Monday, July 6, 2015

Penn and Palate

I got to hit one of the new places in town the other day with my friend @wibia. I am very excited by the sheer volume of new places to try right now. I am trying to be patient and not go to them all too quickly, but I figured since these guys run the Legend in Irvington already, they’re probably ready going to know how to run a place.

They’ve done a nice job with the interior, although there are areas that feel kind of empty—I guess  maybe they are leaving space in case they have people waiting. The menu is pretty straightforward American fare with a couple of twists. I like the touch of having pictures of local artists on the walls—a nice diversion from sports figures. I wished for some background music though, it had a strange silence when I first got there and it wasn’t very busy. Our server was very friendly, and checked in on us frequently.

I had the chicken and bacon club ($10) and a side order of pommes frites ($3). The ingredients on the “sandwich” were good quality, but it was served open-faced, which made it difficult to eat because of the ingredients involved. The chicken was fairly chunky—like pieces of rotisserie chicken pulled from the bone and there were large, dense pieces of bacon on top. You kind of had to eat with a knife and fork, but cutting through it all was difficult. I am torn because I appreciate less bread, but I think I would prefer this particular sandwich as an actual two slices of bread sandwich that you could pick up and eat. Maybe with some very thin bread so it’s not overwhelming. There was also spinach on it as well as Swiss cheese and pesto aioli. Again, I liked all of the ingredients, it was just a bit tough to eat. The fries were really tasty—it’s nice to see a place doing great fries, as it seems as many places struggle with this. They also offer several dipping sauces (you know that makes me happy). I tried the garlic aioli and the yogurt blue cheese dressing. I liked the aioli the best—it had a nice classic garlic flavor and richness. The blue cheese was interesting—very tangy with the yogurt, but almost too tangy for me.

Wibia had the Brie burger, which was half beef, half pork ($10) and a side of apple slaw ($2). The Brie was nice on there and it was plentiful, and I liked the fresh arugula for a fresh spicy kick. Not sure I loved the pork/beef blend—seemed a little dry or something. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like to keep pork out of my burgers. I can appreciate a full lamb burger or a full bison burger, but pork mixed in just isn’t my thing. The slaw was pretty sweet with the apple and dried cranberries (plus cabbage and fennel), but it had nice crunch.

All in all I am glad to see more restaurants opening up in this area of downtown—I like the charm of the restaurants going into old rehabbed buildings. I think the food has potential for sure, and I would like to try the place for dinner. It didn’t totally wow me yet, but it is early days. 

Penn and Palate
28 East 16th Street
Indy 46202

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