Tag Archives: Tavern

Moon Dog Tavern

7 Jul

After a morning fundraising event, hubs and I were driving back to the northside looking for a quick bite to eat before I worked a wedding that evening.  As always, I say “I want to try something new!” and hubs stares at me while replying “okay, where do you want to try?” which is when I respond with the standard, “Not sure, just something new!”

Honestly, not sure how he handles me sometimes with responses like that. (Anyone else have a hard time deciding sometimes?  Always a challenge…)

Hubs navigated us towards 96th street knowing there were some back-up plans in place that we could dine at if nothing caught my eye.  Then I saw Moon Dog Tavern and thought, “Well, I’ve been wanting to try that every time we drive by.  Why not this time?”  It was barely 11am, so we were the only patrons as we entered the establisment.  We sat at the bar and while hubs reviewed the drafts (both local and domestic brews were part of the mix), I looked around.  It appeared to be a standard and clean bar/restaurant atmosphere; industrial like in decor, it was quite simple with a large bar and plenty of tables.  Outdoor dining is also available, and from a conversation with the bartender, bands play outside or in a room off to the side during scheduled times.

With a Madhatter in hand (hubs ordered a Sun King Osiris), we opted to share a few sides and pizza.  We didn’t realize how hungry we were until we really started to review the menu and all the options that were available.  As always, I want nachos, but instead, we settled on chili con queso and an order of the Portabella fries.  The queso had a subtle spice to it, enough that it would make both non-spicy lovers happy and spicy lovers content.  It was creamy and was a slight step up from your standard queso while still being on the fine line.  As for the fries, I loved these.  I mean, fried mushrooms are always good in my book.  The breading was light and crispy, a perfect crunch to the portabella.  I believe it was one cap that was battered and fried (happy to report – they tasted freshly fried, so it was probably new oil rather than leftover from the previous night) and I could have had a few more.  They were served with a creamy chipotle ranch, more ranch than chipotle though.  I would have liked a little more of a bite, but it was still a great appetizer.

As for our pizza that we split, there was much debate over what to order.  We settled on the Mexacali Rose (maybe I was craving Mexican – there is a Mexican restaurant next door I also now want to try) t0 satisfy our tastebuds.  It took a little bit to get our pizza, but we didn’t notice it because of our beer and appetizers.  The wait wasn’t excessive or anything; just left me wondering if they make their own dough in house.  The crust was not tortilla thin, but a perfect level of thickness to handle all the toppings but not be overbearing.  I loved the crispness of the crust, especially the edge which had a mix of cheese baked on.  We opted for a chicken topping, which was also baked with the cheddar and Monterrey Jack (and maybe others?) cheese blend.  The chicken wasn’t just grilled, but soaked in a salsa base.  It wasn’t messy or too heavy that it soaked through the crust which I really enjoyed.  Lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and  jalapenos adorned the pizza, making it quite a tasty treat.  Nothing was wilted, all crisp and delicious.  And for only $8.95, it was a perfectly sized pizza to split for the two of us (of course, we did have the apps too) that left us full.

Our total bill, with the two beers, was under $33 (sans gratuity) which I thought was pretty good/standard.  Besides the music (see their website for a full list of bands), they also offer 1/2 off pizza on Sundays.  There are many tv’s, ready for any sports loving fan to take in the game while enjoying some great bar food.  I’m keeping this in mind when I want to get out of the house to watch a game…

Moon Dog Tavern * 4825 East 96th St * Indy, 46240 * 317. 575.6364

Moon Dog Tavern on Urbanspoon

Rusty Bucket

7 Mar

Hubby and I were running errands on a Friday and wanted to try something new, but casual.  We ended up driving by the Rusty Bucket.  I had been there for drinks before, but not for dinner, so we decided to give it a try.

We ordered a round of drinks – they have an extensive beer selection which we were happy to see.  Unfortunately, I had ordered a Saison Dupont, a Belgian ale, which I was extremely disappointed in.  It wasn’t the best start of my meal as I didn’t enjoy it at all, especially as hubs sipped on his Sun King Osiris that I knew was better. So we turned to one of my favorite foods as an appetizer – nachos – to get the meal started on a better note.

The chips were crisp and light, covered with a  layer of sirloin chili.  I usually like chicken versus beef on my nachos, but this chili surprised me as I enjoyed the meaty flavors, as well as the chunky sirloin pieces.  Nacho cheese sauce was not only poured over the chips, but you were also given a bowl of it to continue dipping.  I didn’t get the “homemade’ vibe from the cheese – it seemed like a basic nacho cheese sauce.  The tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro were a much needed fresh component to the dish as the cheese and chili did make the dish a bit heavy.

For our entrees, we both ordered a sandwich. Hubby ordered the Torpedo: an Italian sandwich with a variety of meats.  The main component of the sandwich was a grilled piece of Italian sausage.  Unfortunately, neither one of us enjoyed the sausage as it didn’t have much flavor.  Hubs ended up removing the sausage, leaving him with a healthy serving of salami and cappicola ham.  Each had the expected flavor components, but were still standard meats that didn’t have any special flavor.  Definitely not deli style, but we didn’t expect that, so it was a decent sandwich.  Italian dressing, mayo, tomato, lettuce, red onion and Provolone cheese were layered on the sandwich.  The sausage wasn’t a good choice for this sandwich due to the quality, but I think we both had higher expectations for it.

I must have been craving All-American fare because I ordered the chicken finger BLT.  I wasn’t expecting a hamburger bun as the bread component, but it worked for the sandwich.  A slight layer of mayo, lettuce and tomato were layered with three chicken strips.  The chicken strips were okay – there was a fish taste to them.  This could have been because of the oil they were fried in (it may have been shared) or the batter, which was a light beer batter.  It worked only because I was craving a standard sandwich.  I had asked for cheddar cheese to be added, but didn’t receive it (and fortunately wasn’t charged for it either) which was okay because really, the sandwich didn’t need it.  Both sandwiches were served with fries – thin and crispy, salted well.

Definitely a neighborhood tavern, the Rusty Bucket is a family friendly venue.  There were many families present on the Friday night we were there, as well as some couples.  Whether it is a bar or restaurant is up for debate – the bar was full of patrons drinking on a Friday night, but the tables were full of families eating and enjoying themselves.  I wish the menu had more variety, but if you are looking for standard All-American fare this may work for you.

Rusty Bucket * 1130 W. 86th Street * Indianapolis, 46260 * 317.566.3463

The Rusty Bucket Tavern on Urbanspoon