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