Tag Archives: All American

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

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Walt Disney World Dining, Part II

5 Jul

In WDW, there are many places to dine other than the parks as I originally reported.  Here are just a few more…


Big River Grille & Brewing Works – This is the second time I’ve eaten there and I’m still not really impressed.  I began with a cup of beer cheese soup.  It needed a little something, but was still decent in brew flavor and cheddar sharpness. 

Hubs and I decided to share a few appetizers, but we made a mistake of not varying it up since there aren’t a lot of options.  Chips & cheese and then an order of chicken nachos.  The chips and cheese were okay; a cheese dip without much flavor.  I’m also not a fan of their chips – they are the whole grain type that aren’t really whole grain.  I don’t mind them so much for the dip, but I really would prefer the basic chip for my nachos.

They used the same dip on the nachos, but also layered it with jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream and chicken.  As mentioned, I wasn’t a huge fan of the corn chips, but I wasn’t a huge fan of  the chicken that adorned it either.  I prefer chopped grilled chicken, but this was chicken that was probably used in burritos and other Mexican dishes at the restaurant.  A one stop shop kind of chicken if you will.  It had been soaking in a mild salsa type mixture which just made the nachos more messy than normal.  For a brewery though, it is a good place to grab a drink.


Boardwalk Bakery – a great place to grab breakfast or a sweet treat.  I had a chocolate chip muffin that was tender and delicious for breakfast one morning; I couldn’t resist the shape.  

They have everything that one could possibly want in a baked good for breakfast.  Not to mention, an afternoon snack as well.  They have these cupcakes that look beautiful – unfortunately, I didn’t make it back to try them but have added to the ‘must do’ list.

Resort Dining

The Wave (The Contemporary Resort) – I rarely eat at sit-down restaurants at the resorts, and now I am asking myself why not?  The wave was very busy, but more of a restaurant than any of the others we enjoyed throughout the week.  There were many children around, which surprised me for some unknown reason (yes, I know, it is Disney.  I guess I didn’t think about it…)  Despite the noisy restaurant, the food spoke for itself.  Hubs and I shared the appetizer for two, which included crab-rock shrimp cakes and sea scallops.  It was fantastic – nothing was fishy.  The cakes were great, a mixture of the seafood without much breadcrumb filling.  They were served on a bed of fresh and light veggies, including tomatoes and cucumbers.  And the scallops had a great crust and weren’t overcooked – we both really enjoyed them. 

For dinner (I apologize for the grainy photos), I continued the seafood theme with their whole grain pasta, mixed with clams, shrimp and mussels.  The fennel and tomato broth was much spicier than anticipated, but it was perfect.  Hubs ordered the espresso-barbecue short rib, complete with a mustard based potato salad and slaw.  He ate it all, so I know he enjoyed it as well.

Snacks & Treats

Some people may say the heat makes ice cream a necessity.  But, there are two things I always have when in Disney because I just love them.  The Dole whip, which is pineapple ice cream (you can also get vanilla) covered with pineapple sauce and chunks.  Mmm…  The other is a Mickey bar or the Mickey cookies and cream ice cream bar.  They may be insanely hard if it isn’t hot enough to melt them, but that just makes them more satisfying.

Hope you enjoyed the quick recap.  Though some of the food is what you expect at a theme park, you may find yourself surprised if you go in with an open mind!

Walt Disney World Dining, Part I

30 Jun

Hubs and I made our way to Walt Disney World this past May with two of our closest friends.  I’m a huge fan of The Mouse and his World, so getting their once a year is on the schedule.  And while we are there, eating all the great food is a priority as well.  We tried a few new things while we are there and a few favorites – thought I’d share the experience with all of you.


Germany’s Biergarten – a buffet of meat and pretzels and then some.  You can begin with the salad buffet, which doesn’t just include your basic salad building ingredients, but also pate and pretzel croutons.  Creamy macaroni salads and beet salad, there is a variety for any tastebud.  The main courses include a variety of sausage (all spiced accordingly that I find to be decent for a buffet in this type of atmosphere), schnitzel with brown gravy, salmon with dill and lemon slices, meatballs (these may be one of my faves on the buffet, tender and well seasoned), spaetzle (with or without cheese!) and pork tenderloin with 7 different options of chutney or mustards to choose from as a topping (I selected spicy mustard, cinnamon applesauce and apricot chutney).  The best part of it all – the desserts: apple strudel (all delicious with cinnamon love and a whipped topping), bread pudding, German chocolate cake, German cheesecake and so much more.  Pending on how much you want to stuff in your stomach, the price can be good or pricey (approximately $28 for lunch and around $35 for dinner).  But if you love German food like hubs and I, you may want to give it a go.  The ambiance is similar to a beer garden, with entertainment and German servers.  One thing to not miss, grabbing a pretzel and beer from the vendor outside of the restaurant – always a good bet.

United Kingdom’s Rose & Crown Pub – the menu is full of traditional English fare – from bangers & mash, corned beef sandwich and sheppard’s pie, there are many options to satisfy your taste buds.  Not to mention the full bar available to quench your thirst.  This is a popular establishment, so make reservations early if you can.  Or, do what we did, and grab fish and chips from the vendor outside.  It is all they sell, but it is the most popular item they sell so it is self explanatory.  Crisp and perfectly fried, it is always a great entree that is a go to for me in Epcot.

Magic Kingdom

Tortuga Tavern – right outside of the Pirates of the Carribean ride, there is a quick-service restaurant for burritos and tacos.  The thing I like about this place is the toppings bar – it makes the casual food customizable.  Surprisingly, the tortilla is quite big and stuffed black beans, rice and chicken.  Then you top it with tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, salsa and whatever you would like.  A quick bite that is satisfying, but I’m not going to compare this to other Mexican burritos.  It is overpriced for quality, but I expected this to be ‘park food,’ and I got exactly what I thought I would get.  But, it was a good first try and change from the frozen hamburgers or hot dogs offered at other quick-service restaurants.

Hollywood Studios

Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre – I have to admit, I really like this place because of the atmosphere.  It is set like you are at an outdoor movie theatre, sitting in ‘cars’ while watching ‘B’ rated science fiction, complete with servers on skates.  The food can be hit or miss though.  This time around, hubs and I shared an order of onion rings, perfectly salty and crisp.  Hubs ordered the corned beef sandwich which was a very large portion.  A lot of corned beef with good flavor, served with creamy thousand island dressing on rye bread.  I don’t normally enjoy rye bread, but it was good and I wished that I had ordered his (maybe next time).  I ordered the steak salad – was surprised to see it as a wedge (maybe I didn’t read the description clearly) and to see that my steak was actually cooked to what I ordered.  The steak was served warm and had apparent grill marks (which you may be able to see in the photo), though I’m not quite sure it was ‘grilled’.  It was satisfying, but of course, I’ve had better steak salads.

50’s Prime Time Cafe – though I haven’t eaten at all the restaurants in Hollywood Studios, this is my favorite.  Why?  Fried chicken.  I don’t know why, bu I just love the fried chicken.  So much, I have a hard time ordering anything else on the menu.  It is always crisp and perfectly fried, extremely tender and juicy on the inside just like it should be.  Plus, you get a ton of chicken – a breast, thigh, wing and drumstick.  I enjoy the green beans more than the collard greens, so I always swap them out as an accompaniment to the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Animal Kingdom

Yak & Yeti – a perfect place to cool down as the AK seems to be the hottest park to me.  We were looking for something not too filling so we opted for something to share.  We settled on a few appetizers including fried rice, egg rolls and the dim sum for two.  Hubs could NOT stop raving about how much he loved it all and I do have to agree.  The fried rice was great, buttery but not enough to linger on your tongue to make it overwhelming.  Egg rolls were crisp on the outside and filled with a pork and veggie filling – I loved that it wasn’t heavy with grease.  The dim sum for two appetizer was really good – lots of options that left hubs and I wanting more.  It included pork pot stickers, Cha Su Bao (barbecued pork buns), Shrimp Siu Mai and Pork Siu Mai.  These were all steamed on a banana leaf and served with a soy lime dipping sauce.  The potstickers were great, as were the shrimp siu mai and pork siu mai – we thought it was mean to provide three of each item because it left us bargaining for the last piece.  Our least favorite was the pork buns, but they were still very good.

This is a quite delayed post due to work and all that jazz, but things are calming down.  I have a few extra’s from the trip as well – to be posted soon!  Thanks for bearing with me and continuing on the nom nom journey!

Detour: An American Grille

3 Jun

Though we live right down the Monon from Detour, our busy schedule of being out of town since it opened (first weekend in May I believe) until Memorial Day weekend.  Normally, I don’t take out of town guests to a restaurant I haven’t tried before, but after learning about a wait time of one hour and fifteen minutes at another local (yet obviously popular) location, we decided to give a it a try.

We walked into the restaurant and I was overwhelmed to see at least six employees at the host stand.  I didn’t know who to speak with since they were all smiling and willing to help, but out of four of them working together, we were immediately sat outside (per our request) on the side patio.  I only got a little peak at the restaurant through the garage style doors, and from what I saw, I loved it.  An open and inviting sports bar type of restaurant, there was also a large bar with many tv’s.  I could easily see kicking back for a few drinks and appetizers.

After a few moments, a server took our drink order and let us know our main server would be by to take our food order in a minute.  Our server took a little bit, but I was happy to have the time to really look through the menu.  There was quite a variety, ranging from appetizers to plated entrees.  I did think for a quick second that some of their sides and overall feel of the menu was similar to a local chain in the city though.  We had ordered a few drinks (3 Floyd’s Gumball Head for me, Sun King’s Cream Ale for hubs and a Caribbean Lemonade for my brother) from their extensive drink menu and I was happy to see the variety of drinks specials and local brews on draft.

One of my favorite foods is nachos, so I immediately wanted to make this my meal.  But with all of the options available, we ordered it as an appetizer to split.  During our wait, I noticed it was taking quite a while to receive our appetizer.  When our lunch came out, I knew then our nachos were misplaced and asked the staff who delivered our food to cancel the order.  I made a note that next time, I needed to order it as my meal.

For lunch, my brother ordered the Detour burger, one of their many signature items on the menu.  The burger arrived medium rare as requested and was presented on a fajita platter with melted Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and applewood smoked bacon which the server scooped onto the brioche bun.  I’m not sure the presentation of the fajita platter is necessary, but it still looked great and my brother enjoyed his burger.  What he didn’t enjoy, and I have to agree, is the lack of onion rings he ordered as his side.  He literally only received two – we both expected more.

Hubs ordered the Bypass sandwich, another signature item.  Italian meat was chopped and mixed with pickled peppers, carrots, onions and celery and covered with mozzarella cheese.  I gave the sandwich a little nibble as hubs said it was pretty good, and I agree.  The meat was tender on the crusty French bread.  A bit more cheese and a bit more spice and I would have really liked it.  By a bit, I’m not talking Triple Bypass though – which is Detour’s eating challenge.  Two pounds of meat on a 30 inch loaf of Italian Bread?  Too much for me, though I’d cheer on anyone taking on the challenge.

I ordered the jalapeno-dijon burger.  It was a little overdone for me (I had ordered it medium well and it was definitely well done), thus a little dry, but I could see it being a good burger.  I enjoyed the grilled jalapeno toppings – I expected either pickled jalapenos or raw (and fresh!) jalapenos, so it was a nice touch.  A thin slice of white cheddar cheese left me wanting just a little bit more, but the dijon layered brioche top was perfect in portion lending the right amount of mustard flavor to the spicy sandwich.  For a side, I ordered the messy waffle fries (as did hubs) and was pleased with the portion and toppings.

Due to the nacho mishap, Steve (who I believe was on the on-duty manager?) came over and apologized profusely.  He let us know it would be removed from our bill and offered their signature dessert, Gavin’s Chocolate Chip Cookie, to help make up for the nachos.  Who can refuse a cookie delivered with great service? Once we were done dining, he brought out the cookie, direct from the oven.  A partially cooked large cookie (just the way I like them!) was delivered, piping hot and tender.  Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce, it easily craved my desire for something sweet.  It reminded me of cookie dough ice cream, but with the cold and warm concept mixed in.

As for service, there were plenty of people working as I mentioned in the beginning.  Our server wasn’t very attentive until the nacho mishap occurred, but I am not aware of how busy he was with any indoor tables (I didn’t see him waiting on anyone else on the patio).  Steve checked in a variety of times:  immediately when we had canceled the nacho order, once during our meal, delivered dessert and checked in one more time to ensure we were all good.  Plus, I did get to speak with Matt (who also manages the social media) from the management team.  He stopped by to apologize and thank us for stopping in.  We chatted about their hours and variety of events they have planned as well.  The conversation really got me excited for the new local restaurant.

I look forward to dining at Detour again as well as everything that it will bring to the Carmel Arts & Design District.  As a twenty something, our options of a sports bar and place to have a few drinks late at night and within walking distance were limited.  Though I enjoy Muldoon’s, the hours aren’t accommodating in the evening and the other pub on Main Street is heavy with smoke.  I may make Wednesday nights Detour nights due to Trivia, and Sam King will be playing acoustics as will other bands on the weekends.  Poker night is going to start up on Mondays and for those who like to sing, you have karaoke on Tuesday.  Plus, in the same building is Taste of Sensu, a Pan Asian restaurant that I am also looking forward to trying (both restaurants are managed by the same company).   I may have a difficult time ordering a burger here with Bub’s directly across the Monon, but I will NOT have a hard time returning to try everything else.  After all, I still need to try the nachos, and from what I’ve heard, I’ll have plenty to share.  Who’s in – nachos and trivia next Wednesday?

Detour: An American Grille * 110 W. Main St * Carmel, IN * 317.571-.0091

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