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Aesop’s Table Cafe

30 Jan

Hubs and I were downtown running a few errands and found ourselves on Mass Ave looking for a place to dine. I had walked by Aesop’s many times, even had plans to dine there with friends once only to cancel. Thought it would be perfect for a casual dinner on Thursday night. We bundled up and headed into the cafe for dinner.

Once we were inside, we were immediately greeted by the host. The restaurant only had one other table dining at the restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting slow service by any means. And fortunately, the service was never delayed from start to finish. We grabbed a seat towards the back of the restaurant and took a look around. It definitely represented a Greek style third space: a place of casual tables and chairs, nothing fancy, but clean and open for business. It was slightly chilly, but I couldn’t help but think how comfortable it would be with warmer weather. Hubs ordered a Dutch beer and I grabbed a glass of Malbec while we reviewed the menu.

We were both quite hungry, so we opted to order an appetizer.Despite being served a basket of warm bread when seated, we opted to order more bread and selected the dipping plate. Warm, crisp and tender slices of pita were served with thick slices of tender french bread. Crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside, the breads were perfect for the trio of dips. We were served hummus (hommous, however you opt to spell), tzatziki, and a sun-dried tomato and feta dip. The hummus was smooth,  a perfect blend of chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. The tzatziki, a cucumber yogurt dip, was heavy in mint. I appreciated how light and refreshing it was compared to the heavier dips. The sun-dried tomato and feta dip was a little dry, but still had good flavor of robust tomatoes and sharp feta. I just wish it was a bit more spreadable and not as dry on the tongue.

For dinner, we each opted for a sandwich. A good idea considering we both ate way more bread than anticipated as a starter. But first, we received a basic salad of romaine, tomatoes, onions, mozzarella and a basic vinaigrette. A clean starter. Nothing special, but I appreciated the lightness of the salad.

Hubs opted for the gyro, which he jazzed up by ordering the ultimate. Essentially, that means added feta and mozzarella cheese to the traditional sandwich. It was a large, thus very messy. It was a combination of pork and lamb, plus an addition of dijon mustard. I took a bite and thought the meat was a little dry (maybe from being broiled for the cheese to melt?), but still had the good traditional flavors of a gyro despite the addition of ingredients.

I opted for the chicken souvlaki, listed as a chicken sandwich. A combination of sauteed peppers and onions were the dominant flavors of the sandwich. But, I didn’t mind that considering the chicken was dry and lacking flavor. There was tzatziki and diced tomatoes on the sandwich as well in the slightly toasted, warm pita. I can’t rave enough about the pita – I just loved the texture and taste. But, due to the dipping plate, I opted to really only eat the chicken and veggies on their own. It was just too much food for me.

Overall, the food was simple like the environment. For about $11, the sandwich and salad were more than enough food. The service was definitely friendly, personable and attentive despite our server also acting as the host. It would be a solid place to lounge with friends, grab a drink and few appetizers over conversation while strolling Mass Ave. Just like the people in the Mediterranean – they know how to relax and Aesop’s environment invites that same philosophy.

Aesop’s Tables Cafe * 600 E. Massachusetts Ave * Downtown Indy, 46204

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