Monday, June 28, 2021

Juniper on Main

Recently I had an opportunity to try this new place in Carmel with some friends. It has been on my list but if I am honest, I sort of forgot about it so when my friend mentioned it, I was looking forward to it. They have a nice patio and we chose to sit outside (which turned a little wet when a sudden downpour came through but luckily, we had an umbrella which mostly shielded us). 

We started with the deviled egg flight ($10) and the hot pimento cheese ($12). The better of the two was the pimento cheese which was served more like a queso type dip rather than your typical spread. It was served with naan bread that was toasty and hot and some grapes. The naan was very good with it and the cheese was good although not super spicy. I loved deviled eggs and I was excited by the various flavors that rotates. However, I found them to be a little bland—the actual egg part needed salt for sure and acid wouldn’t hurt. They were topped with various things—one with blue cheese, one with pickled red onions, one with what I think was sausage, one with bacon, and one with corn. Of the bites I had the blue cheese was best for the little kick of salty cheese, but like I said overall, these were under-seasoned. I would skip them next time.

For mains, hubby and I decided to get the fried green tomato appetizer ($11) and the blackened catfish dinner ($20) and split them for our meal. The catfish was probably the best thing on the table all night. The seasoning was just right with lots of flavor and a bit of heat (thanks to our server for the suggestion-she was spot on). The grits served alongside were dryer than I typically would prefer but a little with a bite of the fish and some of the quite flavorful remoulade sauce was tasty. The okra tasted like it had no seasoning at all and was just barely cooked. It was described as “garlic sauteed,” but I didn’t really get any garlic flavor. I didn’t eat a lot of it. The fish was very good though and worth ordering again. The fried green tomatoes were also very good—they did a great job with the crispy breading and I was pleased to see that it actually stayed adhered to the tomato—something that seems to be a challenge for many kitchens. They were super crunchy and good with the lemon aioli and maybe even better with some of the remoulade from the fish. These are a good choice too. 

All in all, there were certainly hits and misses, and overall, a lot of things could have used a little more refinement with seasoning (not the fish though, it was great), but it was an enjoyable meal. Our server was very nice and so is the patio (I didn’t even see the inside actually). They don’t take reservations except for parties over 6, but we didn’t have to wait right at 6:00 on a Friday (although we got one of the last tables). I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts as I don’t feel like I hear a lot about this place.

Juniper on Main

110 E. Main Street

Carmel, IN 46032


Monday, June 14, 2021

Garage Food Hall- Chapati, J's Lobster and Fish Market, and Azucar Morena

The kids and I are on summer break and we had to run an errand downtown so it seemed like a fitting time to go check out the Garage Hall at Bottleworks. I had walked through it recently, and was impressed and was looking forward to trying a few things. I have two teens, and they were both impressed with the “coolness” of the place and said it felt like it was in a different city so that’s probably the ultra teen compliment. 

We all agreed to get different things so we could try lots of stuff. My daughter got an arepa and fresh squeezed juice from Azucar Morena, I got a lobster roll from J’s Lobster and Fish Market and my son got chicken tikka masala and naan from Chapati. 

Everything we had was good, but I think we all agreed that we liked my son’s tikka masala ($14) the best of everything we had. The enthusiasm of the son working in the front talking about his mom’s cooking was awesome—he also told my son it would take a few minutes because they really are making things pretty fresh. It was a very generous portion (my husband happily finished it for lunch the next day). It had more unique flavors than your typica tikka masala. The naan was some of the best I have --much more flavor than naan often has  —my son liked watching them cook the naan against the oven walls. It was very cool to be part of their “soft open” and I would highly recommend. 

My lobster roll ($18) is the classic variation of a lobster roll. They use toasted bread, which if I am honest, was one of the best parts—it was delicious. Perfectly toasty and crisp and buttery. The lobster was cooked just right and was tender and there was just a touch of mayo, some shredded lettuce and melted butter and Old Bay on top. I would have loved a squeeze of lemon and was surprised they didn’t even have lemon wedges available, but you know me and my love of acid. The quality of the seafood was great and you can’t really go wrong with buttery lobster, although you could make it really sing with a squeeze of lemon (just saying). I like the way they serve the whole thing on top of chips—some seasoned and some plain. Definitely worth having if you are a lobster fan!

My daughter had the domino arepa ($9) which is a little Venezuelan sandwich made with corn meal instead of flour—it was stuffed with black beans, white cheeses and butter and then had a guacamole type spread as well. It was tasty too—although hard to eat like a sandwich because the fillings were kind of falling out. Again, I would have squeezed a little lime on it if I had been at home, but the ingredients were good and I like the slight sweetness from the bread. She also had a fresh squeezed juice with pineapple, orange and passion fruit. It was delicious. Slightly expensive but a very large size and extremely good (she developed a taste for the “POG” in Hawaii and has a hard time finding it).

Overall, it was a great experience and I look forward to going again—there’s a fish and chips spot we want to try and a poke place as well. Not to mention burgers and tacos and oysters as well as things I am surely forgetting. So, if you have had something that really blew your mind please comment and let me know what it was.

Garage Food Hall


906 Carrollton Avenue

Indy 46202


Tuesday, June 1, 2021


Recently hubby and I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate their anniversary. It was a Monday and I was sort of  surprised how busy this place was! We had to wait about 40 minutes to get a table outside, which is good for them and gave us a chance to walk around and check out the Bottleworks buildings. The Garage Food Hall was doing a big business as well. We had a quick drink in the temporary hotel bar (which was empty unlike everywhere else) and then headed back to Bodhi when we got the text that our table was ready.

I have always loved the outdoors space here—when it was Black Market and now as Bodhi. They have mature wisteria growing through the roof and it is a nice spot. They are still doing good social distancing as well, which is appreciated. I also like the updates they made to soften the interior feel a little bit with plants and new lighting.

The friends we were with are like us and like to try lots of things, so we started with three apps. We had the spring rolls ($9), the crab puffs ($12), and the chicken wings ($15). They give you nice portions on all of the apps, and our favorite were probably the crab puffs—which were like crab Rangoon in a slightly different shape than usual. The spring rolls were mostly outside crunch without much inside. The wings were fine too—the little bits of crispy garlic on the side were tasty, but they weren’t overly spicy. None of the apps were amazing, all were fine, and I think we decided that next time we would save more space for more main dishes, which were clearly the stars.

And we ordered several items to try. Probably my favorite of all of them (but they were all good) was the chili and basil stir fry (Pad Kra Prow) (we had it with the chicken) ($17). It had some heat at medium, but you could appreciate the taste of the basil in the dish. It also had onion and red bell pepper, and I really liked the addition of edamame, which was unusual and very tasty. This was delicious.

We also really enjoyed the shrimp pad Thai ($15). At first it seemed like there weren’t a lot of shrimp in there, but they were buried in the noodles. The rice noodles were plentiful and I love a good tamarind sauce combined with the chopped peanuts and crunchy bean sprouts. It is just the right combo of sweet and spicy and the shrimp were cooked perfectly, as were the noodles. I would definitely order this again as well. 

Our next favorite (and some at our table liked it best) was the laab salad (which we had with pork) ($16). It was a nice change of pace with its chili lime dressing to give a nice hit of acid. There was a lot of minced pork, onions, red bell peppers, lettuce, herbs and crispy rice bits. Honestly, it was hard to pick favorites because they were all so tasty.

The last dish we had was the massaman curry ($21 with beef). It was by far the heartiest, richest dish It came with Naan bread on the side, which we thought was slightly odd in a Thai restaurant—and honestly it was better with the extra side of rice  ($3) we ordered instead. The curry had big hunks of beef, carrots and fingerling potato. Very stew-like in my mind. It had a deep flavor though and also a nice touch of heat (we pretty much ordered everything medium).

All in all, this was a really tasty dinner—particularly the entrées. I love the interior of this place (as well as the outside seating) and I look forward to returning. They had a nice cocktail list and a decent wine list as well. Keep in mind, you have to be 21 and over to eat here, but what a nice addition to Mass Ave. They don’t take reservations, but it looks like you can add yourself to the waitlist on their website. We will definitely be back so let me know your favorite items. 


922 Massachusetts Ave

Indy 46202