Monday, January 14, 2019

SoBro Café

I met a friend for lunch the other day at SoBro Café. It’s the beginning of the year, and like so many, I may have overindulged a bit over the holidays, so I am looking for places where I can still eat out and be somewhat healthy. SoBro Café sort of seems like one of those kinds of places. Because you know I am not giving up going out to eat.

I ordered the mushroom skillet ($10.49), which was fried potatoes on the bottom and was topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, two eggs, goat cheese crumbles, and diced tomatoes. Before you say, “hey, fried potatoes aren’t very healthy,” I will say I only ate like two of them, just to try them. I really liked the flavor of the dish—they used some truffle oil on the mushrooms, which some people get all worked up about, but I don’t mind its use in moderation. I love truffles, and the essence of it was a nice add. The mushrooms were cooked well, and there were lots of tender onions too. For some reason, I spaced telling them how I wanted my eggs cooked (and they didn’t ask), so they were a bit overcooked, but honestly, I will eat an egg just about any way, so I was fine. But next time I would ask for them over easy. I loved the kick from the goat cheese and the acid of the tomatoes. It was a nice combo. And wasn’t too bad health-wise, since I didn’t eat the potatoes. On that subject, I wished they had been a little crispier, but if they were, it probably would have been more of a temptation, so that was ok. 

My friend ordered the “shrimp po bro,” which was their take on a po boy. Shrimp was not fried, which added to the healthy aspect, and it was served on a hoagie roll with kale slaw, and a tangy remoulade sauce. They say it had an Asian twist, and I will agree. I thought it was good, but the bread was a bit big for the sandwich. I liked the acidity of the sauce on the sandwich though, and the shrimp were cooked properly.

All in all, I would say that I was able to meet my needs to go out to lunch and eat fairly healthy. I like that you can order off the brunch or lunch menu, and I like how warm it was in there on a very cold day. I was sad not to order the biscuits and gravy, which I love, but again, trying to stay healthy, right?

What are your favorite go-tos when you want to try and stay a bit on the healthy side for lunch but you still want to go out?

SoBro Café 
653 East 52nd Street
Indy 46205

Monday, January 7, 2019

Duke's Indy

You know as soon as I heard there was a new place specializing in fried chicken that it was going to go on the short list. It still took me longer than I wanted to get over there, but I finally managed it recently to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Duke’s is a honky-tonk bar on the south side of downtown. It’s out there in a kind of industrial area. The location just sort of adds to the ambiance though. They have live music (it started around 8:00) and a short menu on a chalkboard. Basically you can get a whole fried chicken, a half of a fried chicken, and then a choice of 3 sides. There’s a tater tot waffle, crispy brussels sprouts, and spicy mac and cheese. Or you can get “the whole damn thing” which is a whole chicken and one of each of the sides ($35). This is what we did. Plus an extra ½ chicken. 
Drink-wise, they specialize in some slushy alcoholic beverages, on this night it was slushy egg nog and slushy prickly pear margarita. It was pretty chilly out though, so hubby and I opted for beer and wine. Our server was friendly, although mostly just came around to bring food and take food orders, so we did a lot of our drinks directly at the bar.

The food was really pretty darn good. The chicken was HOT out of the kitchen though (temperature hot)—so hot you couldn’t really taste it at first. Once it cooled down a little bit though, it was really tasty. The crust wasn’t really thick, but it was seasoned really well—not like a lot of breading, but mostly seasoning directly on the skin. They served it with hot honey and their homemade hot sauce, but I didn’t really think it needed either. The dark meat especially was very tender—as usual I found the part of a breast I ate to be a bit dry, but I think that’s the nature of the beast oftentimes. And I like the dark meat best anyway. You also get more breading/seasoning to meat ratio with the thigh and leg, which adds to the taste.

The sides were very good. I really loved the tater tot waffle. It was a giant waffle made of, well, tater tots I am assuming, and man was it tasty. They put a big dollop of sour cream and butter in the middle and it is just awesome. I do have a weakness for tater tots though. The mac and cheese was popular the table—it is spicy though—made with hatch chilis. It was almost too spicy for me, but I still enjoyed eating some. The sauce is kind of runny too. But, it’s a nice sized portion. The Brussels sprouts are delicious too. I appreciate the relative healthiness of them—or maybe just the fact that there is a veggie offering. The crunchy brussels sprouts has chunks of apple in them, pickled red onion,  and pistachios. It’s a tasty addition to eat with the chicken. I’d say if I ranked them I would say tater tot waffle would be first, Brussels second and the mac and cheese third.

I’m not sure how the service is supposed to be, but if you are okay getting your own drinks at the bar, it’s not too bad. The chicken takes a little while, which I actually appreciate, because I assume it means they’re making it fresh. It’s a fun place with a totally different atmosphere than anywhere else in Indy, and I would happily go back. They’re also open for lunch, with actually a larger menu than dinner, but no fried chicken option (other than a fried chicken sandwich). There are several sandwiches and sides and I would be interested to try other than it is so far away.

Dukes Indy
2352 S. West Street
Indy 46225