eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “west side Indy

Saigon Restaurant 4760 W. 38th Street

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Pat and I have eaten here in the pre-blog days. Then it was about one-third the size and was located on Lafayette Road. I am really glad that their business grew enough that they needed to expand. Like most Asian inspired restaurants they offer several lunch specials for $6.95 and $7.95. Each lunch comes with a choice of  soup and a soft spring roll or crisp egg roll. The soups they offered were a mushroom and a crab meat asparagus soup.

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Pat was a bit nonplussed with the sauce he was served with his egg roll. Instead of the thick orange-colored sweet and sour normally served, this sauce was thin and clear. It was basically a sweetened vinegar;which I actually thought better than the normal orange stuff.

The last time we ate here I remember the crab soup and spring roll very well. I thought them both delicious. So that is what I decided on to go with an order of shrimp and vegetables.

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I acknowledge that nothing stays the same. Such is the way of nature. However in the world of food and beverage some things should stay the same. I refer to the Crab and Asparagus soup. The last time  it was crisp and clear with pieces of crab meat and slices of asparagus with bits of herb on top. This was a gelatinous cup of chicken stock with a few pieces of asparagus. No discernible crab at all. That is not to say it was a horrid soup,it wasn’t horrid at all. It was an excellent chicken stock it just wasn’t a good crab? and asparagus soup. It would make a great chicken and noodle soup,or a chicken and rice soup or a chicken and anything soup. Just not a crab and asparagus soup.

As for the spring roll I was disappointed in that as well. The flavor and texture were not as I remember. Nor was this roll as fresh tasting as others I have had else where.

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As for my shrimp dish it was very good. Nicely prepared with the obligatory vegetables in the customary sauce and a big scoop of perfectly steamed white rice. Since I live closer to this joint than Pat I can see myself coming back. However I would give the mushroom soup and egg roll more consideration or else forego the lunch specials altogether and order from the menu. Speaking of which here is a link to their website.

http://www.saigonrestaurant-indy.com/

Saigon Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Working Man’s Friend Tavern 234 N. Belmont

After going to more contemporary joints the last couple of weeks I thought we needed a change. We needed to go back to our roots. So we decided to visit a local legend. The Working Man’s Friend. Pat and I have both been here several times but this is the first time we visited together. Sometimes we forget that the older joints have as much to offer a community as the newer more trendy spots. This place opened in 1918 as a lunch counter built by an immigrant from Macedonia named Louie Stamatkin. We met the third generation owner; Becky, and she has as clear a business perspective as her ancestor. She showed us a copy of the history of the joint, the short version;but I didn’t bring my scanner so I had to rely on the phone camera.

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I apologize for the poor copy. I was unable to find an alternate source so this is all I am able to give.

The place offers several tables and a 60 foot long bar. A bar that was the longest in Indianapolis when it was built in 1952. Since their menu is limited they rely on 2 signs to tell the clientele. A small one on a side wall.

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And a more extensive sigh behind the bar.

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As a bar they do offer the basic liquors and bottled beer. As for their drafts they only offer Bud and Bud Light. Of course they do sell a 32 ounce frosted goblet for about 5 bucks.

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As for the “ambiance” it was as old-time as you would expect. No exposed ducts or art work. Just the usual beer distributor give a ways behind the bar.

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Pat and I both opted for burgers. They do have a fish sandwich,but Pat forgot that,or didn’t notice so he ordered a double with fries.

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About their burgers. They are simply ground beef, nothing proprietary,just plain cow. They seem to be put up in 4 ounce patties and then smashed on a hot griddle. The seasoning is minimal;if at all. The appeal is the beefy crispness of the burger. The bun is a generic store bun but the overall flavor makes this an exceptional bite. They use shredded lettuce;which I do like, even though I opted for just onion and pickle. For the double they give a middle bun;like a Big Mac. But you can get it without.

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My single was crispy and tasty. There is always a danger that a smashed burger can be dry. But if they are done with the proper amount of attention and brought out in time that is not an issue. Pat opted for fries but I decided on onion rings. These are beer battered and fried and are delicious.

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I was very impressed with the rings. I know they are the bane of Pat’s existence but if you aren’t allergic a good battered onion ring is a wonder. So if you want to wander into an Old School lunch room then by all means try this one. They are open from 11 to 5 and only take cash.

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