This little joint changed hands about 2 years ago. Before the change it was an Italian eatery. The current owners, Gina and her husband were frequent diners and friends with the old owner. Cut to the chase and they ended up as the new owners. New owners with no restaurant experience. We got all of this from our discussion with Gina;one of the new owners. She is a delightful lady with both charm and talent. An artist by trade; and an I.U grad she and her husband are the guiding lights of a cozy little joint with a fun and slightly quirky menu.
It was a rainy morning and we felt we needed a sweet fix so. we started with an order of fried biscuits with apple butter for $4.
These were delightful little bites. Bits of fried dough covered with sugar. In an act of lily gilding they serve them up with apple butter. Add a cup of coffee and you have a really tasty start to your day.
They serve breakfast and lunch most of the day. In addition to the traditional cafe items they offer some fun dishes. Such as the Tater Tot Scramble. That is two eggs scrambled with ham, bacon, sausage and tots then covered with sausage gravy and then topped with cheddar cheese. It comes with toast for $8.50.
This is not haute cuisine. It is a a fun and filling dish featuring all of the basic food groups you would expect for breakfast. From a strict culinary standpoint it has too much stuff in it,but that’s okay. The eggs were very soft and the gravy was very creamy. Actually I was impressed with the overall execution of the dish. The only reason I wouldn’t order it again is because all of the other fun stuff I would like to try.
For a couple of rookies Gina and her husband are doing a really good job. I am including a link to their menu because I think it is a fun one.
This was actually a church from 1880 to 1949. It was owned by the Diocese from then until it was sold to private concerns in the 1990’s. Nothing was done with it until a group bought it to turn into a brewery. This same group owns a couple of other joints in town. Chatham Tap and Ralston Draft House. Now both of these places are solid. I like them both. However I gotta’ say this. Considering the magnitude of this project they might wanna’ kick it up a notch. So let’s go in
When you first walk in you are simply amazed at the size of the place. Wood floors. Wooden pews and foot worn stairs leading up to the balcony for the choir. Wood and windows gives it bright and warm atmosphere. I spent a half hour just looking at stuff.
All of these last shots were taken from the loft. They also have seating up there. Pat and I decided to set downstairs. I ordered a flight of 4 beers. I picked two and Pat picked two
The flight was $7. That is pretty typical.
Pat chose his lunch from the small plates or appetizer section of the menu.
Pat was right. His small plate was $8.50. Small sweet tater tots, a few scraps of bacon and a bit of shredded cheese. They were pretty good, but they were pretty pricey.
I thought the menu was spot on. Of course, as always it depends on the execution. All of their sandwiches come with a choice of fries, pickled veggies, slaw or fruit. I decided on their burger. Named after the chef/partner.
Smoked cheddar, pork belly, red onion & Beer B-Q sauce
Sounds tasty, doesn’t it. Well it wasn’t what I thought it would be. There was no bacon,pork belly. As it was explained to me the pork belly was incorporated into the patty, like a frikadellen. That is nice but it should have been written that way. I ordered my burger mid rare. It came out medium. Which is as it should be if there is pig in the mix. Tell people please. Also the smoked cheddar was shredded cheddar. Sorry I do not get it. Shredded cheese is good for a quesadilla. Not a burger.
The BBQ sauce was pretty good. The fries were ho-hum. And I really think a $12.50 price tag was a bit much.
The bun was really good. Crisp and toasty.
I did like their choice of greens. So I am not too concerned about this joint. They have experience. They have skill. I am just miffed that my burger wasn’t what I thought it would be. Of course your IPA was pretty good. So I know you will get it together. Just a matter of time. Just do it the way you say you will do it.
This week’s target was the Red Lion in Fountain Square. Pat and Fran had been there before so it wasn’t a complete mystery. The location is the old GC Murphy lunch counter; so it’s not too big of a space. Our server Katie told us up front she was fighting a hangover;something I’m sure we can all appreciate. I told her before lunch is over I would have to take her picture for my blog. She groaned, and then posed obligingly. However due to her frail condition at the time I won’t publish her picture; especially since I remembered to take pictures of our food. Patrick decided on a Hoosier tradition, a breaded tenderloin. He declared it a first-rate effort. A nice portion of tender meat with minimal breading; just enough to protect the flesh and offer a pleasant crunch. All their sandwiches come with fries, or you could substitute baked beans, or tater tots. They hand cut all their fries and the result is a great 7/16 skin on french fry properly fried and seasoned. Naturally I chose the meatloaf sandwich with tater tots. The meatloaf came on toasted white bread, with a little dab of gravy, Swiss cheese and topped with onion rings. The meatloaf was well-prepared however to me it was too peppery. I don’t believe it was the gravy I think it was the meatloaf. The two onion rings on top were crispy and tasty. However, the bread could have been a whole lot crisper. The slightly crisp bread coupled with the gravy made the bread more chewy then crisp. Overall I think lunch was quite good.It gives me a “hankering” for some of their more substantial fare. Like ; bubble and squeak, bangers and mash, and hot pie. However if I ever go back to that particular place is still debatable. I will explain later.
I discovered a new beer; a Triton Brown ale. Katie first told me it was a double barrel Brown from Triton. And then she told me it was Sweet Georgia Brown from Triton. In either event it was delicious.Today I went to their website and discovered all they had was a double brown, no Sweet Georgia Brown. Now I am confused. No matter, as that Shakespeare fella said that which we call a rose etc.
Now back to the buzz kill. I took pictures of our server Katie, a delightful Fat Tire neon sign at the end of the bar as well as our food. No problem. We were sitting at a deuce next to a wooden partition that separated the kitchen from the dining area,it was all of 5 foot high. When I stood to take a picture of the kitchen I was told by someone in a position of authority that picture-taking was not allowed. I thought it was funny. I asked Katie what would happen if “the big boss” caught me taking pictures. Would he confiscate my camera or what. She told me, in a joking fashion that he would “beat me up”.I had no problem with what had transpired up to that point. It was their prerogative to allow pictures or not. However they could have handled it differently. What appalled me was the fact that prior to this we got smiles and in general acknowledgment of our existence. Afterwards we were treated as pariahs.No one spoke to us or even looked at us. That led to an interesting situation in trying to get our check and pay our bill and leave. It doesn’t negate the fact that the food is decent, the prices are okay and the service is good, as long as you don’t piss off the Boss Lady. Any issue I might have with this joint is just that, my issue. The joint is worth trying. Just keep the cameras in your pocket.