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Mississippi Belle Feeds the Soul

13 Jun

There’s a place where I go to dine in shame and fat pants.  Not because it’s a shameful place.  Because the food is so good that you can’t help but stuff yourself in a truly shameful manner.

Mississippi Belle Pork, Sweet Potatoes & Fried Chicken

I’m talking comfort food at it’s best.  There’s nothing fancy about Mississippi Belle, they don’t take credit cards and don’t serve alcohol.  But what they do, they do well: soul food that will make your eyes roll back in your head. Continue reading 

Tacos at Monon Food Company

10 Jun

Tacos at Monon Food Co.

I’ve been hearing about the tacos at Monon Food Company for quite some time.  So I finally decided to see what all the buzz is about.  In case you haven’t been to Monon Food Company, you should know they do a heck of a lot more than tacos.  Their dinner menu features sandwiches, salads, pizzas and entrees like salmon, meatloaf, ribs and mac and cheese.  They also serve brunch on the weekends.  But this visit was just about the tacos. Continue reading 

Rustic Pizzas & Unique Concept at Thr3e Wise Men

28 Jan

Broad Ripple’s new Thr3e Wise Men Brewery is neither your typical brewpub nor your typical Broad Ripple eatery—and that’s a good thing.  Instead Thr3e Wise Men offers a refreshing combination of traditional favorites and new ideas.  The seating in the dining room is all long picnic tables, so if there are fewer than eight in your party, be prepared to make some new friends.  If you’d rather not socialize, you can play with your table’s iPad.

The menu is simple—a handful of appetizers, salad, pizza and dessert.  Without question, the pizza is the standout star here.  Fresh toppings served on a thin, rustic, hand-tossed crust make this the most gourmet pizza in Broad Ripple.  Another hit is the salad, which is tossed and served tableside.  And although I didn’t get an opportunity to taste it this time, I have to give big bonus points for including elephant ears on the dessert menu.

Salad & Breadstick

 

As the name suggests, Thr3e Wise Men is a brewery, and they offer quite a selection.   We sampled quite a few—our favorite was the Hoggy Style Amber.  If beer is your thing, click here to read my friend Scott’s more beer-focused review.

Beer Sampler

Thr3e Wise Men has only been open for a couple of weeks, and they are still working out some bugs from a service standpoint.  We tried to get call-ahead seating, but no one answered the phone.  Also, our appetizers, salad and pizza all came at once instead of staggered through the meal.  A manager did come to apologize, however, and acknowledged that it is something they are working on.  I anticipate that the service will continue to improve over the next few months.

Hummus Pizza

For offering an upbeat atmosphere, rustic pizzas and a unique concept, I give Thr3e Wise Men an Overall Dining Experience rating of 2.  I anticipate better service, and a higher rating, on my next visit.  Here is the breakdown:

Price = $$

Deliciousness = 2 (quality of food is very good)

Ambiance = 3 (a feast for the eyes)

Quality of Service = 1 (friendly but not efficient)

Bang for Your Buck = 2 (overall experience justifies the price)

Overall Dining Experience = 2 (a solid restaurant that beckons with appealing cooking)

 

Click here for an explanation of my rating system.

 

 

Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

Quickie Review–Praise for Biscuits Cafe in Broad Ripple

26 Jan

Biscuits Vegetarian Chimichanga

Part diner, part dive, Biscuits Cafe this is THE place to get your grub on for breakfast and lunch in Broad Ripple.  With a mix of traditional diner food, breakfast and Mexican, there really is something for everyone.  There is even a vegetarian section of Mexican offerings.  I highly recommend the chicken and chorizo quesedilla.

The prices are very reasonable and the portions are huge–a great value in the sea of Broad Ripple’s over-priced breakfast options.

Biscuits Chicken & Chorizo Quesedilla

Thr3e Wisemen Brewery: A Scotty’s Experiment

23 Jan

I know food, but beer is not my area of expertise.  So I turned to my good friend Scott for his review of Broad Ripple’s new Thr3e Wisemen Brewery.  You can expect to see him as a guest poster here from time to time.  I’ll be putting in my two cents about Thr3e Wisemen next week.


I love a good micro-brew.  The only thing better is a good local micro-brew.  So I was excited to hear about the opening of Thr3e Wisemen Brewery (sorry folks, that’s how they spell it) in Broad Ripple.

Part of the Scotty’s group of restaurants, this is the first one that has a brewery onsite.  It is clear from the moment that you walk in that there was a LOT of money spent here.  From the specially inlaid plates to the iPads bolted to the tables to the huge brewery area, there is little doubt in my mind that this was a pet project of Scotty Wise first and a business second.  Thr3e Wisemen opened its doors to the public on January 17, 2011 and eager to check out a new Broad Ripple location and potential source of tasty beer, a friend and I went that night to check it out.

The first thing you notice after walking in, besides the fact that they chose to keep the automatic sliding doors (a remnant of the grocery store that used to be in this location), is that this place is big and open.  Glass walls separate the brewery area from the restaurant, which further lends to the feeling of openness.  This is not what I would call an intimate venue.  The general motif is concrete floors and warm woods everywhere else which might sound sort of rustic but actually has a clean and polished feel to it.  Everything was shiny and new and there were plenty of flat screens around a la Scotty’s.  I hope all the money put into Thr3e Wisemen isn’t going to come back to haunt it.

We got there around 6 pm and even though it’d only been open since 4, the restaurant was full.  This may be partly due to the majority of the dining area tables being picnic table style that take up a lot of space but don’t really seat a large number of people, or opening night, or both.  We managed to find a couple of seats at the bar which worked since we were there for the beer anyway.  We ordered a couple appetizers and two beer samplers that consisted of three 6 ounce glasses arranged in a larger block of wood with the requisite insets for the glasses.  (Games of giant Jenga come to mind.)  This let us sample all but two of the in-house beers.  We chose to forgo the Two Lucy’s Blackberry Wheat and the Golden Zoe IPA as they were the two we were least interested in trying.

So what beers did we try: Continue reading 

Chumley’s Beer (and Burger?) House

12 Jan

Chumley’s in Broad Ripple used to have a reputation for terrible food.  Even though that is no longer the case, the reputation was so bad that I had never eaten there until recently.  I was happy to discover that their menu is almost as diverse as their beer offerings.  If you haven’t checked out their $3.25 local beers on Saturday, I highly recommend it.  While you’re at it, have a Robert the Bruce for me.

As for the food, I sampled fried dill pickles, nachos, and the Hawaiian Burger with onion rings (don’t judge, it was game day and I wasn’t alone).  I’ve been on a quest lately to find the best fried pickles in the city, and so far, these are my favorite.  They are spears instead of chips and they have a nice even cornmeal coating–nothing soggy or greasy here.  However, I was not a fan of the Greek-style dipping sauce.  (The best pickle dipping sauce is at Scotty’s, but that’s a different post for another day.)

Chumley's Fried Pickles

My favorite part of Chumley’s menu is the burger menu:

Just about anything you can think to put on a burger is there, including peanut butter and jelly.  No, I didn’t try it this time, but I promise I will.  This time I had the Hawaiian Burger, with bacon, pineapple and provolone.  The burger itself was nice and juicy and I enjoyed the toppings, but it did lack a certain cohesiveness.  It was like it was missing something–a special sauce perhaps?  Nonetheless, I liked it and I’m looking forward to trying some of the other burgers.

Chumley's Hawaiian Burger

I really liked the nachos, mostly because of the queso they use.  But I have one major complaint: they put the queso on the bottom and it’s really hard to get any on your chip!  And since nachos are typically a shared food, it just creates a mess with everyone trying to scoop into it.  Next time, I’ll ask them to put it on top or on the side.

All in all, Chumley’s offers much more than typical bar far, both in variety and quality.  If you haven’t eaten at Chumley’s lately, give it a try.  And if you have that PB&J burger, let me know what you think.

Chumley’s Beer House

838 Broad Ripple Ave.

Indianapolis, IN 46220

317-466-1555

Tacos from a Truck? West Coast Tacos Unexpectedly Awesome

22 Dec

West Coast Tacos Beef & Pork Tacos

I’ll admit, I’ve had a recent obsession with food trucks.  I keep seeing them online and on tv and I think they are just plain genius.  The craze hasn’t quite caught on in Indy like it has in other large cities, so I was excited to hear that West Coast Tacos is here.  You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out when and where to find them.  I found them dishing up late night fare in Broad Ripple early last Saturday morning.  At 3 a.m., ones culinary expectations are pretty low and although I actually was sober, I was expecting your usual drunk food.  While my boyfriend Andy trekked to the car, I stood in line and enjoyed the charming antics of my fellow post bar-goers.  The line moved slowly and I wondered if it was worth the wait.

West Coast Tacos Chicken Tacos

It was.  West Coast isn’t drunk food.  It’s mind-blowing deliciousness.  These tiny, no frills tacos are surprisingly flavorful and filling.  Andy and I decided that the chicken were the best, but the beef and pork were such a close second, I recommend getting all three.

Mama Carolla’s–Great Atmosphere, Decent Food

27 Oct

Comfortable, classic, and romantic are three words that describe the atmosphere at Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant in Broad Ripple.  This is a great restaurant for a date or leisurely dinner among friends; the service is polite but not overly attentive.  My friends and I could not seem to get our waiter’s attention when we needed something.  However, when he was there, he was polite and knowledgeable about the menu. Continue reading 

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