eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “shrimp

Hibachi Bar -Japanese Steak House. 921 Broad Ripple Avenue.

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Well Broad Ripple has one more new joint. This is Hibachi Restaurant. New for the Ripple scene. It is located where the Sabbatical used to be. Curiously that’s right next door to the Triton Taproom and the Sushi Bar. The Hibachi Bar is owned by the same folks who have the Sushi Bar. All they need is one called the Tempura Bar for a true hat trick.

Their dining room is really nice looking.

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All of the seating is for Hibachi. So you get a show even if you order from the hot kitchen or the sushi kitchen.

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This is their basic dining unit. In the background is the sushi bar. Their menu is an odd Frankenstein affair. Cut and paste with several items marked off. Of course this is only their first week of operation so I am sure they will be making adjustments along the way. Being true to their name they offer a lot of steaks and combos with fish. They also have a few noodle dishes ( from the kitchen) and Teriyaki Chicken as well as salmon.

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Funny thing about the sake. The chef had it in a big squeeze bottle. I figured it was just water and the sake bit was a joke. When Pat told me it was indeed sake I was jealous. Hell Pat doesn’t even like sake. Oh well. I ordered Yakisoba. That is  a buckwheat noodle dish cooked with veggies and a protein. I opted for chicken.

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I thought this dish was excellent. The chicken was not overly abundant but the overall flavor and amount made it an excellent value at $12. I especially liked the tender crisp celery and its crunch.

About the prices. I thought the pricing was reasonable. They feature strip steak and filet mignon as well as ocean-going sea food, which ain’t cheap. Pat’s Teriyaki chicken was only 9 bucks. And in celebration of their Grand Opening they were offering a 15% discount. So I don’t see the pricing as a problem. I can only image things getting better for this place. I think it is a nice addition to Broad Ripple.

 

Hibachi Bar Japanese Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Lucky Lou’s Seafood Restaurant 3623 Commercial Drive

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You enter into an outer lobby where you are greeted by a floral display

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Also their Special board. This one written in Chinese.

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Pat hit the nail on the head with his opening line. This is not your typical Indianapolis Chinese Restaurant. You know the restaurants. They all have the same menu, the one with steamed or fried dumplings for $4.95 and a $7.95 lunch special with egg roll and soup. The only variant being the name on the menu. That is not to say you are going to get the same meal at all the locations. You hand the same recipe and ingredients to 3 chefs you will more than likely end up with 3 different tastes. Chefs are, if nothing else individuals.

This place deals in the “nasty parts”. Lungs and intestines. You know the stuff that is never mentioned in “polite” Restaurant society. They even offer a small plate of Beef Offal with Turnip. However this is not what drew me here. It was Dim Sum. Small plates of different foods, typically dumplings or balls steamed or fried. However before I go into my dumpling lunch I must mention our lunch guest, Bob, a friend from school. He was in for a visit from North Carolina. He likes hot food. Very hot food. He ordered a diced chicken in chiles and ordered it as hot as possible. He ate it without even breaking into a sweat.

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Lou’s menu is a big book loaded with amazing pictures. I scanned their carry out menu,which is very big as well. This will be posted on Zomato for anyone interested. As for the Dim Sum they have their own menu,complete with pictures. The prices range from $3.65 to $4.95 with the most coming in at $3.95. My first dish was a Stuffed Eggplant.

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This was my favorite. Beautifully cooked eggplant stuffed with what tasted like minced shrimp and pork in a nicely textured dressing. It was covered with a sweetened soy sauce. As I said it was my favorite. For some reason it reminded me of Thanksgiving.

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These Shrimp Balls were very interesting. They had the standard saltiness of a shrimp paste yet had the airy texture of a Southern style dumpling. I think I would have enjoyed them more with a dipping sauce of some sort. Something other than soy, hot chile oil or packs of sweet and sour sauce.

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I have had Short Ribs at other Chines Restaurants before. The sauce may differ but they always have one thing in common. They are always chewy. The rib is never cooked long enough to become tender. I believe this is my first time for this type of sauce. It had a decent flavor and a slight pepper bite however it was a bit gelatinous from the corn starch. They served a goodly amount so I took them home and was able to “salvage” them with just a little effort. So the bones were there.

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This was the oddest one for me. I have had shrimp and pork dumplings before but never like this. Other places served them like the twisted sort of ubiquitous dumpling you see at most other joints. As you can see these are far from small and twisted. These are large and dense. The filling is in a cavity inside.When you cut them the minced shrimp and pork is cradled like soup in a bowl it doesn’t come gushing out like jelly in a donut. The walls of the dumpling are about a quarter of an inch thick and the inner most half appears to be only partly cooked. The whole thing is chewy and the inside most of all. The filling was tasty enough but the dumpling had a sweetness to it that I found to be incongruous with the filling.

I enjoyed my dumpling lunch. Any issue I had was with my selections. The House upheld its end I may have just picked the wrong things for me. On weekends they bring in Dim Sum carts; like dessert carts in a fancy French joint. Now that I will definitely try.

Lucky Lou's Chinese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Ale Emporium 8617 Allisonville Road

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I really like old school bars and taverns. I like the dark and quiet ambience. Except when you try to take a picture with a smart phone, well at least with my smart phone. Unless I have really good light my pictures are not too good. But I guess it is better than Pat and I making drawings.

Pat promoted this joint because of their pizza. A good pie is always a good reason to visit. So Pat ordered a salad and large slice.

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I wanted soup and a large slice. The SOD was Gumbo. This had to be left over from Fat Tuesday so I ordered a bowl. Gumbo is one of several dishes better as a left over.

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The Gumbo was pretty good. A nice broth with a good dose of cayenne and all the usual suspects in side. Chicken,shrimp and the Trinity. I prefer my roux to be darker and my sauce to have more leg to it. But it hit the spot on this 17 degree day. I wanted a sausage and pepperoni slice.

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The pie was outstanding. I don’t know if you can see it or not but the cheese was nicely browned, as a good pie demands. I thought everything was spot on. The sauce, the large pepperoni slices, the crumbly sausage and the huge amount of cheese. The crust had a really nice tooth and stood up well to its big load. This was their standard crust. They also have a thin and a pan. The pan is similar to what some folks would call a deep dish. They offer a 10 inch pan,which is what I am having when I go back.

Being a fully functional bar they have beer and liquor specials,so that is worthy of consideration. It is a huge place and an attractive place and the service is excellent.

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The above pictures are of the bar area. The partial wall and its booths are all part of the bar seating. Our server Cindy was handling the area. Booth customers as well as bar patrons. Plus she had to deal with several carry out orders. I think she did one heck of a job. Thank you Cindy and thanks kitchen dudes for our pizza.

Ale Emporium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Mc Gilvery’s Pub & Eatery 3009 High School Road.

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Today was a day of adventure. Well, maybe not adventure exactly. The joint we were going to have lunch at changed their hours without updating their web site. That is not nice. So we headed out west on 16th Street and then turned North on High School Road. After a few blocks we came across this place. There is another Mc Gilvery’s on the South side. It has nothing to do with this place at all. It is amazing no one has been sued. This place has been around with this name for more than 20 years,it changed hands about 2 years ago. We were able to have a nice conversation with the new owner. A lovely young lady with a definite sense of the direction she is heading in.

They have a very comprehensive menu,featuring lots of house made items; including mushrooms;which is what we had as an appetizer. I want to forewarn everyone that the pictures are not too good. They have a rather dark bar. The windows have blinds that were all closed. Great for ambiance;not for picture-taking. Instead of sitting at the bar we should have set at a booth,that way I could have tweaked a blind to get more light. Oh well.

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The shrums were pretty good. Nice and crisp and reasonably priced at $6.95. Pat decided to watch his carbs and get the “Trainer Platter”. That is a plate with cottage cheese, celery, carrots and choice of burger, chicken breast or grilled tenderloin for about 8 bucks.

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I must say this picture is atrocious. That dark thing is the burger.

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For my lunch I opted for the special. Shrimp linguine for $7.95. It was pretty straightforward. Linguine in garlic butter with a bunch of little shrimp. It was okay. I understand the use of 70 count shrimp.It allows you to put in a bunch and every piece has a pop when you bite into it. I was just used to working with bigger shrimp. What I actually found boring was the noodle. I would have liked some cheese and more garlic,and maybe a bit of white wine. It wasn’t bad,by any means,I just think it could have been so much more.

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I plan on going back because they have a very nice menu and there are several items I would like to try. I was told that they have a website about ready to hit the net. When it does I will include a link in the Zomato page. Oh did I mention they have beer.

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I did discover a new beer. A grapefruit Shandy. That is a mix of grapefruit juice and IPA. A lot tastier than it sounds. It would be grand in the summertime. Of course I think one would be my limit.

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McGilvery's Pub & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Saigon Restaurant 4760 W. 38th Street

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Pat and I have eaten here in the pre-blog days. Then it was about one-third the size and was located on Lafayette Road. I am really glad that their business grew enough that they needed to expand. Like most Asian inspired restaurants they offer several lunch specials for $6.95 and $7.95. Each lunch comes with a choice of  soup and a soft spring roll or crisp egg roll. The soups they offered were a mushroom and a crab meat asparagus soup.

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Pat was a bit nonplussed with the sauce he was served with his egg roll. Instead of the thick orange-colored sweet and sour normally served, this sauce was thin and clear. It was basically a sweetened vinegar;which I actually thought better than the normal orange stuff.

The last time we ate here I remember the crab soup and spring roll very well. I thought them both delicious. So that is what I decided on to go with an order of shrimp and vegetables.

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I acknowledge that nothing stays the same. Such is the way of nature. However in the world of food and beverage some things should stay the same. I refer to the Crab and Asparagus soup. The last time  it was crisp and clear with pieces of crab meat and slices of asparagus with bits of herb on top. This was a gelatinous cup of chicken stock with a few pieces of asparagus. No discernible crab at all. That is not to say it was a horrid soup,it wasn’t horrid at all. It was an excellent chicken stock it just wasn’t a good crab? and asparagus soup. It would make a great chicken and noodle soup,or a chicken and rice soup or a chicken and anything soup. Just not a crab and asparagus soup.

As for the spring roll I was disappointed in that as well. The flavor and texture were not as I remember. Nor was this roll as fresh tasting as others I have had else where.

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As for my shrimp dish it was very good. Nicely prepared with the obligatory vegetables in the customary sauce and a big scoop of perfectly steamed white rice. Since I live closer to this joint than Pat I can see myself coming back. However I would give the mushroom soup and egg roll more consideration or else forego the lunch specials altogether and order from the menu. Speaking of which here is a link to their website.

http://www.saigonrestaurant-indy.com/

Saigon Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Seafood Market 7460 North Shadeland Ave.

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This joint is the real deal. Not only is it a premier facility for fish mongering it is also a pretty nice little place to get a fresh fish feast. In addition to a set menu of favorites they also offer the guests the option of picking from their large selection of fresh product and having it prepared for a flat $2.50 fee.

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Just about any fish product you might desire I think you can find here. From whole Grouper to U 10 scallops to 4 count shrimp. Trust me that in itself is rare in Indy.

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I am a very simple fellow. Show me a fish market or a sausage shop and I am a happy man. Give me the opportunity to eat some of my favorite foods at said location and my eyes become as big as a full moon. In other words I invariably over order, and subsequently over eat.

As soon as I walked in I saw a sign on the first cooler cabinet advertising Blue Point Oysters for $1.59 each. That was my mandatory “first course”- 6 fresh Blue Points; shucked for free.

A delightful combination of sweet and briney. A great start to any meal.

A delightful combination of sweet and briney. A great start to any meal.

After that was ordered I inquired about the sandwiches. They offer a Caplinger’s Special for $ 4.99. I thought it might be an ever-changing special but I think it is a constant Basa sandwich. For the sake of brevity when you think of Basa think bottom feeder. Think catfish. It is a sweet, and firm white fish. In addition to the sandwiches they also offer the same fish choices in a dinner. Now that comes with a bigger portion and 2 hush puppies and choice of 2 sides. I am ashamed to admit that I forgot that they offer hush puppies as a side. I wanted to try the Special sandwich.

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I try not to engage in superlatives. However I do admit that when I bite into something I really enjoy I act like a 13-year-old boy who kissed his first love. That being said. My first bite into my Basa sandwich was damn near perfection. Soft, sweet and tender,with a slight hint of heat and a crisp,salty breading. Oh- the bread. To me it was an excellent accompaniment to the fish. Again the bread is from Roll With it Bakery in Irvington.

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You would think that all of that food would satisfy me. But oh no. You see when I review a joint I feel compelled to try as many food items as possible. Hey. You must suffer for your craft. So I had to try the Chowder. Clams, potato and cream.

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This was a delicious display of simplicity. True to their description. Great hunks of clam. Tender pieces of ‘tater and…of course cream. This is a great example of chowder. Thick, and wonderful.

By now you would think that I have consumed enough. Oh no. I had to try their “New Recipe” crab cake. A 4 oz. cake made exclusively of  lump meat. That is all I can say about that. They produce a thick cake full of lump meat that is really a good buy at $6.99 for an add on.

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Pat naturally opted for the cod sandwich. He couldn’t try any of the chowder; because of onion.

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Well boys and girls if you like fish. If you think  you like fish this is the joint you must go to. Fresh oysters, yellow fin tuna. Hell the list goes on. Even Pat; the most critical fish fiend in the city liked the cod sandwich.

 

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Caplinger's Fresh Catch on Urbanspoon


Ember Urban Eatery (revisit) 435 Virginia Avenue.

Well, this post will not have any pictures. I forgot my camera and my cell phone and Pat has a new phone that he hasn’t figured out yet. It’s a shame too. They have a new,very photogenic draft system online and a center of the bar chalk board that has a very colorful beer menu. Complete with original artwork. Indeed a shame. Oh well it is all about the food after all.

If you may or may nor recall they have their own proprietary meat blend for their burgers. A mixture of chuck, sirloin, brisket and short rib. Similar to Bru Burger;if I recall. That was one of the reasons I was insistent on going back. My first try at a burger was a fail. But before the burger I ordered a cup of SOD. Cream of spinach and cheese. Intriguing. Actually it was pretty tasty. A nice light and creamy, cheesy soup with a touch of celery. The spinach was pretty much along for the ride. And they serve little packs of oyster crackers with their soup. Now who can not like oyster crackers?

Well enough of the foreplay ( in the original sense of the word) on to the main event. The Burger. As soon as I got it I cut it in half. First to facilitate the eating of same,and second to confirm it was indeed mid-rare. As soon as I cut my sandwich in two and exposed its moist and bloody insides to the world the rain stopped. The thunder ceased and the clouds parted. Seriously. Well maybe I exaggerate. But it was an excellent sandwich. Their combo of cow cuts was definitely worth the effort. The basic burger is $9 and comes with the usual cold set and choice of side. Cheese is an additional 50 cents. So their prices are in line with other downtown joints.

Pat ordered Four Cheese Pasta. Cavatappi  with yellow and white cheddar,provolone and parmesan cheeses. It is served with a side salad for $9. When he ordered it our server asked him if he wanted to add some bacon or shrimp to “spice it up a bit”. A little “up sell” is always appreciated. A tip of the hat to our server. Pat opted for shrimp. He got 5 or 6 nice 21 count shrimp. A thoughtful portion, I thought. I think that up charge was $3.

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After we ordered, the co-owner arrived and she appears to enjoy chatting nearly as much as I do. We spent quite awhile talking about some of the menu changes coming up. She told me they were adding a smoked pork loin. Smoked pork,thin sliced on a brioche bun. Makes a return trip mandatory. They have already added 2 salad dressings to the menu. Originally all they offered was an orange vinaigrette. Now they offer a bleu cheese dressing and a Dijon vinaigrette as well. While we were there they debuted a prototype humus plate, for the bosses to try out. It was a healthy dish of home-made humus and an oval plate loaded with accoutrement. Pita,celery,carrot,grapes and onion and tomatoes. It was a good-looking plate.

One more bit of “gossip”. Ember’s has a nice and wide front porch,and they are planning on using it. They have all the permits in order to have outdoor seating. That is always a great draw. They are even planning on having live music on select nights. Now that would make it even more special.
Ember Urban Eatery on Urbanspoon