After lunch at Workingman’s Friend I decided to have dinner at another classic Indianapolis tavern, John’s Famous Stew. John’s is a bit older than Workingman’s, in business since 1911. You have to love a place that’s survived nearly a century selling stew.
Like Workingman’s Friend, John’s is located a mile or two west of downtown in a mostly industrial neighborhood (between Eli Lilly and the General Motors plant).
The interior is dim and cozy with lots of sturdy wooden tables and a few booths. I chose to eat at the bar.
What are you going to do on your first visit to John’s Famous Stew, order an elkburger? Actually that was an option but I didn’t consider it more than a second or two. The menu has some intriguing entries including a tenderloin served on “stew bread.” Maybe next visit.
An order of hot it was. This is one terrific stew, spicy but not overpowering, with large chunks of cabbage, potato, carrot, and beef. I never had a stew quite like it but would gladly eat it frequently.
Even though I’d had a gutbusting meal at Workingman’s Friend a few hours before, I finished every bit of that stew. Then a real problem presented itself: homemade blackberry cobbler was available.
My compromise was to get the cobbler but without ice cream. This was a very good dessert, with intense berry flavor but not too sweet. The bill for stew and bread, a beer, and dessert was under $10 with tax, an astonishing deal. I hope John’s continues to serve stew for another hundred years.
John’s Famous Stew
1146 Kentucky Av