Right around the block from my house is a place called the Stacked Pickle. Located across the street from the Meijer in a strip mall, it filled a void for more restaurants in the area. I usually avoid this place. I’ve dined there twice before and wasn’t impressed. Cold food, mediocre service and standard atmosphere are only a few reasons why I haven’t returned. But I’m the one who suggested the location; I wanted to give it another try. So we squeezed our way through the door in hopes to get seated quickly.
The minute we walked through the door, my previous judgments continued to be affirmed. The hostess clearly wasn’t expecting a busy night and it may have been her first time with a crowd like this. We asked for a table and she stared at us. So, friend continued to ask if we could put our name on a list only to be told “well, I could do that, but it is really long.” Okay, you aren’t encouraging me or the group to stay much longer, but alas, we waited it out just long enough to see a booth open in the bar side. No buzzers were handed out, so I do not know how that hostess would find groups who were at the bar to grab a drink while waiting.
While ordering drinks and watching football, we did eat some food. Hubs and I split a plate of nachos and burger combination. The nachos were pretty quick considering how busy the place was which was surprising. They came out in almost a bowl type of plate, looking exactly like the menu photo. The photo looked like a lot of toppings, and there were a lot. Too much in my opinion as it left barely any chips for us to enjoy the toppings with. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a lot of toppings versus a dry chip, but the ratio left us with a bowl of toppings and nothing but a fork as a topping vehicle. I’m sure I could have asked for more chips, but it didn’t seem worth the effort. The nacho cheese sauce was abundant, which makes hubs happy. I’m more of a melted shredded cheese girl rather than the liquid; I just enjoy the taste more. Tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, black olives and sour cream – the normal nacho toppings were standard. But there were a lot of jalapenos, so if you don’t like spicy, get them on the side. The chicken was abundant like everything else, served in very large chunks. It would have been better chopped up once more to make it easier to eat – maybe cut in half – but it was still pretty tender and good in flavor. Overall, they could have been warmer, but they were better than the previous time we ordered them. Note: Sorry about the photos – it was extremely dark in there, but at least it is something!
For our meal, we split a burger/wing combo. For $10, you can order any burger off their menu and have it served with fries and four wings, your choice of sauce. We opted for the Big Pickle burger, ordered medium well. The previous times I had ordered a burger, the cooking style was extremely off. This time, it was spot on, but barely warm. The sauteed mushrooms and onions on top were warmer and better in flavor. The burger tasted greasy, just fatty tasting rather than having the meat taste I was craving. Melted cheddar cheese didn’t give much to the sandwich, and neither did the fried pickle slices on top. They weren’t crunchy, so I didn’t even get that texture element. The wings, with spicy garlic sauce, were barely warm and slightly rubbery. I’m sure they were fried, but they clearly were sitting for a bit or missed that crispy texture of a buffalo wing. The sauce wasn’t spicy as I expected either leaving me disappointed. The fries were standard, nothing special but not disappointing either. I do have to say that it did seemed like they were double fried though, like a sweet potato fry would be. Overall a good deal, but execution needs to be better.
Kids, families, couples of all ages – the atmosphere was all over the place. Much like the uniforms of the staff. They must be told to wear pink and black, because many had black yoga pants on – straight up yoga pants as in I could see the Champion logo on the waistline – and lacy pink tank tops or pink shoes. It didn’t fit at all and left me utterly confused and thinking that it looked unprofessional rather than sporty. The staff just seemed frazzled throughout the evening as well. We learned it was their two year anniversary that night (so all the people who came to watch football would need to compete with a band at 10pm), so maybe they weren’t used a crowd like that?
When the band started, it was like the restaurant was split into two different concepts. Twenty and young thirty somethings were on the bar side, having drinks and eating with friends. The bar side was a very different environment with late thirty and older somethings dancing like they were at a Broad Ripple establishment late on a Saturday night. It was quite odd to see the clash of the atmospheres, and a bit more odd to have to walk through when trying to get to the restroom. I just couldn’t figure out the environment the restaurant/sports bar/dance club/ social bar was going for.
To add one more item to the list of oddness/disappointment of the evening, our server wasn’t aware of the Foursquare deal the restaurant was offering. When it comes to social media, I’m all about restaurants jumping on the train and offering discounts/deals to those who participate. But, the staff (including the managers) must be aware of the specials and how to process them. We had a slight situation where our server couldn’t process the Foursquare element to both bills on hand, thus leaving a deal that isn’t usable again. Education on that would be ideal for the future. But prior to this, our server was very attentive and good through out the evening.
Well, I gave it another go. Not surprisingly, I’m still disappointed.
Stacked Pickle *12545 Old Meridian St., Suite 105 * Carmel, 46032 * 317.844.4448
Note – there is a location in Fishers as well.