Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Granite City

Time for a new lunch spot with the kids, so we decided to go the brew pub route again (the last time being quite disappointing) and hit the new addition to the Indy scene, Granite City Brewery. This is a huge restaurant that was pretty empty on a Saturday for lunch which was a little strange, but at least the kids wouldn’t be bothering anyone! As far as the atmosphere, it is your basic large scale chain type place with a lot of booths. The music was getting to me though. Phil Collins? Ugh. Of course, I am one of those people who can hear even the faintest music in a restaurant and tell you what it is, and maybe most people don’t even hear it. But even Kroger was playing Blondie later that day when I stopped in. But hey, maybe you like Phil Collins.

Foodwise, well, the menu is enormous! It would take me a really long time to go through that whole thing and really read it all which is always challenging with two hungry kids. Hmmm…this seems to be a pattern, the more kid friendly a place is, the bigger the menu seems to be. Wonder why that is. Anyway, hubby and I decided to order two appetizers, partially because we couldn’t get much farther on the menu, and partially because one thing sounded so good. That was the prosciutto olive flatbread pizza. It was described as a flatbread with a roasted galic aioli and olives with proscuitto and provolone on top, and “misted” with rosemary infused oil. Sounded really good in writing. In reality, it was okay. The best of what we ordered for sure, but the crust seemed like a giant (not very crisp) cracker—clearly not fresh dough being used. The olives were very finely chopped into the “sauce” and as for the rosemary taste, I didn’t get it. There was a lot of proscuitto which wasn’t bad, but the pieces were so big, you had to sort of rip them apart with your teeth which was a challenge. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little disappointing.

We also shared the “crispy buffalo shrimp.” Not sure where the crispy part of the name comes from, because these weren’t. The sauce wasn’t very spicy and the shrimp were overcooked (maybe too long under a heat lamp?). Considering we ordered the kids meals a good 10 minutes before we ordered our food, and the fact that both our items were appetizers they should have been super fresh out of the kitchen and they weren’t. They all came out at about the same time and both our items could have stood to be warmer. The creamy blue cheese dressing that came with the shrimp was good, but other than that, I would pass on these.

Ok, here is something that bothered me. My daughter wanted a quesadilla which was not offered on the kids menu. So I asked if they would just make her a cheese quesadilla since they had several more fancy quesadillas on the regular menu. They did, but they charged the full adult price of $9.99 for a cheese quesadilla (and then didn’t even bring the sour cream that is supposed to come with the adult ones), even though the other quesadillas include meat and several other fillings. Maybe I am asking for too much, but that seemed like a lot.

Another little thing, Granite City serves Pepsi products, which I don’t really care about, but I ordered a diet Coke and got a diet Pepsi and the waiter never said a word. Again, I can drink either, but I know a lot of people who would be very unhappy with this.

Hubby did have one of their beers, the “Northern Light,” and enjoyed it. As we ate the lunch, we discussed that next time we went, we would try other things, but the farther I get away from it, the less inspired I am to return, particularly when there are so many other lunch places that are so much better (and many are independently owned). We shall see, but Granite City probably won’t be my first choice next time we’re shopping for something different for lunch. And with the onslaught of brew pubs in Indy, there are so many other options, even just within the brewpub arena. What’s your favorite one? I would love to know (and please tell me what you eat there (or drink) that makes it so good!)

Granite City Food & Brewery
150 West 96th Street
Carmel, IN 46032


  1. Erin, I like the beer at Granite City (I have found myself liking the two-pull option). I've had the same impression as you on regular menu items, but the one time we did the Sunday brunch buffet, we were VERY pleased.

  2. There are three decent non-chain choices in Greenwood, Shallos, Fireside Brewhouse, and the Oaken Barrel. While only the Oaken Barrel makes their own beer, I think the food is a touch better at Fireside Brewhouse. None of them are spectacular, but FB and OB both have above average food choices, especially for the south side.

  3. Definitely try Scotty's. While they don't brew their own beer (as far as I remember), they have plenty on tap and the food is surprisingly good. Plus, the kids eat free on Sunday nights (and I think Tuesday nights).

  4. I can second the recommendations for Shallos and Oaken Barrel. I will say though, that a trip to Shallos is mainly worth it for the beer. They don't brew on premises, it is essentially a beer bar with decent food.

    As for my own recommendation, I go to Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple every chance I get. They brew their own Belgian-style beers and have excellent moules frites. My wife has also tried their sandwiches which she has enjoyed. They also have quite a few interesting crepe options.

  5. I think Granite City is quite good...the beer is decent...not as good as rock bottom..but the food is infinately better than RB. I rarely order steak in a restaurant...for health and I can cook it better at home...but the steak at GC was excellent and cooked perfectly