eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Smoking Goose

Penn & Palate 28 East 16th Street

I believe this place opened just a few weeks ago. It is owned by the same folks that have Legends in Irvington, so I was confident that it would be pretty good. Since Pat is out in Cali for the next two weeks I was all by myself. I had planned on visiting this place at a later date and was actually on my way to a different joint when I decided to stop at the last-minute.

The place is nicely appointed with dark woods, leather seats and cozy booths. The large windows make for a very bright setting as well.penn and palette 012

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I was also quite impressed with the level of service. My server Katie was spot on. She was very knowledgable of the menu and not shy of venturing an opinion when asked. As a matter of fact it was her description of their special appetizer of the day that convinced me that I needed it. Normally I don’t get an app for lunch when I am solo. In this case the app was an arancia, a deep-fried polenta (oops, that should be risotto) ball, for $8.

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I thought they were nicely done and with the creamy cheese sauce proved a tasty combo of flavors and textures.

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For my main dish I opted for a shaved ham and Swiss sandwich. I know that sounds pretty mundane but it was hardly your standard diner fare. It featured Smoking Goose City Ham, a dry cured ham and orange marmalade with a fennel and apple slaw. They offer a choice of bread from Amelia so with Katie’s recommendation I went with semolina.

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The bread was a good choice. Dense and herbaceous enough to balance the other strong tastes. The structure of the sandwich was really very delicate and nicely balanced. A hint of orange and apple, a passing note of mustard and the strong presence of ham. And of course the cheese just sort of hanging out to keep the ham company. A really good sandwich for $10. I may have wanted a more prominent presence of fennel but this was probably for the best. You know that meme about moderation.

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I noticed on their beer tap they offer a brew called Diesel Oil. It is a Stout from Columbus Indiana and Powerhouse Brewing Company. Well I thought a good Stout would make for a nice desert. Well it does, especially when paired with a Chewy Fruitmeal Cookie.

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They make about a half-dozen cookies and their Fruitmeal is an Oatmeal cookie loaded with dried fruit. It was an excellent bite for a buck. Now marry that with a Milk Stout and its touch of chocolate and coffee and you are on to something really nice.

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So this is Penn and Palate. So lets recap. Conveniently located in a newly gentrified locale on the near North Side. A swank and charming interior. Well trained staff. And finally an excellent menu that is well prepared and delicious. I think that this is the start of a beautiful friendship with this joint and this City.

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Farmers Market Cafe. 650 W. Washington Street

This is both a cafe ,in that you are served your food and a cafeteria ,in that you order your food at a cashier and then take your seat. Are you with me? It is located in the Indiana State Museum which is right on the canal so you can’t get much better scenery in the summer.

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This picture was taken at the bottom of the street ramp leading to the Museum.

When you enter you find the cashier stand with menus posted. This is where you order,pay and receive a numbered plastic placard, like an old-time Sizzlers.

You walk through the cooking area to get your drinks,or frozen yogurt from their soft serve machine. Or for some impulse buy.

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Once you pay and get your beverage you can sit inside or out on a wide veranda overlooking the canal.

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In the bottom picture you can see the skyline of the IUPUI campus in the background. Now really isn’t this a great place to eat?

Now for the food. They had a pepperoni flat bread special for $7.99. Evidently it fulfilled Pats dream.

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Pat suggested this place because his wife; Fran, who works at the university went there and recommended it. She also mentioned that she had a fried green tomato BLT. Well I did not see that when I checked out the menu on their website this morning but I sure saw it on the menu board. I really like fried green tomatoes, and I really,really like BLT sandwiches. So the combo of the two was a no-brainer. They use Smoking Goose bacon so it was mandatory for me for lunch. They put theirs on a whole grain toast with both green leaf and iceberg lettuce and a nice slathering of mayo. Normally I can take or leave mayo,but with both fried green tomato or BLT sammiches you need the mayo. Of course as a kid we used Miracle Whip( salad dressing). It was cheaper. But as I entered my teens I acquired a taste for mayo.

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Now this was a great sandwich. Crunch from the bacon and the lettuce. Tart and tangy tomatoes with a nice creaminess from a healthy dose of mayo. $9.99 with sweet potato chips.

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So. Yes I liked this sandwich. Was it unique and original. No,but how many sandwiches are? I think this is a great place to catch lunch, and check out the State Museum. Plus you get to look over the canal. Now that is a bonus,if for no other reason than the chance for people watching.

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Bacon, Legs & Turntables 1 N. Meridian Street

Now isn’t that an unusual name? I think it may suit because I think this is the most unusual joint to open in Indy in a long time. They offer an eclectic and provocative menu; featuring,of course bacon and all things legs. They also offer at night-time a D.J. Hence the turntables. They have juggled both their schedule and the menus a couple of times. I am not positive of their current hours. I know they have been shortened.

I went there right after they had their “soft” opening and ordered off of their opening menu. I had a couple of beers and a BBQ pork bruschetta. The dish was pretty good. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t make the final cut. I have wanted to check them out once they had their last, for real menu up and running. I just never did until today.

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Now this is what we used to call a swank joint. Seriously they have done an outstanding job in the decor. Attractive and fashionable seating in a spacious and colorful space. Of course this was the site of the King Cole Restaurant, back many years ago. A place I have special feelings for, after 40 years.

Now I have got into the habit of checking out Bloody Mary’s when I think of it at various locations. This started with the Tick Tock Lounge, a few weeks ago. So now I am still in the hunt for “Which Mary shall reign Supreme”. This is the BL&T OMG Bloody Mary.

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Now this Bad Boy comes with  LONG skewer with a chicken drummie, a piece of bacon, a hard-boiled egg, a grape tomato and a pickled chile pepper. And of course the obligatory piece of celery. All of this to present a pint of Pinnacle Vodka and house-made Bloody Mary sauce. Twelve bucks. I say money well spent. A very nice cocktail and a snack. Appetizer and cocktail in a glass.

One last thing about the Mary. The wing was pretty good. I am not much on ordering wings out , but this little drummie was breaded and fried very well. Pretty tasty.

When it came time to order my lunch I decided on their OLD MCDONALD BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER 
Lamb/Duck/Jowl Bacon/White Cheddar/Chipotle Bbq Sauce/Crispy Onions/LTP
$14

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Now isn’t that something? The first thing I did was cut my burger in half. I almost always do that just to make it easier for me to eat. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. A wonderful scent of toasted bread, smoky bacon and succulent beef. Now there are several burger joints in town that offer a wonderful piece of meat but this one particular burger with this one particular set of ingredients is quite possibly one of the best burgers I have had.

You have a large burger, big enough to cover the bun. That increases the surface area for the cooking and the carmelization of the meat. You have a very good bun, fresh lettuce and a wonderful assortment of bacon. Bacon. A treat direct from Heaven. Imagine all that with a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce and you have all the necessary ingredients for a spectacular burger.

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The only thing I can say negative is the menu called white cheddar and crispy onions. I got a white and yellow shredded cheese mix and some garden variety sliced onion. I am not a fan of shredded cheese on a sandwich. It might work if the kitchen has a salamander or a broiler. If you don’t save the shredded for a quesadilla. I expected a crispy pile of onions from your menu description. I’m not a bit upset at what I got. As a matter of fact I would suggest you 86 the onion and the cheese. That burger was that good.

Also I must comment on the house-made ketchup. It was really good. The fries are like a bunch of joints but your ketchup sets them apart.

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I know this last picture is possibly not best to present, since it shows a half eaten burger. But I must say it does show the result of a happy diner.

 

 

 

Bacon, Legs & Turntables on Urbanspoon


Pogue’s Run Grocer 2801 East 10th Street

Well today was the first day of Pat’s return from his sojourn to California. Since he was recovering from a red-eye flight, that didn’t land until 5:00 AM I thought we should keep it simple.

Pogue’s Run is a joint that is a combination market, health food store and deli. The Good Earth is the only place, in my experience that is similar. But Good Earth doesn’t sell sammiches.

pogues grocery 4Normally when we go to review a place I bring a scanner for the menu and my little orphan Nikon for pictures of the joint and the food. Today I tried to “rough” it with my phone only. So the pics are at best so-so.

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As you can see from the menu their collection of sandwiches are eclectic and creative. They use good quality ingredients and I think their prices are pretty reasonable. I am sure this is probably not too easy to read, so I am including a link to their website that lists the menu.

http://poguesrungrocer.org/

Pat decided on a Reuben sandwich 86 the dressing.

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Pogue’s has a standing lunch special of a sandwich, chips or cup of soup and a 22 oz. fountain drink for $7.99. They do offer a craft made soft drink, but neither one of us wanted 22 ounces of soda pop. If I drink 22 oz. of carbonation it is going to have malt and hops in it. To the right of the order window they have a table with 3 soup kettles set up,so you can serve your self.

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Pat noticed their baked potato soup and decided on a cup for $1.79.

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pogues grocery 8pogues review 001As you can see Pat was miffed by the onion in his soup. Pat’s aversion to onion isn’t just a foible or a matter of taste. With him the consumption of onion; raw or cooked causes him severe gastric distress. So. Kitchen guys. Know your product. Know your recipes. For what it is worth I tried his soup. It was pretty average. Bland and “mushy”.

As far as I know I have no issues on food stuffs. I ordered a Rhonda. That is like a Reuben with turkey subbing for corned beef. I thought it was quite nice. I am very familiar with Smoking Goose meats, I just haven’t tried their turkey before. To me turkey in a deli or a store; or for that matter in a restaurant is a ubiquitous form of protein. I never really expect “killer” meat. This sandwich was tasty,and I would get it again.

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I can’t say the same for the 5 bean chili I ordered to go with my sandwich. I liked the oyster crackers they served, that is about it. The soup was pretty pedestrian.

Pogue’s Run is a versatile joint that serves a void in the city and this area. I have and will go there for their broad selection of bulk grains, herbs and spices. They seem to have a bigger selection than Good Earth, and they are self-serve. Some of their prices are higher but it is usually a trade-off. Broad Ripple or Woodruff Place. I enjoy this little joint. So if you are in the market for their particular product niche then this is a good a place to go. And you can get a sandwich. Or a salad bar. I forgot the salad bar. I sure didn’t get any pictures. But the array is really nice,with all the usual suspects for grazing. And it is $7.99 per pound. Just remember to pay before eating.

Pogue's Run Grocer on Urbanspoon


Goose the Market.

 

In the last three years The Smoking Goose Meatery has become the go to source for unique sausage and chartercurie in general in Indianapolis. I would even go so far as to say The Goose has created the demand. Prior to their opening the sale of platters of meat and cheeses in restaurants was rare. Probably because the supply of appropriate meat was scarce. A young fellow by the name of Chris Eley changed all that by taking old school skills and marrying them with more modern tastes. Now any restaurant, tavern or bar can become “fancy”. Further more he made connections with local farms so all of the animals are locally raised and nurtured with out chemicals. They only deal with local cheese makers that follow the same criteria as the farms that supply the meat.

The Market is just that a market. It is located at 2503 N. Delaware St. In an area formerly know as Dodge City. And it wasn’t called that because of any scenic western vista either. To commemorate their humble origins they offer a Dodge City Salami. A few years back the area went through a gentrification. Now all the homes have a definite Victorian flair. Some were rehabbed and more were removed and new homes added. As a part of that renewal a few houses were designed as retail spaces on the ground floor and living spaces on the upper floors. Hence the Market. All the smoking et al is done at The Meatery at 407 Dorman. Across the street from Flat 12 Brewery. Convenient, yes. They don’t open until 4 PM  so it is not as convenient. But they do offer cry-o-vac portions of their products at a little better price point than the Market.

The joint on Delaware is small but they do offer sandwiches and their meat case is incredible. Downstairs, where they keep their stock they have 2 rooms each with picnic tables. One even has a mini bar good for a beer (bottle only) or a glass of wine. You can also have your group set at one and munch meat, cheese and drink vino.

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Actually the reason I am writing this was because of an Easter ham. I pre ordered a sugar-cured ham and I picked it up Thursday. It was cured and then cold smoked with cherry wood for days and then hot smoked to finish. The origin of the pig and the technique are more typical of hams as they were in the “olden days. The taste is as light as Spring. The flavor is addictive. A combination of all the seasonings used in the curing process. Unified by a gentle smoke. A taste to be remembered. A taste our grandparents would be quite familiar with. Which is pretty cool.

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Goose the Market on Urbanspoon

 


Foundry Provisions

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Oh Goodie! Just what Indy needs one more hip coffee-house with pressed sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong I have nothing against coffee houses it’s just that they all try so hard to be hip. In much the same way coffee joints in the 60’s tried to be psychedelic and in the 50’s more bongo and beatnik. And Panini can be a delightful lunch. You just have to be a tad circumspect about the fillings otherwise you might have a “mushy” sandwich. This particular joint is in an excellent location at the corner of 16th St. and Alabama St. An area that seems to have changed over night from semi hood to more metropolitan. For want of a better word. As far as decor I would call it industrial chic or proletarian casual. They left the concrete floor untouched. Chipping paint and all. They also enjoyed the use of gray corrugated metal siding and wood. Whoever owns this place put some bucks into it. It was just not my cup of chai. But they obviously are targeting a young crowd, not old farts like me and Pat.

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As far as food options go they offer some breakfast options, including pastries from Circle City Sweets, a local bakery that has a pretty good reputation. They also offer soup from Circle City Soups. As I understand it Sweets and Soups are owned by a husband and wife. And no I have no excuse as to why we have not tried these places before. For lunch they offer 5 pressed sandwiches each with a historic Hoosier name. As far as meat options they have smoked turkey, Mortadella and City Ham. They proudly announce that the ham is from Smoking Goose . A well know local meatery. So from that I guess we can assume the turkey and Mortadella are from the same source. Pat tried a Tarkington. A turkey and provolone sandwich 86 mustard.

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I tried the Harrison. I am a sucker for avocado. One thing Pat and I both noticed, at the first bite was that they stuck romaine in the sandwich and then toasted it. Now I really like wilted lettuce but toasted romaine? Not a big fan. To me it had an odd taste that detracted from the flavor of the ham. They have spinach on the menu I think spinach would be a better choice than romaine. To me the biggest deal was the lack of texture. The only crunch was the bread, which had a nice toast to it. Between the melted Swiss and avocado the overall effect was rather bland and mushy. It needed some prominent texture and some distinctive flavor. But I am not going to go through the entire menu and suggest alternatives. This is not my joint and they did what they did for a reason. Best of luck to them.

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I almost forgot my soup. Gazpacho. It was the best part of lunch. Ironic that they don’t make it here.

016Foundry Provisions on Urbanspoon