Service: We always go during the afternoon, and the bartender usually carries the entire floor. The service is still very personable and quick, but you may not be checked on often. Do yourself and the staff a favor: make sure you’re set when they’re at the table.
Booze: Full bar.
Soup | bowl of homemade new england clam chowder $ 5.50
Bait Strips | strips of new england clams, battered and deep fried, served with cole slaw and cocktail sauce $ 8.95
Spinnaker Dip | tasty blend of spinach, artichokes, and blended cheese served with tortilla chips and pita triangles $ 6.95
Burger | certified angus beef with your choice of toppings $ 6.50
Fish Submarine | ale battered whitefish, deep fried to a golden brown. served on a toasted hoagie roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and tarter sauce $ 7.25
Creamy, indulgent clam chowder—with a plethora of actual clams—was delicious and hearty, just as it should be. The fried clam strips were tasty, too; I only wish the cocktail sauce had a bit more kick. Luckily hot sauce was on the table. As for the spinach dip, this steaming cream cheese overload was full of large artichoke chunks, topped with tomatoes and parmesan, and served with both chips and pita, so every dipper’s preference is satisfied. The burger was unfortunately mediocre. Moving on… piping hot, oversized, beer-battered fish on a toasty baguette, anyone? One of the best I’ve had in in town. Messy due to its size, but never soggy or greasy. Pro-tip: Crispy onion petals are the perfect match. If your preference is chips, these homemade crisps won’t disappoint either.
Overall: Nice pub to grab a drink and a bite. Has a very local neighborhood, but still welcoming feel.
6225 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Service: Friendly, upbeat staff. It’s small; don’t go during peak hours unless you want to stand in a cramped hallway right by the door and wait.
Omelette | choice of 5 ingredients, served with toast or english muffin $ 8.50, add goat cheese $ 1
Breakfast Burrito | eggs + choice of 5 ingredients, topped with guacamole, salsa and sour cream $ 9.50
Calico Hashbrowns | yellow and sweet potatoes, small $ 3
Powerhouse Potatoes | tofu, onions, garlic, parsley, and cheddar with a side of salsa, large $ 4
Caramelized Bacon & Chocolate Pie | with homemade whipped cream
First of all, five toppings with no extra charge?! Absurd. And they don’t skimp on fresh, quality ingredients, with even coverage and nice egg-to-insides ratio. This is important. Omelettes are science. (The egg itself could’ve been a tad fluffier, but it was very close.) With fillers like avocado, sweet peppers, mixed squash, eggplant and a multitude of cheeses including brie and chèvre, customizing the perfect one is easy. Same goes for the over-stuffed breakfast burrito. It was topped with hearty red salsa, tangy salsa verde, sour cream and chunky guac. Skip the hash browns—flavorless, a bit soggy, disappointing—and go for the powerhouse potatoes. If you’re on the fence about bread, the English muffin is the way to go. It was large, toasted, extra spongey and perfectly buttered. Really yum.
For dessert, a healthy slice of caramelized bacon chocolate pie was over-the-top, indulgent, unneeded, sinful, and… really freakin’ good. Homemade whipped cream, too. Luckily they serve great espresso, which balanced the richness of the pie.
Kudos: Half of the menu is vegan/vegetarian, plus gluten-free options.
Overall: Good food, cozy atmosphere. Secluded from the hubbub of the avenue, the porch is very enjoyable and relaxing in warmer seasons.
6360 Guilford Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Service: We showed up on a “busier than usual” Sunday around 3PM and it was a madhouse, but our server handled it pretty well. Food arrived as fast as you can expect during a peak hour.
Booze: If you’re a scotch drinker, don’t bother. Order a beer, they have those. Then finish your dinner with a bourbon milkshake, mm.
Poutine | fresh cut fries, cheese curds + pan gravy 8
Smokehouse | beef burger, house-smoked brisket, white cheddar, fried pickles + country coleslaw $ 16
Belly Up | beef burger, cider-braised pork belly, apple slaw + roasted garlic aioli $ 15
Burger of the Month | venison burger, chili, cheddar cheese, jalapeño + house-made fritos
Malted Milk Ball Madness | milkshake $ 6 + a shot of bourbon $ 3
If variety is the spice of life, Burger Bar is extra spicy. Elk, venison and shrimp burgers, oh my! And such fresh ingredients used. All of the burgers had great flavor, were cooked to the correct temperature ordered and served on fluffy, toasted buns. The smokehouse would have been much better without an excess of BBQ sauce; as a pork purist, I prefer my smoked swine dry and I expected it as so. Poor assumptions aside, it remained a pretty damn good burger. The belly up won best in show. If I weren’t so torn between every single menu item, I’d order it next time. For those sweet potato fanatics, skip the fries and get the tots.
I almost forgot; the poutine was righteous. Thank you, Quebec.
Kudos: Mug club.
Overall: Better than Kuma’s.
1578 n. Clybourn
Chicago, Il 60642
Service: Order/pick-up at the counter.
1/2lb Double Cheeseburger Special | topped with gyro meat, lettuce, onion, tomato and tzatziki, with fries and a drink $ 6.50
Decent bite, extremely fast, huge portion, super cheap.
Overall: It’s Greek fast food.
5358 W 38th St
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Service: Pretty young thing took our order at the counter, gave us a free cookie and even helped in styling my plate when she found out I was photographing. Zero complaints.
The Breakfast Club | grilled chicken, bacon, grilled romaine, marinated tomato and homemade ranch $ 7.95
Pork Bubble and Squeak | pork shoulder, sweet potatoes & brussel sprouts served with mustard cream sauce $ 7.95
Winter White Truffle | brussels sprouts, carrot and kale with white truffle aioli $ 9.95
This ain’t yo grandpa’s hash from a can. Heaping portions of fried potatoes with big chunks of meat and fresh veggies give a new perspective on a classic poor man’s meal. Everything was delicious, and the ranch dressing was out of this world. One problem: my over-easy eggs were… not so easy. I repeatedly stabbed at my plate for one sad dribble of yolk. While it didn’t entirely ruin the meal, I’ll be requesting them poached in the future.
Kudos: David Byrne on the record player, anyone? Good, mood-setting music always enhances the dining experience.
Overall: Warm, inviting, vintage-inspired space with great food and great coffee provided by Dark Matter. Not much else to say.
1357 N. Western Avenue
Service: Very personable. Food was delivered quickly.
Salad Bar | all you can eat salad, soup and fruit $ 3.19
Jim Dandy | two hamburger patties and american cheese on a double-decker bun with lettuce, pickles, special sauce $ 3.99
Hand-breaded Tenderloin | with choice of toppings $ 5.99
Carmel Apple Nut pie | ala mode $ 4.09
Coconut Cream Pie | $ 2.99
The salad bar was a step above from the expected: bright green romaine lettuce, sunflower seeds, deliciously marinated cucumber-onion salad, and thick, extra cheesy loaded potato soup occupied the line. Complaints? Plasticky dressings and only cheddar cheese. But hey, I’ll take anything over a wilted mix of iceberg and carrots. While underwhelming in size, the tenderloin had redeeming qualities of good flavor, crunchiness and a soft, warm bun. Not sure about the proclaimed “fame” worthiness. The signature Jim Dandy burger was essentially a Big Mac, but a little better. I suggest adding white onion and extra pickles. Crinkle-cut fries arrived hot and fresh; however, the portion was a tad small for the ala carte price.
I only ordered pie because they tempt you at the door by displaying each flavor and they looked deserving of a taste. Coconut cream was an obvious choice, but carmel apple nut came with a rave recommendation. Both were devoured with great quickness.
Overall: Kept it extremely basic, and the meal passed with high enough marks for a return visit. You won’t catch me rushing to Greenfield anytime soon just to eat here, but I would like to give the broasted chicken a try when I’m in the neighborhood again. Almost ordered a plate to share—after finishing the pie—but our food consumption already flabbergasted the nice server lady.
80 W Mckenzie Rd
Greenfield, IN 46140
Service: Great. The owner and chef, James, approached the table and chattered us up for a while toward the end of our meal, elaborating on his culinary style.
Chicken & Waffles | four crispy, golden brown chicken wings atop a fluffy belgian waffle with two sides $ 10.99
Hickory-smoked Ribs or Tips | ribs or tips rubbed with 2J’s 12 spices and slow-smoked over hickory wood with two sides and choice of bread $ 10.49
Deciding whether the ribs were better with or without sauce was the biggest issue with the food here. Crispy fried chicken with juicy, well-seasoned meat was even better swimming in a sea of hot sauce and syrup on a pillowy waffle. The waffle itself was nothing to rave about, but still enjoyable. The greens on the other hand were fantastic! Very flavorful. For a straightforward, basic mac and cheese this recipe was alright, but I chose to fill up on uniquely satisfying bourbon creamed corn and dressing. Corn, yum. Being informed that the secret ingredient in the corn was parmesan cheese—and bourbon, obviously—explained a lot. I was disappointed in the actual cornbread, however; it was small and dry. I would prefer to see the hot water variety OR a big hunk of moist cake-like bread with plenty o’ warm butter and honey or preserves.
Overall: Great soul food! Unfortunately i was too stuffed for any deliciously tempting dessert like banana pudding, peach cobbler or sweet potato cheesecake… I’ll be back for that!
6916 E 30th St
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Service: Spectacular! It was on par with service that I expect when dining in Chicago, but rarely receive in Indianapolis. Our server, Paul, was charming, witty, personable and attentive. One of the owners, Jeanette, even approached the table to welcome us as first time diners after noticing I had checked in on Foursquare, and asked if we needed anything.
Booze: A few Greek wines and beers, as well as local Fountain Square brews on draught. Pretty limited and they were out of my first choice.
Combination of Three | choose any three single appetizers to customize your sample platter $ 18
Saganaki - our famous flaming cheese, made with kafelograviera; a tasty goat cheese, a pleasure to be seen, as well as, to be eaten, served with warm pita. everyone yell “OPA!”
Santorini Tomato Balls (Pseftokeftedes) - a santorini Island specialty, similar to a fritter, made with fresh vegetables, including onions and tomatoes, a special batter, garlic and feta
Hummus - a flavorful, creamy dip made with ground chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, served with pita
Souvlaki | choice of meat served with grilled seasonal vegetables, including fresh roasted garlic, grilled over an open flame $ 12
Leg of Lamb | slices of slow roasted leg of lamb that have been generously and lovingly stuffed with fresh garlic, served with thickened juices $ 11.50
Galaktabouriko | sweet greek custard with phyllo on the top and the bottom, garnished with cinnamon, served warmed or chilled $ 6
If there were one reason and one reason alone to dine here it would be the pseftokeftedes. No joke one of the most delicious foods I have ever consumed; every bite was a new awakening to the tastes buds. Second favorite of the appetizers would be the saganaki—who doesn’t love sizzling hot bubbly cheese? Warm, soft pita made it that much more enjoyable. Three things I expect from a Greek restaurant: good pita, good hummus and good tzatziki. It’s alarming how many places fall far below those basic expectations. The tzatziki was wonderful and—while not quite garlicky enough for my taste—the hummus was some of best I’ve had so far around town. Smooth, creamy, decadent. The leg of lamb was a tad tough but quite tasty, and definitely out-shined by the delicious and tender souvlaki mix of beef, pork, and fresh vegetables. The accompaniments ranked above average… but not mind-blowing, and the warm, rich phyllo-wrapped custard for desert was okay. That souvlaki though. Daamn.
Kudos: HUGE lunch portions; many dishes are also available in two sizes. A lot of dishes are available as gluten-free.
Overall: It is clear that the owners take great pride in their food and establishment and strive for freshness and perfection. I’ll be back many times in the years to come!
1417 Prospect Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46203
Service: Warm, fast and friendly. The owner even left his kitchen to chat with us for a minute.
Booze: Impressive shit for a low-key westside Indy biker bar. They don’t have PBR, but they serve up Bulleit, Harrison, Basil Hayden, Tap 357?! When more than a few people around town consider Jim Beam to be high quality stuff, a halfway decent bourbon/rye selection like this gains major props in my eyes.
Catfish Bites | blackened catfish with cajun tarter sauce $ 7.00
Frog Legs | fried crisp with new orleans remoulade sauce $ 6.50
The Big Pig | bacon, pulled pork and ham on a toasted bun, served with french fries $ 8
Chicken Wings | ten slow smoked jumbo wings tossed in your choice of homemade sauce $ 7.50
Not long after placing our order the aroma of blackening catfish began to fill the entire bar, torturing our hungry bellies from the kitchen. Seasoned and cooked beautifully, these little morsels tasted as good as they smelled and looked. We could’ve stuffed ourselves on multiple orders of this dish alone, but there were frog legs! And the big pig—with juicy ham, tender smoked pork and thick slices of crisp bacon—was right up my alley. I appreciated the attention to detail: served on a toasted bun and “dry” with BBQ on the side so the actual flavor of each meat could shine. Even the fries were good!
Tossed in a delicious homemade ranchy-garlic sauce, the large, meaty, smoked wings were some of the best around. Typically I prefer drums over flats, but every bite of these bad boys was enjoyable. The ranch dressing, however, was atrocious. On a scale of flavorless liquid plastic to sweet creamy nectar of the buttermilk gods, this was a 1. Worse than bottled Hidden Valley. Unfortunate circumstance for my surprisingly attractive simple side salad, but luckily the wings didn’t need any.
Kudos: Nice, secluded outdoor patio. They have pool and darts, too.
Overall: This inconspicuous little bar serves up a serious variety of southern flavors with near perfect execution. A true hidden gem. Spicy catfish, smoked wings, tender pork, toasted buns, crispy fries, cheap, cheap, cheap. I hear there’s walleye on fridays and a uniquely delicious special every week? What else do I need to say?
5725 W. Morris
Indianapolis, IN 46241
Service: Great. Cute lady servers with personality, tattoos and colorful hair make me happy.
Booze: Hennepin. Hennepin is sexy. Hennepin with pizza is sexier.
Breadsticks | with nacho cheese, marinara, and house special creamy parmesan $ 9.75
Heidi Hernandez | smoking goose chorizo sausage from, tomato, red onion and swiss cheese, 10” $9.50
Creole | cheesy etouffee sauce from papa roux’s, green pepper, tomato, your choice of crawfish, shrimp or authentic smoked cajun sausage from vaucresson fine foods in new orleans, and papa’s own cajun spice mix, 10” $ 9.50
Large, warm (but otherwise plain) breadsticks were served with steaming hot sauces which remained steaming hot until the very last dip. [ Refer back to cheese porn shot. That ain't photoshop, folks. ] Favorite by far was the creamy parmesan, but the marinara—something I don’t typically reach for—was thick and spicy with big chunks of tomato, pepper, onion. Yum. The nacho cheese was garden variety packaged sauce.
With added ricotta, the heidi hernandez was pretty spectacular. Plentiful toppings on deliciously seasoned and crispy crust. Unfortunately the creole pizza did not live up to my expectations: a decadent, creamy crawfish étouffée… on pizza dough. Instead it was dry and surprisingly flavorless with overpowering green pepper. It needed more spice, more sauce and additional cheese. With ingredients from Papa Roux… this pie should be bold and inspired. While fighting over the last piece of heidi, half of the creole sat sad and undesired.
Kudos: Gluten-free crust available. Really great tunes playing, as well.
Overall: I enjoyed the food—boring creole pizza aside. I’m relieved that I made the last minute decision to order two smaller pies versus one; based on the creole alone, I wouldn’t have even considered a return visit. I’m interested to find out if the original Irvington location differs in quality.
5646 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219