Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Bodhi

Recently hubby and I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate their anniversary. It was a Monday and I was sort of  surprised how busy this place was! We had to wait about 40 minutes to get a table outside, which is good for them and gave us a chance to walk around and check out the Bottleworks buildings. The Garage Food Hall was doing a big business as well. We had a quick drink in the temporary hotel bar (which was empty unlike everywhere else) and then headed back to Bodhi when we got the text that our table was ready.

I have always loved the outdoors space here—when it was Black Market and now as Bodhi. They have mature wisteria growing through the roof and it is a nice spot. They are still doing good social distancing as well, which is appreciated. I also like the updates they made to soften the interior feel a little bit with plants and new lighting.


The friends we were with are like us and like to try lots of things, so we started with three apps. We had the spring rolls ($9), the crab puffs ($12), and the chicken wings ($15). They give you nice portions on all of the apps, and our favorite were probably the crab puffs—which were like crab Rangoon in a slightly different shape than usual. The spring rolls were mostly outside crunch without much inside. The wings were fine too—the little bits of crispy garlic on the side were tasty, but they weren’t overly spicy. None of the apps were amazing, all were fine, and I think we decided that next time we would save more space for more main dishes, which were clearly the stars.


And we ordered several items to try. Probably my favorite of all of them (but they were all good) was the chili and basil stir fry (Pad Kra Prow) (we had it with the chicken) ($17). It had some heat at medium, but you could appreciate the taste of the basil in the dish. It also had onion and red bell pepper, and I really liked the addition of edamame, which was unusual and very tasty. This was delicious.

We also really enjoyed the shrimp pad Thai ($15). At first it seemed like there weren’t a lot of shrimp in there, but they were buried in the noodles. The rice noodles were plentiful and I love a good tamarind sauce combined with the chopped peanuts and crunchy bean sprouts. It is just the right combo of sweet and spicy and the shrimp were cooked perfectly, as were the noodles. I would definitely order this again as well. 

Our next favorite (and some at our table liked it best) was the laab salad (which we had with pork) ($16). It was a nice change of pace with its chili lime dressing to give a nice hit of acid. There was a lot of minced pork, onions, red bell peppers, lettuce, herbs and crispy rice bits. Honestly, it was hard to pick favorites because they were all so tasty.


The last dish we had was the massaman curry ($21 with beef). It was by far the heartiest, richest dish It came with Naan bread on the side, which we thought was slightly odd in a Thai restaurant—and honestly it was better with the extra side of rice  ($3) we ordered instead. The curry had big hunks of beef, carrots and fingerling potato. Very stew-like in my mind. It had a deep flavor though and also a nice touch of heat (we pretty much ordered everything medium).


All in all, this was a really tasty dinner—particularly the entrées. I love the interior of this place (as well as the outside seating) and I look forward to returning. They had a nice cocktail list and a decent wine list as well. Keep in mind, you have to be 21 and over to eat here, but what a nice addition to Mass Ave. They don’t take reservations, but it looks like you can add yourself to the waitlist on their website. We will definitely be back so let me know your favorite items. 


Bodhi

922 Massachusetts Ave

Indy 46202

https://bodhi-indy.com/

Monday, May 10, 2021

Poke Bros.


Ok, full disclosure-- it is a chain, but still, I was excited by a poke place finally that wasn’t downtown or in Hamilton county—it’s the kind of thing I crave for lunch, but don’t necessarily want to drive really far for—you know what I mean. This one is in Ironworks so recently the kids and I headed over to check it out. It was so new as you can see, the sign wasn’t even up yet.


Anyhow, I found out about this place from a flyer we got in the mail. They just do one size bowl (but you can add extra proteins if you want). Also, I really like that they don’t count tofu as a protein (it’s a free topping) so I don’t feel like I am “wasting” a protein on a cheap ingredient like some other places do. And I really like tofu in my poke bowl to add a little creamy texture. 



Anyway, if you haven’t been to one of the poke places yet—you get a bowl, pick your base (white rice, brown rice, or greens, or a combo of two) and then just go down the line and add what you want. Lots of veggies and fruits to choose from. Most  of the toppings are unlimited except avocado, mango, masago, and seaweed salad which have a little upcharge. The bowls end up costing between $10-13 or so depending on what you get.


For proteins, they have the raw fish (salmon or tuna, seasoned or unseasoned, shrimp, chicken, or spicy chicken). I went with the marinated tuna as my protein and added avocado, tofu, edamame, masago and green onion. I do half rice and half greens. They top everything with soy sauce (they call it “OG sauce”) unless you don’t want it. Then you can add additional sauces. I added a little of the Sriracha aioli and a bit of ponzu to try and get a little acid. It was maybe a little too sweet but I liked the spicy mayo. 



My other favorite thing about this place is that you can add various crunchies on top for texture variation—they offer sesame seeds, tempura flakes, crispy onions, crushed cashews and wonton chips. I went with some tempura flakes and some wonton chips. I was a little nervous for my son who is allergic to cashews about cross-contamination, but luckily they had the containers right behind the counter and were willing to give him some that hadn’t been on the bar. 


My kids got similar variations to me with slightly different veggies, although my son got salmon and tuna. We all enjoyed it and they are certainly generous portions. The fish was fresh and tasty and I didn’t get any of those awkward fatty bites. All in all, I wish I had a locally owned option nearby, but I will likely eat here again as close as it is to me. And I am all about the free tofu. 


Poke Bros.

2727 East 86th Street Suite 148

Indy. 46240

317/875-1699

https://eatpokebros.com/


Monday, April 26, 2021

Thai Station

 

I got to go out to dinner with one of my girlfriends recently (thank you science!) and I was super excited to go regardless, but then she suggested a place I had never been, and I was doubly happy. Thai Station is just up the road from my house too, so I had high hopes (and I learned a new cookie place is going in right by it, so that also seemed like a good sign).


It’s a strip mall location and I didn’t expect a lot atmosphere-wise, but it was actually very cute—lots of wood and several booths and a banquet of tables. They do a good job of only seating every other table and have sanitizer on every table that they do use. There were only a few tables that were seated while we were there, but they had a very steady stream of take out orders. They also have a cute little bar area and a decent wine selection for a small place. They served one of my favorite less expensive roses, and that is what I ordered. Nice glasses too. They are definitely making you feel like you are getting a true “out to eat” dining experience.



The menu is very large and quite appealing. They have a lot of interesting-sounding things. We ordered the crispy wontons ($6.99), mostly because we were curious about what they would be.  They were little wontons stuffed with lightly seasoned chicken and deep fried. They were served with that clear vinegar-based, slightly sweet Thai dipping sauce. The chicken was maybe a little bland on its own, but they were pretty tasty, especially with the sauce drizzled on them. 



For my entrée, I ordered my classic Thai dish—sauteed eggplant with meat and veggie. Here it is #34 and called “Eggplant Lover” ($11.99). It was so good. One of the best versions I have had in town—everything was cooked just right—the eggplant was still bright in color, but cooked soft and with the rich Thai brown sauce all absorbed into it. The chicken was thinly sliced and tender. There were also green peppers, thinly sliced carrots and basil. Oh, and of course white rice. The sauce was super delicious and plentiful so that you could really make your rice pretty well coated and get the flavor in every bite. I loved how bright and colorful the dish was and everything seemed really fresh. 



My friend got the (#33)($14.99) garlic and pepper preparation with shrimp. This was shrimp stir-fried with a garlic pepper sauce all on top of sliced cabbage, cilantro and green onions. I just had a bite of the veggies with the sauce and the sauce was really good—lots of garlic. We both ordered our dishes medium spice level and I think it was just right. Definitely some heat, but not crazy.


This may become one of our new go-to carry out places. There is a ton of stuff on the menu, including various fried rice versions and noodle dishes and I know everyone in the house will find stuff they like. I can’t wait to try more stuff. If you have been here, let me know what you like. 


Thai Station

3317 E. 86th Street

Indy. 46240

317/929-1983

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cholita - Revisit

While hubby and I are vaccinated and can be a little looser with the rules about where to eat now, the kids still aren’t and we’re still on the quest for good patios (please continue to share your favorites), Cholita is a good option because it is enclosed with plastic sheeting, but there are still large gaps of fresh air, and the tables are pretty well spaced (although when we were there, there were several patrons walking about one end of the patio
without masks).


It has been quite a while since I have been here, definitely over a year—and I was looking forward to trying it again. I will admit the last time we went (probably at least 18 months ago), things had fallen off a bit—there was a lot of cabbage and not a lot of the meat/veggie stuffing or other more interesting toppings. We started out this visit with some chips and salsa ($3) and the queso fundido ($8). We also had a couple different margaritas. The chips and salsa hit the spot and I like their salsa. It has a nice flavor without being too spicy. The queso fundido is tasty too, although a little challenging to eat with the little wedges of soft tortilla on the side-they taste good together but eating it with the chips was easier. The cheese is super rich and I appreciate the spicy salsa chile morita (smoked jalapeno) they serve with it to cut through the richness and add a kick of heat. The margaritas are tasty, but I recommend the top shelf because the regular house margarita is a little tart.



The menu is pretty much tacos after that, and they have a lot of good options including a rotating monthly special. Hubby and I shared a fish taco, a fried avocado taco, a shrimp taco, and the special chicken tinga taco (a “side piece” includes three tacos and beans for $13.50—you can also buy a la carte and the tacos range from $3.75-$4.25). The fish was so, so good. It is fried cod topped with shredded Colby cheese and cabbage and has a “California wine sauce” and pico de gallo. This was my favorite of the night. The fish was a light tempura-type batter and tasted fresh and super crunchy. All the toppings were just right. 


The fried avocado also really good, and is topped with baja sauce, pickled vegetables, cabbage and pico de gallo. I really like the additional of crunch in the texture of the fried items in the tacos. That combined with the creamy avocado was tasty and I think the pickled veggies add a great hit of acid to balance all that. 


The shrimp is fine, but not as good as the others. It was topped with all the same things as the avocado, but maybe the lack of texture variation made it not as interesting. The shrimp was cooked properly though and had an adobo taste. It definitely brightened up with a hit of lime. 


The special chicken tinga was the last one and probably the least favorite. There was nothing wrong with it, but not as much creativity in the toppings—mostly cabbage and sour cream.  I am intrigued by the hot fried chicken version and will try that one the next time. 


All in all, it was a very tasty meal and a good place to go eat on a patio and be protected and warm if necessary. I am glad to see they have made it through the pandemic (and it was about as full as it could be). Who has been lately? What’s your favorite flavor?


Cholita

1001 Broad Ripple Ave

Indy  46220

317/389-5555

www.cholitatacos.com 



Monday, March 22, 2021

The Little India

We have been a bit in a rut with this whole Covid carry out thing…and I have been more determined to try new things. A couple of you guys recommended this place—it’s in the old Sobro Cafe location. The website is funny because it shows kind of a fancy dining area, but obviously it’s some stock images because the inside looks pretty much just like Sobro used to look if you have been there.



But no matter, we ordered carry out and when I went in to get it, the only people in the dining room were the owners’ kids playing on their tablets. It looks like it is a true mom and pop establishment—mom in the front and pop in the back cooking. And while there wasn’t anyone in the dining room, the phone rang off the hook while I waited to get my order—and there was a fairly constant parade of people and delivery service drivers coming in to pick up food. 



We went with our classic (and yes, I know, fairly unoriginal) order of chicken tikka masala ($12.95), palek paneer ($9.95) and lamb karahi ($12.95). I mean, we kind of have to compare it to our other stand-by Indian places to see which we like better right? We also got garlic naan ($2.75) and tried an appetizer of chicken pakora ($5.95). Please note I don’t necessarily think the pictures on the online menu are their actual food either, as the pakora looked quite different—the online looked like little chicken pieces, but in reality, they were basically like chicken finger size.


The tikka masala and the palek paneer were excellent. The chicken was tender and pretty plentiful (sometimes I feel like there is not a lot of chicken in the containers). The spice level was definitely present (it is listed as spicy on the menu) but isn’t so spicy that you don’t want to eat it—just the right amount (for my family) that slowly builds as you eat it. The palek paneer—which is basically like creamed spinach with hunks of cheese in it, was also very, very good. The spinach part of this dish was super fresh tasting—even though it was creamed spinach. I am not sure how to explain it except it was very spinach-y. There was also a lot of cheese chunks (which is my preference) although it is pretty big pieces and I like them a little smaller, which isn’t a big deal  because you can just cut them up and stir them back in. 


The boys in my family are the main lamb eaters with Indian food and thought the quality of the lamb, and the tenderness was really good. They didn’t like the sauce (ginger, onions, bell peppers and spices) as much, thought it was a little bland. They are excited to try some other lamb dishes though because of the quality of the meat. We also were intrigued by the Indo Chinese dishes which have a Chinese flair to them. There were several that look really good. 


The chicken pakora were a miss for all of us (the dogs felt very lucky though). There were a ton of them, but they were cooked in a chickpea batter but ended up tasting a bit like chicken in pancake batter—and didn’t re-heat that well so the crust was kind of soft. 


All the entrées came with rice and the naan was solid. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with naan right? And it was tasty. 


All in all, we were very happy and will definitely go back. Our go-to dishes are very good and we are excited to try some new stuff too. And always nice to support a local place like this. Who else has been and what did you like?


The Little India

653 East 52nd Street

Indy 46205

317/220-8300

https://thelittleindiarestaurant.com/menu-list/

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Send a Friend Lasagna

Ok, here’s a quick post to tell you about “Send a friend lasagna.” I heard about this service on twitter around the beginning of the pandemic, and have only continued to hear more as it goes on and on and on… I even sent one to my parents at the beginning of the lock down when we couldn’t see them as much. My parents loved it, but I just hadn’t gotten around to getting one for myself.

Recently, I had the opportunity to host a small group of friends who have all been vaccinated, as well as feed my own kids and family so I ordered a couple different options. We had the straight up regular one (meat, noodles and cheese) ($30), the gluten free version for a friend who cannot eat gluten ($44) and the gorgonzola lasagna ($40) for something different. I will say, I like lasagna, but I don’t get super excited about it unless it is super good—and these lasagnas qualified. Everyone really enjoyed all the versions. The straight up version is exactly what you want—just enough meat and sauce combined with the right noodle strength to hold it all together.


The gluten free was a hit with my friend who has recently learned she can’t eat gluten—and she had plenty to take home to share with her kids, one of whom also can’t eat gluten. The gorgonzola version was also very tasty too—soooo rich with lots of cheese and cream as well as ham and chicken. It didn’t hold together as well as the standard version, but it didn’t really matter because it tasted so good! But you had to eat it in small doses—I really liked a bit of both on my plate. And we ate it for several meals due to all the leftovers. 


They deliver straight to your door when you need it, which is super convenient. It was a little challenging to get them all on the table at the same time, as the gluten free cooks at a higher temperature and for longer, but I made it work. I wished I would have rested the gorgonzola version a bit longer just because it seemed like it could have benefited, but ultimately, it didn’t matter because it tasted so good. And like I said, it was a meal that lasted for days. IF I wasn’t hosting others, I would just freeze smaller portion sizes for my immediate family and eat it over the course of several months. (You can easily feed at least 8 servings from one lasagna).


This is a great option when you want a family meal that is clearly homemade, but you don’t want to make it. Highly recommend. And there are some other flavor options if you are looking for vegetarian or just noodle-free. If lasagna is your thing, you are gonna want to try it. 



Send a friend lasagna

https://sendafriendlasagna.com/

317.694.9529


Monday, February 15, 2021

One Trick Pony - Fishers Test Kitchen


Well…several of you guys had been mentioning how good One Trick Pony burgers were and I was intrigued. You know I love a good smash burger and I figured Neal Brown could do a good job with that right?


So Friday night, I got online, planned ahead and ordered online for a 6:00 curbside pick-up to be in home in time for a hungry son who would have just been home from tennis. Well, that planning was for not. I mean, I can understand a few minutes delay….but long story (and it seemed really long), they totally lost my order, but never realized it til I sat waiting for another 15 minutes, called again and eventually just had to go in and order everything again—told that my order would be rushed and well, it wasn’t—I stood and watched as they made every order that came in in the order they ordered, even though I had ordered my food at 4:50 to be picked up at 6:00. Anyhow, I finally got my food and was out the door just before 7:00. By this point, I had some hangry people on my hands and I was just hoping the food was good.


Luckily, the food was very good. I thought the burgers were great actually—and I was pretty cranky at that point. They are grinding fresh meat behind the counter (I could see it there as I waited….) and cooking them on a flat top—smashed flat and a little crisp on the edges. I had the “dandy” burger, a single ($5), and it came topped with American cheese, pickles, onions, shredded lettuce, and dandy sauce (also tomato but I went without). The buns are soft and white and just enough to hold up to the meat but not overwhelm the flavors. I love shredded lettuce on a burger, and I liked the dandy sauce, which seemed like a mayo/ketchup blend with some pickle chunks mixed in. Or something along those lines. I had a flashback to the Barking Dog burger, which was always one of my favorite burgers in town before it closed. It had a similar flavor and thickness.


Hubby and my son had the “build your own” burgers (for my son a double with extra cheese -$9.50). My son has always gets a double with extra cheese and nothing else. Hubby got onions and bacon and the dandy sauce. Both were really good as well although I think the dandy sauce makes it. But the beef makes it too, which is obviously important. Speaking of beef though, my daughter had the impossible burger ($6), which is the only non-beef entrée offered. I was impressed with how it looked—the appearance was tasty. She was happy with it, although my son tried it as wasn’t as impressed as he was with the real beef burger, but what can you expect? But if you are vegetarian or not a beef eater, it looked like a solid option.


We got a taste of all the sides—they have crinkle fries ($2.95/$4.95), onion rings ($3.95/$5.95) and cheesy fries ($4.25/$6.25). We had one of each. We heated them all up a couple minutes in the oven when we got home (this is my sure-fire way to re-crisp up fried items—just don’t leave them in too long or they get too hard). I think our favorites were the onion rings. I don’t usually love really fat onion rings, but these were delicious. They were an extra crispy panko-like texture—really good. I also am not a big fan of crinkle fries and these did not change my mind, but the beer cheese on them definitely did. With that cheese sauce, I happily ate my share of fries. I really enjoyed the flavor of the beer making it unique from your typical nacho cheese. So ultimately, I would get both the rings and the cheese fries again. Maybe beer cheese on the side if we get them to go so I can crisp up the fries first and then dip in the cheese. And I look forward to eating that burger again. It’s the kind of burger that makes you keep thinking about it—and everyone at my house really enjoyed it. Oh, and the one positive about my long wait was that I spent the $10 in tokens they gave me for the Test Kitchen on cookies from the booth next door— they’re called Fat Stack cookies coming out of the Korave Korean BBQ booth. One was double chocolate cookies and cream and one was funfetti. They were huge and very tasty—especially after heating them back up a little (like I said, this has become my pandemic area of expertise—reheating carry-out food to make it shine). 


Based on my experience, I would not even try to order the burgers in advance though. I would just go in and order and wait. And some day, who knows? Maybe we’ll even eat inside. 


One Trick Pony 

Fishers Test Kitchen

9713 District North Drive

Fishers, IN 46037

317/953-6400

https://fisherstestkitchen.com/




Monday, February 1, 2021

Doughnuts and Dragons


The other day I was out running errands early on a Sunday morning—my teenagers were still asleep. I was thinking I would surprise them with doughnuts, but our go-to Taylor’s isn’t open on Sundays. And I didn’t want to drive a bunch. I literally glanced around and saw Doughnuts and Dragons, which is just down the street from my house.

Honestly, I don’t know a lot about it, but it looked open and it has doughnuts in the name right? So I headed over to check it out. So I chatted with the two ladies behind the counter and they told me that they had opened just a few months before the pandemic and had built a pretty good business with the large space that serves doughnuts, craft beer and lots of board games and space to play all your games like D & D etc. They were hurt by the pandemic, and had to close down for a bit, but were back and trying to slowly build their business back up.


Anyhow, I ran in and was impressed by the looks of the doughnuts! Some interesting flavors and some decadent looking options, as well as some of your standard classics. Luckily, like I said, I had teenagers at home who will (and can) eat doughnuts all day with no ill effects, so I bought a bunch to try. I got the s’mores ($2.25 each), the chocolate iced with sprinkles ($1.75). plain glazed ($1.50) and a cinnamon sugar braid ($2.00). I got a 10% discount for ordering more than 6 as well (it’s even higher if you buy more than 12). 


I think the favorite among everyone who tried them was the s’mores. We are also a family who loves s’mores things and this one was done well—sometimes marshmallows turn too hard or chewy but these were just lightly singed but still soft. The chocolate on this one as well as the chocolate iced was soft and rich and tasted freshly made—speaking of which, they do make them all fresh in house. The chocolate icing is very fudgy, not as much like a hard icing you might get other places. The more basic glazed and cinnamon sugar ones were also solid. If this is your favorite doughnut, I don’t think you would be disappointed. All in all, I felt like it was a nice discovery for me—especially since like I said, Sunday doughnuts are a necessity. And my daughter, who has started playing D&D since the pandemic started (something you can do online) thought it would be cool to have her friends meet there once it is safe. They also have a very large selection of craft beers if that’s your thing as well. 



We went back a second time because my kids are sort of hooked, and hubby wasn’t home the first time we ate them. This time we got some repeats, and also ordered a butterbeer, more glazed (one of hubby’s faves), the banana nut muffin, and the cookies and cream. Honestly, hubby really liked the glazed and was very pleased. The banana nut, the butterbeer (which is like a butterscotch glazed) and the cookies and cream are actually a cake-style doughnut and had that denser consistency—they were fried so they had a little crispy crunch to them. The cookies and cream had vanilla filling in it too. Somehow, we didn’t get any cake style the first time so I was really glad to try these this time. They were all really very good. Loved the way the banana nut had the flavor of a fried banana nut muffin with icing. And a lot of nuts.



I am so happy that we discovered this place and my teenagers are gonna be there a lot I think. If you want a fancy doughnut, and maybe a beer on the side, this is your place (or even if you just want a doughnut to go). I feel for them opening in such a difficult time and they are worth a try for sure. A high-quality product. If you have been or decide to check it out, let me know what you think and your favorite flavors!


Doughnuts & Dragons

3838 E. 82nd St.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46240

317-288-0554

https://www.facebook.com/DoughnutsAndDragons




Monday, January 18, 2021

Ramen Ray- Revisit

Since COVID and quarantining began, we have developed a pretty regular list of places we get carry out from on a regular basis. Ramen Ray is one of these. They do a great job with carry out and even though it has to use a few more containers than is ideal, by keeping the noodles and everything else separate from the broth, it keeps the perfect consistency of the noodles and the eggs don’t get overcooked. And if I want to heat the broth up separately for a minute when I get it home to make it a bit warmer, I can easily do that too. My only complaint is they aren’t open Sunday nights which always seems to be the night we want ramen. They also do delivery through some of the third party services.

My regular order is a half order of miso ramen with an extra egg and chopped pork. The noodles are tender and great, the eggs are perfect and I really enjoy the chopped-up pork over the big slabs of pork which are more challenging to eat with a spoon and chopsticks. Hubby also gets the miso—sometimes a full order, sometimes half, depending on his mood. There is a spicy miso option as well, but last time I had it, it was so spicy, it was almost too much.



The kids both prefer the shoyu, which is a soy sauce type broth—and they also get an extra egg—which gives you three halves…just the right amount if you ask me. We also usually get at least one order of dumplings—you can get pork or veggie—we always get the pork. They are lightly pan fried and I like the vinegar/soy dipping sauce to give a little bite of acid to go with the rich ramen.


All in all, a solid experience—and the guy in there is starting to recognize me which shows you how much we get it. One of the things I like about it, is that it is carry out that isn’t pizza or fried food and feels a little healthier. So, let me know what your favorite slightly “healthier” options are these days. 



Actually, please tell me new and unusual places you have found good carry out. I need some new inspiration---but something I can carry out. At least for now. 


Ramen Ray

5628 East 71st Street

Indy 46220

317-288-7120

https://ramenray.com/





Monday, January 4, 2021

Mr Beast Burger

I have two teenagers in my house and a son that loves watching YouTube. Both my kids were intrigued to try this food that apparently was created by a guy who is a famous youtuber and somewhat of a wacky philanthropist/entrepreneur. Apparently, he makes a lot of money and likes to give it away in unique ways. That is about all I know. Oh, and that when he started this delivery/pick up only restaurant concept recently that he often gave wads of cash with the orders. It’s been a few weeks now since he started the “pop up” type kitchens  (I guess they use kitchens of other restaurants) around the country and so now you just pay for your food and don’t get the free stuff. But the kids were intrigued to try it just for the kitsch factor and I am always game.

The menu is pretty straightforward—3 styles of burgers topped with different things, some chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches and fries-seasoned, unseasoned and loaded. We got each of the burgers—the “Chandler,” the “beast” and the “Chris” style ($6.99-$7.99). The burgers are described as “smashed crispy beef patties” with their house seasoning and then the various toppings—the chandler being the simplest with just cheese and the seasoning. The Chris style has the “crispy” patties with cheese, seasoning, bacon and fries on the sandwich. The beast has the “crispy” patties, cheese, pickles, seasoning, brown mustard, ketchup, mayo and diced onions. Well, that’s what the menu said anyway. The patties weren’t really smashed crispy patties—they were just kind of regular patties. The meat was pretty tender and I did like the seasoning flavor. The cheese was nice and melty. I specifically had ordered the beast and there wasn’t any of the toppings on the burger except the pickles and cheese—no sauces or onions from what I could tell. The buns were nice because they held up well. But honestly, there was nothing about this burger that really made it stand out. I liked the minimal packaging, but when you are expecting a crispy thin burger, this was a little disappointing. It was a fine burger and traveled decently. That’s about it—it was fine.



The fries were pretty disappointing They are crinkle fries ($3.25), which are never my favorite, and you can get them seasoned or unseasoned—the seasoning is described as red pepper, garlic, paprika, sugar and a touch of lime. We got some seasoned and some unseasoned and honestly, couldn’t really taste much seasoning. A couple of them appeared seasoned, but that was pretty much it.  They were pretty soft, even after my patented re-heat in a hot oven to crisp them up (I do this with all carry out fries since we started getting a lot more carry out during COVID). My favorites of the fries were the loaded “beast style” fries ($4.99). They weren’t all that loaded, but had some American cheese melted on top and were drizzled with mustard, ketchup, mayo and diced onions. I think there were also supposed to be pickles but they weren’t there. We also got a couple of chocolate chip cookies ($2.49)—they were tasty—not a soft bake, more of a crunchy style—but chocolatey and good. 



All in all, it was fun to try and the kids were definitely intrigued. Would I order it over other local places with smash style burgers? Um, no. Let’s face it…would I order it again at all? Unlikely.  But the burger wasn’t terrible, and I appreciate that some of the profits are donated. I sort of wish they actually put the stuff on the burgers and fries as advertised… The kids seem to think that it probably won’t be around long because it is meant to be a pop-up type situation, but I couldn’t find any info about timelines so I really have no idea.




Mr. Beast….

There’s not really any address

Or phone number. 

Just look on doordash or 

Whatever your preferred third-party delivery service is..


Monday, September 28, 2020

Vida -- Revisit


This past weekend was our wedding anniversary, and we really wanted to go to Vida, even though I didn’t think they had outside seating (which they actually do—at least 4 tables that I saw). Anyway, we went for it hoping that the spacing would be good and hoping for good air filtration. We were the only ones inside for the first half of our meal, and after that the tables were very well spaced apart. I am still nervous about eating inside, but as the weather gets colder, I am starting to consider it. How are you guys feeling about dining in a restaurant?


Anyway, hubby got the 4 course (which is $65), in which you pick 4 courses from the menu, or you can go the a la carte option, which is what I did and then we split everything. But first, they brought us an amuse bouche that was cold soba noodles with a little bit of tuna and some carrots and fish eggs—I have had this flavor combo before here at Vida—and I love the sesame flavor here and the kick of salt from the fish and eggs. I could easily eat a whole appetizer of this.


Our first ordered course was the Hamachi crudo (a la carte is $16), which was two large but thin slices of raw hamachi with slices of perfectly ripe mango, a little avocado mousse, sliced radish, habanero onion and cilantro. This was so good. I wasn’t sure how I felt about mango because it really needs to be just perfect, but it was. And the dish was salted/seasoned just perfectly too. The fish almost melted in your mouth.



Our next course was the wall greens salad ($12) and the crispy chicken thigh ($12). The salad was a good mixed salad with some of my favorite things—blue cheese, nuts, sliced figs and a tangy vinaigrette. The lettuce was soft and supple (and I assume came from their wall of greens, based on the name). The chicken was even better though because you got a little of a similar salad aspect, but with a slight sweet, slight spicy perfectly tender fried chicken thigh underneath. And the flowers on top made it look like art. Art that tasted delicious.


For the main dishes we had the ribeye ($42 a la carte) and the cacio e pepe cappelliti ($28 a la carte). Hubby wanted the ribeye really badly after having a bite of someone else’s the last time we were there. He was not disappointed. There were roasted potatoes and black truffle gnocchi and a few Brussel Sprouts leaves on top. It was rich and delicious. The pasta was soooo good. It was little stuffed pastas with Trillium cheese, crispy roasted broccoli, slices of pecorino cheese and black pepper. Fresh pasta is so worth it—and the cheese inside was delicious. The most amazing part was the broth it sat in that was rich and buttery with just a hint of lemon. The waiter brought us some extra freshly made focaccia for soaking it up and it was much appreciated (oh yeah, the complimentary bread plate is always awesome too—this one had the herb focaccia and zucchini bread).






Finally, we had the ricotta doughnuts ($11 a la carte) which I think have been on the menu since the start. And there’s a reason. They are little like beignet-sized doughnuts with a bourbon maple glaze, candied bacon and caramel ice cream. Seriously, a perfect mix of sweet, rich and salty and savory all at the same time. And one of the best dessert wine lists in town (just ask). 


Our service was also spot on, and it is one of the nicer feeling atmospheres in the city. And I love the extra space between tables. I know it’s not cost effective, but I would love it we could maintain some of it even post-pandemic for having more private conversations. 



Overall, one of the best meals I have had since I can remember. I am already thinking about how I can plan some private dinners in some of the private spaces for some even safer dinners. Seriously, this is probably one of Indy’s best fine dining places right now. Check it out and don’t let them close!


Vida

601 East New York Street

Indy 46202

317/420-2323

www.vida-restaurant.com