Saturday, February 28, 2015

Guest Post - Rocket 88 Doughnuts

Hi all, here's a post from Gwen, who wrote a post about General American Donut company this summer when my wrist was broken. She's back to update you on another doughnut place--Rocket 88. I have not been great about going to the doughnut places myself, so I am happy to have her specialty voice on the subject. 

Cheers, Erin
Mmmmmm…donuts.  If you read that in your best Homer Simpson voice, you’re no doubt cheering the arrival of Indianapolis’s newest craft donut spot, Rocket 88 Doughnuts.  It’s located at 874 Virginia Avenue in the heart of Fountain Square. 

Opening on December 5th, 2014, Rocket 88 claims to put the “ough” back in doughnuts with all-natural, organic ingredients, time-honored baking techniques, and creative flavor combinations.  The shop features its own special blend of coffee from Indy’s own Mile Square Coffee Roastery as well as organic teas, juices, and milk. Their menu includes classic favorites like Old-Fashioned and flavored yeast varieties, an assortment of vegan donuts, and specialty and seasonal flavors like Earl Grey Vanilla, Chocolate Potato Chip, and Brown Butter Pumpkin.  And let’s not forget the “crown jewel” of their menu—the waffle donut.  This gem is only available on the weekends and sells out quickly, so plan to get there early if you want to try this unique breakfast creation.

There’s no doubt that Rocket 88’s success is due in part to its location.  Located just steps from the Cultural Trail, the shop was filled with joggers, dog walkers, and cyclists stopping in for breakfast on the unseasonably nice Sunday morning I visited.  With its whimsical, post-modern décor and varied seating options, Rocket 88 encourages customers to savor their creations in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.  For folks in a hurry, they’ll box your treats for safe travels.  

I wanted to try all of Rocket 88’s unique flavors, but even the most dedicated doughnut lover can only stand so much sugar, so I enlisted the help of two friends.  I purchased an assortment of eight doughnuts: two Salted Caramel Pretzel, two Maple Pecan, a Cinnamon Sugar Yeast, an Earl Grey Vanilla, and two Almond vegan doughnuts.  Add a large “Dirty Chai”—a chai latte with a shot of Mile Square espresso—and my total came to just over $18, served up by two smiling staff members.  Pricey for donuts and coffee?  Yes.  Worth it?  We would soon find out.

As we bit into our sweet confections, it was apparent that these were not your run of the mill, convenience store donuts—the textures of both the cake and yeast doughnuts were light, chewy, and airy.   The flavors were light and subtle—but almost too subtle in some cases.  The doughnuts were all delicious, but we yearned for more salt and crunch from the Salted Pretzel Caramel and the floral punch of a strong cup of Earl Grey Tea.  The vegan Almond donut ended up being one of our favorites, which surprised this group of omnivores.  

Though my first trip to Rocket 88 Doughnuts didn’t send me to the moon, their commitment to small-batch baking techniques, out-of-this-world flavors, and quality beverages will keep me coming back to explore their universe of craft doughnuts.

Rocket 88 Doughnuts
874 Virginia Ave
Indy  46203

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Murphy's @ Flynn's

The family and I used to frequent Murphy’s a fair amount before its move. It was a kitschy space that the kids really liked. And I liked that my son, who loves steak and lobster, could get either or both for a very reasonable price. When the construction at Keystone and Fall Creek started last year, Murphy’s decided to move because they knew their business would suffer. They moved in with Pat Flynn’s at 52nd and Allisonville. They’ve been there for a while now, but we hadn’t made it over to see what the new “Murphy’s @ Flynn’s” would be like. We were curious as to how they combined the menus etc. 

It appears that Murphy’s is the more dominant theme there, although the menu is much larger, incorporating some of the Flynn’s dishes as well (pizza, sandwiches, etc.). Most of the green booths from Murphy’s have been moved, and they have actually done a decent job of incorporating them into the existing space. Sadly, they’ve lost the wine list they had at Murphy’s, which wasn’t amazing, but had a couple of decent reds on it.

We had several different things, mostly that were from the Murphy’s old menu I think. I had a filet dinner ($17.99), which I split with my son. You still get a soup or salad (I think maybe you got both before?) and they still happily have the blue cheese dressing, which is old school, and really chunky, and hubby’s favorite. The lettuce itself is a mix, and just ok, more of just something to soak up the dressing ( We ordered an extra cup of clam chowder because my son really enjoys it. It’s more of a cream heavy version, but had a decent taste. A little hotter temperature might have been nice, although my son didn’t mind because he likes things a little closer to lukewarm. You also get your choice of potato. I went with the twice baked because I don’t remember seeing it on the menu before. It was fine—mostly some cheese on top of a seasoned baked potato. It didn’t have a lot of additional flavor than a regular baked potato, maybe less without any butter. The steak was the best thing on the plate—it was cooked as we ordered it and was nice and tender. They have a pretty decent quality beef for that price point. I also missed the yummy pieces of garlic bread that Murphy’s used to put on the plate (although my son wanted me to be sure to reassure everyone that they do still have the little baskets of crackers on the table, which he loves).

Hubby had the rainbow trout ($16.99), which is seasoned and broiled. Actually, hubby had requested it pan-crusted (which is an option on the menu) and they didn’t do it. He ate it anyway, but said it was pretty bland and didn’t have the crunchy bits he likes from previous experiences. He was trying to be all healthy and got broccoli as his side, which he then didn’t eat because it was barely cooked. Like I said though, he loves that blue cheese dressing and was greatly relieved it was still on the menu.

My mother-in-law had the fried lobster dinner ($17.99), which has been a favorite of ours in the past. How can you not like deep fried lobster? I would have a hard time eating a whole dinner of it (they used to offer it as a combo with a smaller steak) but a piece from her plate was a nice crunchy treat (they also do offer it as a starter). My in-laws both out-ordered us on the sides—they both had hash browns (which I also don’t remember from the old Murphy’s) and I really enjoyed them. They were more almost like potato cakes; with a softer more mashed interior and a really nice crispy edge. I ate as much of these as they kindly shared and this is the side I would get on a future visit.

I think if you stick with the steak and add these hash browns, and with the salad and that blue cheese dressing, you can get a nice solid meal. I can’t speak too much of the Flynn’s items, but I’d be interested to try the pizza. I saw a couple come out of the kitchen and they were nice and thin and looked pretty good. Ever had one?

Murphy’s at Flynn’s
5198 Allisonville Road
Indy 46205
Murphy's @ Flynn's on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 23, 2015

Recess - Revisit

It has been awhile since I’ve been to Recess. I am always telling people it’s one of our best restaurants and then I’ll look back and think, holy moley, it’s been a year since I’ve been there. So in the name of research, it was time to return. 

I’m sure you know the drill with Recess—it’s a set menu. This one was $60 for the four courses. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Well, you do get to choose a course some times. This time it was the starter course. The choices were a salad of chicories, green beans, fennel, Parmesan, horseradish and rye croutons with a creamy anchovy dressing or golden beet-carrot soup with shaved Brussels sprouts, pickled cabbage, pulled pork, crème fraiche and caraway. I went with salad. Not a fan of beets that much and carrot soup isn’t my thing either. I did have a bite of the soup and it tasted much like it was described, but like I said, not my thing. Glad I went with the salad, even if it was my least favorite of the courses. The lettuce was just a lot of fairly bitter greens—there was also horseradish grated on top, which also added a strong flavor. I just felt like it needed something to balance it a bit—and there wasn’t much dressing to it, so you mainly just tasted a lot of fennel and bitter greens and the horseradish. Others at the table liked it better than I did I think.

I liked the next course a lot more—it was halibut with multi grain risotto, squash sofrito and truffle arugula coulis. The fish was perfectly cooked and perfectly tender. It was seasoned simply with salt and pepper—perfect to go with all the flavors underneath. I enjoyed the texture and light crunch from the “risotto” which was more like a wild rice mix. There were bits of the squash mixed in, which broke up the purely crunchy risotto. I really liked the flavor of the arugula truffle coulis, which gave it a bright kick from the fresh arugula.

The Fisher Farms beef ribeye was probably the favorite savory course at our table. It was served atop a potato-root vegetable mash with roasted broccoli rabe and grilled scallion chimichurri. You can just look at the picture to see how beautiful that steak was. And again, the freshness of the chimichurri, but with a slightly smoky taste from the grilled scallion in it, made for the perfect winter sauce with beef.

I was really impressed with the desserts. Again, we had a choice—either apple butter cake with spiced cider sorbet, salted caramel, sage and pecan or blood orange panna cotta with sesame biscuits and blood orange-cherry compote. Hubby and I ordered one of each to try, and honestly, would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  Well, we each leaned slightly toward a different one. I really liked them both, but was really impressed with the blood orange panna cotta. It had the exact right combo of tartness from the orange combined with the creamy custard. And when you added the really strong sweet/tart compote with each bite, it was heavenly. Loved the almost savory flavor from the biscuits as well—they were perfect with the custard and compote. The apple butter cake was wonderfully tender and how can you really go wrong with a warm salted caramel sauce? I really like the way they play with a traditional base—like the custard or the sorbet and infuse them with more unusual and unexpected flavors. Again, both were outstanding.

Recess maintains its hold on the title of one of Indy’s best restaurants as far as I’m concerned. This may have not been my favorite top to bottom meal at Recess, but it was still very enjoyable.You may not always love every single item you are served, but you are certainly likely to try some things you might otherwise not have tried. I can’t say either of those desserts would have jumped out at me on an a la carte menu, but I was very happy I got to try both. 

4907 N. College Ave
Indy 46205

Recess on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Egg Roll #1

Egg Roll #1 has been on my list For-EVER. So I finally got motivated to go. I was in the mood for pho, heard theirs was good and convinced the BFF to check it out with me. It’s a bit of a hike for me, but I am always willing to travel for a food adventure.

The first thing that sort of surprised me was how sort of new the place looked. It was much larger and more modern than the sort of dive spot I was imagining. When you walk in, there’s a large counter where you order. I appreciate the large pictures to the right of the register of most of the menu items as well in case you aren’t sure what they all are. They do a lot of different stuff—Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food, but I was always told about the Vietnamese food being good, so that was the direction I was going.

I felt like in a place called “Egg Roll #1,” that it would be just wrong to go in there and not order an egg roll right? There was a Vietnamese option on the menu (item # 1) ($3.95 for 3) so I ordered those as well as a bowl of Pho. I got the Pho Tai to be exact ($7.25) which is the rare beef pho.

I thought the egg rolls were just okay, actually, which was kind of a bummer. They were filled with what seemed to be ground pork and some veggies as well. They were wrapped in rice paper and fried. They were on the smaller side and cooked very, very crisp. I don’t know—even with the seasoned fish sauce to dip them in. One of those items that aren’t worth the calories for me.

My pho was good—I mean, it was solid pho. It had all the required ingredients—beef broth, lots of noodles, onions, thin slices of beef and onions and hunks of scallions. You got the side plate with a lot of bean sprouts, a few pieces of jalapeno and some Thai basil (no cilantro, boo). There was a little bit of cilantro on top of the soup, but none on the side plate. There is a little area by the front register where you can get some extra onion/cilantro mix (and more limes! Yay!) so I did that.

Like I said, it was decent pho, but it certainly wasn’t the most flavorful broth I’ve had. It helped after I threw the peppers in, as well as some Sriracha and soy.  After it sat a bit and the flavors of the peppers and basil kind of melted into the broth, it got better for sure. It’s the kind of thing/place that if it were in my neighborhood, it might be a solid pho option. But being so far away, it’s probably not going to hit my radar again although I am interested to know if the Thai stuff is good. Some of the pictures on the wall were intriguing.

The BFF had a small bowl of hot and sour soup ($2.75) and another dish off the Vietnamese menu, the name of which I cannot recall (#15 perhaps?). It was egg noodles on the bottom with sautéed pork and shrimp on top. It was a decent dish too—even if the pork and shrimp were a touch on the tough side. I actually thought the hot and sour soup was egg drop soup when they first set it down. It was heavy on the egg and not a lot of other stuff in the soup. It was also heavy on the sour part of the flavor and not so heavy on the hot part. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really hot and sour soup to me.

It was an enjoyable lunch, and I am always up for trying something new. Did anything blow me away? No. Can you find better pho around town? Yes. But it’s not a bad option if this is your side of town. The place did a decent business and while the staff was very business-like, they also came around to check on you and make sure you didn’t need drink refills.

So who else has been here? You know I want to hear what you think is good.

Egg Roll #1
4576 S. Emerson
Indy  46203
Egg Roll No. 1 Pho No. 1 on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pizzology - Mass Ave

I hit up Pizzology on Mass Ave with a friend for lunch the other day. It was actually my first time going to the new location. Well, I guess it’s no longer the newest location, now that the one in West Clay has opened. It’s been awhile since I’d been to Pizzology and I was looking forward to seeing what was new on the menu.

The first thing we shared were the artichoke fritters ($8). I hadn’t seen them before and they were really, really good. Of course, I am a total sucker for artichokes. They were gooey and cheesy with nice bits of artichoke rolled into a ball and deep-fried. The cheese they use is goat cheese and there was also lemon in there, so they were nice and tangy, which you know is totally my thing. They were super crisp and hot and dusted with salt. They serve them with a roasted Fresno aioli—it was really nice with them too. Not heat spicy, but a nice deep chili pepper flavor combined with the creamy rich mayo.

We also shared a pizza that I had never had before—and one that was new on the menu since I had last been to Pizzology (like I said, it’s been awhile). The pizza was the rosmario ($13.50). It’s a white pizza (no red sauce). It’s topped with mild, earthy fontina cheese, wood-roasted mushrooms, rosemary and caramelized onions. It sounded like a unique and really tasty combo to me. It was good, but it didn’t have as much flavor as I expected with rosemary as one of the ingredients—the use of rosemary was fairly light. I liked the flavor of the mushrooms. You can tell they’ve been roasted in the wood-burning oven.  I think a little sprinkle of sea salt on top might complement the rosemary flavor. I do like the crust here—and we got a little taste of the red sauce too by asking for a side of the marinara to dip our crusts in—a nice way to get a little bit of both worlds. Honestly though between the two, the fritters are what stood out for me.

I like the spacious interior of the Mass Ave location—and the big open kitchen is a cool thing to watch. I wasn’t a fan of sitting on one of the bar stool tables along the window—if you sit on the window side (it’s a banquette type of bench), I was too far from the table. No problem for me, we just switched because it wasn’t that busy yet. Our server was very friendly and let us know when there was a mistake in our order and corrected it quickly. A nice addition to Mass Ave.

608 Massachusetts Ave
Indy 46204

Pizzology Mass Ave on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Workingman's Friend

This post is sort of a bummer and will probably bring me grief from people, but I feel like something has happened at Workingman’s Friend and the burgers just aren’t what they used to be. The last couple times I left not feeling the same burger satisfaction I used to get. 

The place is the same (only now with less smoke since my first visits)—your friendly dive bar filled with what else—working men (and a few women, but very few). Our waitress was the friendliest one I have ever had there and was super efficient. But the food, I just feel like the food has fallen off.

I had my usual single burger and onion rings. I don’t know, the burger just didn’t have a ton of flavor and was cooked so much it was almost crunchy all the way through. It’s a thin-style burger and I like some crispy edges, but this was a little over the top. There was also lettuce, tomato and mayo but it just wasn’t doing it for me. It didn’t have the tender plus juicy thing that I remember from the first times I was there. I wonder if they are cooking them differently or using different meat or something.

I also remembered really liking the onion rings there, but again, for some reason, they seemed more standard this time. They are the battered type, but taste like they are probably just a standard foodservice onion ring to me.

I was with my friend @wibia, who ordered a double and commented the same thing—that it just didn’t seem as good as he remembered.

So that’s it. It still looks the same and feels the same (well, honestly the waitress was way friendlier than some I have had in the past), but the food just doesn’t seem the same. Either that, or my taste has changed.

What say you Indy? Agree with me or disagree?

P.S. It’s cash only.

Workingman’s Friend
234 N. Belmont Ave.
Indy 46222

Working Man's Friend on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 9, 2015

City Market: Tamale Place, Mauricio's and Circle City Soups

This post is a little different because I am going to touch on several different spots all within the City Market. I get excited every time I go in there these days, because there are so many good options of places to eat. When I think back to just 7-8 years ago when we first moved back to Indy, the change is so dramatic and exciting.

The first lunch with a friend, I had nachos ($7.49) from the Tamale Place and he had a slice of pizza and a salad from Mauricio’s Pizza ($6.75). You guys had all recommended the nachos, and they were pretty decadent for sure. I had the spicy chipotle chicken version, because I had had it before in a taco and enjoyed it. It has a nice little kick to it. It’s layered with queso, shredded cheese, the chicken and lettuce on top. I got some stuff to dip into (salsa, guac and sour cream because I was being indecisive). I enjoyed it, but wished I had some extra chips because it was so gooey pretty quick and the chips underneath got kind of soggy. Honestly, while the flavors were good, I think I prefer the tacos just because they’re a little easier to handle. I’d probably skip the lettuce next time too.

I have had a couple bites of the pizza from Mauricio’s on various occasions—and I think it is pretty decent New York style pizza. It’s thin crust that they heat up in the pizza ovens before they serve it. This one was mushroom, which is one of my favorite pizza toppings and I would happily eat it again. It’s a nice crispy crust and has the right amount of toppings so that it doesn’t get soggy. They have a decent looking deep-dish style as well. Anyone tried that one? It’s certainly one of the fastest places at the Market I think--good to remember if you’re in a hurry.

The following week I went back to meet another friend for lunch. It’s becoming one of my new go to because there are just so many different things to suit whatever mood you’re in. This friend hadn’t been to the market and several years and was pretty blown away. This time I was lured in by the Taste of the NFL award-winning sandwich offered at Circle City Soups. I had the mini version at the competition, but the lunch one is even more decadent with a full sized croissant from Circle City Sweets, bacon, a runny fried egg, arugula, romesco sauce and pepper jack cheese. First of all, that croissant you guys. One of the best I’ve had for sure—and definitely my favorite it Indy. So buttery and moist with just the exact right amount of flakiness. And the toppings go beyond your typical blt with the red pepper based romesco sauce. Also, the sandwich is warm and the cheese is nice and melted. Honestly, eating the sandwich, you just sort of felt like the whole thing kind of melted in your mouth. This is a sandwich worth splurging on. Not your typical BLT for sure, and really delicious.

Of course, these are just a few of so many great choices. I’m looking forward to returning to Spice Box and The Pantry soon, just to name a few. So tell me what your favorites are.

The Tamale Place
City Market 
222 East Market Street
Indy 46204

Mauricio’s Pizza
Indianapolis City Market
222 East Market Street
Indy  46204

Circle City Soups
Indianapolis City Market
222 East Market Street
Indy  46204

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Borel’s Cajun and Creole Cookery

You know we love our Cajun and Creole food—hubby went to school in New Orleans and spent a lot of years “studying” the cuisine. His love for it has spread into the rest of our family and it was my daughter who kept nagging me about going here (that, and she has been a little obsessed with my blog lately and wants to make sure we go to new places).

The first things you notice about the place are the cute interior and the super friendly people. They have done a nice job decorating the interior with murals of scenes from New Orleans and the entire place is pretty much purple, gold and green—the official mardi gras colors. It’s a big place too—a fair amount bigger than I expected. 

The people who work there couldn’t be friendlier. They are excited to tell you about the menu and help you make your choices. This enthusiasm is infectious. I was really hoping to like the place—the people are just so nice.

Hubby and I split a couple of things to try and get a taste of as much as possible. We had the soft shell crab po boy ($11.95) and a sampler of the entrées. This is a good deal for $9 for three choices, as most of the individual entrées are $3.50-$5.50 per cup if you buy them on their own (for the small size). I got the soft shell crab po boy because my son was getting the shrimp ($9.95), which would often be my first choice, and I knew I could try it too. My daughter had the catfish po boy ($8.95). All the sandwiches come with fries as well.

Hubby and I really enjoyed the crawfish etouffe that we had in the trio sampler. It had that nice rich, buttery flavor with chunks of peppers and onions and some really nice, really tender, pieces of crawfish. Like actual, recognizable pieces of crawfish, unlike some etouffes I have had in this town. It was seasoned really well and was my favorite. Hubby loved the red beans and rice—he declared they were the best he’s had outside of New Orleans. They were good—they had a nice creamy texture, not that watery consistency this dish sometimes has. Our least favorite was the seafood gumbo, although, it wasn’t bad—just not as good as the other two. Of course, we tend to not be as big a fan of gumbo in general, so it may be a predisposition. There were nice pieces of scallops and shrimp in there though—and it was made with a nice dark roux (there’s crab in there too, according to the menu, but I couldn’t see any particular recognizable pieces). I liked that with all three of the dishes, they put just a small dollop of rice in there, giving it just the right amount of texture without turning it into a rice dish with a little bit of sauce. They also give you some nice French bread with it.

As for the po boys, my favorite was definitely my son’s shrimp. The shrimp themselves were nice and plump and juicy and breaded and fried well. The bread is pretty authentic. The only thing I would say is that I wished for a bit more moisture on the sandwiches—I had mine fully dressed (my kids got theirs plain) and it was just lettuce, tomato and pickle on the bread—there was remoulade sauce served alongside, which I appreciated, but I needed that plus some mayo on the bread. And maybe some hot sauce too. Typically, I expect some mayo on a dressed po boy, and I think it would have improved it a fair amount. The soft shell crab on mine was large, and fried pretty crisp. Between it and the pretty dense bread and the little bit of sauce, it was kind of dry. The catfish was also good—probably my second favorite sandwich. The fish was more lightly breaded and nicely seasoned and was wonderfully juicy inside still. Next time I would get he shrimp and ask for mayo as well and I think it would be a darn good combo. Oh yeah, and with a side of that etoufee (you can sub it in for a surcharge instead of the fries). The fries were decent—those seasoned, lightly breaded fries, but the homemade stuff there is so much better.

We also had the beignets ($4.50) for dessert. If there is fried dough, and my kids are with me, that’s gonna happen. We tried the chocolate and caramel sauces as well ($1 each). The beignets are good. Possibly more authentic to what you get at Café du Monde in New Orleans than most, although, I tend to like the ones with the slightly crisper outsides. These were still very good though. I preferred the chocolate sauce. I was a little surprised that they charged a dollar for these little cups of sauce—seemed a little steep to me. I think it might be nicer to just up the price a bit (maybe $5?) and include one sauce. Just a thought.

Overall, I think this place is a nice addition to our local independent food scene. It’s a cuisine that isn’t oversaturated, they are super nice, the food is good and they even have local beer (Sun King) and wine. The kids really enjoyed it and look forward to going back. I look forward to perfecting my order on another visit.

Borel’s Cajun and Creole Cookery
2274 West 86th Street
Indy 46260
Borel's Cajun & Creole Cookery on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 2, 2015

Public Greens

I’ve of course been anxious to try Public Greens. I am generally a fan of all the Patachou empire’s restaurants and eat at them regularly. I love that this place donates all their profits to the Patachou Foundation, a nonprofit that provides meals to homeless and hungry children and education about healthy eating as well. So you walk in feeling good about the place to start.

I have talked to several people who went before I did, and who told me that the menu and ordering system was kind of crazy. Maybe because I went in prepared for it, I didn’t find it too overwhelming, but some handheld menus to look at might be nice, instead of only being able to see it on the blackboard as you walk in. They do have a staff member who was very friendly and helpful to help you figure it out, but the fact that he was even there just demonstrates to me that people might find it confusing. I would at least add a printed version by the register so that you can remember what you are ordering by the time you get there, particularly with some of the cutesy names for the menu items. Basically, there are small plates and sides I guess. The top of the menu is made up mainly of salad-type items. There’s a section under that that includes most of the protein-type items. Some of the proteins are just the meat itself; some are little mini composed plates (for instance the duck option was served in the form of tacos. The fried chicken was just two chicken thighs without sides). The pricing of the top items is 1 choice for $6, 2 items for $10 or 3 for $12. The other things are priced individually.
Ok, so based on that long-winded paragraph attempting to simplify, maybe it is a little confusing. Anyhow, I was with the BFF and we decided to just order a bunch of different stuff and see how it was. Having never been before, we weren’t really sure what the size of things would end up being, and it seemed like we ordered a lot, but it was pretty close to the right amount.

From the top of the menu, we got the “rocket man” salad and the “kriss kross” which is the name for their mac and cheese, and which came highly recommended by several staff members. From proteins, we got the fried chicken thighs and the Moroccan stew. We also had a side of the fries.

I’d say my favorite things overall were the two fried items, which sort of surprised me given that the menu is heavy on veggies and the sort of more healthy-type offerings. Those fries were really, really good. Super light and fluffy inside and really crisp on the outside. A little thicker cut than the ones at Petite Chou, and a little crisper. They were seasoned and salted well (they were pretty salty, but I like them this way). At first I was sad there was no fancy dipping sauce offered alongside (there is Local Folks ketchup available), but after eating some, I realized they needed nothing. They were perfect on their own. The portion on the fries is large though—definitely meant for sharing.

The chicken thighs were also really good. Super crisply fried and nicely seasoned with a nice dash of salt on top. Love that they call them chicken tenders, but they make them with chicken thighs, and marinated in buttermilk, so they aren’t dried out sticks of chicken breasts like most chicken fingers are. They retained moisture inside.  This would be a weird thing to just have by yourself as well, as there was just the chicken. It’s a nice accompaniment to other things, and honestly, I only really needed one of the pieces, so in my mind, also a good sharable item too.

I also enjoyed the rocket man salad, which included arugula, roasted Indiana corn, black beans, pickled onions, and spicy buttermilk dressing with crushed up spicy potato chips. The ingredients were pretty fresh-not sure how they’re getting that Indiana corn, but they were all good. I appreciated the kick of acid from the onions, but I did wish for a little more. The dressing could have used a bit more tang from the buttermilk. I think next time, if I ordered a similar meal, I would go with a salad with vinaigrette. Also, the salad portions are on the small side—I don’t think you could really make a meal of just one of the portions here.

I just had a bite of the Moroccan stew. It was good. It had a fair hit of spice from the seasoning, but I wouldn’t call it spicy in the “heat” kind of way. It was chock full of chickpeas. I liked the freshness of the baby greens on top and the crunch and texture from the crisp quinoa on top. This was the one thing you could eat on its own by yourself and make a meal out of it I think. I personally wouldn’t, because this kind of stew is not my favorite thing, but it was hearty and filling and a decent portion (although would probably still be nicer to balance it with a salad or something).

Honestly, probably the biggest disappointment was the mac and cheese. It wasn’t bad I guess, and made a nice thing to scoop up with a bite of the fried chicken, but it was pretty bland and kind of oily. I am not sure if the cheese was separating or they used olive oil or something in it, but by the time we were near the bottom of the bowl (yes, we still ate nearly all of it), there was a fair amount of oil sitting on the bottom. It was made with white cheddar, but I felt like it could have used a little more seasoning. I liked the little crunch from the little bit of breadcrumbs on top, although I would have enjoyed them more if there were a few more of them and they were a little browner.

All in all, we enjoyed it. I like that they apparently change the menu every week, which I would hope would keep me out of the rut of ordering the same things each time, as I often do at Patachous (what? I really like their egg salad). Like all Patachou places, I feel like they are using great ingredients and are making food that is pretty appealing to people, but also with a sense of creativity. There are comforting type items, but they make it easy to mix them up with some other more unusual items. The interior is rather sparse, mostly white—I’m not a fan of the big table in the middle with the little stools. I hate sitting on a stool without a back to eat—but the other tables are comfortable enough. It is certainly a place I look forward to returning to see what other items pop up on the menu.

What about you? Have you been? Tell me about your experience.

Public Greens
900 E. 64th Street (it’s right on the Monon)
Indy  46220

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