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I’m baaaaaaaack!

9 Dec

It’s been a long time.  I’ve been a little preoccupied with another culinary endeavor.  What, you ask?  I’m in the process of opening a food truck!  Yep, I decided to get in on Indy’s latest craze.  Truth be told, I’ve dreamed of owning a food truck for years.  And now, the time is finally right.  So early next month, Mac Genie will be hitting the streets!  We will be serving gourmet macaroni and cheese in just about every flavor combination you can imagine.  Everything will be made from scratch using my original recipes.  I’m really excited and I hope you are too!

As for this blog, I will continue to post (regularly now).  You will still see some restaurant reviews, but also expect more product reviews, recipes and cooking tips.  Just like Mac Genie, I’m looking forward to the change to the blog and I hope you will too.

If you’d like to stay up to date with Mac Genie, you can follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Murder Mystery Dinner Giveaway!

26 Aug

I recently partnered up with Eversave to offer daily deals to my readers.  In case you don’t know about Eversave, it is a deal site that offers daily deals or “saves” in Indianapolis and other major markets throughout the country.  And they are allowing me to give today’s Indianapolis deal for FREE to one lucky reader!

Occasions DivineToday’s Save:$25 for a ticket to a mystery dinner and wine tasting with Occasions Divine ($50 value)

Expires 11:59 PM – Aug 28, 2011

Here are some more details about today’s save:

  • Dinner and the murder mystery show takes place at the historic Propylaeum and lasts about three hours
  • Tour the Victorian club house located in the Old Northside neighborhood
  • Choose French, Continental or Cajun cuisine as your culinary theme
  • Buy multiple Saves to dabble in your crime-solving detective skills with friends

You can buy today’s save by clicking here.  But how can you win it?

First, follow me on Twitter (if you don’t already).  Then, use this link to do the following before midnight on Sunday, August 28:

  • Become a member of Eversave
  • Become a Fan of Eversave on Facebook
  • Follow EversaveIND on Twitter

Then tweet this blog post and mention both @tweet2tj and @EversaveIND.  Want to increase your chances of winning?  Each additional tweet before midnight on August 28th is worth one additional entry.  Winner will be chosen by random drawing on Monday, August 29.

Good luck!

Indulge In Indy is on TV!

24 Jun

Check out the latest addition to Dish It Out!  You can now watch my restaurant reviews on Comcast On Demand and YouTube.  More episodes coming soon!

Click here for Dish It Out!

Wisconsin Cheese Giveaway!

26 May

I’m giving away one Wisconsin Cheese gift basket to a lucky reader!  How could it be you?  Follow me on Twitter and tweet me your “best” cheesy joke.  Not a Tweep?  You can still enter by leaving your joke in the comment section of this post.  The cheesiest joke wins!

Submit your cheesy joke by 11:00 tomorrow morning.  For Twitter entries to qualify, you must follow me and mention @tweet2tj in your tweet.  If you enter via comment, be sure I have a way to get in touch with you tomorrow.  Multiple entries are allowed.

The winner will be announced here and on Twitter tomorrow at noon.  I’ll contact the winner right away and the basket will be shipped overnight to arrive in time for your Race Day celebration!

Speaking of Race Day, the folks at Wisconsin Cheese have created some recipes using the cheeses featured in the gift basket.  Yum!

Continue reading 

Dirty Little Secrets

14 Apr

One of my favorite bloggers put up a post about her top food indulgences and it got me thinking about my own secret food shames.  So here they are, in no particular order.  Now they aren’t secrets anymore! Continue reading 

Dinner at Donatello’s Italian Restaurant in Carmel

13 Apr

What’s better than a home-cooked meal?  When someone else does the cooking!  That’s what dinner at Donatello’s is like.  And for good reason.  Donatello’s is family owned and operated by mom, dad and son and they cook up grandma’s recipes daily.  Like grandma’s house, it isn’t very big, so be sure to make reservations.

My friend and I started with toasted ravioli, which they call “a Midwestern take on an Italian comfort dish”.  As it turned out, that meant large, filled with a generous amount of creamy cheese and served with a homemade red sauce.  This is without question the best fried ravioli I’ve ever had.  Period.

Donatello's Toasted Ravioli

The rest of our meal didn’t disappoint either.  Continue reading 

Initial Thoughts on Sensu, Indy’s Newest Restaurant & Club

4 Apr

I had the opportunity to check out Indy’s newest hot spot, Sensu, at their grand opening a couple Fridays ago. I’ll share my initial impressions, but stay tuned for a “true” review once they have been open for a few months.

Sensu's Main Bar

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Sensu, it’s an Asian fusion restaurant in the evening that becomes a night club later on. Sensu is located in what used to be Have a Nice Day Cafe in downtown Indy. The first thing you notice when you walk in is that this is definitely not Have a Nice Day!

Downstairs Seating at Sensu

Epic Hospitality Group completely transformed the space into a swanky club that looks more like something you would find in Las Vegas or L.A. than in Indianapolis. Downstairs is the main bar, dance floor, VIP/private rooms and a 51 x12 foot video wall. Upstairs is for dining and lounging, with more seating, a sushi bar, and plenty of room for watching people on the dance floor below.

Private Room at Sensu

Due to the crowd, and perhaps some opening night mis-steps, I was able to sample only a few bites of food. What I did have was excellent. There were numerous sushi rolls and small bites like Spicy Tuna Poke on Crispy Wontons, Toast & Jam (shrimp toast with tuna jam), and Creamy Spicy Crab. There weren’t any menus, so I can’t comment on Sensu’s “Bang for Your Buck” value. But I will return and do a complete review soon.

Sensu's Spicy Tuna Poke on Crispy Wontons

Sensu's Toast & Jam

I can say that their drinks are priced on the high end, but the glasses are large and the pours are generous. I had the Great Pear Martini, made with Grey Goose Pear, Triple Sec, ginger syrup and lemon and lime juices. It tasted exactly like a frosty, juicy pear and I can’t wait to have another.

I’m looking forward to a complete meal (and another Great Pear) at Sensu sometime in the near future. Stay tuned!

Tasting Glenlivit with a true Scotsman at Sensu

Thoughts on Devour Downtown

1 Feb

I love the idea of Devour Downtown–over 40 downtown Indy restaurants with special tasting menus for either $30 per person or $30 per couple for two weeks twice a year.  What’s not to like?  Hold that thought…

Let’s start with what there is to like.  Most of the menus include an appetizer, entree and dessert for far less than what you would typically pay.  So it’s a great opportunity to try a new restaurant, or to have a meal at a favorite restaurant for a great price.  So, what’s not to like?

After dining at many restaurants during the past 3 or 4 Devours, I’ve decided that just like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.  Most restaurants offer smaller than usual portions.  That in and of itself doesn’t bother me.  But it has been my experience, and that of many others I have spoken to, that the service is also “smaller” than usual.  I have had more than one server be borderline rude when I asked for the Devour Downtown menu.  And even if they are pleasant, there just seems to be an attitude that Devour is something they must simply put up with twice a year.  So, you get what you pay for–smaller portions and less service.

The real problem with this is that you’re not getting the full dining experience of the restaurant.  And if it’s your first visit, you could easily decide that it would not be worth it to go back to that restaurant and pay regular menu prices.  To be fair, some of the restaurants have figured this out, and they go out of their way to offer the full experience despite the reduced price.  Capital Grille is one.

All of this being said, I still like Devour Downtown and think it’s a great thing for this city.  But if you go, and don’t have a great experience, I urge you to give the restaurant another try.  Generally speaking, most restaurants are “worth” their regular menu prices.  Personally, I’d rather pay more for an excellent dinner than pay less for a “just okay” one.

What do you think?  Leave a comment to tell me about your Devour Downtown experience.

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


Great Pizza, Good Sandwiches at Arni’s Greenwood

5 Jan

Arni's Italian Sausage & Peppers Pizza

I went to Arni’s with a group, so I had the opportunity to sample more of the menu than I normally would.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had pizza this good–thin crust, quality toppings and lots of mozzarella–just how I like it.  We had a classic pie of Italian sausage, peppers and onions and a less traditional buffalo chicken pizza.  In addition to buffalo sauce, the chicken pizza was topped with mozzarella, cheddar and smoked gouda.  I think the gouda is what made it so spectacular.  Quite frankly, I think you’re crazy if you go to Arni’s and don’t order this pizza.  It’s just that good.  The Italian sausage was great too.  Three different colors of peppers and sweet onions were the perfect complement to the sausage.

We also got to sample a salad and two sandwiches.  Ava Rose’s Chop Salad combines crisp lettuce, bacon, turkey, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, onions and cheese in a vinaigrette.  Other than the fact that it was slightly overdressed with the vinaigrette, I really liked the combination of flavors.  One of my fellow diners, Tom Lang of Ying’s Cooking School, gave the Pork Tenderloin a “solid 7″ for a nice, thick piece of pork and less than impressive breading.  The Sicilian Sub also earned high marks.  Lots of meats piled high with onions, banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, two cheeses and a sun dried tomato vinaigrette–what’s not to like?


Arni's Pork Tenderloin

Arni’s Ava Rose Chop Salad

Check out all of Arni’s Indiana locations on their website.

Arni’s Restaurant

1691 Curry Road

Greenwood, IN  46143



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