So a tip of the proverbial hat to Wanamaker Indiana. We’ll be back.
Has anyone out there ever been to the Urban Element ? Has anyone ever heard of the Urban Element ? Well no matter. That joint closed and in its place is Panorama Grill;specializing in Mid-East cooking with some American stand by s as well. The place is nicely decorated in urban chic;probably left over from the previous tenant. Our first server was not real knowledgable about the menu and was so timid and soft-spoken; I think she is going to have to “bulk up” if she plans on staying in the business. A more experienced server answered our questions and took our order;I don’t know if that was their system or if the youngster had her table jacked.No matter. Pat took the safe way out and had a burger,a plain hamburger. It was a little more charred than he would have preferred but is was satisfactory. I fell back to my old stand by,the falafel. Like the burger it was satisfactory; maybe a little above satisfactory. The falafel had a hint of cinnamon and a nice crunch. The pita was soft and the tahini sauce was abundant. The whole thing was so abundant I couldn’t eat it all. They also provide fries in abundance. A big pile of your standard 3/16 inch cut skin on french fries dusted with paprika. Again, nothing to get too excited about. All in all a nice lunch in a nice place at a nice price. Less than sixteen bucks for the two of us. And it’s close to downtown. On Penn just a half block north of the central library. So I think it is worth a shot. OH my.I forgot to mention the pickles. They are small non garlicy spears that have the appearance and texture of home-made refrigerator pickles. A perfect choice for any cuisine; especially food with bold taste.
Well, we went to the Tilted Kilt for lunch. We knew it was a corporate Place, but Patrick wanted to try it out for quite some time.I know what you’re thinking, he wanted to check out the outfits the ladies wore, but that is only part of the reason. His wife, Fran, had tried the fish and chips while out-of-town and was quite complimentary about them, so Pat wanted to confirm they were as good as she said. And guess what, Paddy liked them.He thought the batter was delicious, and he especially liked the fact that the fish were big chunks, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The fries were fries. Nothing spectacular, but he did enjoy the coleslaw which is rare. It had no onions and was sweeter than most slaws;that might explain it.He thought the pricing was reasonable at $8.
I tried their “Irish stew“. You can get it as a bowl for about five dollars or a bigger portion for about$ 10 with garlic bread. They also offer a shepherd’s pie and I think it would be a good guess that they use the same stew for that as well.I know I would.In either event both portions came with delicious smashed tater on top. Actually, I was quite pleased with the stew. They make it, as well as the soups, in house.Since I still have a wee bit of a “dental challenge” I opted for the small version, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the meat and veggies were all small diced. That,and the savory gravy just added to my overall enjoyment of the dish.I definitely will try it again, but I would probably go for the larger portion with bread.
As for liquid refreshment. They had the usual suspects of craft brews on draft in the $5 range and three dollar domestic bottle.They also have the obligatory über cheap PBR drafts. It’s nice to see one of the beers of the greatest generation is still being enjoyed by their kids and grandkids.
Now,about those uniforms.Neither Pat or I were too impressed by them.We thought the skirts were too Britney Spear-ish and the tops were way too tight. We couldn’t see how those ladies could be comfortable. We did discover, however, that the guys that work nights wear kilts as well. So ladies, that might be something you would want to check out.As for me if I want to see a dude in a kilt I’ll watch old British WWII movies on TCM.
Another new joint has opened in Fountain Square;Pure Food Eatery and in this case Pure means simple.It is a lovely little place,not too artsy fartsy or too urban tavern chic;just nice.The menu is Panini Press centered.Sandwiches and wraps in simple and tasty combos.Not a single french fry or chicken wing to be found;no fryers anywhere.They did fall into the aioli trap however.That is where you flavor mayo call it (fill in the blank)mayo and “jazz”up your menu.A good emulsion sauce has its place but sometimes people stick it in the most unlikely places;like grilled cheese.Since I am still dentally challenged that is what I ordered.Actually a half sandwich and a cup of soup.All their Panini are available as 1/2 or whole.The wholes are reasonably priced,in the $7-$8 range;the 1/2’s are not as reasonable;at $6.The 3 cheese Panini was pretty good.A curious combo of Havarti,Swiss and Provolone cheeses with the obligatory slice of tomato.Their addition of Pesto mayo;although not traditional,did bring a nice additional taste to the mild cheeses;also a touch of unctiousness to the toasted sour dough bread.Patrick decided on a BLT.Nothing out of the ordinary except for the avocado spread;which Pat turned down;due to onion content.We both enjoyed our sandwiches;and more than enjoyed the SOD;Chicken and Rice. A delicious home-made stock loaded with fresh Tarragon.The stock alone was worth the 90 cent up-charge,the diced chicken and rice was a bonus.In addition to sour dough they also offer wheat and rye bread,which would go well with some of their other filling options.
The biggest deal of the day was the Thursday beer special.New Belgiums for $2.50.I discovered Shift by New Belgium.They call it a Lager but it has a definite Ale quality.Delicious;and a bargain at $2.50 for a 16 oz can.The thing about good beer is you get nutrition and you can consume regardless of the condition of your teeth.
Our lunch schedule has been erratic because I have been under going some extensive dental work (dentures).This trip to Four Seasons actually happened approximately 4 weeks ago when I still had my front teeth;only my front teeth.I guess I have just been lazy in not writing it up until now.Four Seasons is on South Meridian,real close to Greenwood.We’ve been there before,pre Blog days;so it’s not a ground breaking trip.It’s a nice little joint;along the lines of Flap Jacks.It offers pretty good food at a decent price.Pat ordered a French Dip ($6.95);with a side of apple sauce.The beef,I can see;the apple sauce?Go figure.It was your basic Kroger deli roast beef on a decent roll.Tasty but a small portion;and the au-jus was more au than jus.Overall,nothing to get worked up over.I,on the other hand,opted for a “diet plate” ($7.25).On that you got a tomato stuffed with your choice of tuna salad or turkey salad;along with cottage cheese,fresh veggie garnish and the ubiquitous diet plate inhabitant.The canned peach half.What I got was a nice 5×6 tomato stuffed with a very tasty home-made turkey salad,a full fat cottage cheese and of course the aforementioned peach.The only reason I mentioned the fat content of the cheese is that,at home,I eat 1% or 2% fat cottage cheese.And the real deal is SO much creamier and tasty.But the nicest thing about this joint was the staff.They all were friendly, and acted as if they really wanted to help us.Something you don’t always see.
Afterwards;for the refreshment part of our trip we decided to stop at the Longacre Tavern.It too is on the south side,Madison Avenue north of Southport.It has been around for quite a while;and it looks it.I don’t think I’ve in there for 30 years.They offer New Castle or Blue Moon draft for $5.50 and domestic draft for $3.Downtown prices for a joint that ain’t downtown.’Nuff said.