Monday, July 30, 2012

U.S. Adventures: San Francisco- Summer 2012

San Francisco—one of my favorite places in the world, and a place that is truly like a second home.  Recently we were fortunate enough to stop there for a few days on our way to an amazing family trip to Hawaii.  We mainly just wanted to eat, and hang out with some old friends, and get our bodies a little adjusted to what is ultimately a 6 hour time change.  My kids love San Francisco too, and love seeing their old babysitter (as do we when it comes time to go out for dinner).  It was a quick trip with some great meals—most of which I will discuss in this post.  I am saving our last dinner for a separate post.
The first day, after traveling for hours and getting up at 4:00 am, we were all starving. We tried to pop into Tadich Grill, an old school place right by our hotel but it was packed.  We saw Perbacco right next door, and although it isn’t a place we would probably normally take the kids, we were desperate.  We were greeted warmly, even with our two slightly disheveled and weary travelers.  This warmth and professionalism is one of the reasons I love San Francisco restaurants.  The other one, of course, is the food, and Perbacco was great.  I had herb and ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms and melted leeks ($17).  Hubby and my son split an amazing hanger steak with large roasted mushrooms and arugula ($19).  That steak was amazing--flavorful and perfectly medium rare.  But the surprise winner of the day was my daughter’s requested plain potato gnocchi with just butter ($10).  This was easily the best potato gnocchi I have ever had.  They were so light and fluffy; they practically melted in your mouth.  Honestly, we almost ordered a second order of them to share we all liked them so much.  My daughter won’t stop talking about them and has requested a return visit to Perbacco when we go back to visit.  What a perfect welcome lunch.
Tadich and Perbacco

We did manage to get into the Tadich Grill that night for dinner—this was the place where my son wanted crab for every course—and it could be pretty easily done there.  Tadich is one of the oldest (maybe the oldest) restaurants in San Francisco and has that old school men’s club look with big old wooden walls and a huge bar in the middle.  We shared a bunch of things—Dungeness crab cocktails for the kids (just leg meat, awesome) and I had the avocado crab salad ($25) which is basically like a crab Louis salad, one of my favorite things.  It was lettuce, crab legs, and lots of avocado with some other adornments and a big bowl of their Louis dressing.  The salad was pretty standard—honestly the pre-peeled legs were a little less tender than Dungeness usually is when you peel it yourself.  The dressing was great though.  I make Louis dressing a lot at home and this one had a slightly different taste to it.  Generally, the recipe I make is mayo, chili sauce, cream and lemon with some chopped bell peppers and green onions—I think maybe this one had vinegar in it instead of the lemon and it was a little less peppery than mine.  It was really tasty and has inspired me to mix up my recipe a little.  It was a fun dinner and pretty much exactly what I expected—the food wasn’t amazing, but it was a cool place for the kids.

The second night I got to go out to dinner with one of my girlfriends and we decided to try Wayfare Tavern.  Wayfare is celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s restaurant and was also right around the corner from our hotel in the financial district.  Very cool, masculine feel to the place and again, I was completely charmed by our server who was extremely knowledgeable but also really friendly to us.  She was down to earth and joked around with us several times.  I think San Francisco has some of the best service people in the world. 

open kitchen

I had the steak tartare ($16) to start, which was one of the better ones I had—it was American Wagyu beef and was almost pink, it had so much marbled fat.  There was an egg yolk perched on top and slivers of fried shallots.  There was a distinctly spicy kick to it, which was nice in a pretty rich dish.  Oh, and I didn’t mention the popovers, which were served for their bread service, and were also served grilled with the tartare.  They were amazing.  I love the soft interior and the crisp but slightly chewy exterior.  I am a sucker for a popover. I then had the soft shell crab as my main dish ($15) (it was an appetizer). Honestly, I was not as impressed with this.  Maybe it is because it is getting to the end of the season, but the crab just wasn’t that meaty—there wasn’t a lot of juiciness to it, and I love biting into them and getting that juicy bite from the main body.  There were roasted tomatoes and some lettuce as well as some sliced black truffle, but this dish was only okay for me.  One of the best and most original parts of the meal was the dessert we shared—the goat cheese panna cotta ($10).  It was amazing.  It was done like a crème brulee with a burnt sugar top, but the flavor of the creamy part underneath was amazing with a slight sweetness but with the depth, intensity and slight sourness of the goat cheese.  They served it with some crunchy little cookies that were a nice texture variation.  Exactly the kind of dessert that sticks out in my mind. Delicious.

I do love that town.

230 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco on Urbanspoon

Tadich Grill
240 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tadich Grill on Urbanspoon
Wayfare Tavern
558 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Wayfare Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Recently I posted about a sushi meal and the day I posted it, there were several comments discussing sushi, which of course instantly put me back in the mood.  I did want to at least try something new though, so hubby and I decided to try Izakaya.  It took us a few minutes to find it because it is back in a strip mall area off to the side, but we finally did.  When we walked in, I liked the interior (other than it was freezing of course).  It is modern and feels a little nicer than a lot of Japanese restaurants. They also offer hibachi grills, so we may have to go try that with the kids one of these days.

They have a lunch special that includes ordering a couple of rolls (from a list of choices) for $9.95, which is what I got.  I picked the tuna roll with avocado and the shrimp tempura roll.  It is a pretty good deal considering one of the rolls on the regular menu is $8.95.  I can’t say I loved one better than the other—the tuna was nice and fresh—it was pretty simple though.  I would have liked a little more avocado.  But it was a nice bite sized roll.  The shrimp tempura roll was good too.  I liked the variation in texture, and having a little crunch to it with the tempura shrimp inside as well as the tempura bits on top.    Both of the rolls hit the spot and satisfied the craving.  I didn’t have any major complaints.  You also got a bowl of miso soup included with your lunch—it was your standard miso soup with seaweed and little chunks of tofu.

Hubby got the shrimp tempura lunch for $8.95.  It was several shrimp tempura (there were 3 or 4) and quite a fair amount of vegetables.  Interestingly, the crunchy outside part on the shrimp was a little different from what was on the veggies—the shrimp was almost more like panko in texture—a much crunchier, breadier, and thicker coating.  It was honestly a little too thick—it made the shrimp seem very small in comparison.  There were several kinds of veggies—asparagus, squash, a large onion ring, zuchinni and a mushroom.  The batter on these was more of your traditional batter-tempura type and we both liked it better—it wasn’t so thick that it overwhelmed the veggies themselves.  It also came with soup and a bowl of steamed rice.

Overall, it hit the spot and the service was fast and friendly.  When we first sat down, there weren’t many people there and the air conditioning was on full blast and it was freezing.  But it was one of the few places I have eaten in which I asked for it to be turned down and they went and turned it off.  Usually you just get an eye roll when you complain about being cold around here.

Anyone been to the hibachi part? I am curious to know if it is good.

7325 East 96th Street
Fishers, IN
Izakaya Japanese Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 23, 2012

Road Trip--The Story Inn

The Story Inn has been on my list for quite awhile but we just never managed to get down there—it is in a somewhat secluded little town (um, called Story) near Nashville, Indiana.  It just so happened this summer my daughter went to camp nearby so hubby and I decided to go spend the night and have dinner the night before we were due to pick her up.

The restaurant/inn is a really charming little place with creaky floors and supposedly a resident ghost. We rented one of the rooms in an adjoining building.  It was very rustic—if you want a country type getaway for a night, this might be your cup of tea.  Honestly, it was a little close to camping for me, and I if you knew me, you would know I am not much of a camper.

The restaurant has a fairly limited menu, which looks like it changes seasonably—honestly, this was one of the days that it was about 103 degrees outside so I was having a hard time committing to a really big meal.  I just have a hard time eating a ton when it is that hot.  I started with the “blue lady” salad (named after the aforementioned ghost).  It was a salad of mixed greens, blue cheese, grapes and walnuts with a blueberry vinaigrette ($7.50).  I am generally not a fan of really sweet salad dressings and was a little wary of this one, but it was really good. Possibly because blueberries aren’t so inherently sweet as other types of berries—it also seemed to have a nice balance of acid in it.  The nuts and blue cheese are always one of my favorite things--and when I make my own cheese plates, I almost always add grapes as well—so really this was a nice assortment of things I really like together with a nice dressing. I would get it again.

For my main, I decided to go with an appetizer—the BBQ pork sliders.  For $8.00, this was a really good deal and the homemade bbq pork was really tasty—it was super tender and juicy—it had sauce mixed all the way through that had a nice tangy kick to it.  My only complaint was it was just a little too salty—and it could have used something alongside (slaw or something) to balance the flavors more and give it a little texture.  It was just a little too one dimensional, just the meat and the bun (which were nice and soft but weren’t anything that you couldn’t get at the grocery).  It was certainly a generous portion, and more than enough for people to share as an appetizer.

I also shared a fair amount of hubby’s eggplant parmesan ($21) and it was really tasty.  The eggplant was super crunchy breaded, but what I really liked that not only was it still crunchy even with the marinara, but you could also really taste (and see) the eggplant in the crust.  It seems like eggplant is often lost in a sea of sauce and cheese in this dish, but this one was one of the better versions I have had.  The sauce was chunky and clearly homemade and had the right sweet and slightly acidic flavor.  There was a decent amount of melted cheese as well, but not so much that it felt like you were just eating a big gooey plate of cheese.

We shared a dessert—a dark chocolate pot de crème ($5.50).  It was fine but nothing really amazing. I was looking for a darker chocolate flavor than this—I really like the bitterness of really good dark chocolate and this was mostly just sweet.

I liked the atmosphere of the place visually.  The thing that kind of freaked me out is that it was strangely quiet.  There were a fair amount of people, but no one was really talking besides for us. There was also no background music, which it really seemed to need.  There was also only one server for the whole place, and while she was nice, there was no way she could be everywhere she needed to be in a timely fashion.  I imagine it is hard to staff a place like this out in the middle of nowhere, unless they have reservations.  But they were certainly a little understaffed.  It is a cute place, but I sort of felt like it was a bit of an off night.  I am not sure what high season for a place like this is (Fall maybe?) but they didn’t seem quite ready for the small crowd they had.  The food was good though, and I might be intrigued enough to go again.

Who’s been and what did you think?

The Story Inn
6404 State Road 135 South
Nashville, IN 47448
Story Inn on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kincaid's- Revisit

I heard there was a soft shell crab sandwich special at Kincaid’s for lunch, so naturally I had to try it.  Not only was it soft shell crab, but it was combined with one of my all time favorite sandwich combos, the BLT plus avocado.  It wasn’t a cheap lunch at $17.95, but sometimes you have to splurge (it also came with potato salad and fries).
I enjoyed the sandwich—the crab was cornmeal crusted which isn’t my favorite crust for soft shell crab, but it was done well and the crab was large and quite juicy.  I loved the tartar sauce that they served on the sandwich and alongside—it was really tangy and had a lot of flavor from chopped up artichoke.  It was a nice twist on a classic.  Actually, all the ingredients were good—the bacon was plentiful and the avocado nice and ripe.  Honestly though, and I always remember this after I start eating a soft shell crab sandwich, I think I just prefer soft shell crab more on its own, without extra bread or anything (well, maybe a sauce or something).  Who needs bread when you have deep fried soft shell crab? But it was a high quality sandwich.  The herb potato salad was interesting—they were going with some different flavors than traditional potato salads, but it was a little bland.  The fries were dusted with Old Bay and they were pretty good.  Not exactly sure why they included two forms of potato with the sandwich, but I preferred the fries.

The real star of lunch though was the other sandwich we ordered and split—the lobster hoagie ($18.25).  The other good news about this sandwich is that it is a regular menu item and not on the specials list which means you can probably still order it, unlike the soft shell crab sandwich.  This sandwich was delicious.  It was basically their version of a fancy lobster roll.  There were sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce on the bun as well as a runny fried egg and some tempura avocado on the side (which we promptly added to the sandwich as well).  I liked the variation on the typical lobster roll.  Not sure that avocado really needs to be deep fried though, although it was interesting.  We both totally agreed that this sandwich was excellent and both liked it the best.  There were homemade chips served alongside which were not that great—they were a little too thickly cut or something and were a little more chewy than crunchy.

It was a lovely lunch, although pretty darn expensive for lunch, but you are certainly getting good quality ingredients for the money, even though it is pretty decadent.  One thing I always wonder about Kincaid’s though is that they always have these somewhat inventive and delicious sounding lunch items, but their dinner menu is pretty straight steak house.  They really ought to offer that lobster hoagie for dinner—it is really good and at that price point, it might make more sense.

14159 Clay Terrace Blvd
Carmel, IN 46032

Monday, July 16, 2012

Divvy - Revisit

We have wanted to try Divvy again since our first experience awhile back.  We went with a large group the first time and I was a little overwhelmed with all the different things we tried.  This time there was just 4 of us, and while we still got to try a lot of things, I didn’t feel quite as overwhelmed.  Also, our server was exceptionally friendly and helpful this time.  The menu had changed a fair amount since our first visit, but there were still several of the same items as well (I assume the more popular items).

We started with a couple of the spreads/cheese starters—we had the bruschetta ($6) and the bruleed brie ($8).  The better of the two was definitely the bruleed brie.  It was toasted pretzel bread slices with a little fig jam, nicely melted creamy brie, and tart green apple slices.  Normally I don’t get that excited about brie, but this was a great combo with the apple and the sweet jam (but there wasn’t too much of it which was nice). The bruschetta was grilled slices of focaccia with tomato, onion, roasted garlic and balsamic.  There was also quite a bit of feta sprinkled on top.  The whole dish was just sort of flat to me—the balsamic wasn’t tangy enough or something—it was more on the sweet side I think.  I don’t remember the roasted garlic at all.

The first repeat item we ordered from last time (at my request) was the tempura tofu ($9). I really enjoyed it again.  The cubes of tofu were soft inside with a nice crunch outside.  They was drizzled with a teriyaki sauce and served with pomegranate-blood orange noodles and sesame seeds.  The noodles were cold and had a fair amount of the fruity flavor to them—it was nice alongside the richer tofu.

We also really enjoyed the popcorn scallops ($10). It was a healthy portion of little bite-sized pieces of scallops with a salty, crispy coating.  They were a little addicting—and I appreciated that they were served with a tangy, citrusy tartar-type sauce.  It was a good balance. We also added a random order of the frizzled onions ($4) mid-way through the meal—they were pretty tasty too.  They were basically onion straws, but they were made in house and had a nice crust and a chipotle tomato sauce with them that definitely had a distinct chipotle flavor.  They were good—not amazing but good.

The lamb medallions ($14) with a pomegranate balsamic glaze were probably my least favorite item—they were ok, but the lamb was a little more cooked than I would like—and I really think lamb gets tough when it is past medium rare.  These were certainly closer to medium.  There were 4-5 small medallions—one of the smaller plates of the evening as well.  At this point we went ahead and ordered our second repeat item of the evening—the corn crème brulee ($6).  We all enjoyed it the first time and were debating it, but when our server recommended it to go along with the lamb, we were sold.  It was actually better this time around.  The dish is basically a rich corn pudding with jalapenos, Romano cheese and a bruleed top.  The top this time was nicely crisp which gave a really nice texture contrast with the creamy interior.  It has a smoky flavor, almost making you think it had meat in it (it doesn’t).

The last couple of savory things we threw on at the end were the chorizo balls ($9) and the lobster salad ($14).  These were a good couple of things to get together because one was (obviously) very meaty with spicier flavors, and the other was lighter and had a tangier, citrusy flavor.  You start to notice a lot of repeated ingredients throughout the dishes though, when you order several.  The chorizo balls included more of the chipotle tomato sauce and the lobster salad used more of the citrusy tartar sauce that was with the scallops.  Luckily, I liked both of the sauces.  The meatballs were better than I expected—they stayed fairly tender (maybe because of the fat content).  They had a bit of heat to them (there was also some chopped jalapenos on top) but they had a generous drizzle of crème fraiche that cooled them down a bit.  They weren’t my favorite thing of the evening, but like I said, I liked them more than I expected to.  The lobster salad was pretty good as well, although again, not amazing.  There was a lot of chopped lobster meat with the tartar sauce with a lot of fresh fruits and veg alongside—cucumber slices, orange wedges, sweet peppers and some radish sprouts on top.  I enjoyed it, mainly as something different to go along with the spicy rich chorizo—I am not sure if I would order it again though.
For dessert we got one larger, shareable thing—the chocolate fondue ($12) and one of the “mini morsels”--the chocolate mousse ($4).  I wanted to try the chocolate mousse because last time everyone told me it was really good but I didn’t get to try it before it was gone.  It is a little dome of frozen mousse with a peanut butter glaze and some sea salt on top.  I love the whole sweet/salty thing, so I enjoyed this.  It is pretty small though—even though we all had a bit of it, it is really more of a single dessert.  I appreciate all the little dessert options. It is a nice way to get something sweet without getting a ridiculously large dessert, which seem to dominate most restaurants in Indy.  The fondue was pretty straight forward—a warm chocolate sauce with lots of things to dip into it—homemade marshmallows, and lots of fruit—strawberries, pineapple, banana and apple.  It is an easy thing to share and tasted good.  There was nothing that made it stand out from any other similar dessert I have had before though.

Overall, I generally enjoy the divvy experience.  The menu is really quite large (and maybe slightly overwhelming) and as I mentioned, you start to see a lot of repeated ingredients throughout it.  You kind of have to pay attention if you don’t want to repeat the same flavors.  I enjoyed what we had, but none of it was blowing me away--but it is solid and creative food and there are certainly things to appease pretty much every kind of taste. 

71 West City Center Drive
Carmel, IN 46032

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brugge Brasserie - Revisit

This is just a quick update on Brugge because I have reviewed it several times in the past and in general, am a pretty big fan.  We pretty much always get mussels ($19.95)—our current favorite flavor being the blue cheese and bacon.  I really like that no matter how heavy handed or light handed the cook is with the seasonings on any particular day, you can always taste both of those ingredients—and there are always big hunks of blue cheese scattered throughout to fish out of the broth.  This is what we had this time, as well as the last few times I have been with various people, and they have always been good.  Their frites are some of the best in Indy.  They are super crunchy and fresh. I am also still stuck on my favorite frites sauces, the aiolis (I like both, but particularly the raw garlic one), the blue cheese and the sherry vinegar with sea salt. 

This trip though, my 6 year old ordered the steak frites which is a hanger steak served with a big pile of their frites on top.  ($16.95) (You can also get it with fried eggs which also sounds amazing.)  I had heard this steak was good from other people, but had never gotten around to ordering it because I love the mussels so much.  My son is a steak guy though and we figured between the three of us we could share it all.  The steak was really quite good—hanger steak definitely has a slightly tougher consistency than something like a filet, but it was cooked perfectly and had a great flavor.  It was fairly heavily seasoned on the outside with a spice rub, which we thought was great, but my 6 year old is a bit of a purist.  I think if we got it plain, he would have enjoyed it more.

For the first time on this visit we also sat up on the upper deck—I really enjoyed this. There were a couple of tables in the shade and I love that you can see over the top of many of the buildings to big old walnut trees which I assume are along the river.  The tree top view is a much nicer one than the deck below.

Brugge is certainly a fairly regular place for us.  Well, it is for hubby and me at least, we are still working on the kids.  They are coming along slowly but surely though.

Brugge Brasserie
1011 A East Westfield Blvd.
Indy 46220

Monday, July 9, 2012


I seem to be on a roll right now of working through several places that have been on my list forever.  Hubby and I intended to head to the west side to try one of the great ethnic options over there, but ran short of time and decided to head to Carmel and try Sichuan instead for lunch.  They have a really interesting looking buffet, but hubby isn’t supposed to eat from them (long story) so we just ordered off the menu. 
We made the mistake of ordering a couple of appetizers that were just too generic and not very good—the crab rangoon ($3.50) and the dumplings ($3.99).  They were certainly generous portions for sure, but pretty sure you can get that same crab rangoon anywhere (and honestly, I am not a big fan of them anyhow).  The dumplings were just pot stickers that weren’t pan fried.  Typical minced pork filling.  I thought the skin was a little overly doughy actually so we weren’t doing that well to start. And I kept eyeing the buffet wishing I had gotten it anyway. Lots of interesting looking things.
Then we got our entrée—chicken in garlic sauce ($7.99).  Wow, was it good. There was a lot of white meat chicken that was not cooked to death with various veggies—mainly celery and carrots but with a few bamboo shoots and water chestnuts mixed in.  The celery and carrots were a tad too al dente for my taste, but the chicken and the sauce alone were so good—a decent spicy kick with a lot of garlic flavor—I mean look at the close up shot and you can see all the minced garlic.  We both really liked this.  If it were close by my house, I would be getting this dish for carry out a lot.  I really liked that it was spicy enough that you could feel it too; so many times I think Chinese places around here don’t really adequately spice their dishes, even when they are designated as spicy on the menu.

11588 Westfield Blvd
Carmel, IN 46032

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tie Dye Grill

One kid at camp, and the other with not much to do, I convinced my son to be my lunch date to try a new place with me.  No matter how obvious it is to them how much I like to try new places, my kids like to torment me by always wanting to go to the same places.  Luckily, I was convincing on this particular day.  Unfortunately, when we got to the Tie Dye Grill, the place was already jammed and there was a wait (it was like 11:30 too).  My son was not overly impressed with my choice so far.

Somehow I convinced him to stay (mainly because I had no idea where to go close by as an alternative) and it wasn’t too long before we got a table.  The service staff pretty much completely ignored the people waiting for tables though, and there was no sign in sheet or anything, which was a little awkward because there were two doors and people coming in the whole time. We ended up talking amongst ourselves to determine who was there first. A sign in sheet or a hostess or something might be helpful here.

It was a Tuesday, which is their pork tenderloin day, and one of the reasons I wanted to go on that particular day.  I sort of like the fact that they only do them once a week, and it made me believe that are working hard to make them fresh and to order if they are only making the effort once a week.  I am not sure if that is why it was so crowded, or if they have this kind of crowd every day, but I will say that pretty much everyone was ordering the pork tenderloin sandwich that I could see.

Naturally I went with it, and ordered it along with onion rings as a side ($7.95 for the sandwich, not sure on the onion rings, but must have been close to $5).  Like I said I liked that they are making the tenderloins to order and it was very hot when it came out, unfortunately, I think maybe they are making so many of them, the oil got a little cold and the breading wasn’t as crispy and crunchy as I would like (and it was a little greasy). It had a nice “chicken fried” flavor, with decent seasoning to it, and the bun was a good size and nicely toasted, but the breading was just a little underdone and a little soft.   They serve it automatically with shredded lettuce and mayo, which was fine with me, but on my son’s burger, oy, not so much.

My son wanted a burger, which I have heard they are also sort of known for, but strangely was not a choice on the kids’ menu. I told him if that is what he wanted, he could just order a regular burger ($7.95).  He also got fries which they must have charged a fair amount for as well. The burger was very good.  My son was thrilled to that it was still pink in the middle (he is very strict about medium rareness in beef). Honestly, other than the mayo and lettuce, which I had to scrape off very thoroughly, he loved this burger and is still talking about it. He really wants to take his Dad here.  I have to say, it had a great flavor of charcoal and it was very tender and juicy.  It was clearly not overworked when formed into a patties—it was very irregular in shape and very tasty.  The fries were just your typical foodservice fries—hot and crisp though and honestly, just as good as the onion rings.  Overall I would probably skip either one and try a different side.  Again, the bun was nicely toasted which is always a plus in my book.

Like I said, just watch your prices. We ordered way too much food, and I didn’t realize how big the portions were.  But what I mentioned here (and the fries were a half order) plus two drinks was close to $25 in all, which is a little crazy for lunch if you ask me, especially with a kid (regular kids meals are only $3 and come with fries, but like I said he wanted a burger).  But I like the family vibe in the place, and the fact that a local spot in a sea of chains is doing so well. 

Tie Dye Grill
1311 North Shadeland Ave,
Indy 46219
Tie Dye Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 2, 2012

B's Po Boy

I normally write my posts in order of when I eat at a place, but hubby and I had such an enjoyable lunch, that I decided to bump this one up and let a few of the others linger a bit more in the back of my head.  Hubby has been mumbling about this place since he first heard about it because, as I have said before, he lived in New Orleans for 4 years in college and loves a good po boy.  We have found a few around town that we enjoy, but had not one found one as authentic (according to him) as B’s.

The far and away best thing about the sandwich is the bread.  Hubby was very happy and declared it “perfect.”  It is a very light, soft French bread with a crispy crust, but is in no way overly chewy or hard. Super soft and super easy to eat.  Apparently, they order their bread from Leidenheimer bread in New Orleans for the real deal.  And according to hubby, they are nailing it.

We ordered a half fried shrimp po boy (all half po boys are $6) and a half fried oyster po boy and a side of fries ($2) and a side of red beans and rice ($3.50).  They all come “dressed” with mayo, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato and pickles (unless you ask otherwise).  Right away we both liked what we ordered—the oysters were super juicy (apparently also from the Louisiana Gulf coast) and had the perfect crispy fry. There were three oysters on a half sandwich which was fine, although one more would have been awesome.

The shrimp po boy was really good too—the shrimp perfectly tender and not chewy with a freshly house made breading. Our only complaint was that the breading was sort of falling off—but it wasn’t a big deal because it just sort of blended in with the sandwich, so either way you were still eating the shrimp and the breading together.  The main improvement we both thought the sandwich needed was more shrimp though.  There wasn’t quite enough to get shrimp in every bite.  Hubby’s fond memory is of shrimp spilling out of a po boy with every bite.  Since we weren’t totally full when we ate what we had (we were hungry!) and we ordered a second half fried shrimp po boy and asked for extra shrimp on it (there is a $3 dollar charge for this).  Obviously, we weren’t the first to ask.  Once we had the extra shrimp, and added some hot sauce, this was an awesome sandwich.  Honestly, they should just add the “extra shrimp” option to the menu (and maybe “extra oyster” too?) because I bet people would go for it if they saw it as an option (also, since you are reading this, take my advice and just ask for it the first time). Ok, one other small thing hubby wanted me to mention—mainly they offered Sriracha as their hot sauce option, and a few other random ones.  Curious why they don’t use Louisiana Hot or Crystal to be a little more New Orleans-ish?  The Sriracha tasted fine, but was just a little surprising. Anyway, our perfect order next time:  A whole shrimp po boy with extra shrimp. And we’ll split it.  OK, maybe a half an oyster one too.  

extra shrimp
We also had the fries and the red beans and rice.  Both were good but neither blew me away.  The beans and rice were a little bland for me, although admittedly, I am not a huge red beans and rice fan.  The fries were nice and crisp and salty and enjoyable alongside.  Not sure I would waste the calories next time though—when I could potentially eat more sandwich. And more of that bread. 

There are a lot of other things I like about this place besides the food too.  First, we were there on a beautiful day, sat outside with a nice breeze.  They have a lovely, very clean but casual deck with tables all with umbrellas.  It has a very vacation feel too it even though you are right in the heart of Fountain Square.  They have a couple of bocce ball lanes (lanes? Is that the right word?) and it looked like fun. I also thought the service was great. Exceptionally friendly and efficient—any server would bring you things, they were certainly working as a team here.  Finally, I love the simplicity of the menu and the way it is laid out.  They are focusing on just a couple of things and doing a good job.  There are po boys (ranging in flavors from the fried seafood to pulled pork), sides, and salads. That’s it.

Once we doctored it up with extra shrimp, hubby declared it to be the best po boy he has had outside of New Orleans and that it is a place that needs to go into “the rotation.”  That is one of his highest compliments.  So there you go.

B’s Po Boys
1261 South Shelby Street
Indy  46203
B's Po Boy on Urbanspoon

8/1/2012 Update: I rarely do this, but I wanted to update my post with some new information about B's.  First of all, I am happy to report they have updated their menu with the additional shrimp (1/2 order= $3, full order = $5) and oyster option (each additional oyster is $1.50). Hubby and I just went back and got a full fried shrimp po boy with extra shrimp and it was outstanding.  They breading stayed on the shrimp better and all the extra shrimp made the sandwich really, really good.  They have also added a side of remoulade sauce ($.50) as an option.  I can now forgive the hot sauce issue (which they have not changed) and just put the remoulade on the sandwich.  It is nice and spicy, but also adds even more creaminess. We also had a half oyster po boy with an extra oyster and it was really, really good as well.  This may very well be hubby's new favorite lunch spot.  They have also added beignets as a dessert, although I was disappointed with these.  While the outside crust is tasty, they were just too dense for us.  (Hubby says real beignets should be practically hollow inside).  But all around, B's was really good to start with, and has just gotten better!

P.S. Who has gone since reading my post? Would love to hear your thoughts!