At our last lunch at Milktooth, @indyfoodswap and I decided we needed to try Love Handle asap. We planned a date to go a couple of weeks later. It’s over on the east side—sort of Irvington-ish I guess, but a little on the less developed end of 10th Street. Right across is Pogue’s Run Grocery though, and I was happy to check it out for the first time as well. I left there with a nice bag of local products.
Anyhow, Love Handle is a cute little place, maybe slightly on the sparse side décor-wise, but is not without its charm nonetheless. It’s certainly not a fancy place. We were there early for lunch, but they also serve breakfast, so we did a little of both and tried a couple of things. This place is all about the cured meats for sure, one of the chef/proprietors (Chris and Ally Benedyk) once worked at Goose the Market before opening a shop in Milwaukee and then back again in Indy. You’ll see lots of cured meat on the ever-changing menu for sure.
The meat was the star in “The Hardesty,” ($10) which I assume is named for our own local chef Greg Hardesty? Anyhow, the smoked beef brisket was cut real thin and stacked with peppers, onions and Taleggio cheese. I loved the slightly stinky, but super creamy cheese with this hearty meat—and I really enjoyed the smashed flat baguette the sandwich was served on. This addition of such a distinctive cheese made this sandwich extra special. The sandwiches all came with a side of the house pork fat popcorn, which was probably my least favorite thing—seemed sort of flat to me, but we still managed to eat it all.
Like I said, it was on the early side, so we also got the biscuits and gravy with crimini mushrooms and hatch chilis ($6), which I think is vegetarian. But we added bacon (+2) and a jellied egg yolk (+$2), thereby killing that aspect of it. It wasn’t a huge dish, but it had a lot of flavor. There was a lot of stuff going on in that little bowl. At the bottom was a fresh biscuit topped with the mushroom gravy. And that was all topped with pieces of slightly chewy bacon pieces and the egg yolk—which like something I have never quite had before. But it had a runny yolk in the center of the aspic-type substance, so I was content. Honestly it was almost too much to get the taste of everything. I would like to try the biscuits and gravy on their own but still get the bacon and egg on the side. Oh yeah, and it was all topped with pickled red onions, so again, happy.
I feel like this is like no place we really have in Indy. It’s an extremely creative menu, but it’s also a much more casual and homey feeling place than say somewhere like Milktooth. More rustic fare, and certainly more meat (and even more specifically, on the day I was there, organ meat)-centric. Everything was well done though, and I would like to go back and try some other things.
If you’re looking for a super casual, but warm atmosphere (and the owners are super nice), with some extremely unique food (for Indy anyhow), check this place out. And then report back.
2829 East 10th Street