The family and I were trying to think of somewhere new or newish nearby and settled on Fire by the Monon—a place we ate at ages ago, but since I have been repeatedly told about the “Greuben” sandwich by several readers, felt needed a revisit. And we didn’t have reservations anywhere on a Saturday, so we thought we could pop in. It worked out well, although the place was nearly full when we got there (when we left, there was a wait).
My kids are soft pretzel fanatics (they could probably write a whole blog about soft pretzels around Indy) so we got the pretzels to start ($8.95). The server was kind enough to ask if we wanted an extra one since it only came with three per order and there were four of us. We did. It comes with beer cheese, as seems to be the trend these days, and is a trend that I really like. Gone is the neon yellow nacho cheese. Beer cheese is often homemade (it appears to be here based on the non-uniform texture of it) and has a more interesting flavor than nacho cheese. Guessing it comes from the beer. This one was good and very appealing to the kids, although I would have liked a bit more of the beer part. I have made beer cheese myself and I know you can get large flavor variations based on the type of beer used—maybe something a little stronger would be better (they use Sun King Cream ale). It was still tasty though—lots of gouda and white cheddar. The pretzels were fine. I can’t say they stood out for any particular reason and I can’t say I thought they were making these in house. But a perfectly acceptable dipping mechanism.
Hubby and I did split the greuben ($12.95) and it was delicious. It was a large piece of fried grouper on grilled marble rye and topped with Swiss cheese, red cabbage slaw and Russian dressing. The bread was very nicely toasted and the inside of the sandwich was great—the fish stayed nice and crisp but had moisture from the sauce and the cheese. I don’t know that I would call it what I think of as “Russian dressing”—I had a side of it with my fries, which were good—it was more of a cross between Thousand Island and remoulade. Tasty with the fries too. We both really enjoyed the sandwich and it was more than large enough to share as a main dish for us.
However, when we ordered, we weren’t sure it would be big enough so we also ordered the “dirty mac and cheese” ($8.95) from the appetizer menu. It is made with rotini pasta and has smoked pulled pork and white cheddar cheese. It is a very large, very sharable dish—so big that we barely made a dent in it. If you want to get it, I would recommend it as a side dish for at least four people with other things—it is extremely rich. And very smoky from the pulled pork. We really didn’t need it with the other things we have, and honestly, while there was nothing wrong with it, I don’t think I would order it again.
My daughter had the hickory salmon topped with dill butter ($16.95). It had a nice flavor and the fish was cooked decently—they gave an ample amount of the dill butter—it was served in a cold pat on top of the fish, which was a little strange I thought, but it did melt nicely as the meal progressed. She wasn’t a fan of the lumpy-type potatoes served on the side. But she ate all the fish.
My son ordered a burger from the kid’s menu, but wouldn’t do it again. Across the board we find burgers on kid’s menus to be dry and overcooked. Maybe because of their smaller size.
Overall, it’s a decent family place to go. And hubby has already decided if we go back, he just wants to share the “greuben” and split the pretzels with the kids. So to those who recommended that sandwich, we thank you! Service was fine, although getting drinks was a touch slow. Our server was very friendly though and the food was served quickly. Who out there is a regular?
Fire by the Monon
6523 Ferguson Street