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    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2004, 2:51 pm
    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2004, 2:51 pm Post #1 - June 22nd, 2004, 2:51 pm
    Does anyone have a restaurant suggestion for Indianapolis? I'm only there for 1 night tomorrow(Wednesday the 22nd). Preferably moderate Italian but anything else is okay. Thanks.
  • Post #2 - June 22nd, 2004, 5:41 pm
    Post #2 - June 22nd, 2004, 5:41 pm Post #2 - June 22nd, 2004, 5:41 pm
    If it's still as good as I recall from a few years back, I'd say you would like Ambrosia. It's located on the northeast side in Broad Ripple, my old stomping grounds. I've attached a link to a mini-review of the restaurant.

    http://www.nuvo.net/cuisine/eatme.html?restid=13

    Oh, and here's another spot I forgot about: Amici's, an old-school spot downtown (near but not quite in the tiny Indianapolis Little Italy on the near east side). Significantly less expensive than Ambrosia, but with a less sophisticated vibe and not a lot going on around it (at least not the last time I was there, which was maybe 15 years ago). Here's a link for Amici's:

    http://www.nuvo.net/cuisine/eatme.html?restid=675
  • Post #3 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:34 pm
    Post #3 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:34 pm Post #3 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:34 pm
    RevrendAndy wrote:Preferably moderate Italian but anything else is okay.

    Rev,

    Nothing says moderate Italian like Romano's Macaroni Grill. Yes, it's a chain, but oh what a chain. I posted to that other food forum about Romano's back in Feb.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    --

    Posted by G Wiv on 2.01.04.
    Romano's Macaroni Grill

    Chowbuddies,

    I just wanted to share our super din-din experience tonight at Macaroni Grill. Our waiter, Tad, was just super, friendly, well groomed and very bubbly personality, he told us he's an aspiring actor, how cool. Not only was Tad a super cool guy, but the restaurant itself was so inviting we ended up staying almost one full hour, just for dinner, can you imagine?

    Macaroni, don't you just love the name, had pictures of real Italians on the wall and, not just Italians, but cool old Italians like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Macaroni also had pictures of Italy, no Eiffel Tower though, and played real Italian music, I recognized two songs from the Godfather movie and the theme song from the Sopranos.

    The food you ask, how was the food, just yummy, I mean really yummy, to die for. The pasta (means spaghetti, but in Italian) was just loaded with sauce, the meat balls were as big as soft balls and the portion was so huge that four of us could have shared. We also had pizza, which was just so delish, so loaded with cheese that it reminded me of a grilled cheese sandwich.

    We had vino (wine in Italian) and it was really really good, but it was white, not like my usual pinkish color that I like to order. I think it was a grigio, sort of like that cool movie with Ben and J-Low. As an aside, why do you think they call zinfandel white if it's really pink?

    Here's the coolest part, Macaroni (doesn't the name just sing Italian) just opened up near my house, my tummy is so very happy.

    Hope all my Chowbuddies had a very yummy evening, I know I sure did.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #4 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:56 pm
    Post #4 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:56 pm Post #4 - June 22nd, 2004, 9:56 pm
    Gary,

    Ok, you had your fun. Now, delete your post before MikeG sends you to bed without dinner. You knew it would get deleted the first time you posted it.

    Hell, next thing you know Hammond will be talking about McDonald's and guns. And TGI Fridays and guns. And Jack Daniels and aliens. And W.
  • Post #5 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:13 pm
    Post #5 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:13 pm Post #5 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:13 pm
    G Wiv wrote:The food you ask, how was the food, just yummy, I mean really yummy, to die for. The pasta (means spaghetti, but in Italian) was just loaded with sauce, the meat balls were as big as soft balls and the portion was so huge that four of us could have shared. We also had pizza, which was just so delish, so loaded with cheese that it reminded me of a grilled cheese sandwich.



    I hear they have a secret menu there. Were you able to get it? The rumor is that if you are able to get the secret menu that you can have all the breadsticks and salad you can eat. Wow!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:59 pm
    Post #6 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:59 pm Post #6 - June 22nd, 2004, 10:59 pm
    Thanks for your help. Macaroni Grill looks like it will be my choice. I'm very excited as they recently won a Wine Spectator award of excellence. They offer a vertical of the Beringer White Zinfandel by the glass-the March, April, and May 2002, which were outstanding months.
  • Post #7 - June 22nd, 2004, 11:31 pm
    Post #7 - June 22nd, 2004, 11:31 pm Post #7 - June 22nd, 2004, 11:31 pm
    Revrend,

    If Macaroni Grill is not quite your taste, I hear Olive Garden has almost reached that pinnacle of Fazoli's.
    :)
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #8 - June 23rd, 2004, 7:20 am
    Post #8 - June 23rd, 2004, 7:20 am Post #8 - June 23rd, 2004, 7:20 am
    Bruce wrote:I hear Olive Garden has almost reached that pinnacle of Fazoli's. :)

    Bruce,

    Funny thing is, and this is true, last time I was in Indianapolis I ate at Olive Garden, really. My wife's nephew, a good guy who married a nice woman, had a pre wedding dinner for out of town guests at Olive Garden.

    I don't remember much about the meal, but the company was good and, often, that's really all you need to have a pleasant dinner. After dinner we went to a great bar, The Slippery Noodle, which, despite its innuendo laden name, was a rollicking hard drinking joint with two live bands.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #9 - June 23rd, 2004, 9:15 am
    Post #9 - June 23rd, 2004, 9:15 am Post #9 - June 23rd, 2004, 9:15 am
    The Slippery Noodle is real close to Shapiro's in downtown Indianapolis. Shapiro's is very similar to Manny's Deli in Chicago. Mary and I ate there about 6 weeks ago at the downtown location. Food was great. I've eaten at both of them and the pastrami is almost as good Gwiv's. Large portions. I must say they don't serve swiss cheese with it though. You will probably have to order that on the side. Nice looking desserts. Open for breakfast, lunch and early dinners.

    http://www.shapiros.com/

    Poke around the website.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #10 - June 24th, 2004, 9:37 am
    Post #10 - June 24th, 2004, 9:37 am Post #10 - June 24th, 2004, 9:37 am
    I can't speak to Italian (although I tried), but there is an apple strudel just outside the east side perimeter interstate worth going out of your way for.
    The below is true, albeit overwritten:

    "2. Heidelberg Cafe (Aug 2002)
    Lunch on the run. On the Pendleton Pike just east of I-465.
    A very good lunch here, a deep fried house made brat with great german potato salad (not too sweet, like many) and real 'sour' german bread and butter. But the star, and the reason you should run--not walk, was the 'apple strudel'. I put it in quotes, because although they call it strudel, its really a thick, dense apple crumb cake with a short-paste cookie type bottom dough (sort of like a good hamentashen) and a superb crumb topping. Words fail me. The apples are fresh. The crumb topping is well spiced, crunchy, but not sweet. All I can say is it cries, demands, a dairy accompaniment--either schlag or ice cream or just a glass of milk. Do Not Miss this apple strudel! Nothing is quick here. Three or four German American women all of a certain age have a deliberate way about them, working along well defined paths at every step. But boy, that strudel!"
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #11 - July 4th, 2004, 7:55 pm
    Post #11 - July 4th, 2004, 7:55 pm Post #11 - July 4th, 2004, 7:55 pm
    Spent the weekend visiting my family in Indianapolis, and made sure Mrs. JiLS got to try some of the old standbys. We did hit the Heidelburg, but mainly just to poke around at the kitsch and listen to the patrons speaking Deutsch in a Hoosier accent (yes, they do that there). Then it was off to Shapiro's for lunch. It had been probably 15 years since my last visit (and that was to one of the suburban outlets). Sorry to say, but Shapiro's really has it all over Manny's in the deli sandwich department. They've been doing it since 1905 in the same location, so I guess they're getting something right. Anyway, Shapiro's rye bread is chewy-crusted, soft, cut extra thick (in proportion to the big stack of meat). The flimsiness and insubstantiallness of the bread in comparison to the meat at Manny's has been an issue for me for years. I like Shapiro's corned beef better, too. Excellent potato salad and cheesecake with just the right blend of tartness, cheesiness and that hard-to-acheive synthesis of textures (creamy like Eli's versus dry like a German style) that makes Shapiro's my favorite of its type.

    That evening it was off to Hollyhock Hill with the parents. This is just plain good "Hoosier Soulfood" (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, relish plates, etc.) and they do it better than anybody else. Bring your family, though; I don't think the experience would be the same if you came alone or in pairs. http://www.hollyhockhill.com/

    After dinner (and a torrential but brief downpour) we went to the lovely Victory Field to watch the Louisville Bats hand the Indians the 5-1 loss (with 4 in the 8th). Felt just like watching the Cubs!
    Last edited by JimInLoganSquare on August 25th, 2004, 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 9:49 pm
    Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 9:49 pm Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 9:49 pm
    Excellent tongue sandwich at Shapiros today. Had usually gone on the weekend and mid-week food seemed fresher.
    OPMark
  • Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 11:02 pm
    Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 11:02 pm Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 11:02 pm
    Hey OPMark... How was the trip to Italy? Would you respond back in the old thread?

    Or did you just go to Indiana instead?

    :twisted:

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #14 - June 10th, 2005, 8:57 pm
    Post #14 - June 10th, 2005, 8:57 pm Post #14 - June 10th, 2005, 8:57 pm
    Steve Drucker wrote:I can't speak to Italian (although I tried), but there is an apple strudel just outside the east side perimeter interstate worth going out of your way for.
    The below is true, albeit overwritten:

    "2. Heidelberg Cafe (Aug 2002)
    Lunch on the run. On the Pendleton Pike just east of I-465.
    A very good lunch here, a deep fried house made brat with great german potato salad (not too sweet, like many) and real 'sour' german bread and butter. But the star, and the reason you should run--not walk, was the 'apple strudel'. I put it in quotes, because although they call it strudel, its really a thick, dense apple crumb cake with a short-paste cookie type bottom dough (sort of like a good hamentashen) and a superb crumb topping. Words fail me. The apples are fresh. The crumb topping is well spiced, crunchy, but not sweet. All I can say is it cries, demands, a dairy accompaniment--either schlag or ice cream or just a glass of milk. Do Not Miss this apple strudel! Nothing is quick here. Three or four German American women all of a certain age have a deliberate way about them, working along well defined paths at every step. But boy, that strudel!"



    So, have a friend in Indy for a couple weeks, backon weekends. Gave him a
    couple recs after searching -Shapiro's, Heidelberg, Yummy Chinse (any others,
    BTW?) And, impressed wiht the above, told him to bring an apple strudel
    from Heidelberg back for me :-)

    So, he called them today, the day he was due to drive back. And... apparently
    they dont make the above Apple Strudel anymore! Something about it costing
    them too much money or something :-( But he came up empty-handed.

    Anyone have anything that is a "must try" of similar worth in Indy, BTW?

    c8w
  • Post #15 - June 10th, 2005, 9:13 pm
    Post #15 - June 10th, 2005, 9:13 pm Post #15 - June 10th, 2005, 9:13 pm
    If he's going to Shapiro's, then he should bring back some corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, on rye bread, undressed (so they survive the journey without getting soggy). Please observe the following and see whether you concur: Shapiro's Pastrami after transport to Chicago.
  • Post #16 - March 30th, 2006, 5:23 pm
    Post #16 - March 30th, 2006, 5:23 pm Post #16 - March 30th, 2006, 5:23 pm
    Am spending a night in Indianapolis next week and wondered if anyone can point me to a restaurant that might have an interesting vegetarian option? I know resident Indy expert JIL likes Lula's--is there anything like that in Indy? Or any decent ethnic--Thai, Middle Eastern, etc? Thanks!
  • Post #17 - March 30th, 2006, 5:38 pm
    Post #17 - March 30th, 2006, 5:38 pm Post #17 - March 30th, 2006, 5:38 pm
    veghead wrote: I know resident Indy expert JIL likes Lula's--is there anything like that in Indy? Or any decent ethnic--Thai, Middle Eastern, etc? Thanks!


    Well, I'm not exactly an expert on Indianapolis, I just happened to grow up there. But I haven't lived there since I went away to college in 1985. That said, I do go back with some frequency to visit my parents, although they are not very adventurous eaters. We tend to end up at Hollyhock Hill frequently, because it's 5 minutes from their house and I really like it a lot (and have since I sat there in a high chair).

    Regarding a place like Lula Cafe in Indianapolis -- hardly, unless something has opened up recently. It's just not the kind of town that can support that kind of a place that mixes chef-centric creations with an informal setting. That's not to say you can't find similar food; you can, but the setting will invariably be "fancier" and the prices probably higher on average. You might want to try Scholar's Inn (I've never been, but it has a strong reputations, it serves a number of vegetarian options, and it just looks like a close enough match to Lula). Or try some other spots in or around Massachusetts Avenue downtown, like RBistro or whatever the new "flavor of the day" might be in that area. Or (assuming vegetarian is an option, not a prerequisite) you could just eat at the Rathskeller at the Athenaeum (ancient German place, great biergarten, over 70 varieties of beer in bottle and on tap, moose and elk antlers over the bar, etc.). It's right downtown off Mass. Ave. And any of these choices would put you in the right neighborhood for the best jazz club in the universe (IMHO).

    Regarding decent ethnic, keep in mind "Hoosier" is the real ethnicity in Indianapolis. That includes three branches: some decent soul food and German options, as well as the "farm dinner" you'll find at places like Hollyhock Hill, Dodd's Townhouse and (a bit less fancy) MCL Cafeterias. None of these is vegetarian-friendly. However, unless you have ethical or religious objections, I would suggest that "When in Rome ... " applies in spades. Just ask Vital Information; until you've experienced Hoosier food (including Hoosier cafeterias), you really don't know what you are missing (unless perhaps you are from Texas, where I understand the cafeteria culture is similarly elevated).

    I suggest you take a look at IndyEthnicFoods for a better run-down of your options.
    JiLS
  • Post #18 - April 3rd, 2006, 2:02 pm
    Post #18 - April 3rd, 2006, 2:02 pm Post #18 - April 3rd, 2006, 2:02 pm
    Please check out this post, in which I ressurect the concept of an "Indianapolathon" (weekend eating tour of Indianapolis).
    JiLS
  • Post #19 - April 4th, 2006, 11:39 am
    Post #19 - April 4th, 2006, 11:39 am Post #19 - April 4th, 2006, 11:39 am
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:Please check out this post, in which I ressurect the concept of an "Indianapolathon" (weekend eating tour of Indianapolis).


    Thanks for the info. Sounds like the Rathskeller is a good place? I see it's near our destination (the Eiteljorg Museum--an amazing place) and though they have a couple of veggie pastas, a meal of their red cabbage, mashed potatoes, spaetzle and sauerkraut sounds great. Maybe it's all that talk recently about the Berghoff...
  • Post #20 - April 4th, 2006, 1:36 pm
    Post #20 - April 4th, 2006, 1:36 pm Post #20 - April 4th, 2006, 1:36 pm
    veghead wrote:Am spending a night in Indianapolis next week and wondered if anyone can point me to a restaurant that might have an interesting vegetarian option? I know resident Indy expert JIL likes Lula's--is there anything like that in Indy? Or any decent ethnic--Thai, Middle Eastern, etc? Thanks!


    Hope I'm not too late with this!

    At R Bistro, downtown on Massachusetts Ave, Chef Regina Mehallick always has a vegetarian option on the menu. The menu changes weekly and you should check the link to see the current menu.

    The Bosphorus a Turkish restaurant downtown also has a variety of vegetarian dishes that might interest you.

    Aesop's Tables on Massachusetts Ave is a good Middle Eastern restaurant that does several vegetarian dishes.

    India Garden, at 143 Illinois St, does quite a few good Indian vegetarian dishes.

    Unfortunately, to get good Thai you need to head down south to Greenwood to Thai Spice, or up north to Sawasdee on 86th St, or Thai Cafe in Broad Ripple.

    Hope this was in time!
  • Post #21 - April 4th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    Post #21 - April 4th, 2006, 1:43 pm Post #21 - April 4th, 2006, 1:43 pm
    veghead wrote:
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:Please check out this post, in which I ressurect the concept of an "Indianapolathon" (weekend eating tour of Indianapolis).


    Thanks for the info. Sounds like the Rathskeller is a good place? I see it's near our destination (the Eiteljorg Museum--an amazing place) and though they have a couple of veggie pastas, a meal of their red cabbage, mashed potatoes, spaetzle and sauerkraut sounds great. Maybe it's all that talk recently about the Berghoff...


    The Rathskeller is a good place, too. Too bad the BierGarten isn't open yet!
  • Post #22 - April 4th, 2006, 4:44 pm
    Post #22 - April 4th, 2006, 4:44 pm Post #22 - April 4th, 2006, 4:44 pm
    Matt986 wrote:The Rathskeller is a good place, too. Too bad the BierGarten isn't open yet!


    Matt -- Presumably, the biergarten will be open by mid-June for the Indianapolathon; correct?
    JiLS
  • Post #23 - April 4th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    Post #23 - April 4th, 2006, 9:34 pm Post #23 - April 4th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:
    Matt986 wrote:The Rathskeller is a good place, too. Too bad the BierGarten isn't open yet!


    Matt -- Presumably, the biergarten will be open by mid-June for the Indianapolathon; correct?


    It will definitely be open in June. That may be a good way to wind down one of your evenings here.
  • Post #24 - August 5th, 2009, 10:00 pm
    Post #24 - August 5th, 2009, 10:00 pm Post #24 - August 5th, 2009, 10:00 pm
    Searching the forum for an Indianapolis thread to piggy-back on, I've opted for this, the most generically named one.

    I simply wanted to point out that while leaving a work thing in Indie today to drive back to Chicago, I visted Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville--which is Northwest of Indianapolis--and thought it was a remarkable place. I only had a dish of sweet cream ice cream** with mango sauce, but the whole look of this beautiful organic dairy farm and my sense of what they are doing there, not just with dairy products, but their food, makes me interested in returning. Especially for one of their Friday dinners.

    http://www.tpforganics.com/content/view/38/111/.

    It tasted of super-incredibly-fresh whole milk but as ice cream. It was nuts.
  • Post #25 - August 6th, 2009, 12:09 am
    Post #25 - August 6th, 2009, 12:09 am Post #25 - August 6th, 2009, 12:09 am
    There's an Adobo Grill in Indianapolis. It's the only thing that saved my experience there after consuming the world's worst pizza. I had no idea you could mess up pizza, but I'd like to thank Indianapolis for being the first to do so.
  • Post #26 - August 6th, 2009, 9:07 am
    Post #26 - August 6th, 2009, 9:07 am Post #26 - August 6th, 2009, 9:07 am
    makemedinner wrote:There's an Adobo Grill in Indianapolis. It's the only thing that saved my experience there after consuming the world's worst pizza. I had no idea you could mess up pizza, but I'd like to thank Indianapolis for being the first to do so.

    Yep, I've been in Indy for about
    16 years now and am still amazed
    that it's so hard to find good pizza.
    Really the only good pizza I've found
    is Maria's in Fountain Square. It's
    what I think of as "Southside Chicago"
    style; thin-crust, cut in squares; in
    the same vein as Vito and Nick's.
    They've been around over 50 years,
    and it's run by the nicest folks you'll
    ever meet.
    http://www.mariasoriginalpizza.com/
    They also have a house special pizza,
    the Sauerkraut Pizza (sausage, kraut,
    bacon and onion) - I haven't tried it,
    but it sounds...intriguing.
  • Post #27 - August 6th, 2009, 1:26 pm
    Post #27 - August 6th, 2009, 1:26 pm Post #27 - August 6th, 2009, 1:26 pm
    Sc, have you tried W-B Pizza at 62nd/Allisonville?

    Best one I've found here. Spicy hunks of sausage, nice sweet but not too sweet red sauce, and a well charred but chewy crust. My "frequent flyer" card usually looks like it was shot up at a firing range.

    www.wbpizza.com
    6165 Allisonville Rd
    Indianapolis, IN 46220-4602
    (317) 205-5555
  • Post #28 - August 7th, 2009, 2:56 am
    Post #28 - August 7th, 2009, 2:56 am Post #28 - August 7th, 2009, 2:56 am
    Indianapolis Pizza Files:

    Bella

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/40/440174/r ... dianapolis

    adequate NY-style



    Greek's Pizzeria

    http://www.mygreekspizzeria.com/BroadRipple/menu.html

    loads of cheese, super-sweet sauce, a guilty pleasure
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #29 - August 8th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    Post #29 - August 8th, 2009, 3:38 pm Post #29 - August 8th, 2009, 3:38 pm
    makemedinner wrote: I had no idea you could mess up pizza, but I'd like to thank Indianapolis for being the first to do so.


    You've never had pizza at Monical's?
    Life is too short to eat bad food, drink bad wine, or read bad books.
    Greasy Spoons
  • Post #30 - September 12th, 2009, 10:12 am
    Post #30 - September 12th, 2009, 10:12 am Post #30 - September 12th, 2009, 10:12 am
    I had occasion to be in Indianapolis last week and the lovely Bride joined me, so we made a gastro tour of it.

    Started at MCL Cafeteria (Castleton location, where the Farmer's Market is). Surprisingly good. Opted for a traditional southern meal - fried chicken, mac and cheese, stewed greens - spinach in this case, with some sort of smoked ham, and a slice of lemon meringue pie. I can't recall at the moment what the bride chose, though I think it was some sort of salad.

    Top to bottom, everything was very good. The chicken was crispy, cooked well, and seemed pretty fresh. Mac 'n cheese was properly rich and cheesy, not too gluey, and the spinach was excellent, smoky and flavorful with ham. Would have been better if it had been collard greens or something with a little more bite, but that says nothing about the quality of the food. Really good.

    Then we headed on to Trader's Point Creamery. The fact that the cows are grass-fed was very noticeable in everything we tasted, giving it almost a buttermilk, or creme fraiche, overtone. Excellent, but not to the Bride's taste. We sampled the vanilla ice cream (this was a mite disappointing - I think it was a bit old and was too icey, plus the grassiness was not to the Bride's taste, though I found the flavor good. The flavor of the milk competes with the sweetness and vanilla flavor, so the ice cream comes off as less sweet, as well, though I am not sure whether they really use less vanilla and sugar, or just that the tang of the milk offsets is), the avocado milk shake (slices of avocado with banana ice cream) - wonderful mouth feel, and interesting combination of flavors. The banana ice cream did not have the same iciness as the vanilla.

    Took home some of their yogurt and cheese as well, and the same flavor notes dominated there as well. A little bit of a surprise was their pie selection - beautiful, lardy crusts and interesting fillings. We sampled the apricot/blackberry, and bourbon peach. Definitely worth a visit.

    Then we wandered north and ended our day in Michiana before zipping home, but that is a different thread.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy

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