Upland is a successful brewery from Bloomington. In the early days of the blog we visited it. About 10 years ago they opened up a tasting room on College. It was a place where you could have a few beers and maybe get a growler refilled. I was only there once or twice because they never seemed open when I wanted to go. A couple of years ago Open Society opened a large space next to Upland’s. When they closed Upland moved in and now they have a real restaurant/bar at a very convenient location.
When I go out to eat I try to get stuff I don’t like to make at home. Either it requires too much time or the ingredients are hard for me to get. On this day I opted for their grilled cheese.
Toasted Sour Dough Bread, Smoking Goose Ham,
Pimento Cheese, Peppadew Peppers
I love each and every one of those ingredients.
It was a messy sandwich but what should you expect? The pimento cheese was very good and the ham had been browned a bit on a flat top so it had a nice crispness. The bread was well toasted and it even had marks that it been but on a char grill. I like that because it brings another layer of flavor. The Peppadews seemed to have gotten lost but it was still a good sandwich. They offer it with fries or chips from the Broad Ripple Chip Co. I got chips. They were okay nothing extraordinary.
We knew the beer was good and now we know that their food on College is on a par as the food they serve in Bloomington and that after all is the Mothership.
As soon as you walk into this place you are struck with the history of this joint. It was opened one month after Prohibition ended in 1934; and it has been run by the McGinley family ever since. From the dark wood back bar to the all mechanical cash register the scene probably has not changed much in the intervening 70 odd years.
The menu is small and is displayed on a sign above the window to the kitchen. The pictures I took did not turn out, so I’m including a link to their website which also shows a bit of their history. They only have two draft heads, both offering Michelob. A brew I haven’t had in probably 30 years. They also have a pretty good inventory of Crafts and imports in a cooler by the door. So I don’t think selection would be an issue.
In addition to the few sandwiches they have they also offer Hoosier chili, clam chowder and bean soup, all made in-house. Since Indianapolis Monthly and the Indianapolis Star both declared the cheeseburger as one of the best in town that made our lunch decision easier. Chili and cheeseburger for me, and since they made the chowder sans onion Clam Chowder and cheeseburger for Pat.
The chili was wonderfully representative of the type prepared by Hoosiers for generations. Meat and beans in a rather tame tomato sauce with a slight hint of cocoa powder and filled with tiny pieces of pasta. Served with saltine crackers, of course.
In today’s world of half pound Black Angus, Wagyu, Bison Beef, Sourdough, Pretzel Bun burgers, the burgers at Golden Ace Inn are a refreshing change of pace. They serve one-third pound patties, hand formed and cooked in a skillet and then put on a common grocery store bun. They still use white onion and even cut them in half. This is a joint dedicated to simplicity and value.
Pat and I really enjoyed this place. I find it hard to believe that neither one of us had been here before. This joint is an anchor of the neighborhood. The fact that it has continually operated this long is a testimony to the business, the neighborhood and the family. I look forward to going back. Price? You ask. Two bowls of soup and two cheeseburgers– $12.25. Three Draft beers and one shot of Bushmills – $11.25. I think this is definitely a place to check out.