Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunrise Café - Revisit

I have written about this place a few times before, but I feel like I need to keep giving gentle reminders about places I like so they stay in business, especially these days. So what is the go to for hubby and I for a greasy spoon type of breakfast? Sunrise. There are too many breakfast places that are trying to be too much, and not pulling it off. This place is a divey diner (seriously, the furniture is very well worn) and the food is consistently good. Want bacon and eggs and crispy hash browns? Sunrise is your place. That is our regular order, but on this particular visit, hubby revisited one of his old standbys, the eggs benedict. I like that you can order them by one ($7.95) or two ($9.25). Hubby had two. They use an English muffin, shaved ham, a poached egg and their homemade hollandaise sauce. Hubby really enjoyed the change of pace, and this dish is a regular choice for my parents, who were also dining with us. It’s not a super fancy version or anything, but it tastes good. I had my usual, two eggs over easy, bacon, hash browns and white toast ($8.95). They do everything just the way it should be, and both the bacon and hash browns are crispy like I like them.

My son is a fan of their fried egg sandwich ($7.95); again you can pick one or two eggs. It comes with cheese and bacon. He likes his eggs fried hard (crazy I know). And it comes with hash browns as well. My daughter usually orders sweets for her breakfast, and this was no exception. She had one chocolate chip pancake ($2.95). They do their pancakes really thin, which I think is kind of interesting. Almost like a crepe. In fact, you can get them rolled up around sausage if you want.
Anyway, at the location on Shadeland, where we go (there are a couple others in Carmel, Fishers, and downtown), there is never a wait, which is a nice thing to know on a weekend morning when you want a solid, fast breakfast. Everyone in my family likes it, and it’s a standard for us. 

Sunrise Café
7387 North Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46150
317/288-5303




Thursday, September 14, 2017

U.S. Adventures: Washington D.C.

Recently, we had a whirlwind trip to D.C., where my daughter was participating in National History Day. She had summer school as well, so she could only miss one day of class, and was presenting on a Monday, so we took the opportunity to fly out early Saturday morning and do some sightseeing and eating. The boys flew in on Sunday, because of baseball conflicts.

The first meal was just me and my daughter, and we headed to the Eastern Market, which is sort of like our City Market, but with more meat and seafood counters, and fewer prepared food places. The one main restaurant type place had a line out the door, and I had read favorable places about it, and since she is more patient than son and hubby, we queued up and waited the hour or so it took to get through the line. It was totally worth it. Even though they were technically serving a brunch menu, I asked if they would make me soft shell crab from the weekday lunch menu and the owner/cashier was more than happy to. In fact, he insisted I get the sandwich, because he thinks it’s one of the best things on the menu. He was right.  This was the best soft shell I have had in ages. Lightly fried, and the crab was super meaty and tender, with just the right amount of crunch from the soft shell. There was slaw on it, and I added a little hot sauce, and it was perfection. My daughter ordered their crab cake benedict and it was very good as well. The crab cake had a lot of flavor and wasn’t overly bready. Perfectly poached egg and all was well. The owner was quite upset when she ordered the fried potatoes instead of grits and insisted we try the grits as well, and sent us a side of their spicy version on the house. They were very tasty, with green chilies, and more spice than heat. He also said it was required that we order one of their buckwheat blueberry pancakes, because they are known for them (and pretty much everyone there had at least one on the side). I am not a big sweets as my meal person, but this one was very good—it wasn’t overly sweet and had nice blueberry flavor. Yes, it was way too much food, and yes we didn’t finish everything (that soft shell crab was totally gone though), but it was fun to try everything. And I’d go back in a heartbeat. On Saturdays they have a big farmer’s market outside as well as artists selling their art, and even a few booths of a flea market. It was a fun place to spend a few hours (and delicious).


For dinner that night the daughter and I hit Momofuku ccdc. She has developed a taste for ramen, and I thought it would be fun. We started with the biscuit bites ($6) because my daughter is a bread fiend, and the soft shell crab buns ($19), because, well, as you know, I am a soft shell crab fiend. They were in season and we were on the east coast and I was going to order them everywhere I saw them. The biscuit bites were actually pretty large oblong biscuits that had chives cooked into them—they were pretty standard biscuits—good but not amazing—but we really enjoyed the Szechwan honey butter. One is certainly enough for each person, even for my daughter. The soft shell crab buns were so good. We each had one, and both thought they were great. They were steamed buns, ½ a lightly fried crab, Old Bay seasoning, remoulade sauce and shaved lettuce.

We both got a bowl of ramen for dinner. I went with the classic pork ramen with pork belly, pork shoulder and a poached egg ($17) and she went with the vegetarian hozon ramen with scallions, kale and fried chickpeas ($16) and added a poached egg ($2). My pork version was very classic, and very tasty. The broth was nice and rich, and there were nice greens, scallions and bean sprouts in there as well. My daughter’s was also very good—and a bit more unique, but also lighter. I loved the addition of the crunchy fried chickpeas for texture and also for a bit of protein. The broth had an herby aromatic flavor and was a nice change of pace. We shared a couple of milkbar desserts, but I have to say, they were the most disappointing parts of the meal—the cookie we had was extremely dry and the cake pops so dense, they weren’t that appealing.

Once hubby and my son got there, we met up with them for more sightseeing. We had an opportunity to go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as the Holocaust museum. Both were great experiences. We grabbed a quick lunch at Old Ebbit’s Grill, just because we hadn’t made plans for lunch and the concierge could get us in. It was so hot the weekend we were there, the air conditioning was a welcome respite. The food here is fine, not amazing, but it’s an old historical restaurant, so it’s kind of a cool place to take the kids.  Hubby and I split a fried oysters dinner and we all shared some crab and artichoke dip ($11.59), which was quite tasty. The kids had trout parmesan ($18.99) and a burger. Both were fine. We all shared a piece of key lime pie, which was not good. It had no tartness. 

For dinner that night, after the welcoming ceremony for my daughter’s event, we went to Zaytinya, which is a hip Mediterranean tapas place. We all love small plates because we can get a million things, and we all get to choose a few. And we were excited for the cuisine after our trip to Greece last summer. I can’t even begin to tell you everything we had because there was a lot, but some of the highlights were the hommus ($7), the pita (free), the bronzino ($12), the lamb kleftico ($14), and the crispy eggplant dish ($8.50). The pita was like a balloon-filled up with air and super light. It was extremely addicting and so good with the hommus. My daughter, who often ignores hommus, gobbled this one up. The bronzino had a nice acidic kick and interesting flavors from fennel and raki (an anise-flavored alcohol). The lamb kleftico was really interesting—patties made with lamb and phyllo and sitting on top of feta, dill and oil. It was crunchy and rich and the cheese added just the right freshness. The hunks of super crispy eggplant were one of my favorites, although the rest of the family doesn’t like eggplant as much as I do. It was served with a roasted garlic yogurt sauce. Perfect combo of crispy veg and acidic sauce. There were many other courses, but these were the standouts. The olives were a nice thing to eat with everything as well. The soft shell crab was my least favorite of the trip because it was kind of over fried. Several other dishes were just ok. It was a very enjoyable meal, with several really good things, but we all agreed it wasn’t a place we would rush back to. The service was a little weird as well. The waiter sort of ignored my son, and ended up not bringing him one of the dishes he ordered. So my son’s advice was to only bring one kid here at a time. 

The last day, after my daughter did her presentation, we had just barely enough time to get lunch somewhere before heading back to the airport. A couple of different people I know and trust for food had recommended Rasika, so we got a quick reservation and headed there. It’s an upscale Indian restaurant with a couple of locations. We talked to our waiter about recommendations and were told we absolutely should order the palak chaat ($12). Boy was he right. This is one of the best dishes I’ve had in recent memory. My family and I have already started searching the Internet for copycat recipes. So it is spinach, but it’s fried so each leaf is nice and crispy. The whole thing is then topped with this yogurt sauce with tamarind and dates. Then there were diced tomatoes and cilantro on top. Oh my, this was so good. Next time, there will likely be multiple orders. I know, it doesn’t sound that interesting, but it was. As another appetizer, we also shared the tuna chutneywala ($14). This was a very interesting and tasty dish as well (and also recommended) and was seared tuna stacked with a coconut cilantro flavored sauce. It was light, and the coconut added an interesting flavor dimension. Between us we also tried the chicken tikka masala ($19), the tandoori chicken ($18), the dal dhungaree ($7 for half) and the salmon tandoori ($22). All of these were good, but none were as interesting as the appetizers. I’d be tempted to just go with a bunch of apps next time. The dal dhungaree was interesting though—smoked lentils with garlic, tomatoes and fenugreek. All in all, this was a fun place and like nothing we have in Indy, so it was a good place to try. And I’d go back just for the spinach.


All in all, a very satisfying, but quick trip to D.C. We got to try a lot of variation in food, and all of it was good.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Louie's Wine Dive- brunch

Recently I needed to plan a meeting with some other women and my daughter for brunch. On a Saturday. I needed a place that would take a reservation because we were on a limited time frame. So we ended up at Louie’s Wine Dive in Broad Ripple—which I hadn’t even known served brunch until I was researching.

Apparently not a lot of other people know about it either, because it was not very busy at all. The menu is quite appealing and has a good variety of things on it. We started with an order of the beignets ($5) because my daughter was with me, and she can never not order beignets if they are on the menu. These were good—sort of like doughnut holes with butterscotch dipping sauce and lots of powdered sugar. Tasty little things.

I really wanted to order the honey butter fried chicken sandwich, but I was trying to be healthy, so I went with the avocado omelette ($11). It is supposed to be made with egg whites, avocado, heirloom tomato salsa and arugula, but I asked them just to make it with the whole egg, because I was trying to be healthy, but let’s not get ridiculous. I thought it was very tasty. I am not usually an omelette person, but this really hit the spot, and the ingredients inside were exactly what I was wanting. Some nice acid from the seasoned tomatoes, and the avocado was nice and ripe. I really enjoyed the greens on the side too. The crumbled goat cheese was a nice touch and it was dressed appropriately.
My daughter ordered the fried egg sandwich ($9), and thought it was good, but she didn’t really care for the sweetness of the bacon jam that was on there (nor did I). It also had fried eggs, white cheddar and mayo and was on brioche bread. If you like a touch of sweetness, you would probably enjoy this one.  She had fries as her side, and they are nice and crisp. I would have asked for something besides ketchup to dip them in, but she didn’t care. I also would have preferred my egg a little runnier, but I guess that makes for a messier sandwich. 

One friend ordered Emily’s apple harvest salad ($11). It looked like another good healthy option—it was a big salad with chicken, field greens, apples, cranberries, bacon, goat cheese and candied pecans. It had a balsamic vinaigrette. I didn’t try it, but she seemed to like it.

We also had a couple of mimosas ($7), which are really big for sure. They are generous pours into regular wine glasses. They also have some sort of “almost never ending carafes” of mimosa deals, which sounds intriguing. But they do have a full bar, so you can get whatever type of breakfast cocktail you like. All in all, it was a good choice to meet a wide variety of tastes as well as being able to have a reservation (not that you probably need one here as I mentioned, although maybe it gets busier later). The food was solid and the service good.

Louie’s Wine Dive
701 Broad Ripple Ave
Indy  46220
317/722-0140

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Canal Bistro - Revisit

The weather is warm again so it is time for Canal Bistro. But in breaking news, it looks like we will be able to go in the winter now as well, because we spied new dining room chairs inside. Hubby hated their old chairs, and thus, we only went during the warm months when we could sit outside. But now, it looks like we can just go whenever we want. I have written about this place before, and much of the things we order are the same, but I want to keep reminding you all about all the great independent restaurant options we have in Indy.

We did sit outside because it was a nice day. It looks like they have changed up the menu just a bit, although all the old favorites seem to still be there. We did notice what seemed like it might be a new appetizer, although I might just have missed it before--the fried Lebanese pickles ($7). They fry up their very pickled pickles that they often serve as a garnish and then serve them with a tahini sauce. I will say, this was our first time with these and it will certainly not be the last. They are delicious and so is the sauce. The batter is nice and crisp and those pickles have a ton of flavor. I highly recommend if you like fried pickles. But, the main reason we went is for spanakopita, which we owed my son (long story), and we had promised to make up to him. They have my favorite spanakopita because it is so, so crispy. The crunch is my favorite part. I decided to go with the mazza plate ($14), in which you get to choose four items from a list of various appetizers. I chose spanakopita (you get two), hummus, olives and feta. I think they also have very good hummus, and they give you nicely grilled pita bread. And I like to eat olives with every bite. I would probably skip the feta next time—it was fine, but just big hunks of somewhat dry cheese. There are several other choices—I might go with baba ganoush or falafel.

I have converted hubby to the spanakopita as well, so he and my son split an order ($8) and a gyro wrap ($9). My son got everything on the side except the meat (kids) so you sort of had to doctor it up to make sure it had all the right flavors and moisture, but the meat itself is pretty good here. They have tasty fries as well that we had topped with garlic and feta. And my son is now obsessed with the spanakopita as well—so I wouldn’t be surprised if you see us there at some point with just a table covered in orders of spanakopita.

If you have a favorite item though that you think we should try, let me know.

Canal Bistro
6349 Guilford Ave
Indy 46220
317/254-8700


Monday, August 28, 2017

Open Society - Revisit (lunch edition)

I guess some of those marketing emails work because Open Society has sent me a few of them (not sure how I got on the list though) and made me intrigued to try it for lunch. They call it brunch and serve it just about every day. They do have breakfast items and lunch items as well.

So my friend and I split the soft scramble ($10) and the Cubano ($10) and a side of fries ($3). The soft scramble was scrambled eggs with truffle Gouda and served with a side of cauliflower, dressed greens, and a big slab of toast. This was a tasty dish. The eggs were softly scrambled and still on the runny side, which if you ask me is how they should be—I don’t like them when they are super dry. And they had a light truffle taste from the cheese and some extra creaminess from it as well. The roasted cauliflower was somewhat unusual to see on a breakfast plate, but I liked it for a change of pace. And it was cooked nicely. I enjoy dressed greens with eggs as well.  The toast they use (which was also on the Cubano) is very tasty. Thick cut, but a nice crusty country bread. It was a somewhat unusual combo of items, but it worked.

The Cubano is an interesting take as well. So, it’s not a thin pressed version like Cuban sandwiches, but I will forgive this fact (I do like a thin pressed Cuban sandwich) because the country bread used has an egg cooked into it. Yes, it’s an “egg in the hole” as part of the sandwich. This is a genius idea. So when you cut into it (I split it in half to share), the runny egg yolk breaks and makes the sandwich extra decadent. Inside the sandwich is smoked ham, carnitas, Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard. I wished for a little more of the pickles and mustard to balance out the decadence of everything else though—especially with that thick bread. It was a tasty sandwich though, and I enjoyed it. The egg with the pork definitely gives it a breakfast-y feel. This was also served with a side of greens (mostly arugula)—I wished for a touch more dressing though.

I thought the fries were fine-nothing really special here. Maybe if they were cooked a little crisper. I did ask for a side of the chipotle aioli to dip them in (it comes on the turkey club). Confession: I often search a menu for any type of flavored aioli/mayo and order a side of it if I am getting fries. So much more interesting than ketchup to me. It was also just fine, a little flat or something. I’d skip the fries next time. Both of the entrees we shared were very enjoyable though, and I like that they have some interesting things and variations of dishes on the menu. Lunch and brunch can sometimes get kind of boring, but this was good. And it makes me want to come back and try dinner again, since I really wasn’t wowed the first time. The menu looks like it has been changed up since that visit.

Good to see one of the newer places in town still open though—they had a decent crowd, although not super busy. The service was good and the food fairly quick. I am already planning a return lunch visit.

Open Society
4850 North College Ave
Indy 46205
317/999-8706




Monday, August 21, 2017

Luciana's- Revisit

For years my family has gone to La Hacienda—since my kids were in  high chairs and threw half their food on the floor (we are very good tippers). It was fast, cheap and has great margaritas. It is always busy though, so we were excited when a second Luciana’s opened on 82nd Street near our house---it’s really big and much faster to get into during prime dinner hours. I believe it’s owned by someone who used to work at La Ha, and the menu is very similar, as are the ingredients.

So, like I said, they are very similar, but there are certain things that are better at each place. After going several times, I have decided I like the Texas margaritas at La Hacienda better, but Luciana’s version is pretty good. The guacamole is far superior at Luciana’s to the green puree they have at La Ha. The chips are also slightly better at La Ha. Otherwise, food-wise, they are similar though. I have had the chicken soup ($7.99 full, $5.25 for small) both places and they are pretty similar—and one of my favorite items. It is a very homey mix with rice, shredded chicken, tortilla chips, avocado and pico di gallo. I do like that Luciana’s serves a small order because I never eat it all. We always get a side of queso dip and they are pretty similar to each other. Your standard white melted processed cheese.
My son likes the quesadillas—on one visit he had a chicken version, which came covered in queso ($8.25) and rice and beans.  Hubby tried the chicken chimichangas on one visit and wasn’t a huge fan, but liked the carne asada tacos on another visit a lot. These were part of a taco sampler ($10.25) that included the carne asada, chorizo and pork. The chorizo was actually really bland and the pork he thought was fine but nothing special. 

Basically, Luciana’s is a good option for this kind of Mexican food if you want to be pretty sure you don’t have to wait for a table. It is fairly equivalent to La Ha, with some things better at each place. For me though, the biggest draw is probably the margaritas, so I would probably lean toward La Ha. If guacamole was your main draw, try Luciana’s.

Anyhow, it’s an easy, fast place to grab a fast and family friendly dinner and it’s nice to see an additional locally owned place in the area.

Luciana’s
3716 E. 82nd Street (there's one in Broad Ripple too)
Indy  46240
317/288-8864



Monday, August 14, 2017

Sakana of Tokyo

So you guys know I have been on a quest for a new most favorite (and close) sushi place. A friend of a friend said they liked Sakana of Tokyo in Castleton, and although I have driven by it many times, and seen it change hands a number of times, I had never been in. I figured, what the heck. So hubby and I gave it a go the other night when he had just come home from a business trip.

So the interior is sort of weird—very 80s nightclub kind of vibe, with lots of faux painting on the walls. The service was good (there weren’t many people there) and we got some wine to start.

They also have one of those all you can eat deals, but we just went with ordering exactly what we wanted and not worrying about whether we ordered too much. We started with the tuna tataki with ponzu sauce ($13). I was feeling a little nervous about the freshness of things given their small amount of business, but this tuna was really good. It was just barely seared, and served with various garnishes—some roe and seaweed. It took us a couple of bites to realize the ponzu sauce was underneath the spiralized radish (I think) that was propping the fish up. Once we realized that and dipped it in the sauce, we liked it even better.

We had a couple of rolls as well as some nigiri. The nigiri (one salmon and one tuna to just get a flavor for it) was very good and we were very impressed with the fish quality. The fish in the rolls was good as well—I liked that the spicy tuna/salmon here is not just like a weird mush, but actual recognizable pieces of fish with sauce. We had a basic avocado and tuna roll with a drizzle of spicy mayo ($6), the fire dragon roll ($13.95) which was spicy tuna inside and topped with avocado, eel and unagi sauce and the ocean roll, which was shrimp tempura and avocado on the inside topped with tuna, tempura flakes, unagi sauce, masago and spicy mayo ($12.95). So inherently, there was nothing wrong with any of the ingredients in the rolls. These are all variations of things we often get. And I didn’t care that the rolls were kind of messy if you know what I mean—not rolled very tightly. The thing that was the big bummer for me was that the individual pieces were so huge that there was no way I could eat them in one bite. I actually had to cut a couple in half, which makes it no fun because you don’t get all the ingredients in every bite. 

So overall, for me personally, I don’t think I would go back for rolls. I did really enjoy the appetizer and the nigiri, so maybe a meal of non-sushi rolls would be something I would do again. There are a lot of items on the appetizer menu that are appealing. But if you are a person who likes those all you can eat deals, you might want to look into this here. They must do a good lunch business or something, not quite sure how this big place stays afloat otherwise.

Sakana of Tokyo
5252 East 82nd Street
Indy  46250
317/436-7774

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sahm's Place - Revisit

Sometimes you just need a high quality fried sandwich. And the other day I was meeting a friend and that’s what I wanted, so we headed to Sahm’s. My go to fried sandwich there is the buffalo chicken sandwich ($9.49)—they have a very tender chicken patty that is dipped in buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese (or ranch depending on your preference). They know how to do it just right. The knot bun is good, the chicken is good, and dipping it in blue cheese is perfect. I love their pickles as well, and always ask for extra. I also love the fried mushrooms on the side—they are the only place that I know of in Indy that does fried mushrooms and does them well. They give you this mild, creamy horseradish sauce to dip them in too. When I need some fried stuff, this is my go to.

My friend had the Cuban sandwich, which I will have to say was quite delicious as well. I think it was a special that day—but it had very tender pork, lots of cheese and the requisite pickles and mustard. The bread was toasted nicely (I think they just turned a bun inside out but it still was tasty). And another order of mushrooms, because seriously, those things are great.

Sahm’s is a great place to go to get quality American pub-type food. The ingredients are good and many of the products (and beer etc.) are local. Plus, they do a lot to support the community, and I think that’s pretty cool.

So what’s your favorite Sahm’s item?

Sahm’s Place
2411 East 65th Street (and several other locations)
Indy  46220
317/202-1577


Monday, July 31, 2017

Yolk

We hit Yolk the other day for breakfast. My daughter was at a friend’s house and the rest of us actually get up early enough for breakfast, so we thought we’d give it a try. They have a large breakfast menu, and several lunch items as well.

I started with some of the strawberry orange juice ($3.50) and it was very tasty—it tasted very fresh and was a bit pulpy, which I like. So far, so good. Our server was also very attentive and answered my questions with her knowledge and opinions, which I appreciate.

I ordered the chilaquiles ($11 +$2.50 for added chicken) because I just keep hoping to find some in town that are not just nachos with an egg on top. Well, these weren’t it. It was a big plate of tortilla chips covered in cheese and sitting on top of some salsa verde, with two fried eggs and avocado. I also added chicken. I enjoyed the flavor of the verde sauce, but there wasn’t a lot of it. So, I mean, breakfast nachos aren’t bad—they just don’t give you that homey, baked, hot dish kind of flavor. You know what I mean. I like the versions that come out looking like a kind of casserole—the tortillas are sort of chewy and crunchy at the same time because they’ve been baked. The egg is mixed in with the chips and sauce. Anyway, like I said, there was no ingredient here that was bad, they just didn’t come together in the way I had hoped.

I was intrigued with my son’s fried chicken and waffles ($12.50). He really liked the waffle with the bits of bacon cooked into it—with a little syrup it gave you that sweet and savory mix. The chicken was ok—it was a massive breast (it was bigger than the waffle) that had a nice crispy crunch, but the chicken was so dense, it wasn’t that appealing. He had the sausage gravy on the side (typically it comes on top). Again, there was nothing terrible about this, but the chicken was just too big and dense—it wasn’t very tender. They need to use a boneless thigh and this dish would be greatly improved.

Hubby had the corned beef hash with eggs ($13.50). This is hubby’s quest dish. He loves corned beef hash but is also particular about it in the way I am about my chilaquiles (what can I say, we have issues). He thought it was also fine, but wasn’t wowed. They make their own corned beef, but overall he thought the dish lacked seasoning and was just a little bland.

I wanted it to be Biscuit Love in Nashville, but that it was not. And I am still on the quest for great chilaquiles in Indy. So tell me whatcha’ got.

Yolk
2727 East 86th Street
Indy  46240
317/451-9655

Monday, July 24, 2017

Flatwater - Revisit

It has been literally years since I have been to Flatwater, and people keep recommending it to me, so we took the kids one of those lovely early summer nights we had before it was too hot. Of course, we weren’t the only ones thinking this, and ended up having to eat inside (or wait an hour for an outside table).

So we started with an order of pulled pork poutine ($12) because my daughter is obsessed with poutine. If it’s on the menu, she has to have it. She even makes her own at home quite frequently. Anyway, theirs is an interesting version with fries, pulled pork, pork gravy, cheddar cheese curds and scallions. For some reason it doesn’t seem as poutiney as some, more like loaded fries. I think because the pulled pork, which isn’t traditional is more dominant, and the gravy wasn’t very noticeable maybe. They were good cheesy fries though. And enough to feed an army. Their fries are hand cut and quite tasty.

For my main dish, I was excited to try the tuna tartare ($14) because a couple of people had mentioned it to me, and I had a version of it years back that wasn’t so good. This one was really, really good though. The cubes of tuna were tossed in a marinade with lime, Sriracha and soy (and a lime on the side that I squeezed on top too) and then a drizzle of avocado cucumber puree was across the top. The tartare was on top of crispy wonton chips and some sesame slaw. I thought it could use just a touch more soy, which they brought me, but overall this is one of my favorite versions in town now. And although it is listed as an appetizer, it is a very nice dinner for one. I will definitely be ordering this again (and hopefully next time we’ll get to sit outside).

My daughter, who is starting to love tuna as much as I do, ordered the seared tuna appetizer ($14), which is sesame seed encrusted and served on top of chunks of avocado, lettuce, carrots and daikon and surrounded by a lemongrass ponzu. This is a bit lighter, simpler tasting version of the tuna that is slightly cooked if that is your preference. I liked the ponzu sauce with it. I appreciate that both make nice light entrées. While the menu has a lot of heavier, meatier sandwiches and such, there are several nice options for something else—and they still taste really good. I liked the tartare better though, just because there was more going on.

My son had a burger with cheese, bacon and mushrooms with a side of fries ($14). He asked for it medium rare and they served it that way. It was a very good burger with a very nice pretzel bun. He really enjoyed it as did hubby, who snuck in several bites. It was tender and very juicy—almost too juicy but that I think was mainly the fault of the mushrooms. My son said he probably wouldn’t order mushrooms next time just because they made it a little soggy, even though he liked the taste of the mushrooms.

Hubby had a brisket Reuben sandwich ($13). They smoke their own brisket and then use the rest of the traditional accompaniments on the sandwich—sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and Swiss cheese. Hubby thought the brisket was really good, he only wished there was a bit more of it. But I kind of liked that the sandwich wasn’t enormous. The bites I had were very tasty.

We didn’t get a dessert here because the kids had their hearts set on Nicey Treat, but we really enjoyed everything we had. It was one of a few places that I think everyone would be just as happy to return to. And hopefully, we can sit outside next time.

Flatwater
832 East Westfield Blvd
Indy 46220
317/257-5466

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bluebeard - Revisit

Just a friendly reminder about all the wonderful restaurants we have in Indy—so today I am reminding you about Bluebeard. One of our best, and a place to revisit again and again. Hubby chose it for Father’s Day, and we were all happy to oblige.

With the kids we always have to start with a small bread plate ($5) and chips and dip ($6). Not that I am complaining, because both are always good. And when we were there, the rotating flavored butter (they seem to always have the anchovy and the garlic olive oil as well as one other changing flavor) was guanciale cheddar butter and it was delicious. I mean pork, cheese and butter? How could it be bad? And I like it better than fruity options, which are sometimes too sweet for me. The Bluebeard version of chips and French onion dip is also delicious. And I was excited to see they have switched out their homemade potato chips from being fingerlings, which were good, but so skinny they broke off too easy. They are using regular potatoes now and they were heartier and super good.

Hubby and I split the salmon poke boat ($18), which was super cute, as it actually came in a little boat, and tasted just as good. It was salmon, cucumber, toasted sesame and wakame (a type of seaweed) marinated in a dark soy yuzu sauce and served on top of rice. Crunchy fried shallots garnished the top.  We really enjoyed this dish—it had lots of flavor and nice texture variation with the fish and the shallots. And the more poke I see on menus, the happier I am.

Hubby celebrated by ordering the bucket of prawns ($42), which was sort of like an ode to Red Lobster, but with actual fresh, delicious seafood. There were a bunch of peel ‘n eat prawns, and these were some of the best I have had in Indy. Super big, but exceptionally tender. Dip them in the miso butter, and they were perfect. We had to force him to share, and we all wanted them. There were hunks of Andouille sausage in there as well. And the side dish of cheddar bay biscuits? More fights broke out over them, because cheese biscuits are the best biscuits. This was an excellent, yet simple dish.

I ordered the halibut tacos for my main dish and these were just as good as hubby’s shrimp (and I was much more generous about sharing). There were battered pieces of fish at the bottom of each tortilla and they were topped with this deep rich adobo type sauce. There were some lightly pickled onions in there as well as some jalapeno slices on top. I would happily eat these again any day.

My son ordered a skirt steak, which he didn’t really care for that much, and it wasn’t our favorite dish of the evening. He was a little miffed at hubby for convincing him to order it instead of the halibut that he had his eyes on at first. And I will say, the beef dishes at Bluebeard are never my favorites either. Go with something more interesting and it will be more satisfying.

Hubby had to have his chess pie; something that Bluebeard has had on the menu pretty much since the beginning. It was good as always, and has even been perfected to be a bit easier to eat because the crust is a bit flakier. My son wanted a dessert that had nuts in the crust, so he couldn’t get it. The staff was kind enough to bring him a complimentary bread pudding to eat, which was quite nice as well. They do a nice job with desserts here, and they are more homey in nature than super fancy.

Bluebeard is a staple in Indy and is consistently good. So just a gentle (somewhat selfish) reminder to keep going there and supporting them to make sure they stay around. We’re lucky to have them. 


Bluebeard
653 Virginia Avenue
Indy, 46203
317/686-1580