The kids requested Taste for lunch the other day and we were happy to go because it had been awhile-- for years Taste was one of my favorite lunch places in Indy, if not THE favorite. I probably went there at least once a week. They were always busy and the food was always very good. Then in the last couple of years, they seemed to have a bit of a falling off with the food and the service and we stopped going as frequently.
But I decided to go with my long-time classic favorite sandwiches, the BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato) ($7.25) and the classic pommes frites ($4.50). It had been ages since I had ordered the BALT, and I was hoping it was as good as it had been in the past. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was back up to being in my favorite sandwich status—the proportions were back to perfect. Lots of bacon, smashed avocado spread, greens, nice slices of tomato and my favorite thing—that they add basil aioli to it, which gives it not just creaminess, but a bit of tanginess too. The bread was also nice and fresh.
The same basil aioli is served with the frites and has long been one of my favorite items as well. The frites on their own are good (cracked pepper, salt and parsley are scattered on top), but are wonderful dipped in the aioli. The kids like the frites so much though that we may have to start getting two orders.
Hubby has always liked the various egg wraps, but had a couple that were so so in the last visits. This time he had a special with salmon, cucumber, capers and greens with the egg, and I would say this was back up to past standards as well. Again, they added a nice touch of dressing to it, which I feel brings all the flavors together—this has always been one of Taste’s strengths. They are very good at figuring out a nice flavored aioli or dressing and using it as glue to hold a dish together.
During the times we did go when things just weren’t quite as good, we also noticed a drop off in the business. It used to be that you always waited in a fairly long line on the weekends to eat—to the point that we used to avoid it on the weekends. I was happy for their sake to see that business was back up—we didn’t have to wait too long in line, but we did have to hunt for a table—the dining room was pretty packed.
All in all, I am happy to see Taste back up to previous expectations food-wise. My only continuing gripe is that the service to actually get your food seems to get slower and slower each time. Our lunch took over an hour from the time we ordered it, so make sure you go with someone you like.
Taste Cafe & Marketplace
5164 N College Ave
5164 N College Ave