The Garrison is located at the Old Fort Benjamin Harrison site. Specifically it is the old officer’s club. It overlooks the golf course and is just down the road from the Hotel. The whole thing sits on a State Park but I believe it is privately run. The only reason for that belief is the food is too good. Were it run by the State the food would probably be prepared by some contract corporation that offers a lesser product. If I am wrong I apologize to anyone offended.
The place is open for lunch during the week, brunch on Saturday and Sunday and dinner only on Friday and Saturday nights. In all cases the service is in the form of a buffet. To be frank I was quite surprised by the quality of the food. Impressed even.
The whole buffet is tucked into a corner of a large dining room so it looks small and non consequential. When you get there you realize that they offer all the salad “stuff” you need. There is also a small station in the center that provides 2 hot soup and cobblers.
I probably should have taken a shot when the fried chicken was full, but I was busy eating.
Two of the desserts Pat ate.
I ate 2 desserts as well as a plate of salad. I concentrated more on the hot food. Across the board I was quite pleased with everything. The ribs were fall off the bone tender and the fried fish was both crisp and moist. However I think the 2 main stars were the fried chicken, followed closely by a meat “ragout” with rice. Both were outstanding.
The beans had real bacon in them; which is always a hit with Hoosiers. They even set out fried biscuits with apple butter. A totally splendid spread. I am told that the Brunch Buffet is even better. It is served in a larger room so I can imagine what it must look like. For Sunday a reservation is recommended. For our lunchtime buffet it only cost $10.99, drink included. I find that to be the most incredible thing I have come across this week.
Well Javier is back in the kitchen. For many years he ran the best Mexican kitchen in the city. El Sol. A couple of years ago Javier left, and then unexpectedly the joint closed. Well now he’s back. In the same building but with a different name.
A few years back he redid the entire dining room. Using hand-made chairs and tables from Mexico he made the whole joint resemble an open air plaza. Complete with a fountain.
The salsa is fresh and the chips are warm, but the guacamole is a show stopper. He offers it three ways. Traditional with tomatoes etc., a personalized version with Mexican oregano and the 1800. This recipe is more than 200 years old. Avocado, garlic, fire roasted Serrano chiles and salt. Hand ground in a stone mortar and pestle. It is more than good.
Their web site is still under construction so I scanned their menu. This I will add to Urban Spoon. Their lunch menu shows up on their Face page. I urge you to check out the menu. For folks who want authentic. Here it is.
Pat’s Cochinta Pibil was $8.95 with black beans, and sweet plantains. And of course flour tortillas.
Having never tried Javier’s tamales before that is what I ordered, from the lunch menu. Three tamales, chicken or beef and black beans and salad. Again $8.95. I opted for the pig. Three good-sized tamales, robust and savory with nice strands of meat. The beans were really good, and the rice was tasty and colorful just a mite dry. I really enjoy the salad they add. Spring mix with a light vinaigrette and pickled onions.
I am surprised that this post is as short as it is, considering my natural tendency to ramble. Well here it is. I am sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to folks that remember El Sol. Javier is back and he is as good as always. If nothing else you owe it to yourself to try the 1800 guacamole. It is that good.