I realized I have never written up my all time favorite lunch place in this City--Taste Cafe and Marketplace. Luckily, this was one of the first places where I ate lunch before we had even moved to Indianapolis from San Francisco. Our real estate agent took us here for lunch the day we looked at, and picked out our house in Indy. It gave me real hope about the food in this City.
I have had a few different things here, but once I tried the BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato) sandwich, I was completely hooked. Nothing else can compare. Once hubby and I really wanted to try something new, so we split a BALT (you can't just not get it) as well as the rare roast beef sandwich. Now, the roast beef was really good--anywhere else I would've been thrilled (balsamic onions, horseradish mayo), but the BALT, how can I explain? It is mixed greens, warm bacon, tomatoes, and mushed up avocado on a french roll (or whole wheat if you prefer--I don't) along with a dressing that is creamy and a bit zingy. As in tangy, not hot. It is this dressing I think that makes the sandwich. I know this because I have tried to duplicate it with really good ingredients, including fresh heirloom tomatoes from my own garden and I just can't do it. Normally, I am not a sandwich person, but this is the best sandwich ever.
The funny thing I have discovered about this restaurant is that people have a thing there and find it nearly impossible to deviate from what they get. My best friend and hubby are like me and always get the BALT. Sometimes with soup, or chips, or even those tasty pommes frites. Side note--I need to tell you about the pommes frites. They are the thin, really crisp french fries served in a paper cone with a delicious herby aioli. Once when I was there, they were also doing truffle frites. I couldn't get them that day, but were told they would be on the dinner menu soon. More on that below. But, back to my original point. Once, when I ran into my hairdresser there she started talking to someone who worked there and who was telling her she really should try something new, that she always gets the 3 salad sampler plate and never tries anything else. She said she would but when she got up to order, she said to me, "I just can't do it!" and ordered her usual. And another friend swears by the Pear and Roquefort salad. And the frites.
Besides for the green salads, they do 10-12 fresh made other salads daily there that also look quite good (not that I have had them, you see). But if the dressings are anything like what is on my BALT, I am sure they are. These are things like curry chicken salad, caprese salad, albacore tuna salad, chilled asparagus, orzo and pasta salads, etc. They also have an great cheese selection, and I have ordered a cheese plate for a party from them (all imports in my particular case) and it was one of the best cheese plates I have ever had. They have all those wonderful French cheeses that no one seems to want to carry around here because they need to sell them quickly before they go bad. They must pull it off, because that cheese is a huge temptation for me whenever I go in.
Taste has also recently remodeled and expanded and looks more like a restaurant than a lunch cafe--which is appropriate since they are planning to start serving dinner sometime before Thanksgiving. I will certainly order something new for dinner. I promise. And maybe, they will have that ever elusive item of the dessert cheese plate. Elusive in this City anyway, not in most cities in the world.
I can't wait to try dinner! I love this place.
Taste Cafe & Marketplace
5164 N College Ave