When I asked everyone for suggestions in Indy for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, a couple of you suggested the Keystone Deli. Going over there, I had no idea what to expect based on the sign out front of a strip mall off Keystone and 54th which simply reads, “Deli.” When I walked in, I remembered I had been here once before, a long, long time ago, right after I had moved to California and was back for a visit. Like, nearly 20 years ago I think. Anyhow, the first thing you notice on the inside is the wear and tear on the place lets you know it has been around for at least that long… Let’s just say, it probably would be a good fit for the “dive” part of that show. The next thing I noticed was there was a small cafeteria line up at the front, so I assumed that was what you do, get your tray, go through the line and order your food. Which is what we did. At the end of the line I noticed menus though with a wider selection of items (including a lot of breakfast items) and as I sat down with my tray, I saw people come in and sit down with menus and get waited on. So, you can go either way at this place I guess.
Anyway, we went through the line and got what looked best, which turned out to be fried chicken (seriously, I didn’t know going in that this was going to be a fried chicken review). So I went with white meat and hubby did dark. I got mashed potatoes and fried cabbage as my sides and hubby got mashed potatoes with gravy and spinach. They had what looked like it could be decent mac and cheese but I didn’t want so much starch on this particular day. Anyhow, the chicken had a nice crispy, somewhat flavorful exterior, but the breast was too dry. This is often the case and I tend to order thighs instead because of this problem, but they were low on them so I went with the breast. The wing was better because it wasn’t so dried out. Although the chicken suffered from a common problem of cafeteria food---it had been sitting a bit, so it wasn’t all that warm either. The potatoes were fine, nothing really bad or good about them. I think my favorite part of the meal was the fried cabbage. It was tender but had a great flavor to it (I think those big hunks of bacon helped in this aspect). I have had several examples of watery bland cooked cabbage lately. This was the best I have had to date. Oh, I also picked up a deviled egg near the check out (another weakness I have—really good deviled eggs. Man, you can tell I am from the Midwest huh?) Sadly, the deviled egg was not for me. Way too much sweet relish in there. I like mine more salty I guess. (Taste has some kick butt deviled eggs by the way).
Hubby echoed my sentiments on his dishes—he thought everything was ok, but that there were better options for fried chicken. And his spinach tasted remarkably like frozen. Nothing special going on there. I was sort of bummed that I didn’t know about the menu ordering. Some of the food coming out looked pretty good (particularly the breakfast items). So I think if I go back, it will be for breakfast and not for fried chicken.
2344 East 53rd Street