Monday, January 27, 2020


We had a family night out the other night and one of the places the kids repeatedly ask for is Livery. Everyone really likes it and it’s one of the places when people ask me where to eat on Mass Ave, I always recommend.

Anyhow, it had been awhile since we had been and one thing we all knew was that we wanted was empanadas. It was just a matter of which flavor, how many, and at what stage of the meal. The negotiations began. So we ended up settling on getting a couple of appetizers and then including a bunch of empanadas with some main dishes and sharing it all.

To start we had the carnitas taquitos ($10) and the artichokes ($9). There were two fairly large taquitos filled with carnitas meat and topped with Amarillo gastrique. There was a little escabeche salad with it and some guacamole. Everyone gave this dish great reviews. The taquitos were nice and crunchy and I really liked eating them with the creamy salad. Hubby loved the salad on its own and ate it all even after the taquitos were gone. I agreed, it was a well composed dish.

The artichokes were also very good. They were grilled half artichokes that had a chili vinaigrette and a grilled lemon served alongside. I loved it with the squeeze of the really juicy lemon. Another great, really well composed dish—and the oil and the acid from the vinaigrette and lemon really accentuated the artichoke and that is something that is often a challenge for restaurants to pull off in my experience. Both appetizers were enjoyed and devoured.

For dinner we had chicken, lamb, and mushroom empanadas ($9 for three).  We ordered a lot of them and our server sort of gave us the side eye about it, but whatever. Our family loves the chicken empanadas and this time was no exception. They are stuffed with seasoned chicken, tomato, and beans, and served with what they call an avocado salsa but is basically like a light guacamole. They also serve a little kale salad on the side with the empanadas. Again, the chicken is one of our standard orders. We tried the lamb for the first time, which was ground lamb in a tomato-based sauce and served with a poblano crema. These were also really good and I would say table-wise, they were probably the favorite over the mushroom, although hubby and I really liked the mushrooms ones as well. They had huitlacoche and white cheddar inside with the mushrooms and were served with a jalapeno crema. We also got some of the bean puree that usually comes with the cheese empanadas at my daughter’s request.  I was really torn about which I liked best. I’d be hard pressed not to get them all. They do a great job with empanadas. 

I was also really impressed with what appeared to be a new menu item to me—the potato tart ($15). It is a crustless tart of crispy sliced potatoes that was topped with burrata cheese, mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes and tomato crema. I loved the slightly smoky flavor in the potatoes and the nice amount of acid from tomatoes. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish, but we were very pleased. 

We also had the skirt steak with polenta/Manchego fries, broccolini, tomato crema and jalapeno butter ($18). The steak was seasoned and cooked very well and was a generous dish that was also a crowd favorite, but a particular favorite of my steak-loving son.

All in all, while we always have enjoyed Livery, food-wise, this was top to bottom one of our best meals. The service was a little slow and absent at times, but otherwise, we had a good experience. And it is nice to see it routinely busy, as it deserves to be. I was also happy to see some variation in the menu as well, even if certain things don’t change. What are your favorite of the empanadas?

720 N. College
Indy 46202

Monday, January 13, 2020


It’s funny how you guys sort of know where I live—as soon as this place opened, I started getting messages about whether I had been there. And yes, it is really close to my house so we were excited by a new non-chain to visit.

It’s a “tex-mex” menu which apparently means lots of smoked meats—some on buns and some as tacos. Most of the toppings are pretty much the same across the board and there isn’t a ton of variation. There are also four different barbecue sauces on the table to use—original, sweet, hot, and chipotle mustard.  But I am ahead of myself.

First, we ordered chips and queso ($7) and we were impressed with the fresh fried tortilla chips. They were hot and really crisp and you could tell had just been made. The queso was tasty, but nothing that really made it stand out—white queso with some green peppers mixed in. But the chips made it worth ordering for sure. They also served it with some soft flour tortillas as well if that’s your thing. 

The rest of my family ordered tacos with various forms of meats inside ($6-$8) and most with pickled onions and guac on top. I ordered the pulled chicken sandwich ($8) which was according to the menu also supposed to come with red onions and guac but only showed up with the pickled onions. I think the sandwiches are the way to go here—or even maybe just the meat by the pound. It was the exact same meat in the tacos, but it felt weird to put barbecue sauce on tacos, but you really need it I think. I tried all the sauces and they were good—I appreciate that they are slightly unique from other places. My favorite sauce by far was the chipotle mustard sauce—I typically like mustard sauces but I really liked this one because it had a little heat that mustard sauces don’t usually have. I also thought the pulled chicken was really good on its own. There was a fair amount of the more tender dark meat mixed in. When I saw it, I worried it would be dry, but it was very tender. The bun and the tortilla were sort of unnecessary. And they were kind of unexciting—nothing really adding to the meat. Next time I would just split the pulled chicken by the pound and eat it with sauce. I feel like the main ingredients of the meat and sauces have been thought out, but the rest was sort of just ok. The mac and cheese and fries we all shared were just sort of average and standard, as were the buns and the guac on top. I would recommend a nice dipping sauce with the fries to jazz them up a bit.

The other meats were decent too, although hubby thought the brisket was a little dry, likely because it was chopped up so small. He agreed with me that probably just getting the meat on its own was probably the way to go. 

We ended with some churros ($5). They didn’t taste bad (I mean, churros!). But the sauce tasted pretty much like Hershey’s and there was nothing to make them really stand out., Would love to see a fancier tasting sauce—maybe something with dark chocolate and cinnamon or dulce du leche. And even if they don’t want to make it themselves, there’s plenty of local folks they could ask to help.

Atmosphere-wise there are a lot of TVs showing sports, but I liked that the sound was off on the TVs so it didn’t become impossible to have a conversation. The server was efficient and the staff was friendly. I look forward to seeing how they evolve—I would love to see more effort put into sides, desserts etc. that it seems like they are putting into the meats and sauces (and the house fried chips). And I really enjoyed that mustard sauce. And the proximity to my house.

What do you guys think? Have you been? 

5711 E. 71st Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220