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Northside Nights: Spring Edition (Special Event)

2 Mar

It is that time again – another restaurant week is approaching. Northside Nights, a version of Devour Downtown but on the North side, will be up and running March 8-18 for the Spring eating edition.

There are quite a variety of restaurants available; almost all are local or local chains. I’ve been to most, but for a few, it has been quite a while. I think I may have to try to the restaurants I’ve never been to, including some chains, like Ruth’s Chris. Yup, never been. Here are the others I may need to try:

  • Bella Vita
  • Hellas Cafe
  • Ruth’s Chris
  • LA Cafe
  • Michael’s Southshore

I’m most curious about Michael’s Southshore as I haven’t heard of them prior to this. From a quick look at their menu, I really wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up there. Though, I did discover this 2 for $57 deal which also included wine. This does leave the debate of ‘wine vs. dessert’, but another option to consider.

Another great thing about Northside Nights? Daily giveaways. Be sure to register to win gift certificates – and you can do so everyday!

Save the date for these other events this year too:

  • Devour Downtown: July 30-August 12
  • Chow Down Midtown: June 11 – 24
  • Northside Nights & Savor the Southside: September 11-23

Where are you looking to try, or where will you return to? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts!, as well as how your experience was.

Asian Grill

18 Feb

Groupon had an offer for Asian Grill a while back and hubs and I realized we had to use it up before it expired.  On a Saturday afternoon, we made our way to a matinee and then to the Asian Grill in downtown Noblesville for some nosh.  We arrived around 7:00 and found parking on Main Street.

We were both surprised with how busy it was upon our arrival.  There is a small waiting area which was slightly uncomfortable for the 8 people (including us) who were waiting for a table.  In addition, people were coming and going for carry out – one person even mentioned to us that it isn’t usually that busy.  We didn’t have to wait long, maybe 10 minutes, and before we knew it we were seated at a center table in the quaint dining room.  Families, dates and friends were all dining so I knew there was going to be an assortment of items to select from the menu as we began our look.

We began our meal with two beers (Tsing Tao Chinese Beer and Singha Thai Beer) and some steamed dumplings.  For just under $5, we were presented with six dumplings.  The wonton wrapper was very thin but durable for the pork filling.  Perfectly seasoned, the pork was simply mixed with finely diced cabbage and green onion.  The flavor was very minimalistic, but the dipping sauce changed everything.  Cilantro was mixed in with the salty soy base giving the dumplings an amazing fresh characteristic.  They were good, but I did see many tables ordering summer rolls, so I think I would need to get them next time.

Our entrees took quite a while to receive as I believe there was some confusion in the kitchen.  When we did receive them, the portions were quite large.  Hubs ordered the hot chili chicken – a mixture of crispy fried chicken with a hot & sweet sauce.  The sauce was more sweet to me than hot despite the dried chilis, but there were also jalapenos in the dish to kick up the spice.  I enjoyed the crunch of the cashews as well.  There was a lot of food, and at a price of $12.75, you easily could have gotten (which we did) two meals out of the dish.

I ordered the Shrimp Mu Shu Wraps, priced right around $15.  I received very thin wrappers (maybe rice paper?) to make rolls out of with the filling.  Each shrimp was split into two to give more bite size pieces (and I assume to appear as more) and mixed with cabbage, bamboo, scallions, red peppers and carrots.  It was a very light dish (if you avoided the rich sauce it was served with – seemed like a thick, reduced soy sauce).  I enjoyed the vegetables, they were still crisp but definitely cooked.  I don’t know if I really need the shrimp because they didn’t add a whole lot of flavor – I found myself concentrating on the cilantro and vegetables.  If you don’t mind making your own wraps (which I don’t), it was really great in flavor and allowed you to adjust the taste as much as you wanted with ingredient and sauce control.  The flavors all worked great together and it made for some amazing leftovers the next day.  Both dishes were served with three different types of rice as well: plain, fried and tropical.  Sadly, the fried rice seemed more like brown rice to me and tasted just like the white steamed rice.  The tropical had a bit more flavor, mainly curry, but still needed something more.  I would hope if you ordered a dish of the rice it would have more flavor, and I would have opted for only the tropical rather than receive samplings of all three.

For about $30, we both had a great meal and leftovers for lunch the next day.  Asian Grill is in a great location (for northsiders) in downtown Noblesville – I could see stopping there for a lunch after some shopping on the weekend.  I would definitely make the trek north for the food again, especially as so many people dining there were return customers or picking up carryout.

Asian Grill * 74 N. 9th Street * Noblesville, 46060 * 317.773.9990

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