Monday, April 21, 2014

Shoefly - Revisit

We were having a family “discussion” the other day (it was a weekend) about where to have lunch. We all have our favorite places and no one could seem to agree. Hubby mentioned Shoefly because even though I had been twice, he had not yet been and wanted to give it a go. I was looking forward to trying something different, so of course I was game.

Based on several recommendations, I decided to get the duck wings off of the appetizer menu ($6) with honey Dijon sauce (you have your choice of several sauces) and the small house salad ($4). The duck wings are pretty darn delicious. The extra meaty and just slightly gamey wings (think of a large chicken wing made with dark meat) were messy but a favorite of the table. My son decided on our next visit he would get an order of these without any sauce. I am not sure I made the right choice as far as the sauce goes—I think maybe the slightly sweet chili oil might be better with duck. I am intrigued by the chimichurri. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the flavor of the honey Dijon (lots of grainy mustard), but I think it would be better with something else.  I was kind of disappointed by the salad. It was mainly romaine lettuce with a bit of radish, a few capers, a boiled egg , Parmesan ,and some green beans (I believe). It was tossed in a lemon/olive oil dressing. I don’t know, the whole thing was just too lettuce heavy and I couldn’t really get much lemon (I need my acid) in the dressing. I love capers, but it’s hard to get one on your fork in a salad. It was just kind of bland. Oh well.

Hubby had the beer battered walleye at my recommendation (half order $11). It was just as good as the first time I had it—moist, tender fish with a light Bier Brewery batter. The fries were some of the best I’ve had on my visits—these were quite crisp. And I love the tartar sauce they serve alongside, as I said in my first post.  We also shared an order of mac and cheese for the table ($7). I still think it could use a little salt and pepper, and unfortunately this one wasn’t quite heated all the way through, but we all enjoyed it anyway.

My daughter had Anna’s gnocchi ($6). Ok, she had two orders of Anna’s gnocchi (so make that $12). She loves gnocchi and enjoyed it. Not thinking it was housemade or anything, but cooked well. It looks like they have changed the menu lately though and it is now ravioli which might make her sad. My son had a burger ($9 w/ cheese) off the regular menu (there isn’t one on the kid’s menu). He quite enjoyed it.

We had the brownie batter wontons for dessert ($5). (My daughter always checks the desserts before she even reads the regular menu). I really quite liked them. They really tasted like raw brownie batter fried into wontons. They were served with a cream sauce alongside which sadly spilled out of its little cup making the parts it touched go a little soft, but it was tasty as well.  I hate to say it but they took these off the menu too in their recent changes because I would get those again too!

I am glad to see they are changing the menu up occasionally (looks like seasonally) even if they do take some of our family favorites off. I appreciate the variety in a family-friendly restaurant like this. I am particularly interested in trying the new asparagus and goat cheese fritters.

Shoefly Public House
122 East 22nd Street
Indy  46202
Shoefly Public House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movable Feast -Revisit

I met my favorite Pilates instructor for lunch the other day at Movable Feast—it’s quick and right by our houses. Although their chicken salad is one of my favorite usuals, it was so cold on this day, I had to get something warm. It was Wednesday and the special of the day (and every Wednesday I believe) was the jerk pork sandwich ($6 I believe). I wasn't even gonna write about this lunch, but then I had the sandwich.

This sandwich is great. Really, really great. It is roasted pork tenderloin that is seasoned with jerk seasoning and sliced pretty thin. It is served on a fairly soft baguette with melty Swiss cheese, lettuce and jerk mayo. The thing about this sandwich, besides for the exceptionally tender pork and the kick from the jerk seasoning is that there is a touch of tanginess. I am not sure if the lettuce was lightly dressed or the tanginess was coming from the mayo, but it was a perfect combination of flavors. I tend to avoid sandwiches like this because so often the heat is the dominant thing, but this one was just balanced in the right way and still had a fair amount of heat. I intended to eat only half of it and ended up eating the whole thing. And I went home and told hubby about it because on a Wednesday very soon he needs to try it as well.

I also had a cup of clam chowder to start—it was the classic New England style—this one heavier on the potato aspect than the cream aspect. It made it a starchier taste than some. It had a good flavor although nowhere near as exciting to me as the sandwich. I liked that there are saltines on every table, because I like to crumble crackers in my soup—particularly clam chowder.

We also shared a red velvet cupcake (I barely got any before she ate it before we even got our lunches). Nice and moist with just the right amount of cream cheese icing. As popular as cupcakes are these days, it’s nice to eat a simple homemade one that is just as good as those cupcake places (and cheaper).  They do a really good “outrageous” chocolate chip cookie too (just beware there’s peanut butter in there).

I couldn't even get a pic before
she ate half of it.
I really enjoy this place. The people who run it and friendly and seem to know a lot of their customers well. Oh, and as a public service announcement, my lunch date wants me to tell everyone that eats here that when it is cold outside to please close the door behind you (it doesn’t automatically close). It’s a small place and when the door is left open, it is really cold.

Now I am wondering about other specials…you guys have any favorites?

Movable Feast
5741 East 71st Street
Indy 46220

Movable Feast on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 14, 2014

Road Trip- Fireside Inn, Enochsburg

Hubby has a very good friend who lives in Cincinnati, but we never seem to be able to make our schedules work to hang out very often because we are all so busy. We decided we would just pick a random place in the middle and go on a weeknight instead. Exactly (literally, the restaurant was exactly 1 hour and 7 minutes away from each of us) in the middle was the Fireside Inn. They specialize in fried chicken. So yeah, no brainer.

It is really a teeny tiny town (Enochsburg) with pretty much just this restaurant. And it’s really a little bar with a family side, which looks like it was built in the 1960s and hasn’t changed much since. Completely casual. You have to laugh when you look at the menu—pretty much every single thing is fried.

We started with an order of the fried pickles (I didn’t take note of the price, but I think they were under $2). They were probably the best fried pickles I have ever had and were probably the highlight of the meal for me. They were super-pickley. Not thick, cucumber-type fresh pickles, but the thin, really salty types you find on burgers. They were battered in a super crisp batter and were just delicious. They were served with a creamy horseradish sauce. I couldn’t stop eating them.

We also had an order of chicken livers ($3.25) because I love them and they are only available on Thursdays, which was the day we were there. Unfortunately, these weren’t very good because they were really over-fried and burnt. That slightly gamey, soft chicken liver flavor was completely cooked away. I am not sure if they were just badly done on this particular day, or this is the way they do them, but I would take a pass. And get some more pickles.
Fried Chicken w/ Chicken livers behind

Hubby and I split a whole fried chicken because our server told us it was the most economical way to do it (it was $12.95 for an entire chicken). You could really tell they were taking a whole chicken and cutting it up—it was hard to decipher some of the pieces right away because they cut them different from typical pieces of fried chicken. They cut the breast pieces into smaller bits—maybe to be able to cook them uniformly. The chicken was good. It was the kind that was probably just lightly seasoned and then fried without little if any batter or breading. Just the chicken skin. A little salt and pepper and it was a tasty meal. Not the best fried chicken I have ever had, but certainly not the worst. And hubby and I managed to eat that whole chicken. Sides are separate –and they only have mashed potatoes on certain nights and only until they run out. (I really would like to try them because it sounds like they are very popular and run out quickly). I had a baked potato just because I couldn’t imagine getting another fried thing.

If you ever find yourself in that area and want a cheap, independent place to grab dinner (a fried dinner that is), this is a good place to stop. Just pay attention to the directions—one route we took had us going down a gravel road for a mile or so before we found the place. The restaurant is run by a family, and the people working there clearly care about the place. I would say it could use some updating in the décor, but if they did, it would take away part of the divey charm.  I hope they don’t change a thing (well, except maybe the chicken livers).

Side note, anyone got any good places to recommend in the Batesville area for our next rendezvous?

Fireside Inn
2174 County Line Road
Greensburg, IN 47240

Fireside Inn on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tegry Bisto

I know there is really good sushi, and sushi that is just okay, but this was my first experience with bad sushi. Hubby and I were going to a party near Brownsburg and thought trying a new sushi place was a good idea so we didn’t eat too much for dinner so we could partake in the hors d'oeuvres that would be served at the party as well.

I was happy to find an independent restaurant on this side of town, amongst what looks like a lot of chains. I was impressed with how crowded the restaurant was as well; especially considering it was pretty early still. I was a little nervous about service after reading some things online, but our server was prompt and brought us drinks right away. I ordered a bowl of miso soup ($2.50) and she brought it quickly. The broth was one of the better ones I have had, a little more depth to it, not just a clear broth. The stuff in it was weak though. Very few very teeny cubes of tofu and just a couple of pieces of seaweed and scallions.

We had already ordered our sushi at the same time and this was the part where I started to realize what people were talking about with service. It wasn’t our actual server; it was the length of time it took to get our sushi. And then after looking around, I realized most people had not gotten their food yet either and they were here before us. So we settled in for a wait.  It was probably a good 45-55 minutes before we got the sushi.

I guess the best of what we ordered was probably the caterpillar roll ($8.75) but probably because it actually had the least amount of fish in it. It was a roll that had eel on the outside and was topped with thinly sliced avocado and eel sauce. It was fairly simple and not bad. Not great, but not bad.

So yeah, the other rolls just weren’t very good. I wouldn’t say the fish wasn’t fresh, but it wasn’t the level of quality I have had nearly everywhere else. One roll, the crunch rainbow ($12.99) was particularly bad. The varying types of fish across the top were off. There were at least two pieces of fish that I had to actually remove from my mouth because they were so chewy. The inside of that roll was shrimp tempura, spring mix and avocado. It was really chewy inside too, which was pretty off-putting as well. The shrimp had clearly been fried quite a while ago and the tempura coating on it was soggy. I have seen sushi places use panko-crusted shrimp that were pre-fried, but if you are using tempura, they need to be fresh. And crisp on the edges.

The last roll we had was the cherry blossom roll ($11.99), which was spicy tuna, cilantro and jalapeno inside and tuna on the outside with 3 sauces. Again, the tuna on top wasn’t very good and the herbs and jalapeno, which should have given it crispness, did not. 

Hubby also had a couple of pieces of salmon nigiri ($4.99). This really tells you about the fish quality because, in general, sushi places seem to save the best cuts for this type of presentation since it is really just the fish. These pieces of salmon were practically flavorless and were not as tender as nigiri should be.

Part of the problem was every part of the experience was off somehow, not just the fish. The nori inside the roll was too chewy, the rice was crumbly and the rolls were just put together very sloppily. And it sort of seemed like one of them may have been sitting awhile before they brought it to us (which is crazy considering how long it took). Even the soy sauce tasted funny. Almost too salty or something. It tasted cheap. And I am pretty sure they store the wine in the same fridge with the fish. At least it tastes like it.

Needless to say, this is a place that we will not be repeating and to be quite frank, between the quality of the food, and the length of time it takes to get it, I am quite surprised the place is so busy.

Tegry Bistro
1521 North Green Street
Indianapolis, IN 46112

Tegry Bistro on Urbanspoon