Thursday, February 28, 2013

Taste- Revisit

I know I have written about this place several times before, but every time I write about it, someone tells me they try it for the first time because of my post. And if I can turn just one person on to Taste that has never been there before, well then my job is done. I probably go to Taste just about weekly, although I rarely write about it because I usually get the same thing.  This time, we were with my in-laws, so we got several different things and I got to try them all.

My classic, which is a BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato), ($7.25) was of course one of the choices.  Taste is one of the few places you can trust to get a decent tomato even in the winter.  The thing I like about this sandwich as I have said several times is that they dress the greens, and there is also their great basil aioli on there to boost the flavors of everything. The bacon is really good as well.  I love this sandwich and it will always be one of my favorites.

I also had some of hubby’s ham and egg wrap ($8.00) which is scrambled eggs, ham, cheddar cheese, red onions, greens, roasted tomatoes and roasted red pepper vinaigrette.  This thing is pretty huge, and definitely a shareable item.  A couple of things that really stand out about it—the eggs are incredibly light and fluffy—not those dense, dry things you see a lot of places.  And I really like the addition of the vinaigrette—again, it just takes what are very good ingredients up to the next level.

My mother-in-law also gave me a bite of her sandwich, the “erin.” (great name) ($7.25).  I have always been intrigued by this sandwich because she swears by it, but had never tried it.  It was also really good. It may be a potential future order for me.  It is a vegetarian sandwich with asparagus, sprouts, red onion, provolone and Swiss cheese, basil aioli and Dijon dill sauce.  Again, it’s the great and unique flavors of the sauces that make the sandwich. It takes a bunch of ingredients that I inherently like, but not sure if I would put them on a sandwich normally, and makes them really delicious.  I also liked that there was enough cheese so that the sandwich had real substance, and not too many sprouts (I don’t like sprouts when there are too many because they make the texture off.)  The asparagus gave it a unique flavor as well.

Of course we had some of the frites ($4.50) too. It’s the basil aioli dipping sauce that makes these for me.  The fries themselves are thin and crisp and nice and salty, but without the sauce I don’t know that they would be the temptation they are for me every time I go.  And one order was enough for all of us to get our fill (of course we all ordered our own sandwich which are pretty filling).  I also had one of their deviled eggs, because they are another weakness of mine.  Honestly, one sandwich with frites is enough for two people, but I was glad to get to try lots of things.  I was only a little bummed because they didn’t have the onion ring special I had seen on the menu a few times before, because I was going to get some this time since we had enough people to split them and the fries.  Anyone had the onion rings? Are they good?

Anyway, Taste is still one of my favorite places to eat lunch in Indy, and a place I always recommend to out-of-towners for lunch.  The ingredients are high quality and fresh, and they do a great job of giving standard sandwiches and dishes that extra kick to move them from good to great.  I have heard they are getting ready to open a wine bar next door as well, and I look forward to it.

Taste Cafe & Marketplace
5164 N College Ave
Indy 46205

Monday, February 25, 2013

Latitude 39

Again, another new place right by our house—Latitude 39 is more of a “fun center” than a restaurant, but since we did ate a meal there (and had an appetizer while we bowled the other day), I figured it was worth a post.

First of all, I know this place is new, but every time we have been there it has been nearly empty (during the day). I am wondering how their business is doing. Who has been in the evening? I wonder if it does more business then.  (A side note, a lot of people I know do not like taking their kids there because it is so expensive—you have to rent a bowling alley by the hour on the weekends (plus shoe rental) and the prices run between $35 and $42 per hour).

We went bowling once (and with only 3 of us bowling managed to barely get in 2 games in an hour) and ordered some guacamole and chips ($8.99) and a “perfect margarita.”  The menu says they make the guac in house and it was pretty good.  You could see some nice chunks of avocado and it had some diced onions, jalapenos and tomatoes.  We all quite enjoyed it—even the kids who are very selective about the guacamole they will eat. The chips were a major letdown though. They were cold and out of a bag, and not even a particularly good bag of chips. The “perfect margaritas” (which are the top shelf margaritas at this place) were pretty tasty too.

A couple weeks later we decided to try lunch.  There were several of us, so we started with the buffalo chicken queso dip ($8.99). As it turned out, this was the best thing we had and we actually enjoyed it, despite its very orange hue.  It certainly had a distinct buffalo sauce flavor, and was very creamy (from cream cheese and cheddar jack).  There were also some nice pieces of chicken breast mixed in. The chips were the same ones as before, and thus, not overly impressive.

Hubby and I then shared the seared tuna appetizer ($10.99) as well. It was crusted in sesame seeds and served with wasabi sour cream and soy sauce.  Eh, I wasn’t overly impressed. The fish had very little flavor and a few of the pieces of fish were a little too fatty. Luckily the cabbage underneath was lightly dressed with a soy/wasabi/ginger dressing and helped season the fish a bit when you ate them together.  But all in all, I would call this one pretty bland.

My son had the cheese pizza, which he had before on a visit with someone else and claimed he really liked it. It actually looked pretty good—real thin crust, but the flavor instantly reminded me of the pizza I would get in the school cafeteria when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was the flavor of the sauce or the crust, but I couldn’t eat it (I didn’t care for it then and I don’t now).  My son did like it though and ultimately that is all that matters right?

The service was pretty bad as well. There was hardly anyone in there eating and our server disappeared for long periods of time. My daughter’s chicken quesadilla had no chicken in it, and it took us forever to get that fixed.  Hubby ordered a “Perfect margarita” again based on the last ones we had, and this time it was really bad. It tasted like they had made it with the wrong alcohol or something. It was totally off.

My thoughts are this—if we go back to bowl, I would be willing to get a couple of the appetizers—both dips were pretty good (except for the chips), but I think I would pass on eating another sit down meal at the restaurant.

I wish someone would open a really great independent place in the Castleton region. We have way too many restaurants with almost the exact same menu. Sigh.

Latitude 39
4016 East 82nd Street
Indy  46250
Latitude 39 on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cobblestone Grill

We had to be over near Zionsville the other day to pick up extra cookies for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop and naturally, I took it as an opportunity to try a new lunch place in a side of town we don’t get to that often.  We decided on Cobblestone because it seemed kid friendly and was right on Main Street which we thought would be fun to walk around on for a bit.

I had heard this place had a new-ish chef and has been working on its menu lately and adding a few new twists to what is a pretty traditional menu of sandwiches, salads and a few basic entrées.  I think a lot of the new items are on the bar menu (and maybe the dinner menu?) because the lunch menu didn’t look like it had been updated in awhile.

We did ask for the bar menu and ordered the house made pretzel rolls to share from there.  The rolls were pretty good—they had the distinctive pretzel taste although not as much the smooth, sort of shiny exterior. They were chewy like a soft pretzel should be, although maybe a touch too doughy, and were served with a very strong mustard dip.  Would have loved a little salt on the outside, although you could taste a salty kick to them.  My daughter loved them. Hubby was the least impressed.

For my lunch, I had the fish tacos ($8) which are Cajun-spiced pieces of whitefish inside flour tortillas and topped with chopped onion and cilantro with salsa on the side.  I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about them, but they were pretty tasty.  The fish was heavily seasoned (in a good way) and really very tender.  Wrapped with the cilantro and onions and some of the salsa made for a nice, fairly light lunch.  The portions are large, but other than the large flour tortilla (which ideally would have been grilled a bit), you felt like you were eating fairly healthy.  And with a decent amount of flavor.

Hubby had the crab cakes ($13) which were not bad, but not great either.  I liked that they were fried really crisp on the outside, giving it a nice buttery crunch to them.  The flavor was your pretty classic crab cake, which doesn’t really excite me that much, particularly when they aren’t really that “crabby.” It was served with a creole aioli, which wasn’t bad, although overpowered the crab cakes a bit maybe.  The annoying thing was there was also what appeared to be a nice little salad on the plate, but it was totally undressed.  We asked for some vinaigrette on the side and then it was a nice combo to eat some of the salad with a bite of the crab cake.  It just seemed like a waste of the greens to serve them totally undressed.  They did serve a lemon wedge on the plate, which I guess you could have put on the greens, but it was better squeezed right on the crab cakes.

The kids both had cheeseburgers off of the kid’s menus and thought they were just okay. They looked pretty darn dry to me (hubby said they tasted like they had been frozen), so honestly I didn’t even try them.

I can see this being a decent option for lunch if you lived in Zionsville.  However, the worst part about the meal was the service.  The restaurant only had a few tables in it when we got there, but it took quite a long time to get attention throughout the meal.  Also, the décor is a bit tired—looking distinctly like late 80s/early 90s that has been pretty much untouched since then.

So Zionsville folks, what do you think of this place? And where are your favorite places to eat in Zionsville?

Cobblestone Grill
160 South Main Street
Zionsville, IN 46077
Cobblestone Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hotcakes Emporium

My son has started requesting to go out to breakfast, and it just so happened I had a gift certificate I had won at a fundraiser, so we were off to try Hotcakes Emporium. I sort of thought it was a chain, but it turns out they just have three locations in the Indy area.  It also turns out, it is an extremely popular place on the weekends. We had to wait a bit, which wasn’t a big deal, and they were pretty prompt at getting us seated.

Seriously though, the place was jammed.  Once we got seated, the service was quite fast though.  Hubby and I got our basic standard breakfast of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns, but one of us got pancakes and the other one toast. You have to try the pancakes in a place called “Hotcake Emporium” right?  Overall, the food was pretty straightforward breakfast food. The eggs were cooked exactly as ordered and were nice and runny inside.  The bacon was good—nice flavor, not fancy.  The hashbrowns needed to be cooked a little more crispy. (I’m curious, are there those of you out there who like your hashbrowns soft and without any crispy edges, or is this just a universal problem?) On any return visit, I would certainly ask for them well done. In fact, I think I may just start doing this with hashbrowns always. What’s the chance they are going to be TOO crispy? I digress.  They have sourdough toast which I like, and it was perfectly toasted and I liked that they ask you if you wanted it buttered or not.

Anyway, the pancakes themselves were really good. Nice and fluffy.  The only bad part was that they were sprinkled with powdered sugar, which makes them a little sweet for us. Neither of us even used much syrup with the pancakes. And the dollop of butter that comes on top tastes like it has honey in it or something. It was slightly sweet as well. So, next time (what? I’m always thinking about making something into more of the perfect experience for me) I would get a pancake because they are really good, and ask them to hold the sugar and the butter (they have regular packets of butter on the table).

My daughter had the chocolate crepes—she said, you know, for the sake of the blog. She loved them and ate just about every bite.  What’s not to like about crepes wrapped around chocolate, and drizzled in chocolate sauce and topped with melty chocolate chips.  Yes, certainly more of a dessert, but tasty. And you know up front this thing is gonna be sweet.

All in all, we were in and out in a decent amount of time despite the crowd, and the food was good, basic breakfast fare.  If it were my neighborhood, I can see repeat visits.  I am not sure how often I would drive over there otherwise.

Hotcakes Emporium
8555 Ditch Road
Indy 46260
Hotcakes Emporium Pancake House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 14, 2013

His Place Eatery

Apparently, good things come in old Waffle Houses. One of our regular go to places for margaritas and chips is La Hacienda, in an old Waffle House, and His Place is also in an old Waffle House. I love that they giant Waffle House sign is still visible behind the place too.  They have cleaned it up and given it a bright coat of paint.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the place half full at 11:30 when we got there, and get this; it was actually WARM in there! So rare in this town.

So I have been stalking this menu online because of the fried chicken, and knew that’s what I wanted to get.  They have many other menu options though including fried fish, rib tips, fried pork chops and the option of waffles with your fried chicken.  They have a great little lunch special for $6.99 which includes one of the entrees (with chicken you get two pieces of white or dark or 4 chicken wings), a side, and either white bread or homemade corn bread (like that’s even a decision).  So we each got one of these lunch plates, but I had to add an additional side in order to try as much as possible, which turned my lunch into a dinner which are $9.99.

I had the dark meat chicken (one leg, one thigh) and hubby had the 4 chicken wings.  The chicken was really good.  Super moist and tender—not overcooked, not undercooked, and the crust was of the deep fried type.  It was nice and crusty and little bits of it fell all over the place when you ate it.  It wasn’t super-highly seasoned, but you could taste a bit of seasoning in it (and you could see the flecks of pepper). It was very good, solid fried chicken.  Even hubby’s wings weren’t dried out.  I think we decided next time we would get one order of dark and one of white and switch so we could each have one piece of each type.

As for sides, hubby was bummed that they were out of greens that day (and apparently so were some other people around us, which made us just want to try them even more next time), but between us, we tried the mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and creamed corn with Bourbon.  First of all, the clear standout that we were fighting over was the corn. It was really good. It was whole corn kernels, bits of chopped onion and peppers, in a creamy sauce that included a hint of Bourbon (and parmesan cheese).  It was really good—the Bourbon gave it a nice, rich flavor and the cheese a little extra creaminess. This stuff is a must order.  My next favorite was probably the mac and cheese—it is homemade with several kinds of cheese. It was nice and smooth and cheesy, but it could have used a touch more seasoning. A bit of salt and pepper helped.  They also offered hot sauce. Probably should have thrown a bit on there too.  My least favorite was the mashed potatoes.  In fairness, I asked for them without gravy, which is probably a bad idea—they were pretty dry.  They were freshly made with bits of skin in them. I like my mashed potatoes creamy and gravy-free so I would take a pass on them next time (because I am totally getting the corn anyway). The cornbread was in the form of little muffins and was really good.  It was nice and moist with just the right amount of crumbly-ness.

The people in this place are great. Our server was really nice and immediately upon sitting down warned us what they were out of, which I appreciated so I didn’t get my heart set on anything (there are several items that they don’t make every day apparently—luckily I don’t think the corn is one of them). The food was out very quickly and I enjoyed the way the chef/owner walked around and talked to everyone in the place when he wasn’t cooking.  He obviously has a nice crew of regular customers. He recognized pretty quickly that we were new and welcomed us and made sure we knew about signing up for email offers, facebook and twitter.  He is obviously working hard to make his business a success and based on his crowd, I think he is doing a pretty good job. We certainly plan on returning.

His Place Eatery
6916 East 30th Street
Indy   46219

His Place Eatery on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pearl Bistro

Pearl Bistro is a place that has been on the list forever, after a food-loving friend had recommended it to me for dinner.  I am not sure why it always slips my mind, but I finally managed to get over there for lunch with a friend the other day.

The menu is pretty straightforward—several salads, several appetizers and sandwiches, etc.  They also apparently have daily specials, which is what we ended up with after hearing about them.  We also agreed to completely split everything in half because we both wanted both things.  We had the special Greek salad with spanakopita.  I really enjoyed this dish.  I mean, it was simple, and exactly as described, but was well done.  It was greens with feta, red onion, black olives, a few pieces of tomato (they were actually red) and two triangles of spanakopita (cheese and spinach wrapped in filo dough).  At first it seemed under dressed because the dressing was sort of drizzled on top rather than tossed (nothing makes me happier than a tossed salad) but once you sort of figured it out and mixed it in a bit, it  had a great flavor—nice and tangy.  The spanakopita was also really good.  Just the right amount of crispiness and the right amount of spinach and cheese filling. Again, fairly straightforward, and very enjoyable.  And it felt like you were eating a fairly healthy lunch as well.

We also had the daily quiche special which on this day was spinach and goat cheese ($8.50).  You have your choice of a salad on the side or soup, and we chose the soup (since our other entrée was based around a salad).  I even asked for an extra bowl and spoon so we could split it down the middle. We had the special soup of the day, cream of broccoli, which we both agreed we enjoyed because it wasn’t overly cream heavy, and I liked that it had nice chunks of broccoli in it (I like soup with at least a little texture to it).  It was maybe a little bland, and could have used a bit more seasoning, but soup is always good on a cold day (which it was).  I would say maybe the quiche also suffered a bit from underseasoning, although I did enjoy the bites with the goat cheese in it (and there was a decent amount of goat cheese in it).  They had the nice tangy kick of the cheese.  It wasn’t bad, but I think I would try something else next time (and I probably shouldn’t order quiche as much because I am learning I am sort of picky about my quiche).

We also shared a dessert which was bread pudding with a Bourbon sauce and which was pretty tasty as well, although I was pretty full at this point, so I just tried a few bites. My lunch date seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

I actually managed to get back one more time before I posted this review and had the veggie melt with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, provolone and cheddar grilled on their housemade focaccia. I really enjoyed this on a cold day as well--it was nice and warm and melty--and I enjoyed the flavor of the focaccia. You could taste the olive oil and slight saltiness.  The bread alone made it for me (they make most of their bread in house). They also do a combo of housemade chips from potato, sweet potato and beets. I really enjoyed this super thin, nearly transparent, crispy chips.  They were light and tasty. Again, the meal was straightforward, but well done.

All in all, I liked this place.  There was nothing about the food that made it jump out at you, but it was solid, and fresh, and well done.  The place had a decent business mid-week including several guys having lunch on their own.  Once a month they offer Sunday brunch, which I am always looking for (and you can bring kids as well). It’s a cute little place with friendly service and simple, well-executed food.

I don’t hear people talk about it too much though, curious about what you guys think.

Pearl Bistro
1475 West 86th Street
Indy  46260

Pearl Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I had actually heard decent things about this place food-wise from several people, including my parents, who really enjoyed certain sushi menu items when they ate at the branch in Lexington. I have also had several readers recommend it. 

The first time we went, it was just hubby and I, and we ordered off the sushi menu.  We had the New York roll ($11.95) and the tempura shrimp roll ($7.95).  They were both very good.  I was impressed with the quality of the fish, and the quality of the rolls.  They were straightforward, but not so plain that they were boring.  The shrimp tempura roll was the fried shrimp and avocado inside, and a drizzle of eel sauce and a dusting of sesame seeds on top.  The eel sauce gave it the right moisture and a slightly sweet flavor and the shrimp the crunch I like.  The New York roll was tuna and avocado inside and tuna on top (I also asked them to put a little tempura bits on it, which they put on top).  It was very good as well.  The fish was fresh and cut exactly to the right thickness and the rolls were bite-sized.  We were both quite pleased.  They weren’t overly complicated but well done. 

Shortly after, we decided we needed to go back and try some of the non-sushi items and see how they were. We took the kids one day for lunch.  We started with a tempura California roll ($7.50) (ok, not all non-sushi) which is your basic California roll (crab, cucumber and avocado inside) but the whole roll was then tempura fried.  It was after eating this fried roll that I have come to the conclusion that I do not like deep fried rolls.  I always think it might be good thing because I do like a bit of crunch in my rolls, but this is just too much. For me, all you can taste is the crust—you can no longer taste all the ingredients inside.  And I think they did a good job with them.  If you like California rolls, a regular non-fried one might be a worthwhile option.

I ordered the California grilled chicken sandwich ($8.99).  In words, and in theory, and mostly in actuality, I liked the sandwich.  It had a ton of stuff going on though.  There was the chicken which was marinated and had a distinct char grilled taste, and there was guacamole, greens tossed in vinaigrette, tomato, blue cheese, bacon, mayo and Dijon mustard.  It was served on heavily toasted sliced white bread.  I appreciated that the lettuce was dressed and tangy, and the guac was pretty good. The tomato had to be immediately removed due to its white color tinge.  The blue cheese was plentiful as was the mustard—there were large mustard seeds evident.  A lot of strong flavors in generous portions. Overall I was good with it because I really like all the flavors.  The chicken, however, was pretty darn dry and overcooked which kind of blew it, although if it had been tender I would have really enjoyed this extremely messy sandwich.  I got tater tots because they sounded good and they were (and I was glad because the fries were crinkle fries which I almost never like).  Everyone in my family wanted my tots.

Hubby had the small Tavern burger ($7.49) (their burgers come in 2 sizes, small and regular, which I appreciate). This burger is topped with grilled onions, pepper jack cheese and remoulade.  This one was a miss. The burger was tough and way overcooked.  It really wasn’t worth eating and hubby pretty much just shared my sandwich.

My daughter had the mini cheeseburgers ($4.99) which pretty much suffered the same fate as hubby’s although she isn’t as picky about it.  She ate one of the two though and was done.  My son had their mac and cheese ($3.99) and didn’t like it. But he is kind of weird about his mac and cheese. This one didn’t have a ton of flavor though.  He ended up eating the other one of my daughter’s mini cheeseburgers.
So Drake’s is the latest of several very similar restaurants opening in the same location on 82nd Street. A sports bar with TVs, a large menu, working toward attracting a younger crowd I think (and I am not talking about my kids).  You can pretty much guarantee the older people are going to be turned off by nearly every table basically being a bar stool or a high wooden bench. (My parents are scheming about bringing in a couple of stadium chairs so they can enjoy their favorite crab Rangoon roll with a back on their seats).  I think there are 2 chairs in the whole place that have a back and they are in front of the fireplace.  Maybe that’s the point, keep the old people out by making the seating hideously uncomfortable.  As for service, both our servers seemed quite indifferent to the whole idea of waiting on people and seemed a little bored to be there.  To be fair, there were a few enthusiastic people working in there, thank goodness, or we never would have gotten refills on our drinks (which for some reason are JAM PACKED with ice).

Overall, if you are going to eat here, I would recommend the sushi. They have a separate little sushi kitchen and they do a good job.  My guess is that at some point we will return. I liked the big garage doors in the front—it could be fun on a nice day. And there were a lot of people in there watching basketball on the afternoon we went with the kids, so I think that watching sports here is a big draw as well. Too bad about the chairs though. They make hubby cranky.

3740 E. 82nd Street
Indy 46240

Drake's on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 4, 2013

Meridian - Revisit

My in-laws were in town, and when we have a chance to go out to dinner with them without the kids, we try and let them pick a place that they want to go—this time they really wanted to try Meridian and we were happy to oblige.  I was surprised how hard it was to get a reservation on the night we went, but as it turned out there was a Butler game and various theater events, so that was the reason why.  

I wasn’t even going to write about the meal because it hasn’t been that long since I wrote about it—but by the end of the meal, we were all sufficiently impressed that I felt like it merited a new post (this also explains why there aren’t as many pictures) (and sorry they're so dark). 

Hubby and I started with the beef tartare ($13.75)—so far it is the best version I have found in Indy in a restaurant (although this one was definitely smaller than the last time we had it). There was the beef, with a decent amount of capers and onions mixed in, some garlic mayo and little crunchy chickpeas with diced tomatoes. There is also a raw quail egg on top.  Everything mixed together (keep those crispy chickpeas to themselves though so they don’t get mushy) is great. And if you squeeze them lemon wedge they serve with it on top, it is near perfection.  You have the salty taste of the capers and chickpeas with the acid from the lemon and the tomatoes and the extra creaminess of the egg and the mayo and well, it just is really well balanced. I like the crisp grilled flatbread they serve with it as well. It has a little flavor to it but doesn’t detract from the rest of the ingredients.

My in-laws had the fried oysters Rockefeller ($12.25) which have been on the menu as long as I can remember.  These were really good this night—the oysters were small and very crispy.  You got a little smokiness from the small pieces of bacon and there was just a touch of creamed spinach and some hot sauce.  A classic dish that Meridian is still doing very well.

Hubby and I shared a salad—it was Bibb lettuce, sliced Fuji apples, walnuts and Danish blue cheese with a herb walnut vinaigrette ($8.75). It was really good. I appreciated that they split it for us in the kitchen so that we got an even amount of the goodies and dressing.  It had just the right amount of toppings in relation to the lettuce, and the right amount of dressing as well. Blue cheese and walnuts are one of my favorite combos, so this was a great salad for me. Hubby liked it a lot as well.

Hubby had the salmon entrée ($26.50) (well, we shared our entrees) and it was outstanding. Probably the best dish on the table.  It was Skuna Bay salmon with a potato hash, leek fondue, and asparagus and artichokes.  Hubby asked for the salmon to be cooked medium rare, which they did perfectly.  The potato hash was little fried diced potatoes which were still hot and crunchy (yay! texture!) and then the leek fondue gave it a little creamy sauce and the bits of artichoke and asparagus the right amount of veg.  The sauce had a distinct lemony flavor (yay! acid!).  All ingredients I love and it all went perfectly together. I would get this again in a heartbeat.

The dish I ordered was actually the biggest disappointment of the evening. It was actually a starter on the menu.  They called it “Bacon and eggs” ($13.25) and it was a slice of pork belly, cheddar grits, a sunny side up egg and sweet and sour Brussels Sprouts.  I was kind of excited about this dish because I had a similar thing last time with eggs and grits and shrimp that was really nice. The addition of the sweet and sour Brussels sprouts had me intrigued.  The egg was good and the grits were good—but the pork belly was quite dry and the Brussels sprouts were just not cooked enough. They were seared on the edges, but they were just too hard. It was a bummer because I think this could be a really cool combo. Maybe if they par cooked the sprouts or something.

My mother-in-law had the turbot (which is a mild, white fish) ($42) and it was also very good. I only had a couple of bites so it is hard for me to discuss it too much—and there was a lot going on. There was the fish, prosciutto wrapped prawns, beets, leeks, asparagus I think and kumquats. I loved the kumquats—they were sliced really thin and definitely gave it that tangy bite that I like.  I was a little surprised by how much more expensive it was than the rest of the entrées when I glanced at the bill, and that they didn’t mention the price when they told us about it.  But maybe I am just being picky (and I wasn’t paying so I guess I shouldn’t complain).  I also had a bite of my father-in-law’s boar Bolognese that was also very good.  I am a sucker for fresh pasta. We all shared a side of the fries as well, which are really, really good fries.

Hubby and I shared a different dessert this time (often being lured in by the fresh doughnuts which are always good). We had the butterscotch brulee ($7) which was a butterscotch pudding that was caramelized on top. My favorite part was when you dug down into it; you came up with bits of shortbread cookies. That was a nice surprise and we both enjoyed it.

Overall, I think Meridian is doing some really good food.  The place was jam packed. I have always loved the interior, and our service was great on this visit.  In fact, at one point when the air conditioning actually came on next to our table (and it was cold outside) I asked our server if she could ask them to turn it off and she actually did.  Usually they kind of look at you and say they will try and nothing changes. I was impressed.

Meridian is going back into our rotation.  Have you been lately? What did you think?

5694 N. Meridian
Indy 46208

Meridian Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon