Friday, February 27, 2009

McCormick and Schmick's

Wanting to try something new, and wanting some seafood, we headed over to McCormick & Schmick’s at the Hilton downtown (full disclosure--it is a chain). As we walked in, we noticed how full this place already was and we were eating at 6:30. Unfortunately, the servers were a bit overwhelmed as the service started out pretty slow right from the beginning. Our server was very friendly, but it took quite awhile before we got our wine (in fact the table next to us got their appetizers before we got our wine and they came in after us).

Anyway, once our wine was delivered and our order placed, it picked up because they have several people besides the servers delivering the food. To start, we ordered the house mixed greens salad and the mussels. Both of these things were really good. The salad was mixed greens with blue cheese and candied walnuts with a really tangy vinaigrette—I really liked it and though sometimes candied walnuts are too sweet for me, these were perfect to balance out the tangy dressing. And the portion size was spot on for one person (although we shared the two apps).

We also had the mussels in a broth of white wine, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh herbs—these were some of the best mussels I have had around here. They were fresh and properly cooked and the broth had a great flavor. Every mussel was open and the portion size and price was appropriate (a serving for one person was $6.95). I was really impressed with these.

Oh, as I sit thinking about them and dipping my bread into the broth, I should say, if you want bread, be sure and ask for it (preferably when you make your drink order I think). Honestly, I am not sure if they don’t bring it unless you ask or if they just forgot ours, but I didn’t see enough people with it on their table to be sure. But it was nice crusty bread with butter that was a nice accompaniment to the salad and the mussels.

For our mains, I ordered the King Crab Legs off the Featured Wild Seafood section of the menu—they were advertised as being from the Early Dawn fishing boat from The Deadliest Catch show. I used to watch this show incessantly with hubby so I was intrigued. It is funny how a show can influence restaurants as this is the third restaurant in Indy that I have seen advertise its catch from one of these boats. Anyway, the crab was very good and there was more than enough of it. Simply prepared and served with drawn butter, I really enjoyed it. However, the corn on the cob and roasted potatoes served alongside as the “traditional sides” were not so good. The potatoes were just plain and didn’t have much flavor. The corn was heavily seasoned on the top side and the first (and only) bite I took was pure salt, it was horrible. And who tries to pass off corn on the cob in February anyway (especially in Indiana). I should have asked for different sides. I was going to, but thought I would see what they regularly served in order to see if they could wow me. Like I said, the crab was very good, the sides, not.

Hubby had the mixed grill with a crab cake, sautéed sea bass and salmon served over risotto and with asparagus on the side. He really liked the sea bass (I had a bite, it was quite tasty) and he liked the crab cake (not bad, moister than the last one I had elsewhere) and very crabby. He was not happy with the salmon as it was very overcooked (salmon really benefits from being medium rare and this was very well done). At first he claimed both the risotto and asparagus to be too al dente and didn’t like either, but after a few more bites of the risotto, informed me it had “grown on him” and finished it. He skipped the asparagus however.

His dinner came with a “signature” espresso crème brulee (they have several price fixed dinners you can order that come with soup or salad and/or dessert.) He loves crème brulee, but didn’t like this---tasted too much like coffee. I for one, have never understood why a dessert needs to taste like coffee—why not just order coffee? We had a look at the dessert tray (something a little weird about plastic coated ice cream) and they all looked too huge to order—strange since the other items were more reasonably sized.

Anyway, generally, this place has a similar theme to many of the seafood restaurants in the City. The seafood is flown in daily, the menu changes daily, lists what is fresh at the top and then lists preparations for each thing throughout the menu. I think I enjoyed this one more than several of the others simply because the prices and portions are much more reasonable and you feel like you can just order what you want and not have to figure out the complicated math equation of who will share what with whom (i.e. a salad serves 1, not 4). As for the food, it was generally quite good, especially the appetizers. I would happily go back, get a salad and two appetizers I think next time.

The clear places for improvement at McCormick and Schmick’s are the service and the side dishes. I like that they come with the dinner and you don’t have to pay extra for them, but they need to improve the preparation and flavor of them—I see the things served on the side as just as important a part of the plate as the main ingredient. They should complement each other, not just fill up the plate.

However, regardless of my thoughts on improvement, this place is certainly thriving; it was completely full the entire time we were there. So they are obviously doing some things right!

McCormick & Schmick's
110 North Illinois Street
Indy 46204

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oakley's Bistro-Lunch

Oakley’s has been on my list to get back to—I hadn’t been since I started my blog, and I finally managed to get over there—well, for lunch anyway. And the very first time I went, it was lunch, and I was quite impressed so I was looking forward to it.

The weird thing is, I think the menu is the same lunch menu they have had since I went there the first time, like 3 years ago. I was sort of hoping in a chef driven independent restaurant for a little more variety, but what can you do.

I decided to get the soup and tart option, opting for the soup of the day which was described to me as roasted corn and cauliflower soup with a garnish of tomatoes and avocado. This soup was outstanding—truly something special. However, I think it was more like roasted corn and cauliflower with some small nice chunks of mushroom and tomato with chive oil and chives for garnish. Didn’t really taste the avocado, but they bring it in little copper pots that are hot and pour it into a large bowl so it was hard to catch exactly what was on top for garnish. But whatever it was exactly, it was amazing. My dining companion had the butternut squash soup, which I think is usually on the menu, and thought mine was better. Seriously, if they offer this soup when you are there, get it. Yum.

I chose the shrimp tart as the second course and it was good, but not great. It was described as coming with shrimp, spinach, tomato fondue and mushrooms. The crust is a nice puff pastry but the “tomato fondue” seemed more like a chunky marinara that sort of turned the whole flavor into a pizza-ish one, which isn’t what I was really hoping for. The spinach and the mushrooms were sautéed and the perfectly cooked shrimp lay across the top. Other than the shrimp, I could have closed my eyes and been eating pizza. I would prefer it without the tomato sauce, or maybe with just a few fresh tomato dices on top (well, when they’re in season anyway). There were several tarts, particularly a chicken version that sounded interesting and may not suffer from this problem since they are described as just having “tomato” but if it is the same sauce, I would skip them and try something else.

I saw they still had the salmon pot pie on the menu as well, which hubby raved and raved about when he got it 3 years ago. Maybe try that. All in all, I want to like Oakley’s, I like the concept, I like the restaurant and the ingredients are top notch. A little variety might be just what they need. When a restaurant like this rarely changes the menu, it makes me question if maybe they are just a little burnt out. But I will try dinner again soon, and will hope for the best! And as always, I will let you know when I do!

Oakley’s Bistro
1464 W 86th St
Indy 46260
(317) 824-1231

Friday, February 20, 2009

La Piedad

Ok, I have been wanting to try this place for quite awhile because it is always crowded (heaving in the summertime) and I figured that must be a good sign. One of the main reasons I haven’t tried it until now is one of its biggest drawbacks in my mind—no margaritas. Only a beer and wine liquor license. Not being a big fan of beer, and wine and Mexican, well it just doesn’t match that well (although I managed to suffer through!)

As for the chips and salsa, as one of my dining companions said, “the chips weren’t stale and the salsa was a step above Old El Paso,” so they were at least edible and well, truthfully for me, probably the best part of the experience.

That being said, I think my first visit will probably be my last. I am not sure what the big draw to this place is, other than it is cheap, but again, you can get better cheap Mexican at places like La Hacienda any day (and a kick butt margarita—Get the “Texas” margarita though, it is much better than the regular ones).

I had a sampler plate of a beef taco, chicken enchilada and a chalupa. And because it didn’t include rice and beans, I had an order of that as well. The food was really unremarkable. The dishes were bland and much of the meat very dry. It sort of all tasted the same to me. We went with friends who had also never been and I had a bite of one our friend’s pork carnitas and it was pretty lacking in flavor as well (he called them "a little too boiled out and flavorless"). Hubby had the flautas which were probably the best thing on the table, but still pretty underwhelming. (On a side note, hubby was back at La Hacienda a few days later and had the carnitas and remarked about how much better they were, with crispy bits and much more flavor.) The beans and rice were bad, tastless and boring.

The guacamole was clearly not freshly made and one of those smooth puree types you often see (as one of our friends said, clearly from a foodservice supply company) that somehow, they have managed to remove any remnant of avocado taste from. I like some actual recognizable pieces of avocado in my guac.

I think the overall mood at the table was that this place was really nothing special (other than it was very crowded with people on a Tuesday night which is nice) and if we want cheap Mexican, we will go to La Hacienda. One of these days I will do a formal review of Hacienda, but for now, if you want cheap Mexican, go there. On the other hand, our friends have told me they will likely go back one more time when the weather is nice and sit outside (they do have a nice patio) so obviously, they enjoyed it a bit more than I did. It would take a lot to get me back. Like a completely new menu. And margaritas.

La Piedad
6524 Cornell Ave
Indy 46220
(no website I could find)

**Special thanks to friend and reader Chicago Pete for helping me out on this review—he went with us on this night out, along with his wife, and sent me his thoughts, many of which I have incorporated herein (and identified as such) because honestly, I got the flu shortly after this visit and was having a hard time coming up with a decent review.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hoaglin To Go

We recently went over to try Hoaglin to Go with the kids on a Sunday morning. It was a beautiful day and we thought we were lucky to get a table right away as it looked like the type of place that gets quite busy.

I didn’t have the time I would have liked to really peruse the menu since the kids were with me and acting a bit crazy. I was a bit flustered but knew I wanted to try the egg salad because I had read it was voted best egg salad in Indianapolis Monthly. And I love egg salad. I ended up ordering the bacon and egg sandwich which was egg salad, bacon, tomato, lettuce, cheese and red onion on toasted sourdough. While it was very tasty, it was hard to really taste the egg salad for all the other stuff that was on there. I did dig out a couple of bites of just the egg salad by itself which was really good—lots of fresh dill which is a nice touch. It was also a bit hard to fit into my mouth frankly, because there was so much stuff on it, and when I did, lots of the fillings fell out. The bread was very good though and the quality of ingredients top notch. I think next time though, I will just get the simple preparation which is egg salad on lettuce and tomato served with crostini so I can really taste it. I substituted the kettle chips (which were also very good) for one of their specialty sides, the asparagus, tomato and blue cheese salad. This was outstanding. And those were appropriate sized chunks of blue cheese. I would certainly get this side again!

They don’t really have a kid’s menu, but were happy to make a grilled cheese and some scrambled eggs for the kids. They both seemed to enjoy it anyway once the food finally came. The tables however are quite small if you actually seat 4 people at them, which is even worse with kids who are constantly knocking into things.

After ordering I noticed the specials board which had a great sounding quiche with broccoli, boursin, and blue cheese and the special omelet of the day involved crab and artichokes which is always up my alley. Next time. (And it might help to have it pointed out since I had my back to it.)

The service was quite slow—I think it took a good 30 minutes to get our food, just enough time for my very hungry 6 year old to melt down. By the time we left, it was very busy and there was quite a wait to get a table. I am hoping during the week it may not be so bad. But all in all, the menu is very appetizing and I will definitely go back. Probably won’t subject the kids to this place again (or vice versa) though.

Hoaglin To Go
448 Massachusetts Ave
Indy, 46204

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mama Carolla's

At the request of a reader who is searching for good Italian in Indy, I decided to head over to Mama Carolla’s in Broad Ripple. I have been there before, probably 2 years ago, and had a pretty good meal. This thing I like about this place is it is a neighborhoody restaurant with a lot of charm. It is in an old house that has been converted but keeping a lot of the old charm of the house including a nice warm fireplace as you walk in the front door. This place is also very reasonably priced, which is an unusual thing for Italian restaurants around here. Generally, the menu is pretty typical of a Midwestern Italian restaurant, with a few variations, and a bit more selection than many.

Man, is this place popular though—there were 6 of us and we waited at least 40 minutes to be seated and we got there at 5:45! They don’t take reservations at all on the weekends and only for parties of 8 or more during the week. Every square inch of the place was packed with people including the outside area that was heated only with patio heaters (and it was probably about 20 degrees). Luckily we got a seat at the bar and had some wine—and the hostess was very helpful, coming up to us several times to update us on the status of the table that we were waiting on.

Once we were seated in one of the little alcoves that are scattered throughout the house, we were promptly greeted by a very friendly server who brought us drinks and took an appetizer order. They have great bread (for free), and if you get the cheesy bread (an extra charge), it is even better, garlic bread coated with a layer of cheese. (And they will still bring you the free bread as well). We also got the artichoke fritters which are probably my favorite thing on the menu (pictured here). They are little balls of artichoke hearts and goat cheese fried and served with a goat cheese sauce lightly drizzled over the top. I really like these fritters!

Everybody at our table got an entrée except for me; I had the mussels from the antipasto menu. And before I go on, the antipasto menu has lots of things that sound really good. You could make a great meal out of antipasto. The mussels were good—the broth was really good, lots of garlic and chili pepper—had a bit of a kick to it after a few of them. The mussels were a great size (I prefer them small) but I am not sure if they were a little overcooked or a little past their prime, but they were a little, well, soft is the only way I can describe it.

One of the nice things about this place is that every entrée comes with soup or salad. I had some soup and a bite of hubby’s Caesar salad. They were both good. I had the soup of the day, creamy potato with proscuitto—it was tasty. So you can really have a nice meal for a very reasonable price if you want to just get an entrée and the soup or salad. I think the entrees ranged from about $11-20 or so.

Hubby had spinach and cheese ravioli in a pesto cream sauce. It was quite tasty and I liked that the portions aren’t as overwhelming as at most Italian restaurants. I had a sample of several other entrees including the veal saltimbocca and chicken parmesan. The veal was drenched in tomato sauce which detracted from the taste of it. I don’t think saltimbocca is supposed to be covered in tomato sauce and cheese, but hey, everyone has their own recipe I guess. Actually, the chicken was better since it is supposed to have tomato sauce on it and the chicken was perfectly cooked.

The wine list is up my alley, lots of Italian wines, which are some of my favorites. There are a lot of little touches that make the experience a bit nicer than average. They leave water on the table, and a nice jug of olive oil. Also, one of the people in my party wanted me to mention that he was happy that when they refilled his iced tea, that they brought a new glass with a fresh lemon since normally at most places, they just pour you a refill without a fresh lemon.

Overall, this place is a great value and has quite a bit of charm and a friendly staff. The food is pretty good and I would say to date, it is my favorite Italian in Indy (not that I have been to all of them for sure). If you don’t mind a wait, check it out.

Mama Carolla’s
1031 East 54th Street
Indy 46220
(no website I could find)

Mama Carolla's Old Italian on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ruth’s Keystone Café

Several readers have commented on Ruth’s Keystone Café as one of their favorites for lunch and I thought it time I write it up. I have been several times, but it had been awhile, so I thought it was time for a trip back.

It is a small little restaurant in a strip mall across from the Fashion Mall. The menu is quite appealing and I have tried several things—pretty much all of which have been good. On this most recent trip, hubby and I got 2 sandwiches and split them—the Brie L.T. and the Missile.

The Brie L.T. is described as bacon, brie, romaine lettuce, tomato and tarragon aioli on Italian bread heated in a panini press. The sandwich was very tasty, had the right amount of brie, and although I didn’t see any romaine, it was mixed greens, I think that is probably an improvement. The only thing I didn’t really taste that much was the tarragon aioli, I think a slightly more liberal application could have improved it. But all in all, I would order it again.

The missile is described as braised chicken breast with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and gorgonzola on a hoagie bun (pictured below). I liked this sandwich as well, the tomatoes were quite tasty (more flavorful than the plain tomatoes in the Brie L.T.) and it had a good amount of the chicken and onions (although, I generally expect caramelized onion to have a bit of color to them, and these didn’t, but they were still good). Again, the only thing was, it could use a bit more of the unique ingredient, the gorgonzola. I think I only had one bite where I could really taste it. Hubby suggested maybe it is because some people don’t like blue cheese, but I think if you are ordering a sandwich with blue cheese, you should really be able to taste it. And if you don’t like it, order something else. There are lots of choices here.

I have also had the cobb chicken sandwich on several occasions, and it may be one of my favorites. It is shredded chicken, bacon, avocado (natch), blue cheese, aioli and sprouts (I get mine without sprouts because there are just so many of them) on a hoagie. This is quite tasty as well, even if it suffers from the same lack of the blue cheese that the missile does. Like I said, I want to be able to really taste it.

The sandwiches all come with a nice side salad of mixed greens with their house vinaigrette which is very good. And I appreciate the health factor of this as well. The bread is also high quality and in the right proportion to the rest of the toppings.

I have also had the warm wild mushroom salad with spinach, blue cheese, candied walnuts and truffle vinaigrette. This salad is really good and all the ingredients complement each other perfectly. I would say this is my second favorite thing here.

Ruth’s also has a very extensive breakfast menu which is very intriguing and offers daily specials as well. I am always curious about the daily benedict special (as well as the several benedicts they have on the menu) which plays on the basic theme with many variations (crab cakes, salmon, asparagus, etc).

My one gripe about the actual interior is the way the restaurant is laid out (a long rectangle with a door leading in right in the middle), that no matter where you sit, if it is winter, every time the door opens, you freeze for a second. Maybe a curtain in front of the door somehow or something like that would improve this problem. Also, occasionally the service is a bit slow, particularly if there is a big crowd (which there often is), so prepare for that if you are crunched for time.

All in all, I think Ruth’s is a very good, high quality lunch place with the potential to be great with a little more consistency and attention paid to making sure all the flavors in the dishes are presented in the right proportions. They have got the right combinations; they just need to perfect it.

Ruth’s Keystone Café
3443 East 86th Street
Indy 46240

Friday, February 6, 2009

Euphoria-Winter Revisit

***As of June 5, 2011, Euphoria is closed as a restaurant and is only open for private events. The chef has also left the restaurant.****

Well, after L’explorateur’s unfortunate closing, hubby and I agreed we needed to put our money where our mouth is (no pun intended) and get back out to one of our favorite local restaurants/chefs and visit Euphoria again. We also went with hubby’s parents. It was so uplifting to see just how busy this place was! The first few times I went to the Tavern (before changing names and management) the food was always great, but the place was lacking in customers. This time, they had nearly a full house by the time we left and the place had a great vibe.

The food was also great as well. I shared/tasted several items and had several remarkable things. We were served a fabulous amuse bouche of fried artichokes with some of the tasty Puttanesca that is mentioned below. A great way to start the meal (and as I have mentioned before, I am always more impressed by a warm amuse, it takes some effort). As for what we ordered, we went with a few favorites we have had before and a few new items. The things we had had before, the beef tartare (off the bar menu) and the sweet potato gnocchi were good. The tartare is a great dish served with all the traditional garnishes on the side to mix in with the beef and housemade potato chips. The gnocchi are served with shaved Brussels spouts, braised pork and parmesan. They were maybe not quite as good as the first time we had them (I’m not sure why, maybe not as much of the Brussel Sprout flavor) but still very tasty.

I also tried the shrimp curry for the first time which was quite tasty, even for me, and I am picky about what curries I like. They are served with Laughing Bird shrimp, which are small, sustainably raised shrimp and were really great. I hope to see these shrimp in other dishes in the future—they had much more flavor than many of those super sized shrimps I keep seeing on menus around here that are always too firm. Anyway, there was a light curry sauce with avocado, pineapple and green onions that tasted slightly sweet from coconut milk but also had a bit of heat to it. This was not the kind of bright yellow curry you might picture from certain Asian restaurants. This was a light, creamy and spicy sauce on the shrimp served over perfectly cooked steamed rice. It was really quite good.

I also had part of the Scallop entrée which were large sea scallops served over baby spinach with cod cheeks, granny smith apples and a bacon sherry vinaigrette (with nice sized chunks of bacon). There were 4 large scallops and this was easily an entrée that could be (and was) shared. I enjoyed the saltiness of the bacon mixed with the tanginess of the vinaigrette and apples—right up my alley.

My father in law also ordered the one side seared beef which was served with a great fettuccine Puttanesca. It was also outstanding. Chef Gates really does pasta well—much better in fact then most Italian restaurants in this city in my opinion. The meat is also perfectly cooked, and everyone at the table had some and loved it.

The evening we were there was the last night of Devour Downtown and Euphoria had a great prix fixe menu set with several choices. They have decided to keep a $30 prix fixe on the menu for the time being. I think this is a great idea in our current economy. The menu has changed this week to my understanding, and after having a peek at the new one, the new prix fixe gives some great options (a great sounding soup or salad to start, trout or shortribs for a main, and a trio of desserts that includes my all time favorite banana tart).

The rest of the new menu (with some of the same items from the old one including the Scallops) has some great sounding additions, I for one am anxious to try the deconstructed Dungeness Crab starter. Oh how I love Dungeness Crab. We were also told that once they get to more Spring-ish menus, we will see some changes the wine list as well, which will make for a nice variety.

I noticed the steakhouse menu that I mentioned in my last review of Euphoria is gone which I for one am happy to see. We have enough steakhouses (we counted what like 10 downtown alone?). We do not have enough eclectic menus like Euphoria’s. Enough said.

As for the service, which has long been the Achilles’ heel of this place, it is certainly more friendly and welcoming. However, I think maybe they are (or were this night anyway) a bit short staffed, as the more crowded it became, the more overwhelmed the service staff seemed. But they kept up a warm front and did their best, and it was good to see them all so busy!

Euphoria is certainly one of the top restaurants in Indianapolis and I hope to see it prosper. Even if you are on a tight budget, there are great choices both on the prix fixe and the bar menu (in which everything is around $10 or less--be sure and ask for it) and you will certainly get some great food.

337 West 11th Street
Indy, 46202

****2/9/09 update: Just thought I should share that on Monday nights the bar at Euphoria is open for an happy hour with all bar menu food items at 1/2 price as well as certain drinks. (The restaurant is closed, just the bar is open). They are also offering a seafood buffet with oysters, crab legs and shrimp cocktail, all you can eat, for $10. This is seriously one of the best deals going --you can get some amazing food for ridiculously low prices at one of the best restaurants in the City. Get yourself in there and see what they have to offer. I think you'll be hooked (and I can't believe these great deals are going to last forever.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Café Patachou

I realized I haven’t ever written this lunch place that I go to often—probably more often then anywhere else in fact. So often that I often refer to it as the school cafeteria. Anyway, the Patachous are a local chain of restaurants (I usually eat at the one at the Fashion Mall near Bed Bath and Beyond) with freshly made and quite tasty, breakfast and lunch items. I’ll admit, I have never actually eaten breakfast here, as I really like their lunch items. I certainly have my favorite things, but I have tried several items.

I will start with the soups. At my location, their house soup is tomato artichoke which is really tasty. They serve it with a bit of cheese and croutons on top and I really like the way you can taste the artichokes, both in flavor and texture. They also alternate a soup of the day, my favorite of which is the broccoli gorgonzola-- rich, creamy and delicious. They are well known for the freshly made soups, and have won a few awards with them I believe.

The salads are also quite good, and DEFINITELY big enough for an entrée. I love the cobb salad with shredded chicken, avocado, egg and nice big crumbles of blue cheese. I like that it is not the typical cobb which is lettuce packed to the top of a bowl with all the other ingredients layered on top which makes it hard to get it mixed –I like a bite of everything on my fork. Their dressings are all top notch as well. Another nice thing here is that you can get ½ a sandwich or soup and mix it with a smaller portion of any of their salads, even the ones with all the goodies, which is somewhat unusual (usually you just get the boring house salad when you get such a combo).

Probably my favorite (and most often ordered) item on the menu is the egg salad sandwich. Their egg salad is prepared exactly how I like it, just eggs, mayo and salt and fresh cracked black pepper. No celery. I can’t stand celery in my egg salad. A little celery salt maybe, but no big crunchy bits. Anyway, I have had other sandwiches as well, my second favorite probably being the broken yolk sandwich with egg, cheese, avocado and bacon. Delish. On a side note, I usually have a problem with any sandwich place that does not offer avocado on things. That can be a deal breaker. I love avocado. On just about anything.

The only downside in my mind to their sandwiches is the bread. Not that it isn’t good tasting, because it is, but it is simply too thick. Just throws the proportions off I think. Often, I take off half the bread and eat it open face. Which is sort of funny because at Petite Chou, their French bistro version of the chous, they serve several of their sandwiches as “tartines” which are basically open faced sandwiches, except the bread here is sliced thinner. So when they actually serve it open face, you could actually deal with both slices, but when they serve it as a regular sandwich, there is too much bread. Something to ponder.

Anyway, this place is as close to what I would make at home for lunch if I had more time and the ingredients are fresh and wholesome. Another bonus, they have a little play area (at least at mine and I think at most of their locations) for the kids which is nice, especially when you have to wait, which actually brings up the other downside here. You often have to wait to get a table. I don’t usually go on the weekends for this reason, and tend to eat on the early side on the other days. You can also order to go and they are very fast.

Café Patachou
8691 River Crossing Blvd
Indy, 46240
317-815-0765 (check the website for all locations)