eating indie in indy

Posts tagged “Wine tasting descriptors

Ralston’s Tavern on Mass. Ave.

I checked out the website and menu on this place several weeks ago. It seemed a little pretentious and a lot expensive. As a matter of fact, Pat told me he and Fran stopped in there after a bike run and was turned off by the prices. Now it appears they have streamlined the menu and lowered prices. It is still a swanky joint with a lot of attention paid to fruit reductions and such. It also has a huge draft beer selection and one of the coolest wine systems I have seen. When you walk in, you are greeted by a host at a station made of beer cans.

003To the left of the host station is a large dining room and to the right is the bar and more dining room. The bar has two beautiful draft systems and the aforementioned wine pour station.

007004As I said earlier, the menu appears to been trimmed somewhat, but still leans a little to the trendy and chic. Pat ordered Caesar salad with fried chicken and dressing on the side. It was a normal amount of chopped romaine lettuce with five oddly shaped pieces of chicken. Odd because it looked like index finger sized Lincoln logs. Pat thought the chicken was a little dry. He was not a big fan. It was served with a cute little bowl of flat bread points and Parmesan cheese crisp. The only remark he had to make about the crisp, was that it was more a Parmesan cheese non-crisp. As for the dressing it was house made. Thick, creamy and rich with anchovy and Parmesan cheese.  Now Patrick is not a big fan of anchovy so he was not too thrilled. If you dig anchovy, as I do, you would probably enjoy it a lot. The first two tastes were delicious. Even with the heavy anchovy, you can definitely taste the Parmesan cheese. However, after a couple of bites you can see why it is a dressing not a dip. It needs to be tossed with lettuce. It is still a great Caesar dressing. Pat thought it was satisfactory just not worth $13.

008I was torn between their rather funky selections of flat breads and one of their unique sandwiches. Their house burgers are a mixture of shredded potato and ground beef. Interesting. They also have this one.

Bacon, mixed greens, cucumber, green tomato, red peppers with an apple butter spread on flat bread.

Now that would probably be either fantastic or dreadful. I can’t imagine it would leave an eater with no opinion. I decided on a slow roasted pulled pork with the bourbon glaze on a pretzel bun. The pork is tender and slightly sweet from the bourbon glaze.The glaze worked with the pork, allowing you to better taste it. Not mask it like some sauces do.Their selection of sides is rather unique. I chose couscous salad.

Couscous, avocado, black olives, red and yellow peppers, tossed in olive oil. The veggies were small diced and not really plentiful but it was still a very tasty salad.

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It is a swanky joint with swanky food, swanky dishes and a big selection of beer. One last picture of the last thing you’ll probably see,just before you leave.

010Ralston's DraftHouse on Urbanspoon


Datsa Pizza

Pizza-glorious Pizza, that ubiquitous American treat available everywhere in the USA.I tried Datsa Pizza with my eldest son quite some time ago and fell in love at first bite.This was before I started This Ain’t no Bistro;but I did post a very lauditory review on Yelp.However I am admittedly a Pizza junkie;but I think my pallet is mature enough to differentiate the quality of various pies.Now Pat,on the other hand is a Pizza epicure;a connoisseur if you will;he is very particular.That’s probably why it took me so long to get him to try it.

Guess what?Pat liked it as much as I did.He declared only one pie better;in his opinion;that being some joint in Homecroft. I believe it is some joint that was a quasi hang out when we were in highschool.

You see they make their own dough which is a great first step.I know a lot of pizzerias make their own crusts but not all brush them with garlic butter.And not all end up with the same result.A beautiful brown with a crisp exterior and soft interior.It is quite literally a hand tossed beauty.I’m sure they don’t make their own sauce but it is one of the better canned sauces I’ve tried;rich and tomato sweet.The sausage they use isn’t from Smoking Goose but it’s very good,both the sweet and the spicy.Pat would have prefered a finer grind but I enjoy either one.You won’t see duck confit or smoked salmon on the menu but you will find anchovies and all the usual suspects that most people want.The coolest thing is at lunch you can get an individual pizza for $4.75 and additional toppings are 50 cents and 75 cents.Pat and I had a small garlic bread and 2 individuals pies with 2 toppings each and spent $16.We drank water;we almost always drink water when we eat;in order to save room for beer.Speaking of which, Datsa does sell beer,$ 2.75 for domestic bottles and I think $ 3.25 for imports.However in this case we decided to “wet our whistles” at The Living Room Lounge;conveniently located across the street.No matter if you drink beer;H2O or Cola if you like Pizza you really ought to give Datsa a try.

Oh we did it again;or I should say I did it again;forgot to take pictures before we started eating-OOPS.Datsa Pizza on Urbanspoon


If they’re not Deeps;then they are….Shallos.

That was pretty lame I know;but the place,Shallos,in Greenwood is anything but.They stock 500 bottled beers and 36 on draft.They were no longer serving the IPA I wanted to try so the Bartender offered me several suggestions and even gave me a few samples.I ended up drinking 3 beers,in ascending ABV;so by the time I finished I was quite happy,as well as hoppy.But;being the responsible drinker that I am,I ate-and quite well I must say.I ordered their burrito.I knew I wouldn’t get an “authentic” burro,but that’s not what I wanted.I wanted a midwestern version;and I wasn’t dissappointed.I received a big burrito stuffed with well seasoned meat,smothered with a good enchilada sauce,garnished with crisp lettuce and diced tomato.It was a really good-looking plate.I’d planned on taking a picture of it but I forgot until I was half way finished-oops.But I did discover that the slightly spicy and sweet tastes of the southwest marry quite well with the bitter hoppiness of an IPA.As for Patrick he had an IPA too and opted to try a battered cod sandwich.Now this guy loves cod I think we’ve covered that before,he’s probably eaten deep-fried fish everywhere that it is offered in Indy.And Paddy declared that this hunk of battered and deep-fried cod was the best he had ever tried.So there you have it.Unless you live in Elkhart try Greenwood’s Shallos for an honest lunch and a good beer,or 2.Shallo's Restaurant & Brewhouse on Urbanspoon


Kountry Kitchen

We went to this place quite some time ago and from what I hear it’s gotten more awesomer since then (what do you expect from a liberal arts degree)?Anyhoo this place is the real deal.Just be hungry when you go in ‘cuz they are serious about portions.From the baked chicken to the smothered pork chops to the meat loaf;everything was spot on.I know some of you are saying “Hey TJ;what’s the deal about meat loaf;everyone does meatloaf”,well you’re right but not everyone does it well.I use meatloaf as a standard to determine a cook’s skill;the texture the density and of course the flavor,are all important.Now the sides;if a properly crafted meat loaf is a testimony to a kitchen’s skill then their sides are indications of their soul.That being said then the Kountry Kitchen has the skill of a master carpenter and the soul of a Sunday morning church choir.The smashed potatoes are “dirty” (skin left on) full of butter;the dressing had great texture,with enough veggie crunch to keep your interest and the flavor was solid enough to match any protein choice.As for the greens they were tremendous,deep complex smoky flavor ,the best in the city.The only better I’ve had in this town was at Vee’s on Boulevard Place;but the place closed sometime ago.Oh yeah,cornbread,they have pretty good corn bread.The thing about corn bread and greens you have to resist the urge to eat all the bread with butter or what not and wait ’til you finish the greens.At the bottom of the bowl,or cup you’ll see a green liquid;that’s called pot liquor.Now you take your corn bread,crumble it up and mix it with the liquor and eat it with a spoon.Now that is a country meal.So if you’re hankering for a meal like grams would make this is the place.Kountry Kitchen Soul Food on Urbanspoon

UPDATE: This Post was written some time ago. Since that time as I understand it, the establishment has changed owners. I noticed the website is different and the menu is different. I draw no conclusion from that I am merely saying that the food we ate that day may not be the same as you will have now.