This was Bent Rail Brewery and now it is another part of the Sahms Family empire. I thought their Big Lug was ambitious but this could at least rival that location. As you can tell from the name that they have a German theme going on with a beer Garden planned. They also have a large smoke house in the works. They hope to have the whole project completed by Oktoberfest.
As an appetizer I was tempted between the rabbit pate and the Cornwurst. They were out of the pate; so by default it was the Cornwurst; pulled pork corn dogs, curried ketchup, rutabaga mustard for $8.
These little things were crazy. A nice pulled pork wrapped in a beautiful corn dog type batter. The curry ketchup and the mustard were very good complements to the corn-ness. The only possible critique would be the dryness of the “wurst”. In order to shape and coat the pork balls they were limited on the amount of sauce they could use. More ketchup would help.
For my main lunch I ordered a Bratwurst. They don’t make their own sausage yet. They do make their own buns though. Right now they have Smoking Goose make their sausages to their own specs. The brat was excellent, full of flavor and a very nice snap to it. The mustard creme fraiche brought a nice creaminess to the sandwich which balanced nicely with the fried shallot.
For my side I got a simple side salad. However it was hardly simple in taste.
I ordered it with their smoked peach hefeweizen vinaigrette. It was a clean and fresh dressing that clung to the greens and enhanced their taste. The way I think a salad should be. It could be my imagination but it seems as though every salad I have gotten from a Sahms restaurant has been a cut or two above other joints. This new place is another home run for the Sahms and I am looking forward to Oktoberfest.
Winter decided to ease up on us a bit and let the temperature soar to 40 degrees. So in celebration we decided to head north to Boone County , specifically Zionsville. A small town known for high property values, smart little shops and The Friendly Tavern. Now who can resist a joint with Friendly in its name?
This place has been around for more than 35 years. We know this because our bartender has worked there for 35 years. Now that is staying power for both the place and the person. She has gone through 4 owners during that time. I dare say people would think they came into the wrong place were she not there.
The menu features typical tavern fare, is reasonably priced and Pat approved.
I noticed that their chili had won an award in the past. So, since the past is where most old dudes are comfortable, it seemed as though I should give it a try.
I am glad I did. It was one of the best mid west style cups of chili I have eaten. It had a respectable amount of spice and a touch of sweet, typical of Hoosier chili. And no pasta.
I decided on a turkey reuben. Not sure why. It just sounded like something I should try. It was pretty good, but not rock your world good. The swirled rye bread was great. The turkey was common deli sliced, and the kraut was typical. And it had no cheese. They tried to “kick it up” with a horseradish mayo on the side; but it could have used a bigger kick of horseradish. I ate it all. It was good, just not great. But I am not sure what I was expecting. I think I was sidetracked by the rib eye steak calling my name. It tempted me. But I resisted. That was too much food for lunch. If I manage to get back, the steak is mine.
The joint is not that big so go early. They open at 11:00, we got there at 11:20 and the place was starting to fill. We left at noon and there was a line at the door. It’s no wonder the place is popular. They have good food, more than reasonable prices and the staff is super nice and friendly. I mean how can they not be when Friendly is your name o.