Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shoefly Public House

This is a place that I have been hearing a lot about. I was excited to try it, but as always, wanted to give it a couple of weeks before I ventured in. I met my friend @wibia there one day because he was wanted to try it as well, and then when another friend asked to go a week or so later, I went again. 

The menu is actually pretty appealing to me—lots of things that sound interesting—I had a hard time making up my mind. On my first visit, the server recommended the walleye fish and chips (lunch portion is $11), so that’s what I went with. Wibia had the Cuban pretzel flatbread ($9) and we shared an appetizer of the Boursin mac and cheese ($7).

I really liked the fish and chips. The walleye was very fresh and was done in a beer batter. It was a thick, very crisp, batter and you could distinctly taste the beer in it. It also came with plenty of housemade fries, which were tasty as well, although could have been maybe a tad crisper. My favorite part of my meal was the house tartar sauce they served along with the fish. It was great. It was a little thinner than the traditional mayo mixed with relish stuff and had way more flavor. It tasted like there were capers and some mustard in there. I dipped everything in it. There was also some slaw alongside that had a very sharp acidic flavor to it that made it a little much for me to eat just by itself. But I am kind of weird about slaw.

I had a piece of the Cuban flatbread as well. It was interesting. I think people will either really like this pretzel-based crust or hate it. Imagine if you took a soft pretzel and made it into a flatbread. It had the pretzel taste and was chewy like a soft pretzel is, but thin. It was topped with pork, capocollo, pickle, mozzarella, and whole grain mustard. The flavors complimented the pretzel taste, although I think I might have liked a little more pickle and mustard flavor, at least in the bites I tried. It seemed like mostly meat and cheese to me.

The mac and cheese was very good—a large portion as well. It had a nice flavor from the Boursin, which is like an herby cream cheese, and was topped with herbs and crunchy breadcrumbs. The noodles were curly and hollow and ridged on the outside and held lots of the cheesy sauce. We did add a little salt and pepper to it but other than that, it was probably one of the tastiest things. Definitely worth ordering if you are into mac and cheese.

On my second trip, I went with the BLT ($9), again because of the server’s recommendation. She said it was one of the best versions she had had and she told me they were using Smoking Goose bacon, so I was sold. It was a big sandwich; that was for sure. One of those ones I have trouble fitting in my mouth. The bacon was cooked perfectly (seriously, you know when they cook it just the right amount of crunchy and it kind of melts in your mouth?), and I liked the addition of avocado (of course I did). There was an aji sauce, which was a bright yellow pepper-based sauce, but to be quite honest, it didn’t have a ton of flavor. The bread (sourdough) was pretty thick. It was a decent sandwich, but I would probably get something different next time. We also shared a side of fries tossed with parmesan and garlic and with a hickory Dijon dipping sauce ($3). I loved the hickory Dijon and sort of wished it was on my BLT instead of the aji sauce. It was mustardy and tangy and just a little smoky all at the same time. The fries however suffered from being pretty soggy. My favorite thing on this visit was the housemade limeade ($3). I have been ordering things like this lately only to find them too syrupy sweet, but this one had a real tangy limey kick. Man, I would love to have this with some booze in it.

I like that there’s parking in back so you don’t have to try and find it on the street. The interior of the place is pretty simple. Only a few photographs of people decorate the walls (people who work there?). It’s kind of hard to tell from the décor (or lack thereof) what identity they are going for. Do they want to be a pub or a family restaurant? And a random thing, the banquette seating was a little odd because the booth part was taller than the chair so I felt very short sitting in the chair. Good to know if you need a place for a business lunch and want to feel like you’re the one with the power I guess. 

I do like the creativity that the menu exhibits, even if not everything is pulled off flawlessly. Little touches like the tartar sauce and the hickory Dijon (and the limeade) make the food stand out from the crowd a bit. I am looking forward to trying it again and trying some different things. I know a bunch of you guys have been—would love some comments about what you like to eat here.

Shoefly Public House
122 East 22nd Street
Indy  46202
Shoefly Public House on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been twice, and been really happy with the food. I had the Capocollo and Mac and Cheese sandwich, which I would recommend to anyone. Also, just the other day I had the Hoosier (burger?) which is a pork patty. Again, I was really impressed with it. If you have room for dessert, the griddle poundcake is amazing. I wasn't a huge fan of the Shoefly pie, the ginger (at least I think it was the ginger) was overpowering. There's quite a few things on the menu which I'm looking forward to trying.

    Overall, I liked the atmosphere. I went early on a Saturday with my kid, and there were other families in there. Next time I went was on a Monday, it was a little slower, but an older crowd.

    As a beer guy, I'm really happy with their beer menu. They've got a lot of really good beers rotating in and out.

  2. I ate at Shoefly last week and wasn't impressed. I had the duck wings, which were good, but not so good that I'm dying to go back, and the sage polenta, which tasted like Stove Top stuffing gone horribly wrong. Ugh, it was just bad. Plus, their homemade ginger beer, which I was the most excited about, tasted more like beer and less like ginger. (I admit, I'm a ginger beer freak and particular about it being ginger forward.)
    I'd go again, but it won't be anytime soon (maybe before a Talbott Street night).

  3. I went this past weekend for the first time. I found it appealing that they are family friendly and offer child menu food other than the standard fare. I also had the fish and chip's at the server's suggestion and they were really good. My husband normally dislikes tartar sauce and he even said how good this one was. He got one of their speciality burgers and it was pretty good. He ordered it medium and that's how it arrived. My mother in law had the cuban sandwich, which is served on waffles as the bun and it was delicious. I only had a small bite, so I didn't get a grasp on all the flavors, but it's something I would certainly order in the future. We also got the pretzels and bier cheese as an appetizer - they give you a decent amount of pretzels, so it's a great thing to share and the cheese got good flavor from the beer and didn't taste like standard pretzel cheese at all. We also shared the pound cake and brownie desserts. The brownie was good, but not necessarily anything special, but the raspberry sorbet that came with it was delicious. The pound cake was good, but I thought it could use a bit more filling between the two pieces and parts of mine were a little too griddled, but otherwise it was a good, unique dessert.

    Also, I wanted to mention that they change their menu seasonally. Their new menu just came out this past week, and includes many new things but also they kept some of the other, most popular dishes around (such as fish and chips and griddled pound cake). I also agree that their beer menu is good, but that seems to be the growing trend among local restaurants now.