Monday, June 10, 2019

Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe

This may be the closest restaurant to my house so when I saw it open, I knew I had to give it a try. I was disappointed a bit that it is a chain, but at least it has a unique cuisine for fast casual dining—Mediterranean food. It’s one of those places where you order your food at the register and they bring it out to you. They menu is pretty big and they are proud to tell where different ingredients come from and try to offer several healthy options. 

We started with the appetizer of whipped feta ($5.99) blended with spices, topped with honey and served with pita on the side. You can get soft pita or baked crunchy pita or a mix of both—which is what we got. This was delicious. I was impressed. Hubby and I had had a similar dish at a restaurant in Nashville and loved it—this was very similar and very good. The feta is creamy and tangy but flavored with some herbs and spices and the sweet honey takes the edge off the feta. I was undecided whether I preferred the soft pita or the crunchy pita—both were very good. The soft pita was basic, but good and the crunchy baked pita had more seasoning on it and was more like a cracker. I just ate some of both. If I had to choose, I would probably go crunchy, but I really liked having some of each.

My daughter ordered the grilled chicken basil-pesto chicken gyro ($9.99). This was very tasty—it was strips of very tender seasoned chicken with pesto, tomatoes and feta inside a wrap. I was impressed with all the dishes as to how tender the chicken all was. Not sure how they keep it so tender, but it was great. Kind of like a Greek burrito. Nearly all the dishes come with chips and a choice of a second side. My daughter got the rice—which looked kind of bland to me, but she said it was good (I didn’t try it). 

My mother-in-law had the weekend special that was a pasta dish—“Taziki’s signature pasta” ($8.99). So there is a bed of lettuce on the bottom and penne pasta and chicken on top that has been tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. The pasta then has chopped tomatoes, feta and fresh basil on top. Again, I was impressed with how tender the chunks of chicken were. And I really liked the balsamic flavor for “sauce.” It was unique and I like the acid. Add tomato and feta and it was a tasty dish. Enough for two people, but good. She ordered a side of the tomato-cucumber salad which was nice too and could be a good garnish for the sandwiches—it was nicely marinated and had some onions in there too. 

I ordered the grilled chicken roll-up ($7.99) which is a flour tortilla filled with chicken, tomato and feta and then grilled so the tortilla is crisp. The little rolls are served with fresh salsa. You really need the salsa with this—otherwise the dish is a little boring. I sort of wished for a bit more of the tomato and cheese—and maybe some taziki sauce as well, although the salsa was very tasty. It just needed a little more, even though again, the chicken was nice and tender. I had the fruit as my side, and I will pass on this in the future—it was a little too melon heavy for me.

I would certainly order that feta dip again and would like to try their hummus and taziki as well. I wish they had a combo plate of the dips—they also have a pimento cheese. I would be nice to try them all. I couldn’t even get them to sell me a small side of taziki to go with my lunch. She only would sell me an entire other appetizer size, which we didn’t need. Offering small sides might be a good idea. 

My daughter also got some of the dark chocolate cake ($2.79). She always gets desserts, especially if there is chocolate cake. I have to say, we agreed this was the weakest thing we ate. It just had a weird taste that we didn’t care for. 

But overall, even though it is a chain, and given its proximity to our home, it will likely become a fairly regular stop. I like the unique flavors for a fast-casual place. And that you could get something fairly healthy but still with some flavor. They also offer full dinners for 4 to carry out which might be something we try as well. And they have beer and wine. Not a huge selection, but some local beers and a couple of wine choices. 

If you have been, what were your thoughts?

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe 
4025 E. 82nd Street
Indy. 46250

Monday, June 3, 2019

U.S. Adventures: Austin

A few weeks ago, we made a super quick trip to Austin to see some good friends and see a concert. Of course there was food mixed in, and here’s where we went (yes, that’s right, there is no barbecue in this post, get over it). 

We ate dinner at a hip place called the Odd Duck. It’s a shared plate/tapas type place with a very energetic atmosphere and a super eclectic menu. Probably my favorite dish of the night was the redfish ceviche ($14). It had a great lime flavor and had cilantro, olives (yum!) and carrot curry. Very interesting flavors—lots of acid. They recommended we just mix it all together, including the chips and we did. It was delicious. Oh, and you gotta love the Paloma drink here ($10). The drink itself was super good with tequila, aperol, grapefruit, tarragon and ginger—but the coolest thing was instead of a salt rim, they put a salt foam on top. You got a little bit with each sip, but it was a soft texture instead of the crunhy salt—it was much milder and softer taste too. It was really good. 

Next we had the seeded homemade pretzel sticks stuck into broccoli queso ($8). Also, totally delicious. Think of a really good soft pretzel in a really thick rich broccoli cheddar soup. Really a kind of genius idea if you think about it. So much better than the generic nacho cheese and more interesting than beer cheese.

We also had the antelope tataki ($12) with leek aioli, cabbage, sesame and rosemary crackers. Also really good—I am pretty sure I have never had antelope tataki before and it was tender and flavorful. The aioli added a nice brightness to the dish.  The basic bread plate ($7) here was also really tasty—local sourdough bread with cultured butter and flaky sea salt. It was simple, but really good as well. And a nice addition to dishes that weren’t particularly carb heavy.

We had some Asian style goat nuggets that were on special as well. They had a great, slightly spicy, slightly sweet flavor. The texture of the meat varied, some pieces a bit chewy—but when you got a good one, it was pretty tasty. Even if one of our friends seemed disturbed about eating goat. There was also a pasta dish ($19) that has a goat chili on it as well as goat feta, cilantro and radish. The noodles were thick and eggy and the toppings gave a unique flavor for a pasta dish. Lots of goat on this menu.

Dessert was tasty too—it was like a deconstructed chocolate cake—hunks of cake with sweet potato caramel pudding and orange marmalade. The chunks of torn cake were really good—super fudgy tasting. And I ended up liking the sweet potato with it more than I thought. Especially the crisp chips on top. Overall, I think I prefer sweet potato in a dessert it seems.

Odd Duck is a unique place—really trendy and lots of good bites and flavors. Certainly some better than others, but worth checking out. 
At my insistence, we also went back to Home Slice Pizza. Last time we waited nearly 2 hours to get seated so we went early, not knowing what to expect. It turns out on Easter (the day we were there), it is not crowded at all. We sat outside and ordered some knots ($4.50 for 4) (a lot of them actually because our friends’ kids love them). They are good, but they are not the reason I go—to me they are just pizza dough in a knot served with marinara. Not much luring me in here—give me some garlic butter any day.

The pizza though, the pizza is amazing (around $20-25 for a large depending on toppings). It’s New York style and is really, really good. Super thin but with just the right amount of toppings so it doesn’t fall apart when you are eating it. And they literally put the perfect amount of toppings on it in my opinion and sauce—not so much that it makes the crust mushy. Love this pizza and wish we had one near us. Brozinni is our closest place serving great New York style pizza for me, and it’s nearly in Greenwood, which is a pretty long trek for me.

All in all, it was s super quick trip, but as always, we ate well (and don’t worry hubby was there longer than me and had some barbecue too).

Odd Duck
1201 S. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

Home Slice Pizza
501 E. 53rd Street
Austin, TX 78751

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Ukiyo- Revisit

This week hubby and I had a date night and decided on Ukiyo. I was interested to see how the menu had shifted now that we are going into summer. I was not disappointed. First of all, one of the first things they told us were the specials which included soft-shell crab. So instantly, I was happy.

We ordered two soft-shell crabs (there was one per order) ($13 each). Loved the pickled ramps with it—added a saltiness to the crabs that was tasty. They were just lightly fried with corn starch—a very light batter. These were super meaty crabs too—love it when you get a nice bite of crab with the crunchy soft shell. I will admit, I did dip it into some of the sauce from the gyoza—which was a soy/vinegar sauce with a bit of heat.

So those vegetable gyozas ($15) were also so good. They were wontons stuffed with scallions, mushrooms and glass noodles—it was minced inside so it still came across similar in consistency to a pork dumpling even though it was veggie. The filling was super flavorful and the dumpling itself was perfectly seared on one side. Like I said, the slightly spicy vinegar soy dipping sauce was really, really good. I could sit and eat those little dumplings all day. And I am glad to see they finally have dumplings on the menu. Maybe they will do a seafood one someday—that would be so good too.

We had the negiyaki ($13) as well which was a potato, leek, and green onion pancake with a ginger miso sauce and a fried sunny side up egg and fish flakes on top. I enjoyed the flavor of this one a lot, but the stringiness of the leeks and green onions made the texture a little off for me. That egg was perfect though.

We also had the tuna nigiri tasting flight ($16), which was a fun thing to try—you got one piece each of the lean tuna, the fatty tuna, and the really fatty belly tuna. Honestly, I probably liked the first two the best—and even that lean piece just melted in your mouth. The belly tuna was actually a little too fatty for me—made it a little chewy. But hubby loved it. Although he did say he would be perfectly content with either of the first two as well. It was fun to compare them.

Lastly, we had the crab fat fried rice ($17). This might have been hubby’s favorite thing of the evening. I loved the way they put the warm egg yolk in the middle of it to mix in to the rice, which cooked it a little bit more, but still stayed runny, as opposed to scrambling them into the rice. It gave it a luxurious creamy texture. And you can’t go wrong with the big chunks of crab in there. There was also a sweet/tanginess from yuzu and saltiness from miso. 

All in all, this was the best meal I have had at Ukiyo to date. I have always enjoyed it, but I feel like the menu is continuing to evolve and it has been for the better. If you have yet to check it out, now is the time. And hopefully they will still have the soft-shell crab.

4907 49th Street
Indy  46205

Monday, May 20, 2019

Caplinger's -Revisit

You know how much I love soft shell crabs. The other day I saw this picture on Instagram and immediately texted hubby to say we were going for lunch. Sadly, by the time we got there, they were already out of the soft-shell crabs, which made me sad. However, since we were already there, we went ahead and ordered the “The platter” ($15.99) to share. This is a dinner that consist of one piece of fried basa, ¼ pound of fried shrimp and ¼ pound of fried clam strips. Also, you get two sides and two hushpuppies.  My son got the Caplinger’s special sandwich ($6.99) which comes with 1 side. 

They fry up some good  seafood at Caplinger’s, and even though I was sad about the soft-shell crab. The basa is actually even better than some of the more expensive fish I think—it has great flaky but moist texture. The shrimp might be my favorite though—their little fried shrimp are delicious. The clam strips were a mixed review—hubby didn’t love them, but I had several that were really soft and tender. A couple were chewy (why hubby didn’t like them). They give you cocktail sauce and remoulade sauce—I really like the remoulade. It is tangy and has some nicely seasoned. I like this on everything. The hush puppies are tasty too—a nice corn bread type flavor. We always get the fries which are heavily seasoned waffle fries. Love them in ketchup. I struggle with a second side—the weakness of Caplinger’s for me is the sides. We get mac and cheese, which is tasty, but not as good as the fried stuff. 

My son loved his sandwich, although he usually ends up eating it open faced because their pretzel rolls are really big. 

All in all, even though I was sad about the sift shells (always another day), we had a very tasty lunch. And we got a nice piece of fresh salmon for dinner on the way out. Caplinger’s is a great place to have in Indy and I hope you go if you haven’t already (they are closed Monday though, so don’t go today!).

Caplinger’s Fresh Seafood
7460 North Shadeland Ave
Indy. 46250

Monday, May 13, 2019

Northside Social - Revisit

Hubby and I were having a hard time deciding where to eat the other day, but we wanted a nice sit-down place, not too far, locally owned, and where we could get in without a reservation.  So we settled on Northside Social. It had been awhile, and I have heard a few good things lately—and the last dinner I had was pretty good even though it was a long time ago. I like the low country bent of the menu—southern coastal food with a fair amount of Cajun type flavors. 

I appreciate the upscale interior of this place—particularly in Broad Ripple. Sadly, it was pretty empty when we got there—although it picked up somewhat while we were there. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. 

We started with the mushroom tart ($13). It was a tart crust topped with a whole lot of sautéed (local) mushrooms, a big slab of Capriole Kentucky Tomme cheese, petals of pickled red pearl onions and crispy fried kale. This was truly delicious. Honestly, I couldn’t get over how good it was. The buttery tart with the rich, slightly pungent cheese, earthy mushrooms and kale and the perfect hit of acid with the onions was tremendous. I would get this every time.

For our main dishes, we got the fried chicken (shocker I know) ($23) and a special pasta dish with shrimp. The fried chicken was pickle brined and buttermilk marinated and had more of a corn meal sort of breading. It was served with pimento mac and cheese and bacon braised collard greens. I loved the very mild sour flavor from the pickle and buttermilk, the crust was unbelievably crisp—normally I don’t prefer a cornmeal crust, but this was really tasty. And we didn’t eat it all that night and it was almost better the next day. I was super impressed by how moist and tender all the chicken was—even the breast, which was very large—which I find to be notoriously dry usually. The mac and cheese was a large portion and extremely decadent with pimento cheese. The collard greens weren’t bad either, although compared to everything else, they weren’t as impressive. 

Sadly, the pasta was not as tasty as everything else for me, although it was still good. It was pasta with a light buttery pesto-type sauce with spring peas, pine nuts and some large shrimp. The shrimp were not overcooked, which was nice. Hubby liked it more than I did—or I guess I just preferred the other things. 

All in all, I was quite impressed with the food we had and the various flavor profiles in each dish. If you haven’t been in a while, you might want to check it out again. 

Northside Social
6525 N. College Ave
Indy.  46220

Monday, May 6, 2019

Milktooth- Revisit

Hubby and I had a free weekday lunch the other day and decided to head to Milktooth. I have not been in quite a while and it was still as busy as I remember—we had to wait quite a bit for a table. Eventually we got the end of one of the community tables.

We were lured back in by the fact they had returned the Korean BBQ wings to the menu, which were always a favorite. For a long time they replaced them with hot wings that had a warning that came on the menu saying they were so hot and that they wouldn’t offer a refund if you thought they were too hot. I hate food that eats away your taste buds, and I hate the fact that they billed something like this—a total turnoff to me. But when I saw the BBQ wings, I was excited.

However, once we got there, we decided we should try something new to go with the burger that we absolutely had to get (it is one of the best in town if you ask me no matter how they make it). So we ordered the burger, and we went with the everything spice fried new potatoes with a sunny side egg, cream cheese chive aioli, shallot, caper and dill pickle ($12). This was a great dish and we were very happy we ventured out with something new (even though I still want those wings). It’s sort of like all the flavors of bagel and lox without the salmon, if that makes sense. And I loved, loved the pickles and capers with it. And the creamy aioli—but with tons of texture from all the seeds. 

Like I said, the burger ($12) is always good. Always. Sometimes they mix up the meat, sometimes the toppings. This one was a double--sometimes they are singles. Since the first time I have gotten it, I nearly always have repeated it. The meat is tender, the sauces add just the right amount of flavor and interest. And the bun is just the right softness. It’s one of our best Indy burgers, let’s face it.

All in all, while it may not be the hot place, and while I may not be able to go as often as I used to, it is still a great place. I am glad to see that they are continuing to mix up the menu on occasion, as it seemed like it got a little stagnant for a while.  If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time. 

540 Virginia Ave
Indy  46203

Monday, April 29, 2019


My daughter is a bit of a cupcake fanatic. Really sweets in general, but she is easily lured in by cupcakes. When she saw that there was a new place in Broad Ripple, she wanted to try it right away. Sadly, the first time we went there, they were totally out of cupcakes. Still open, but no cupcakes. It was kind of a bummer. I guess they also service ice cream, but we were in the market for cupcakes only.

The next time we went early, and luckily, they were fully stocked with everything. We had people over, so we got an assortment of flavors. We had pink chocolate (which is really just chocolate cake with pink buttercream icing, vanilla and chocolate (yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing), lemon drop, chocolate cream, a dulce du leche, and one with caramel and pretzels that was a special. Oh, and a strawberry one for the daughter’s boyfriend.

The best of the lot was probably the chocolate cream—which looks like a fancy hostess chocolate cupcake with a little cream filling inside and some on top of the fudge icing as well. I liked this one a lot because the cake was one of the moistest of them all and the icing was super rich and fudgy. My next favorite was the lemon drop because it was really fresh and lemony—I was surprised by its tartness, but it was a pleasant surprise. 

The dulce du leche was a favorite as well—I think the caramel and cream added moisture too. The regular ones with buttercream were the least exciting and also the dryer ones of the lot. They didn’t have any filling either, which added to the dryness.  I love a vanilla cake with chocolate icing, but I would have preferred a fudgy icing likes the one on the chocolate cream. 

All in all, a tasty addition to Broad Ripple, with some tasty options that I would get again. If you’ve had any of the special flavors, let me know your favorites.

930 Broad Ripple Ave
Indy 46220

Monday, April 22, 2019

Half Liter

The newest addition to the Sahm’s empire is Half Liter, which is a Texas-style BBQ place that is in the back of Liter House on the Monon. It’s an impressive huge high-ceilinged place with vary casual picnic style tables. Downstairs there are only the benches and tables, but I think upstairs has some regular tables with chairs with backs. The one weird thing is I still don't know where the "front" door is on this place. I ended up going in through the patio because the door by the parking lot that said enter here was locked. 

It’s a cool place though and it was packed for a midday lunch (but not so packed we didn’t get a table right away). The concept is Texas dry rub BBQ and they serve several different BBQ sauces on the table. They have a Carolina-style mustard sauce, a traditional Texas style red sauce and a sweet, Dr. Pepper-based sauce. I ordered a quarter chicken leg for my lunch ($7) and it came with 2 sides. I went with potato salad (because I always try potato salad whenever I try a BBQ place) and a green salad because I was feeling peckish for something green.  The chicken was really, really good. I always worry that it will be horribly dry, but this chicken was anything but. It was so, so good. Super moist and with a ton of smoky flavor. It was a big leg/thigh quarter and it was a great lunch portion for me. I would be hard-pressed not to order the exact same thing again. Seriously, really good. As for the sides, the potato salad was a no-go for me. I am weird about potato salad and when I like it, I really like it. And if I don’t like it, I just don’t. There’s no middle ground. This one had celery in it, which isn’t my favorite, but it also had a certain sweet flavor I didn’t care for. Like I said, I am super weird about potato salad. Although my green salad was simple—just fresh lettuce, red onion and tomatoes. They only have like 3 choices for dressing (again one of the choices is Dr. Pepper flavored). I went with ranch and was happy I did—it was really tasty—not just ranch but ranch with some spicy kick to it that went well with the BBQ. 

My friend had the Eddie’s melt sandwich ($10) with one side. The sandwich was really interesting—it had pulled pork, collard greens, pimento cheese, and caramelized onions  It was something I am not sure I would have ordered before, but really enjoyed. His mac and cheese side was the superior of the two hot sides for sure. Not fancy or anything, but really good. 

We also got to try the cornbread and the waffle fries randomly, because I guess they made a serving of them on accident and because we were by the service window, they gave them to us. The waffle fries were good waffle fries—I liked that they made them a little unique with some extra seasoning. The cornbread was a nope for me. So dry and crumbly it bordered on sandy. But it was nice to have the opportunity to try them out.

All the meat I tried (which sadly wasn’t a ton) was spot on. Had a good deep smoky flavor and was very tender. The sides were kind of hit or miss—honestly, I would likely go for the mac and a salad again because I liked the dressing so much. There are several other options to try. And of course you can never go wrong with tots. 

I am looking forward to going back with more people and trying some more of the meats. Hubby can’t wait to try the brisket. Anyone had it?

Half Liter
5301 Winthrop Ave 
Indy 46220

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thai Basil

Recently I found myself in Brownsburg at lunch time, and this is not an area I am familiar with, so I took to the twitterverse and asked for help. I got several good recommendations, but settled on Thai Basil, as recommended by @thejoeball. There were actually several spots that were tempting, which I was surprised by, but Thai food sounded good. 

It’s a cute little place with table service—although for some reason, it took quite a while to place my order and get my drink. They were decently busy, but not super busy. But eventually I put my order in for my very favorite Thai dish—the sautéed eggplant with chicken. Here they call it “Tasty Eggplant” ($11.99). They have a bunch of lunch specials that run $8.99 and come with soup and an eggroll, but no tasty eggplant on the lunch menu, so I just ordered off the dinner menu. 

They first brought me a small bowl of Tom Yum soup—it had a great lemongrass flavor and a hit of spiciness from red chili. There were some hunks of carrot and some fresh cilantro on top. I really liked it and had a hard time not eating every last drop. It did have a spicy kick to it. 

When the tasty eggplant came out, the first thing I noticed was how much like a rainbow it looked when they placed the dish in front of me—the purple eggplant, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and orange carrots. There were also big leaves of basil mixed in. The other thing I noticed with my first bite is that it was smoking hot! Not spicy, but temperature-wise. It was crazy how hot it was. I had to let each bite cool before I could eat it—but when I did eat it, it was delicious. The chicken was nice and tender, and the sauce had a lot of flavor from the basil and the gingery brown sauce.  Again, I had a hard time not eating all of it, but trying to be somewhat healthy, I restrained myself. The veggies were crisp but tender and I love the way eggplant soaks up all the flavor in the stir fry.

All in all, this was a tasty lunch and if this were my town, I would probably put it in the rotation and try some other things as well.  All you Brownsburg, folks, what do you think? And what are your favorite places?

Thai Basil
814 E. Main Street
Brownsburg, IN 46112

Monday, April 1, 2019

Pots and Pans Pie Company

A neighbor recently brought a Pots and Pans pie to my house, and then another friend mentioned it again, and I realized I needed to check it out more fully when I heard about all the savory options they have. I will admit, there are only a few sweet pies that really wow me, so I was a bit slow until I heard about the savory options.  Each day they offer a fresh hot selections (one pot pie and one gallette) and then you can order frozen versions to cook at home as well.

One Sunday hubby, my daughter, and I headed over to have brunch there. It’s a tiny little place to eat in, but they do have a few tables. And they only have a few hot options each day, but on this day, it was biscuits and gravy individual pie ($8) and the goat cheese and caramelized onion gallette ($6). The thing about these pies is the crust. Man oh man—it is so light and flakey, but yet rich and buttery all at the same time. The crust alone is worth eating the pie. Then when you throw sausage and sausage gravy inside it, you have the makings of something truly delicious. Hubby was over the moon and it was hard to get him to share at all, but he did. 

The gallette was also very good- not quite as filling as the pie because there is less crust, but because of the richness of the toppings—there was a layer of goat cheese in the bottom crust and then caramelized onions on top—it was still extremely rich and satisfying. It was a little more unusual I guess, but honestly, I can’t even say that because I had never had biscuits and gravy pie either. Both were very good. You can feel that every bit of these pies is homemade, and fresh. I would eat that biscuit and gravy pie any day.

So I decided to order some sweet pies for an upcoming event I was hosting, and went with the chocolate tahini, “Bruce’s lemon pie,” and the apple crumble (full sized pies are $25). Again, the crust is so, so good. My favorite was probably the chocolate tahini, because I liked the nutty flavor from the tahini, but without having nuts in it, which my son with the nut allergy appreciated. It had that little bit of umami that I love in a sweet dessert. The lemon pie was also very tasty, it had a nice tanginess to it that I appreciated. The apple was good too, but apple tends to not be my favorite pie overall and this was less exciting. And overall, I definitely preferred the savory pies, but as I mentioned already, that’s to be expected from me. I think hey are just more interesting all around. 

With all that said though, we ordered a full-size frozen “taco truck” pie to take home and cook at a later date for dinner. Based on everything I had eaten, I was really excited about this and served it for family dinner one night. However, this was not a big hit. Again, the crust, as always, was delicious, and heated up nicely from frozen (except for a few edges that were broken straight out of the box). However, the filling for this pie probably should have been called something like “Asian taco truck” or something, because it was very different from what we expected. It was filled with pork shoulder, and lots of Asian veggies—bok choy, cabbage and had a much more Asian flair to it than we were expecting. It was much more veggie centered than we expected as well. I was sort of expecting more of a Mexican/Latin flavor and none of us particularly cared for it. Oh well, you win some, lose some. But I would try a different one in the future. And I appreciate the crust to filling ratio of the individual pot pies better as well over the larger versions.

All in all, a nice little addition to our local food scene—something different. Honestly, I would love to just try the straightforward chicken pot pie as well. And there’s a bacon and egg gallette that’s calling my name. 

So who else has been and what have you enjoyed? I need details.

Pots and Pans Pie Company
4915 North College Ave
Indy 46205

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

King Dough

So I kept on seeing all the hype on the interwebs about King Dough, and to be honest, I had my doubts about how good it could really be. But naturally, my interest was piqued and so we headed over there to give it a try. It’s on the east side of downtown, in what looks like an area that is revitalizing currently. A lot of new housing etc. It also has a nice outdoor area that people were standing in on one of our rare sunny days lately, but which will be very nice once we have actual reliable warm weather. 

They were quite busy at around 6:30 on a Saturday, but even though they initially told us it would be a 15-20-minute wait, we actually got seated immediately. Unfortunately, I think this was maybe not the best for our server who was a bit in the weeds, and our service suffered all night because of it. 

Anyway, we started with the Greco salad ($9 for small, $15 for large), which was chopped lettuce, spinach,  and mixed greens with olives, cherry tomatoes, red onions, peppadew, and pepperoncini. It also had crumbled feta cheese and a great zesty Italian dressing (lemon basil vinaigrette). (It comes with green bell peppers too, but we got it without.) This was a fabulous salad and exactly what you want in an old-school Italian salad. Lots of little bits of flavor with a super tangy dressing. The picture you see is the small, which I think easily serves 2-3. I ate slow because I wanted to save some to eat alongside the pizza.

My son ordered the casarecce carbonara ($15), which came out next (they apparently just bring things out as they are done, so plan accordingly). It was the pasta topped with a light, but creamy carbonara sauce—which is mainly egg and some parmesan cheese with hunks of bacon and some sliced pickles habanero peppers on top. They  use cured egg yolks as well. The peppers were unnecessary and a bit hot (if they were more pickly and less hot I would have been into them), but the pasta dish was excellent (we picked off most of the peppers). Seriously, this is one of the better pasta dishes I’ve had in Indy in any restaurant, Italian or not. The pasta is cooked just right, and the sauce isn’t so overwhelming that you want to stop eating it after a few bites. We all happily ate off of his dish. I would love to try all the pasta dishes---and I saw the polenta with meat sauce on another table as well and it looked amazing. Sadly, they were out of the first choice my son wanted (pappardelle Bolognese) but he was very happy with his second choice.

Hubby and I debated which pizza to get for a long time—he really wanted a meat-full pizza and I really wanted the “stinky pete.” I won this battle and we got the stinky pete ($16.50). So this is a pizza with mozzarella, goat and gorgonzola cheese—there is no red sauce on it. It is topped with mushrooms and roasted cherry tomatoes. It was really, really good. Even my son who claims to not like pizza most of the time (he was ruined for pizza in Indy when we were in Italy) really enjoyed it and said he would happily eat it again.  It had a nice kick from the goat cheese and blue cheese and the crust is thin and bubbly on the edges and is just the right chewiness that makes you want to eat every bite of it. Loved it combined with the acidic salad. There are lots of good combos on the menu though—and honestly, I bet the simple margarita is delicious too. Hubby has plans for bringing more people next time and also getting one of the meaty ones (even though he really wants the stinky pete again too). I would also like to come with a larger group and try more of the appetizers as well. 
So, I will say, it is a place that lived up to the hype and will definitely go into the rotation for us. They don’t take reservations though, so prepare for a possible wait. The food turnover is fast though, even when the service is really slow, as it was for us (you will get food, you may just not be able to get a drink).  I recommend having enough people to order a bottle of wine so don’t have to wait if you want another drink. All in all, it is one of the best new places we have tried in a while. 

Oh, and let me know your favorite pizzas here!

King Dough
452 N. Highland Ave
Indy  46202

Monday, March 18, 2019

Geraldine's Supper Club

Geraldine’s is the newest restaurant from Dan Jarman, of Fat Dan’s fame. Totally different type of place, completely different vibe for sure. So this is a tough one for me, because so many people have told me how great the Old Fashioned and the steaks are, and while I really enjoyed several things, those two items happened to be the weak links of the meal. However, there are many things I enjoyed, starting with the atmosphere of the place. Love the old school supper club feel, and the wood everywhere. We also had a very attentive server, even though we might have challenged her with a few of our questions.

The first thing we ordered to eat was the housemade Gorgonzola potato chips ($11). So they are super thin, super fresh potato chips that are drizzled with a blue cheese creamy sauce and chunks of Gorgonzola. The chips reminded me of those ones you get at the State Fair that are like a long thin layer all off of one potato. These were really good and went down a little too easy. Honestly, they ended up being one of my favorite parts of the meal and I sort of wish I had eaten more of them. Before we got the appetizer though, they brought us a banana sorbet palate cleanser. It was tasty, but I think I would have preferred it before the main course.

Next, we had a salad course—hubby and I split a wedge salad ($11). It was fine. The smoky whole piece of bacon was delicious. I think the dressing was likely the same sauce used on the chips, but because it is kind of thin, which makes it good on the chips, but doesn’t stand up quite as well to a big hunk of iceberg. And there wasn’t nearly enough of it, so we got some extra on the side. The bacon was delicious. The rest was fair.

My sister had the beef wellington ($34), which is a filet with mushroom cooked inside pastry. This was definitely the best of the steaks on the table—the filet was fairly tender, although I think cooked a little more than was ordered. It was good, and it’s nice to see this old standard on a menu. It just didn’t blow my mind. The two men at the table had the 14-ounce ribeye ($40) with the addition of herb butter. They were not super impressed with the steak, and the bite I had was so fatty, I had to spit most of it out. Maybe you have to stick with the dry aged steaks or something, because everyone has told me the steaks are great, but this one did not impress any of us. We had a side of the crispy hash brown wheel (how could you say no to that?) ($10) and sautéed asparagus ($12). The outside of the hash browns was yummy—very crispy and well salted. There was just a little too much of the soft non-crispy bits on the inside. But I am being picky—I like my hash browns as crispy as possible. Maybe deep fry the whole thing…who knows.

So, since I was going to share the beef wellington, I got the seared ahi tuna appetizer ($15) as my main. This was delicious. One of the best versions of this simple straightforward dish that I have had. The tuna was really high quality and cooked just right. It was served with a soy dipping sauce and a mustard sauce on the plate. I could pass on the spicy mustard, but I really enjoyed the soy sauce. It was a really nice dish and a good accompaniment with all the rich heavy flavors of the steaks.

We were celebrating my sister and her husband’s birthdays, and they must have heard us say “happy birthday,” because they started the end of the meal by bringing us a free dessert consisting of a chocolate bon bon, chocolate dipped strawberries, and some caramel meringues. This was really good. The dark chocolate on the strawberries was bitter and just right with the sweet strawberries. We also ordered the sticky toffee bread pudding ($12) to share at the recommendation of the server. This was really tasty too. We love bread pudding and sticky toffee pudding, and this was a great combo of the two. Plus, more of those caramel meringues, which were one of my favorite things…. I need to make these. I love the texture of meringues, and the light caramel flavor added to them and was somewhat unusual (and delicious) for a meringue.
But back to that drink. It was an old fashioned that was watered down with soda or water. You could tell they just wanted the glass to look full, but hubby wasn’t a fan. I saw a video on twitter of the bartender making the same drink, and the glass was not full. So maybe another bartender with his or her own style…who knows. The wine pours on the other hand were generous. The wine list was small, be what we had was good. 

All in all, I am still somewhat intrigued by this place—I like the vibe of it, and some of the things (appetizers mainly, and the dessert) were really good. I might make a light meal of apps—there were several more I would like to try. If I were going to get a steak, I might just stick with a straight filet. The service was very friendly and efficient as well. 

But since everyone else has told me nothing but good things… share with me what you have had and liked.

Geraldine’s Supper Club
1101 English Ave 
Indy  46203