Showing posts with label Favorite Places. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Favorite Places. Show all posts

Friday, February 21, 2014

Visitor (and Local) Guide to Indianapolis Restaurants

Recently, I was asked to update my Super Bowl list of favorite restaurants for some large conventions and events coming to town...since we have some great new places, I figured it was a good time to do it. If you're local, you'll notice a lot of it is the same as my Super Bowl post--I just changed/added a few things. If you're visiting, I hope this is a helpful list! Also, if you want to see some of my favorite specific items to eat around Indy, check out my recent "Favorite Things" post.
Downtown Restaurants 
Chiliquiles at Bluebeard
Bluebeard: This is one of my favorite places in town. The menu changes all the time and they do a great job mixing up all kinds of cuisines in a friendly, casual environment. You might find foie gras with blood orange marmalade and chiliquiles with a crispy chicken leg on the same menu the same night. They don't take reservations so your best bet is to get there early if you don't want to wait. Find my reviews here.

Cerulean: This is modern fine dining. It's a great space in the Alexander hotel serving refined and creative food--small shared plates, medium plates and large, main course-sized entrees. You might find buffalo chicken skins and fried bread with housemade spreads. They are one of the few restaurants in town offering housemade pastas with many of the entrees. They also have a wonderful pastry chef who creates desserts that are not only delicious, but look like works of art. Here are my posts about my meals there.


Quail at R Bistro
R Bistro: This is fine, local dining at its best. Local chef, local ingredients, ever changing menu, cool spot on Massachusetts Avenue.  You want a nice place for dinner, this is your place (not overly formal though). One of my reviews is here. (There are more if you look).
Goose the Market: Where to begin? Goose is an amazing place to grab a sandwich for lunch or groceries or have a drink and a snack in the evening downstairs in the enoteca.  Their “Batali” was mentioned by Bon Appetit in an article featuring the best sandwich shops in the country.  And trust me, you will be a happy camper with that sandwich (or any of their other daily specials). Check out my latest review here.


Avocado bun at Rook
Rook: This is an inventive, casual Asian restaurant featuring Banh Mi sandwiches for lunch and a more expansive changing menu for dinner. They often offer noodle dishes like pho and ramen, dumplings, buns, and dishes like "pork face hash" that just beg to be tried. Beer only. Here's a recent post I wrote about dinner at Rook.
St. Elmo: Want a steak?  This is our local Indy legend. And according to locals, you have to try the shrimp cocktail (although, I have to say honestly I am not a huge fan of the insanity-horseradish thing, but that’s just me, apparently.) And here’s my review. If you can’t get in, give Harry & Izzy’s a try—it’s St. Elmo’s more modern little sister (or brother) and you can check them out here.
Ceviche- Black Market
B's Po Boy: My favorite casual restaurant in Fountain Square to grab a great authentic New Orleans style po boy. I recommend the fried shrimp and/or oyster po boys and the onion rings. The beignets are great as well. They are open for lunch and dinner. Here's my last review.
Black Market:  Indy’s gastropub.  Also located in the Mass Ave area, Black Market is one of Indy’s newer restaurants and serves hearty comfort food but with a gourmet twist. Also a bar though, so don’t bring the kids.
Downtown Lunch
Several of the above restaurants are open for lunch so you can check them out as an option. But if you are looking for a more causal place for lunch (and in some cases dinner as well), here are some of my favorite downtown lunch spots.
City Market: Indy’s City Market has undergone a great transformation over the last few years and now features mainly local foodservice vendors.  This is an amazing place to grab lunch, conveniently located right downtown.  You can get local pizza, Greek food, homemade soups and pastries, Mexican food, French crepes, soft pretzels, ice cream, Indian food, and food from one of my favorite local chefs, Brad Gates.  I have done a few reviews of a couple of the places and you can check them out here.
Hoaglin to Go: Back on Mass Ave, if you are looking for a great breakfast or lunch, check out Hoaglin to Go.  It’s a little place with amazing fresh made items like quiche, pancakes, egg dishes and my personal favorite, their egg salad.  I also hear they have a killer grilled cheese. Here’s my review.
Tacos at La Parada
La Parada: In the mood for some cheap Mexican food that is really, really good?  This is a gem of a place where you can get a ton of food for just a few bucks. Try the ceviche too. Warning, it’s a bit of a dive, but a charming dive. See what I ordered in my recent post. (Since they don’t have a website, their address is 1638 East New York Street, Indianapolis 46210 and their phone is 317/917-0095).
Workingman’s Friend: A great dive in which to grab a burger.  It is an old bar, but on any given day you will see every type of person from blue collar workers to businesspeople in here (oh, and get the onion rings, skip the fries).  Here’s my review. (Again, no website, but they are located at 234 N. Belmont Avenue in Indy and their phone number is 317/636-2067).

City Café: This place is a little gem hidden away downtown.  Everything is homemade and the ingredients are top notch. Best steak sandwich I have ever had. Here’s my review.

Downtown Cocktails

Indy has some great options to grab a cocktail and a snack as well. Check these places out before or after dinner--all have great ambiance.

Platt 99: The upstairs bar at the Alexander Hotel--a great, open modern space to grab small plates and a drink. You can make a meal here or just have a drink before heading downstairs to Cerulean.
Bone Marrow at Libertine

The Libertine:  The Libertine is a swank cocktail joint with some nice tidbits of food as well.

Ball & Biscuit: B&B is another really cool place that while it is mainly a bar, but with little snacks as well. 

Thunderbird: It's new and you get your cocktails fast with a side of southern small plates.
Outside of Downtown
If you are willing to venture a little outside of downtown, we have some amazing restaurants in various locations.
Broad Ripple
Just north of downtown is the Broad Ripple area (probably a 10-15minute drive from downtown).  Hit any of these places and you will have a happy belly.
H2O Sushi

H2O Sushi:  This is one of my all around favorite restaurants. And don’t let the name fool you. While they do serve spectacular sushi, my favorite things are the daily specials listed down the middle of their menu. Wonderful noodle dishes and great tacos.  The chef likes to mix it up here, with various Asian influences as well as fun twists on food from other cultures too.  I love this place (read more here).  
Goat Cheese Quesadilla-Room 4
Recess/Room 4: One of Indy’s most prized restaurants is run by local chef Greg Hardesty.  With a new daily menu that is set, you may try some things you wouldn’t normally try, and you will enjoy them all. The focus is on fresh, local ingredients.  If you want to dine at Recess, you need a reservation for sure.  But if you just want to stop in, give Room 4 a try.  Room 4 is the sister restaurant of Recess which is located in the same space, but is more casual, fun, and very approachable a la carte menu. Check out posts on both here
Taste Café & Marketplace: My favorite lunch spot in the City.  Great for breakfast too (and a tip, they serve dinner a couple of nights a week too).  Favorite item here by far: the BALT sandwich (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato).  They add dressing to the lettuce and an herby aioli to the bread. Best sandwich ever.  And don’t forget a side of their fabulous frites with basil aioli dip.  A perfect lunch. Read more about it here.
Mussels & Frites- Brugge
Brugge:  A local favorite for mussels and frites and house brewed beer.  Their fries may just be the best in town and with a choice of about a dozen dipping sauces, it’s hard to decide (I like blue cheese, regular garlic aioli and the Sherry vinegar and salt). Check out my review. Open for lunch too!

Barking Dog Cafe: One of my family's favorite lunch spots. They have my favorite thin-style burgers with nice crispy edges and the city's best clam chowder. Great fried oyster and clam rolls. Check out my last post.
Fat Dan's
Fat Dan's: Like a fatter burger? One of my favorites can be found at Fat Dan's. But they do a lot more than burgers--and just about everything is good. There's barbecue, Italian beef, Chicago dogs and great house made fries. Read more here.


Thr3e Wise Men: Currently, Thr3e Wisemen is making one of my favorite pizzas in the City—fresh dough, crispy crust and a great savory tomato sauce.  It’s a straightforward menu with pizzas, sandwiches and salads and they brew their own beer.  Lots of TVs to watch all the coverage. Here's what I said about it on my last visit. (Open for lunch and dinner.

Patachou/Napolese:  This is a local group of restaurants where you can enjoy a great breakfast or lunch.  Basic food, but extremeley fresh and high quality ingredients. Good egg dishes, really nice salads. Napolese is their own Neopolitan pizza restaurant that is quite charming as well.  Petite Chou is their French bistro version. I have done reviews of nearly all their concepts in my blog as well if you want further information. And they do have downtown locations as well.
North
Pizzology: Up in Carmel (about 30 minutes from downtown), there’s a great local pizza place owned by the same people who own The Libertine downtown (with a location soon to open on Mass Ave as well).  It is Neopolitan-style pizza cooked in a wood fired oven.  Great salads and pastas too. They don’t take reservations so if you don’t mind a potential wait, you should be able to get a table here. Here’s my latest post.
Creole gnocchi at Oakley's
West
Squealers: my current top choice for barbeque in Indy (although the quest is ongoing).  Great ribs and those fried biscuits…well, they are things dreams are made of…Here’s my post on them.


Oakley’s Bistro:  About 25 minutes drive from downtown, Oakley’s is a great slightly higher end dining option using seasonal ingredients and a seasonally changing menu.  There’s a little something for everyone here. Here's my latest review. 


East


Papa Roux: A little bit of New Orleans in Indy.  I personally love the shrimp po boy, but Indy people may tell you to get the pork po boy. And here's my review.
South
Brozinni’s: Ok, really this is my favorite pizza, but sadly, I don’t live close enough to have gotten to go more than a few times.  Huge, delicious New York style slices and amazing garlic knuckles.  If you are on the Southside, this is a must. Check out my post here.

Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Ok, you may or may not be aware that the sort of "unofficial sandwich of Indiana" is the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.  We’re talking a piece of pork tenderloin that is pounded, sometimes very thin and sometimes not, breaded or battered and deep fried.  You will see them everywhere, seriously, but clearly some are better than others.  Here’s a few I can recommend:

Muldoon's Tenderloin

Muldoon’s:  In an Irish themed bar in Carmel (about 35 minutes north of downtown).
 111 West Main Street, Suite 100
Carmel, IN 46032
317/571-1116






Pawn Shop Tenderloin
Pawn Shop: in a somewhat smoky bar about 15-20 minutes from downtown.
2222 East 54th Street
Indianapolis, IN  46262
317/255-5490

Chatham Tap: good version I picked mainly because they have a downtown location (no kids downtown though). Also a location in Fishers, about 35 minutes northeast of downtown.
719 Massachusetts Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317/917-8425

8211 East 116th Street
Fishers, IN  46038
317/845-1090

Steer-In: This place was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, and I have been told has a great tenderloin.
5130 East 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN
317/356-0996

Sahm’s:  Sahm’s has a great tenderloin, and other great fried tidbits (mushrooms are great as well) and they have several locations including one downtown.
433 North Capitol (check out their website for all their locations around Indy)
Indianapolis, IN
317/822-9903


Beer!

Finally, Indy has quite a thriving craft beer loving population and there are some great places to drink quality beer (much of it brewed locally) downtown and in Broad Ripple (as well as other places).  This is not my area of expertise for sure, but I know a lot of people love their beer, so I wanted to give you a good place to look to find out the best places to drink.  Check out the Hoosier Beer Geek blog, particularly this page which gives you the run down on different areas and places to check out.  Cheers!

I would love to hear feedback from out-of-towners about places they visit and their overall Indy experience! And don’t hesitate to email me personally for any other specific recommendations at erininindy@gmail.com or reach out to me on twitter @indyrestscene.  

And hey locals, don't forget to tell me what I have forgotten!



Friday, January 10, 2014

6 Years...and Counting

Hard to believe another year has flown by and that I have been writing this blog for 6 years! I am not going to ramble on this year (that's a change huh?), but just wanted to document the "birthday" because I am a big birthday person.

Recently I read a post by my friend Angie Six (hey, she's a Six, and it's my sixth!) over at her blog Just Like the Number, where she asked her readers to leave a comment about something good that had happened to them in the past year as a birthday gift to her. So, I am stealing the concept and asking you guys to leave a comment here telling me what was one of the best things that you have eaten in the last year? That would be an awesome "blog-a-versary" gift for me.

Cheers! Here's to a great 2014.

Happy Eating.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I’ve been noticing a lot of year-end wrap up articles lately, and figured, I want to do that too! These are some of my personal “favorite things” from local Indianapolis restaurants (I tried to pick things you can always get at these places so you guys can check them out too). These are things that I find myself going back to over and over again.  (Note: I am sure I have left things out, and there are many restaurants that are hard to include because they change the menu frequently, which in and of itself is one of my favorite things as well).

So in no particular order other than as they pop into my head, here goes:

Tuna tartare from H2O Sushi: I am pretty sure I could eat this every day if hubby would let me. He has finally given up trying to make me not order it every time we go. They have the seasoning nailed with soy, ginger, lemon, cilantro, radish, chives and masago. I love this stuff. And those cookies too.
H2O
Frites from Brugge: These are easily the best fries in Indy. Freshly made and always crisp-- and I love all the choices of dipping sauces. My current favorites are the straight up aioli, the blue cheese, and the sherry vinegar and salt. Best mussels in town too, but it’s the frites that dreams are made of.

Brugge
Burger from Barking Dog Café: I love this burger—it is currently my favorite in town. And I like it just how they make it—with their special sauce, super thin sliced onions (one of my favorite parts), lettuce, pickles, ketchup, Dijon, and cheese of course. It’s a thin burger with crisp edges and all the flavors meld together perfectly. Best clam chowder in town too.
Barking Dog
BALT and frites from Taste: I can’t go to Taste without ordering both these things. The BALT is one of my favorite sandwiches because of the tangy dressing they use on the lettuce. It also has lots of a guacamole-type spread, which I like because it is evenly spread on the whole sandwich (and of course there’s bacon). The basil aioli is what makes the frites so amazing.

Taste
Taste
Egg salad from Patachou or Petite Chou: Egg salad on toasted sourdough with an extra pickle. That’s my regular order (although Petite Chou does it as an open-faced tartine on toast—and actually I usually eat the Patachou version open-faced as well because you really don’t need all the bread). The egg salad is simple and perfect. Just eggs, mayo and salt and pepper. I easily eat this once a week.
Patachou
Slice of mushroom and red onion pizza from Brozinni: Best pizza in town, hands down. Big New York style slices. The onion is evenly distributed and the crust is exactly the right amount of bendy and chewy. Dip the crust in the garlic butter from the knuckles, and it’s perfect.
Brozinni

Bacon flight from Libertine: Ok, I haven’t had this one as much as some of these other dishes I've mentioned, but I love Goose bacon, and sometimes, just getting the various varieties served straight up (well, with dipping sauces) is just what you need.

Ramen noodles from Ichiban: stir fried ramen noodles with perfectly sized slices of veggies mixed in and topped with a breaded pork tenderloin.  Cheap and something good in Castleton!
Ichiban
Steak tartare from Meridian: I have a thing for steak tartare. Well, any tartare really. But they are often too bland and one-dimensional. This one is great, one of the best (and one of the few) I have had in Indy. The beef is tender and seasoned with capers and garlic mayo, onions and nice crispy fried chickpeas on the side, which add a touch of salt. Oh, and don’t forget the quail egg on top. 
Meridian
Brad Gates’ breaded lamb chops: This is something I have had several times at catered events by Brad Gates, and these things are ideal finger food. He takes individual lamb chops, trims them perfectly, coats them in breadcrumbs and fries them in butter.  A grown up lollipop. You can’t really go wrong here. I wonder if he ever does them at the Pantry at the City Market? He should.

Fried Chicken from Mississippi Belle: If you’re thinking about going to KFC, don’t do it. Skip over to Mississippi Belle instead. Dinner is all you can eat and this is some of the best fried chicken I have found in town. Pan-fried, so it doesn’t have a ton of crispy coating, but the seasoning is spot on. And the mac and cheese is a must order as well.
Mississippi Belle
Spaghetti from Bluebeard: Truth be told, there are several other more mind-blowing items to be had at Bluebeard, but the side order of spaghetti with lemon, crème fraiche and parmesan has been a regular item on the menu since they opened, and a regular side item on our table on nearly every visit. It is simple, but the tangy flavor of the lemon and the crème fraiche make it special.
Bluebeard

Rare beef salad from Long Thanh: This was a dish that I ate repeatedly for a long time and still, now, as soon as I start talking about it, I want it again. It is basically a salad with lots of cilantro and basil, topped with thin slices of tender rare beef and chopped peanuts. It has a distinct lime flavor and when mixed with the fish sauce that comes along with, and the crispy fried shrimp chips that are light as air, it makes for lovely little tangy bites.

Chicken soup at La Hacienda: This soup is so good. Especially in the winter. Or if you have a cold. Or hell, even in the summer if you’re me and you just can’t hardly not order it. It’s basically a kitchen sink of Mexican food items. Chicken broth, rice, tortilla chips, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado. Everything good. All in one huge bowl for under $6. And be sure and get a Texas margarita too. 


Roti Rolls at Siam Square: This is a must order dessert for us at Siam Square. It’s a simple concept—puff pastry, butter and sugar, but it the kind of dessert that hubby and I really like.


Fried shrimp po boy from B’s Po Boy: Extra shrimp is required so they’re pouring out of the flown in from Louisiana bread. I like mine dressed with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and mayo and with a side of the spicy remoulade sauce that I drizzle on top. Even hubby agrees it is as good as the ones you get in New Orleans (and in some cases better).


Chicken Salad from Movable Feast: No fruit. No nuts. Just chicken, celery, green onions and a great tangy yogurt-based sauce with lots of dill. A great, tasty, straightforward chicken salad.


Sautéed eggplant with basil sauce add chicken from Jasmine Thai: There was one guy who worked there who just referred to me as “eggplant” for awhile when I walked in to pick up my carry out order of this stuff. But apparently, there is another patron who eats it 2-3 times a week so there must be something addictive about it. Soften golden eggplant in a soy/basil sauce. I like to add the chicken for a bit of texture variation. All over rice. Another staple in my diet.
Jasmine Thai

Fried chicken from Sahm’s: Huge, super crunchy pieces of chicken that have good flavor and taste even better the next day (according to hubby).  I only wish I could get on track as to when they have it at my local Sahm’s. But the Fishers’ location serves it daily apparently.


Sticky Toffee Pudding from Late Harvest: Ok, so I have had issues sometimes here, but the one thing I will always order on any visit is the sticky toffee pudding. I fell in love with the dish while living in England, and they do a spot on version with a tender, warm spice cake and topped with toffee sauce and whipped cream. 

Late Harvest

Hot and Sour Soup from House of Cheung: This is one of my latest cravings and has been intense. There can be a little variation from visit to visit, but overall it’s a great version of the vinegary and spicy soup. And they have the only fried wontons in town that I have found that are never stale. A bowl of this with the wontons on top makes me very happy.

House of Cheung
So there you have it---a list of a (not so) few of my favorite things. But once I get going, it’s hard to not keep having things pop into your head. So tell me, what thing(s) popped into your head as you read? I want to know what your go-to items are in Indy restaurants. 

And now I am really, really hungry.

Happy Holidays and Cheers! I’ll be back with new posts next week.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Places: Brad Gates Catering

I haven’t done a favorite places post in awhile, and I thought it would be a good fit to talk about Brad Gates Catering again. Brad has catered a couple of events for me in the last month or two and he is certainly my go to person for this kind of need.  Most recently, he catered my birthday and did a great job.  I’ll just tell you a couple of highlights, mainly because there was a lot of wine consumed on this particular night, and some of my recollections of particular details are somewhat foggy (also explains the lack of pictures).  We had a smallish group, but Brad still provided us with lots of different small tastes to enjoy and the food was great. 
I helped to choose the menu somewhat, but also let Brad come up with most of the ideas.  There were a couple of things I have had before and a lot of new stuff. It was all good. Really good.  One of the the things I loved was the chilied salmon nachos.  They were chips with some nicely seasoned salmon, pico de gallo and avocado crème fraiche. They were easy to eat which meant I ate a lot of them. And I loved that most everything we had was finger food-ish so we all just sort of munched and hung out.  We also had lamp chops Milanese that surprised me—I was a little skeptical because they were breaded and I worried they might be tough or overcooked. But they weren’t.  They were super tender and perfectly medium rare.  There was also a great pork wonton soup-- he did little individual spoons with a wonton in each.  Those wontons were amazing. Such tender pork.
Anyway, if you are ever in the market for a caterer, I would heartily recommend Brad Gates.  He also recently did the food for an anniversary party for my parents and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it as well (including me). The menu was completely different, and maybe slightly more traditional (per my request), but just as good.  He is also a really nice guy whom you don’t mind having in your house for several hours (there are some I have met I would not say this about).
And, I wanted to get this posted because I just saw on facebook that Brad is continuing one of my personal favorite traditions—delivery Valentine’s Day dinners.  He creates a menu and you can tell him how many dinners you want and it is delivered to your house in a cute basket.  This is a perfect scenario for me because a) I hate going out on Valentine’s Day and b) I love Brad’s food.  So check it out—last year’s pork shoulder was extremely memorable.  It is a great way to get a great meal prepared for you by one of my favorite local chefs without having to have a party to cater.  You can also check out his food locally at the Ball & Biscuit.
Brad Gates Catering & Events
317-292-4259

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Places: Kincaid's Meat Market

Another place that I really love in this town is Kincaid’s Meat Market.  This place has been around forever, and is my favorite place to go for serious red meat.  It is an old fashioned butcher shop and they have pretty much everything from deli meats to beef and chicken, as well as lots of exotic things that they usually have on hand in the freezer.  So if you are looking for ostrich, wild game, duck, foie gras or whatever, you can get them all here.  But probably my favorite thing to get there is beef.  (And I generally skip the seafood.)
They have all grades—choice and prime (as well as one lower than choice I believe) and their ribeyes are awesome.  My 6 year old loves going in there and picking out steaks for his favorite meal (ribeyes).  I also like that they still focus on customer service and will cut and prepare whatever you want to order.  I usually go in once or twice a month, pick out a ton of stuff and take it home and pop it in the freezer.  I always have them cut fresh beef tenderloin filets (one cannot live on ribeye alone) for me in exactly the size (and meat grade) that I want for the exact portion for our family.

My daughter’s all time favorite meal is turkey saltimbocca which involves thin sliced turkey cutlets (and prosciutto and sage).  First, I have found it nearly impossible to find turkey cutlets anywhere in Indy, and they just pull a fresh breast out of the case and cut me perfect cutlets.  Depending on who is doing the cutting, sometimes I don’t even have to pound them they are already so thin.  So this is also an item that I stock up on at Kincaid’s.  Of course, for the quality and service received, it is more expensive than your local grocery, but trust me when I say you can taste the difference.
They also carry a lot of local and regional products like Joseph Decuis soups, Graeter’s ice cream, Cook’s Ranch bison, and various dairy products from Trader’s Point Creamery.  And my favorite thing is in the spring when they have lots and lots of morels. I took a picture of their stash last year. Check them out! And hey, just a couple doors down is the Flying Cupcake. Not a bad little combination shopping trip.

the back door


L.E. Kincaid & Sons Meat Market
5605 North Illinois Street
Indy, 46208
317/255-5497




Friday, July 15, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Places: Kona Jack's Fish Market

Continuing along with the series on a few of my favorite Indy places (food and drink type places I frequent on a regular basis), I thought I would talk about Kona Jack’s fish market.  Honestly, this is an easy segment for me to write because literally you are just along on the ride with me on some of my regular errands…
Anyway, when I want fresh fish, and seafood in general, one of a very few places I will buy it to cook at home is Kona Jack’s.  And if I want sushi grade anything to make a ceviche or something along those lines, this is one of only two places I would trust.  For me, I have to have a little extra time, because it isn’t super close to my house, but I can always count on it being really fresh.
The nice thing about the market is that because it is also a restaurant and sushi bar, so you know their turnover is very high.  You can just go in and look in the case (my picture is of the main fish section, there is another case that contains mostly shellfish and freshwater fish) and you can tell that this stuff is good quality.  The regular fish mongers there know about seafood and can order just about anything you want—usually with just a day or two notice.
The only downside (besides it sort of being an out of the way location for me) is that it isn’t cheap.  But when you really want a good quality piece of fish, in my opinion, you can’t skimp too much or you may as well just eat something else.
I also like that I often run into friends at this fish market—even though it is a restaurant too, it feels  familiar to me and somewhat like a little neighborhood shop inside a restaurant.  So on this day, I walked in, on my way to pick up my kids, without knowing what I wanted. I just looked around until something jumped out at me. On this day it happened to be the grouper that caught my eye, which I took home and grilled with a version of a blackening type rub.  Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.
The grouper--after

Kona Jack’s Fish Market
9419 North Meridian Street
Indy   46260
317/843-1609

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something New: A Few of My Favorite Places: Cork & Cracker

I have decided to start something new here on the blog and introduce you to some of my favorite local places that are food and drink-related, but aren’t restaurants.  Locally owned places you would actually find me in on a regular basis. These aren’t reviews—these are places I really like.  But I want to try and support other local places here on the blog by giving them a little love and also get suggestions for some of your favorite places or products that are Indy specialties. (Don’t worry; these features will be in addition to all the regular restaurant reviews).  Feel free to let me know what you think of the idea too!
My first featured place is my all time favorite wine shop, Cork and Cracker.  This place has a lot of things going for it---first, it is pretty close to my house (it’s in Broad Ripple), second, they mainly stock wines that are under $15 a bottle, and finally, the people who own it are really nice.  They have become good friends of ours actually, but we got to know them solely because of shopping in the store.  It isn’t some massive chain; it is literally a “mom and pop” operation. 
They pride themselves on carrying “non-grocery store” wines, and do a great job carrying lots of interesting things from all over the world.  Honestly, most of my favorite wines come from Europe, and they have a nice wide variety of European choices.  They have the wines divided up by different taste profiles (I find myself in the “citrus” section repeatedly) and often have special close outs that are less than $10.  Plus, if you buy 6 bottles, you get 5% off, and if you buy a case (I always do—you can never have too much wine, right?), you get 10% off.  They do also carry more expensive wines (they’re on the walls) if you are looking for a treat too.
I was actually just in there yesterday buying a case of wine and noticed they are celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend and are having a party next door at Bark Tutor—free wine tasting of lots of things they carry in the shop (that’s right people, free wine!) and I was inspired to do this post. 
Don't forget to tell me what you think of this idea or recommend other local favorites of your own.

Here are the details on the tasting:
Saturday June 11th
@Bark Tutor (which is right next door to the shop)
2122 East 62nd Street
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Cork and Cracker
2126 East 62nd Street
Indy   46220
317-722-WINE (9463)