Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sangrita Saloon

Hubby and I wanted a kind of light, early dinner the other night after traveling all day and he mentioned Mexican food (not exactly light) and Sangrita popped into my mind. I didn’t know a ton about it, but I knew it was more of a cocktail place (saloon they call it) with small dishes and a somewhat limited menu, so we headed over there. Plus, it’s NEW! 

First of all, as I said, it isn’t a huge menu—a few appetizers and 4 kinds of tacos and sides pretty much, but I really appreciate the fact that the kitchen is focusing on these things and not trying to do too much. The drink menu in this is way bigger. They have a huge list of Agave-based choices.

We did get a couple cocktails because, you know, research and all. Hubby started with the Margarita classic ($7) and I got the Margarita Jardin ($9) just to be different. Both were very good—lots of fresh juice and nice quality booze being used here. I liked the addition of the grapefruit and basil in mine—it really did make it sort of taste like my garden, which is full of basil. I can’t stand mint in drinks, and this was a nice variation. The only knock I have for either was that they were on the small side (lots of ice) for the price. But it didn’t stop me from ordering a second. And they were very good drinks.

The food, though, wow, I really enjoyed it. Especially the tacos. We started with a bowl of the queso fundido ($6) plus Smoking Goose chorizo ($2). I liked their version of cheese dip—it had a nice flavor from the sautéed onions and poblano peppers that were mixed into the queso blanco. They then throw some pieces of the sliced chorizo in there. I liked the taste of the chorizo in there, although I would probably prefer more, smaller pieces, rather than the 4 or so slices that were in there. I just cut mine a little smaller to make them go farther. It’s not a super spicy chorizo, but added some heft and smoke to the cheese. Then the top was drizzled with red chili oil. We added a bit more of the chili sauce they provided on the table and we really enjoyed it. The chips are also good—light and crisp, but hold up well to the cheese. I would like to try the salsas as well next time.

They have a selection of 4 types of tacos. The way they are listed on the menu, you choose two (of the same type) and get 2 sides with them (the meal is $12 for the meat tacos and $10 for the veggie version). I really wanted to try more than just one type of taco, so we ordered them a la carte and got one each of the meat varieties. I think they charged us like $3-4 bucks per taco this way.

The tacos were really, really good. The meat is the star here, as it is supposed to be in straightforward traditional tacos, but they really know what they’re doing. My favorite was actually the chicken ones, and after we tried them all, I got a second one of these. The chicken thigh meat is marinated in tequila, citrus, garlic, and jalapeno and is wonderfully tender and you can really taste the marinade. It isn’t dry at all, and then with the addition of crema, onions and cilantro, it was just the perfect combo of creamy with the meat shining through. Loved them.

Our second favorite (and hubby’s first favorite and the one he got a second one of) was the pork—it was spiced Coca Cola braised pork belly and shoulder with Pasilla salsa, onions and cilantro. The salsa was a little spicy, but mostly smoky and added even more moisture to already super tender meat (like I said, they’re killing it with the meat here).
Second round--1 chicken, 1 pork

We also had the skirt steak taco, and don’t get me wrong, it was mighty tasty too—it was super tender and is marinated in Chipotle seasoning, which gave it nice depth of flavor too. This taco is topped with poblano crema, charred scallions, cilantro and radish. I liked the variation of toppings in each version, and I liked that they all added not just extra flavor, but extra moisture to the tacos. They were small, and only used one corn tortilla shell (which I prefer so it doesn’t dominate the flavor of the meat so much).

They’re a cross between very traditional tacos with just the meat, cilantro and onions and the super gooey ones with all kids of stuff added. For me, it’s the perfect middle ground—not overwhelming (or hiding) the meat, which here is wonderfully seasoned and cooked, but also adding just some complimentary things that just take it to another level of deliciousness. 

We also sat outside on a gorgeous day—they have a lovely deck (it’s not huge though) right on 64th Street in Broad Ripple. Our service was very attentive and the food and drinks arrived promptly. Seriously, this is one of my favorites of the new places that have recently opened in Indy (that I have been to, of course). I can’t wait to go back and try the other things on the menu. And next time, I will likely get a platter so I can try the sides now that I have a favorite taco. Although, I really need to try the veggie taco too….

Sangrita Saloon
834 East 64th Street
Indy 46220


  1. If you ever end up at City Market especially on Friday you have to try Cafe Olivia. They have Mahi Mahi and Tuna steak sandwiches that are cheap and good (friday only). Also their paninis are really good too.

  2. Was wondering if Sangrita Saloon is 21-and-over only? Thanks!

    1. I'm not sure, but I would guess yes. I will see if I can find out for you.

    2. Actually, it is all ages until 10 pm!!

    3. Excellent! Thanks so much for the info! We will try it out!

    4. In case you hadn't been yet, we actually went last night with little ones. Not sure how little yours are, but they have high chairs and the rice/bean sides are pretty easy for kids to eat without complaint.