Friday, May 21, 2010

Union Jack Pub

Randomly, hubby and I stopped into Union Jack’s the other day for lunch (picture at left is actually the back entrance by the way). I haven’t been here in years. The interior hasn’t changed a bit since then, other than, thankfully, it is smoke free and I love the big garage door windows that open up to bring in fresh air and a little more light during the day. And they even have screens which is something for which I give bonus points. (Nothing like being dive bombed by bees when you are eating.)

We had no ideas about what we were going to order, but once we were in there, we saw they had “thin crust New York style” pizza on the menu. Now I know, I know, they are known for their deep dish pizzas, but they take a long time to make, and it was lunch. And besides, we have been on a perpetual quest for true New York style pizza since we have moved to Indy (oh how I miss you Escape From New York Pizza!), we thought we would give it a go.

But first, we started with an appetizer (why not?). So we had the Cheese Fries. These were an enormous portion of seasoned fries covered with lots of bacon and shredded cheddar cheese and ranch dressing on the side. Ok, I am not sure why these tasted so good to me, but they did. Maybe because you could taste that they were using actual cheese and not some weird cheese sauce. And the ranch dressing was actually quite thin, but made for a good dip for them without being over the top. There was something about these that just reminded me of the food I used to eat as a teenager. Sort of like potato skins without the skins. And crisper because the fries were, well, fried. Anyhow, we enjoyed them.

Ok, as for the pizza, we are a bit split on it. As soon as I saw it, I knew it wasn’t really New York style. It was, pretty much in the same style as most pizzas in Indy I thought. It wasn’t super thin large pieces of pizza you could fold in half that was only lightly topped. It was a crispy thin-ish crust that was mounded a bit with the toppings (in this case mushrooms and red onions.) I liked the flavor a bit more than several of the other local places, and I liked that you could really taste the red onions, but this wasn’t New York style. It was pretty much classic “Indy style” if you ask me. So it wasn’t bad for an “Indy style” pizza, but I am not rushing back for another. Hubby on the other hand, enjoyed it more than I did (and ate a lot more of it than I did). But then again, this man would eat just about any pizza you put in front of him.

The server was very friendly, and the service was pretty prompt. You certainly feel like you are in a pub in this place (at least on the bar side) and I don’t think this place, which is sort of an institution in Indy, will ever be hurting for business. I remember really liking the deep dish pies. Maybe next time.

Union Jack Pub
924 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indy 46220

Union Jack Pub on Urbanspoon


  1. I like Union Jack. I have always had good service, however I usually get a sandwich. I feel the same way about their naming of Chicago style pizza. It is deep dish, but surely not Chicago pizza. Why is NY style so hard to find in Indy? The closest is Uncle D's and that is in Bloomington!!

    And yes, Escape from NY Pizza is awesome.

  2. hmmm... going to Bloomington soon, may have to look into this Uncle D's you speak of...

  3. We have a few decent NY Style places in Indy. Not enough.
    - Giorgio's Pizza
    dwtwn near the circle.
    - Bella Pizzeria
    3 locations Clay Terrace, E. 96th, Hamilton Twn Center
    - Amore in Zionsville
    - Luca (still going strong, and good pizza)

  4. @Erin: I have two reviews for Uncle D's on my site, I will send you the links...

    @Anon: Let me restate my question, Why is GOOD NY Style pizza so difficult to find in Indy? Having decent NY pizza is such a let down. I agree, not enough options for our size, but I seem to say that a lot.

    All this being said without trying Brozinis yet, which I understand to be the best NY in town.

    Sorry for the hijack on the Union Jack post.

  5. I would echo Giorgio's and Bella as pretty darn good NY style pizza. I lived in Manhattan for quite some time - and feel comfortable saying those two places could open locations in NYC and compete quite nicely!

    I will have to try Luca and Amore

  6. @wibia: hijack away...I like the discussion... that is what I'm here for! :)

    and everyone else, thanks for all the recs, and keep em coming!

  7. I definitely pick Giorgio's for my favorite NY style pizza.... grab a side of meatballs, and you can use the extra sauce for the crust.....

  8. Giorgio's is the best NY style in Indy, Luca/Pizza di Roma a close second and highly underrated (and unfortunately a bit inconsistent).

    Uncle D's is on my list, and will have to check out Brozini's.

  9. This place has excellent fish and chips. Trying only their pizza isn't really the best item on which to base its merits.

  10. I still think it odd that a pub that calls itself "Union Jack Pub" does not have shepherd's pie or steak & kidney pie...

    Well, dropped by for lunch. Ordered breaded mushrooms and grilled tenderloin with salad. The mushrooms - decent, but nothing that special. The tenderloin came out as breaded, before I finished my mushrooms, and no salad. I had to go get the waitress to ask where the salad was. After mushrooms and salad (supermarket pre-bagged crap), the tenderloin was now just barely warm/room temp. The bun (a Kaiser roll) was buttered w/ slightly off-smelling butter, crunchy though. I took a few bites then discarded them to eat just the tenderloin which was actually fairly good - fairly thick cut, not pounded super thin like some other places, acceptably moist and with decent flavor, OK breading (same as used for the mushrooms, I think). Still, I had wanted grilled tenderloin. Utterly pedestrian fixings - 3 raw onion rings (i.e. not even a single full slice), 1 lettuce leaf, 2 sad slices of chewy & limp pickle, 1 slice of cardboard tomato [...and the markets are still full of vine-ripe tomatoes!].

    I wondered if the waitress realized the screw-up in the order because she then brought over condiments, etc, a glass of ice water, all unbidden... Thought of not leaving a tip but relented in the end.

    With a pint of beer, total was $30. For $20 more (+ tip) I can get dinner at Recess.