eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “smoked brisket

Ruth’s Cafe 3443 E. 86 th Street

We had a very pleasant breakfast today. The restaurant is open from 7 AM to 3 PM and serves breakfast all day as well as lunch. We took advantage of that by ordering some of both.

Among their specials for the day were two different Quiche. One had no onion so that is what Pat ordered. I know it had artichoke in it and cheese as well as other stuff; but I don’t recall the other stuff. I also have no idea what it cost. It was Pat’s turn to buy and I neglected to ask.

This is the half order of B&G Pat got for $6.

This is the Quiche Pat ordered, price not known. They give an option of salad or fruit. As you can see he opted for the greenery. A very nice looking salad with lots of Spring mix.

I was intrigued by their hash. It is made with smoked brisket. You can order it as a side for $4.75 or as a Not so Old School breakfast for $8.50; which is what I ordered. They have several bread choices for toasting as well as muffin and all come with house made berry jelly. What berries? Haven’t a clue but it was pretty good.

This was a very respectable hash. Big chunks of beef and potatoes cooked just right. Tender yet with enough texture to give your teeth something to do. The only minor flaw was my eggs were not quite over easy; more over medium. They worked out though. All I wanted was some yolk to mix in.

Since they make their own scratch biscuits I got one for an extra $1.75. It was very light and fluffy. One of the better biscuits I have had around town. In addition to the jelly they also make their own sausage. We thought it was quite good. Lightly spiced and tasty which made for an excellent taste. However there is just something about Ollie’s that makes their B&G; in my opinion; the best in town.

They also have an interesting lunch menu; which you can reach here:

http://www.ruthscafeindy.com/menu/4589349372

When I get time I am going back to try lunch; hopefully soon. On a “side note” Zomato classifies this joint as a diner. Of course like with a lot of things Zomato does that is debatable.

Ruth's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Jimbo’s BBQ 9211 Crawfordsville Road

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.

Jimbo's BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Big Woods Speedway 1002 W. 10th Street Speedway In.

big-woods-001

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.

big-woods-013

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.

big-woods-004

I am not going to begin to describe each beer. I will say they were excellent examples of their craft. All for $13.

big-woods

big-woods-008

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.

big-woods-006

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.

big-woods-012

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.

Big Woods Speedway Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Grilliant Foods 4320 W. 96th Street

grilliant-003

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.

grilliant-001

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.

grilliant-006

grilliant

grilliant-005

I wanted the brisket. A decent smoked brisket is still hard to find around here. So that is what I got, for $7.99.

grilliant-008

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-007

Grilliant also competes in BBQ competition. Hanging above the fireplace are the ribbons they have won.

grilliant-010

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.

Grilliant Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Johnson’s BBQ Shack – Food Truck

johnsons-bbq-007

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.

johnsons-bbq-006

johnsons-bbq-002

johnsons-bbq

johnsons-bbq-001

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.

johnsons-bbq-004

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.

johnsons-bbq-003

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.

Johnson's BBQ Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Broad Ripple Brewpub 840 E.65th Street

BR Brew pub 264

This is the oldest craft brewery in the state,opening in 1990. It was modeled after an English Pub. It is a series of several connected rooms,wood-paneled and rather dark. Just the right atmosphere for sipping ESB and single malts,not so much for picture-taking.

BR Brew pub 266

BR Brew pub 265

Pat and I have both been here before. I just never felt compelled to write about it because;frankly I thought the joint was a bit boring. Not bad just not too interesting. Well they have changed their menu and have added a couple of new and exciting brews so I thought today would be a good day to review the Papa of Hoosier brewing. They have always had a good selection of vegetarian dishes and with the new menu they offer even more. The also added a cheese curd appetizer for $8.75.

BR Brew pub 268

These were just plain good. A nice size with just the slightest outside crunch to offset the mozzarella cheesiness inside. I think these are possibly the best in town.

Pat ordered a Pub BLT for $7.95. You could get it with Applewood smoked bacon or veggie coconut “bacon”. For 2 bucks you can add Braunschweiger as well.

BR Brew pub 271

 

BR Brew pub 001

I was intrigued by the Thai spiced Pork sandwich,for $10.

Marinated in our ESB and slow braised with cumin, Chinese Five Spice and fresh ginger, flat grilled on toasted baguette with shredded carrots, spicy cucumbers, fresh cilantro and mayo.  10.00

Sound really great doesn’t? Unfortunately it reads better than it eats. The bread was hard,the meat was dry and offered little flavor. If they were trying to offer a version of a Bahn mi I can think of a few ways they could have pulled it off better. I also decided on a side of onion rings which were okay. Thin slices of onion simply coated and fried. Nice but nothing to shout about.

BR Brew pub 276

 

BR Brew pub 275

The beers were great. The stars of the line were two cask ales. A red and an ESB. Both were very drinkable. Pat tried a mix of the two. Pretty tasty. If you are a beer drinking vegetarian this may be the place for you. They have a nice new menu on their website so one bad sandwich won’t deter me from going back.

Broad Ripple Brewpub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Moon Dog Tavern 4825 E 96th Street

Well we wanted to go to a tavern; a bar; a place what sells alcohol in various form and serves food as well.The trouble is most bars in Indy are pretty much the same. There are a few that bring a little something different to the table but we have already hit most of them. In order to find a place that has something unique to offer we rely on word of mouth or the inter net. If folks don’t offer us suggestions or if joints aren’t willing to use electronic media we are pretty much out of luck. This time we got lucky,via free media. I have noticed Moon Dog before but nothing about it sparked my interest. Then I noticed that it was under new ownership and management;and they had changed their menu in July this year. When I looked at the menu I saw a reference to a smoker,that is always a good sign. So off to the Moon Dog we went.

moon dog 244

This is their smoker. They have it out back,secured and ready to go.

moon dog 242They offer three items from the smoker. Pulled pork butt,sliced brisket and meatloaf sandwich. I was leaning toward the brisket but Pat nudged me toward the meatloaf. He knows how I like meatloaf. I hesitated until our bartender told me that they cook it totally on the smoker. They also used the same meat blend for the meatloaf as they use for the burgers. A custom blend of Sirloin, Tenderloin and Ribeye from Kincaid Meat Market on Illinois St. After that no further discussion was needed.

moon dog 245

It was an excellent sandwich. The meatloaf was moist and succulent and the smoker dude did an excellent job cooking it on the smoker. A beautiful smoke ring, a wonderful aroma of smoke and a delicious texture of good meat cooked just to the point of perfection. And bonus, they offer star tots. I am sure I have covered this before but there is just something about tots.

 

 

moon dog 246

moon dog 003

 

moon dog 002

moon dog 247

Funny story. When I was perusing their menu a few of the items and words reminded me of the Sinking Ship. Evidently Pat as well. I was going to ask our bartender but I forgot. Well, don’t you know while we were eating ,the bartender mentioned to another patron that the new owner had another joint in Broad Ripple. As one voice:” Sinking Ship “erupted from all 3 of us. Thankfully it was still early so the shock was minimal. So if  you want to grub on some Seitan wings and don’t want to drive to 49th Street trust the Moon Dog. If you are a carnivore these guys can take care of you as well.

Click to add a blog post for Moon Dog Tavern on Zomato


Love Handle 2829 E. 10th Street

Love Handle 224

Well another new joint has opened in Indy. This one is unique in that the owner/operators Chris and Ally Benedyke are from Indianapolis originally and have just returned from Milwaukee where they owned a similar place by the same name. The new place, like the old one features specialty sandwiches and small plates using local sources. Since they plan on changing the menu weekly they are relying on Facebook and not a web site. Since that was the case I felt compelled to do a bit of reconnaissance, or reconn-oink-ering if you prefer. You know since they do a lot with pig. Well in either event I went in on Tuesday morning for breakfast.

Love Handle 225

It is a small place with a counter and a few tables, so it is rather cozy. I was told it used to be a Subway, if that is the case the size makes sense.

Love Handle 235

Love Handle 226

The one item I was most intrigued with was their version of bacon,egg and toast for $7. It was a big slice of pork belly with a jellied egg yolk and toasted french style bread. It was probably one of the most unusual things I have put in my mouth but also one of the tastiest. The pork belly;or bacon is self-explanatory. Salty and unctuous ( I know I use that word a lot but sometimes it just fits) with just the right amount of tooth. The egg was odd in all the right ways. A poached egg yolk encapsulated in an aspic derived from the preparation of hog feet or trotters. Since it was cold it was a shock to my tongue after puncturing the jelly and seeing the yolk flow out but it was as good a mopping egg as any warm poached one. And you had the bonus of pig jelly. Any talk of egg yolk mopping has to lead to bread and their choice of Amelia’s was good but their treatment of it was better. The bread is toasted then spread with a mixture of unsalted butter, apple butter and a hint of seranno chile. It was delicious. The whole plate was a hit.

Love Handle 228

I also tried some of their miso and brown butter ice cream for $4. A browned butter is the start of a caramel so if you add that to sugar and cream you get a true decadent caramel. You freeze it you get this. Again a good job. However I didn’t taste much from the miso. But the earthiness of a brown miso can mimick an aspect of caramal I suppose. Regardless it was a great ice cream I would not hesitate to try again.

Love Handle 233

I also tried a sweet roll, a Miso- Ovaltine Sweet Roll to be precise, and in full disclosure Ally gave it to me. I guess she thought I wasn’t getting enough to eat. It was an excellent roll and sells for 4 bucks

Love Handle 232

So this brings us to Wednesday, the day Pat and I have decided for lunch. I had told Pat about this place and how I was going to check it out beforehand,and he groaned at my oink joke as I am sure most people would. Actually I was surprised that he was willing to give it a try,possibly because it was my turn to buy.

I was pretty sure what I wanted to try from the beginning the Tesa, $7 and the Trotter Croquettes for $6.

Tesa is similar to Prosciutto in that it is slow cured and is eaten without further cooking. Where it differs is the part of the pig it comes from. Prosciutto is from the hind or ham area Tesa is from the belly.

Love Handle 239

I received a big old plate of piggy goodness with a bit of cooked beet,sour turnip and jalapeno as accompaniment as well as a bunch of toast. I also got another one of Chris’s eggs as a bonus. Once again everything fit like a glove. Actually I found this more interesting than prosciutto. With the ratio between fat and lean as it is on pork belly it was like getting Lardo as a bonus.

I also had to try the Trotter. Before you freak remember that there is some good meat in a pig’s foot. It just takes a while to get to it,but you do get the added value of the gelatin. Like everything else these croquettes were very good. A crisp exterior and a moist and meaty interior.

Love Handle 240

Love Handle 243

With Pat it wasn’t so easy. I think he just agreed to go just to humor me.

Love Handle 267

I was too busy feeding my face so I forgot to take any shots of Pat’s food until the very end.

Love Handle 247

Pat's Popcorn

Pat’s Popcorn

They toss the corn in bacon fat and then sprinkle it with Nutritional Yeast, the result is unique and tasty.

The sauces Pat referenced was a soy type reduction and a soda pop mustard both made in-house. They both went well with the Tesa and the trotters,especially the mustard. That was made with Tamarind flavor Jarrito’s soda pop and minimally ground. A very interesting taste.

One last thing. We shared a slice of Lavender and coconut cream tart.

Love Handle 248

Great crust,nice and creamy with good coconut flavor. As for the lavender it wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it would be. Good pie regardless. So as you can see I really enjoyed this place and its food. Pat; not so much. But he was a trooper for going there with me. In either event I think it a place worth exploring.

Love Handle 229

Click to add a blog post for Love Handle on Zomato


Black Diamond BBQ 6404 Rucker Road

Black Diamond 013

Black Diamond is a small place with big BBQ. It doesn’t seat many people inside but it has a beautiful out-door area. We opted to stay inside to avoid the sun. They offer $6.99 lunch specials,which consist of a sandwich, side and drink. We opted for something more substantial with meat on a bun dinners. Pat got his usual pulled pork sandwich with sauce on the side.

Black Diamond 008

Black Diamond 002

Black Diamond 009

Normally I get a taste of whatever Pat is having,but this time I had enough on my plate just to finish. The portions we received were huge. I would guess 8 ounces each. I got the beef on a bun with beans and home made coleslaw. As I said the portion was huge, and since I opted for sweet sauce directly on the sandwich I had to use a fork to eat it.

Black Diamond 011

The size of the sides were more than adequate to complement the meat. Oh the meat. It was moist and tender and it melted in your mouth. Next time I will opt for SOS

. The beans were so so but the slaw was a nice tart and creamy counterpoint to the sweet sauce.

Black Diamond 010

So all in all I can’t think of any reason not to like this joint’s food. They also have pie and cobbler on weekends. They are in a great location too. Right off Binford Blvd. Easy access. And the prices are more than reasonable. We ordered 2 dinners and they were about $ 11 each. Like I said a good place to visit.

Black Diamond 010

Click to add a blog post for Black Diamond Barbecue on Zomato


J & M’s Smoke House 7220 Rockville Road

Well;here we are on the West side. We don’t seem to get here too often. For some reason we seem to stay in that central corridor of South, Central and North. Well we gonna’ try and fix that.

I am not sure how long this Smoke House has been around,but I first heard of it a few weeks ago, and the reviews I have read have been pretty positive. It’s located in a strip mall,and can be a bit tricky to find,as it is a distance from the street. However once you get close the aroma draws you, literally right to the front door.

J & M Smoke 001

This bad boy sits right in front of the joint,and the day we were there it was in service,smoking some pork butts. I was able to chat with the young man working the post and he told me they used a bit of dry rub only on the brisket. This aroma is the best ad I could think of for a BBQ joint.

Once inside we found a neat little space. Bright and clean.

J & M Smoke 007

They make their own sauces and keep them in squeeze bottles on the tables. They offer a sassy sweet, a hot and a more east coast mustard style. We started off with an order of fried mushrooms.

J & M Smoke 009

I have to say that their mushroom appetizer was average, at best. Small button mushrooms with a rather boring coating and served with a very non descript Ranch dressing. Average price and average taste. Our server gave us a taste of their pulled pork, which sealed the deal for Pat.

J & M Smoke 013

J & M Smoke house

I was really tempted by their smoked meatball sandwich. But I thought I would play it safe and go with the brisket sandwich with Lava beans.

J & M Smoke 015

Where do I begin? The meat had a really nice smoke flavor and a picture perfect smoke ring, but the overall it missed the mark. The meat was chewy and hard to bite and pretty bland. In order to get some flavor I had to add some sauce. Sauce should be used sparingly to enhance an existing flavor. Not as a substitute for flavor. For what it is worth I think they should use a rub and adjust the cook time. A rub does two things. Adds an extra level of flavor and it also does a Chemistry thing to help tendering the meat. They have their smoker set on 175 degrees, which is a sweet zone for Q. So, again this is just one man’s opinion.

The beans were really good. A nice level of heat and full of meat. A really good accompaniment for cow or pig. The sauces were decent , and the prices were on point as well.

Some bloggers don’t like to say if they like or dis like a joint. I have no problem with that. I rarely dis-like a place. The most I usually do is abstain from like or dis-like. Like a Congressman that votes present. This is the case here.

J&M's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon