Monday, January 28, 2019


Hubby and I were looking for something new and decided to try Cholita. It’s in the ill-fated 10 01/Miss Behavin spot (what a terrible name). We went in slightly worried just because of the past experiences but were pleasantly surprised to see they have revamped the interior and that it was comfortably crowded even before 6:00. There is a large bar area in the restaurant that was full, and there is a good-sized seating area that was about half full with families as well as groups of adults. Our server was prompt and got us a drink quickly. I also liked that she didn’t have us order everything at once, as the food comes out pretty quick.

We each got a Cholita margarita (regular is $8, grande is $13). They were very tasty. They had a nice tart taste and weren’t overly sweet, which I appreciate. They use a bit of seasoning in the salt on the rim, which make it have a little kick. We also started with the queso fundido ($8) and added the chorizo option ($2). They serve this extremely hot bubbling cheese with tortillas to fill with the cheese and meat. It was really good. The edges of the cheese kind of burn on the little bowl it is served in. That crispy edge peeled out and put in a tortilla was delicious. I liked the chorizo, and appreciated that it was ground so it was easy to eat, but I thought there was maybe just a little too much of it. It sort of overtook the cheese in quantity. It all tasted really good though. The salsa that they served with it was also really tasty. It has a smoky flavor and we saved it to use on everything else. It added a nice extra dimension to the cheese and tortillas. We did not get any chips, and I am curious to know how they are. If you’ve had them, let me know. 

The majority of the items on the menu are tacos, so we got a bunch of different ones and shared them. They make all the tortillas in house and it shows. They are really good. The two seafood choices were great. Probably my two favorites. The shrimp one ($4.75) was amazing. It has bite sized pieces of shrimp (it has been cut up), cabbage, pickled onions (lots of pickled onions here), pico de gallo and baja sauce. I loved, loved the acid from the pickled vegetables. And I don’t know exactly what the baja sauce is, but it was really good. It was a great balance of flavors. The baja taco was also delicious ($4.50). It is a large piece of beer battered fried cod with cabbage slaw, pico de gallo and pickled tartar sauce.  Great crunchy taste and again, plenty of acid to make me happy. And did I mention they give you a bunch of limes to squeeze on top too? And not those dried out things you get sometimes.

The Brussels sprout taco was probably my next favorite ($4.50). They also offer a fried cauliflower veggie option that is intriguing as well. Next time. Anyhow, the Brussels sprouts version had roasted and grilled halved sprouts with melted cheese, caramelized onions, chili cream, pickled veggies and pico de gallo. Seriously, this was great. Loved the cheesiness. This was one of hubby’s top picks for sure. Really interesting and really well done.

Meat-wise, we had the skirt steak ($4.75) and the al pastor ($4.25). I have to say, after the acid and pickled veggies and all the flavor of the others, the meat ones were my least favorite. The steak was good though—it has pinto beans, guacamole, salsa and cactus pico de gallo. It is a hearty one for sure with the steak and beans, and the steak was nice and tender. Lime helped jazz it up. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, just didn’t wow me as much as the others. The al pastor had chunks of pork, chipotle salsa and pineapple (which is the classic accompaniment). You’d expect a lot of acid with this mix, but you’d be wrong. For whatever reason, this one just fell a little flat for me. Compared to the others, it was just kind of bland. The pork was well done though and a couple of bite of just the pork showed that it was well cooked and seasoned. 
Brussels Sprout taco

I am so excited to have this place in Broad Ripple. Other than a couple of notable exceptions, I feel like Broad Ripple restaurants are just so so over all. This is a place that will certainly go into regular rotation, assuming they keep quality at the level it was on our visit. Oh, and downstairs, they have a tiki-style bar where you can order the same food, but where they offer a range of more tiki-inspired drinks. It’s cozy and nicely decorated, and I can see sitting down there and eating tacos when the kids aren’t with us.

Yay! A new place. It’s reasonably priced and they have tasty margaritas. I can’t wait to taste all the other taco flavors too. If you have been, what have been your favorites? Oh, and they have a mighty fine looking all you can eat brunch menu. 

1001 Broad Ripple Ave
Indy  46220

Monday, January 21, 2019


Hubby and I were dropping our daughter off at a friend’s house in Fishers at dinner time and just did a little search to see what was nearby. We ended up settling at LouVino as a kind of last minute choice. It’s a small chain out of Louisville, with a couple of locations outside Kentucky, and according to their website, one coming to Mass Ave soon.

Anyway, it’s meant to be a wine bar—a fairly big selection and most you can get buy the glass. Unfortunately the very first one hubby ordered they were out of. We settled on a couple of choices and looked over the menu. They mainly have shareable small plates, but some of the bigger ones that you can make an entrée out of it you want to. We were torn between the duck fat frites and the stuffed tots. We ended up with the “loaded baked potato tots” ($9). I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but it was basically like mashed potatoes, cheese, bacon and scallions mixed together in balls and then deep fried. They were served with a side of their homemade ranch. They were pretty good, but a little bland I guess. Neither of us felt like we needed more than 2 and we were done. They just needed a little something more—you couldn’t really taste the cheese and other ingredients that much, mostly just the potato. Not a bad thing, but not as exciting as I hoped. I did like the ranch dressing. It tasted fresh and house made. It had a thinner consistency than those store-bought ones that seem sort of like they are made with chemicals.

Next, we had the fried chicken tacos ($10). Again, not exactly sure what to expect, but it was basically exactly that. Tortillas that were grilled, filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, topped with a piece of boneless fried chicken breast and gravy. An interesting concept, and I guess the tortilla made it a hand-held, but I didn’t really see the need for the tortilla. The piece of chicken was seasoned really nicely though and cooked just right so it was tender and juicy. It was a tasty bite of food, but then again, you know I am a sucker for fried chicken. I probably would have rather dipped it in the gravy to keep it crispier, but I am sort of a crispy crust fanatic.

Our last savory course was the best one, the shrimp and grits ($13). I’ll be honest, I was pretty much expecting the shrimp to be chewy and tough because so few places get it right. To the point that I rarely order shrimp at a restaurant. But this was very good. The shrimp were actually lightly breaded and fried so they had an appealing crunch and were cooked just right. They were very good. The cheesy grits they were sitting on, were also very good. And of course, you know I am a sucker for a perfectly cooked egg. There were also some crispy bits of ham. All of that stuff made for a great dish. The part I didn’t like about it was the “spicy maple” sauce that was luckily mainly on one side of the bowl.  I didn’t care for the sweetness that it added, and we kind of dammed it up on the plate so it stayed out of most of our bites. Next time I would hold this sauce. If I were summing up the food overall, I would say it was pretty good and pretty rich and hearty. I was sort of craving something acidic and bright to go along with each dish. I would have loved some green tomatoes or something like that with the shrimp or the chicken. 

We decided to get dessert and it followed the rich pattern, but when you are eating chocolate chip cookie dough beignets, you kind of don’t care. They were pretty darn tasty. Hubby was a big fan especially. They are fried doughnut balls, and they are filled with lots of chocolate chips and batter that is super hot. They serve it with a vanilla anglaise dipping sauce for just a little extra decadence. They were tasty though. Sorry I didn’t take a pic after I had cut in to them! Much more interesting.

Overall, I would say if I lived in Fishers, I might go to this place on occasion. I don’t think it is really a place I would go out of my way for though. Even though nothing was bad, it wasn’t super exciting. The interior is sort of upscale chain feel—lots of wine décor. It was comfortable enough, although a couple came in and got seated right next to us and one of them reeked of cigarettes and some kind of cover up attempt--perfume or something. It sort of put a damper on my taste buds. But what are you going to do? I do wish they didn’t seat everyone so close together when there were many empty tables though. 

Have you guys been?

8626 E. 116th Street
Fishers. 46038

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