Tag Archives: Broad Ripple


21 Mar

Broad Ripple has many restaurants, from fine dining to casual, it is sometimes difficult to keep up. At least for me, since I dwell in the ‘burbs and don’t go south of 82nd as often as I would like. But as I work in (north) Indianapolis, I sometimes get to Broad Ripple for lunch with colleagues. This past week was one of those times, and someone suggested Taste. I had driven by, never been, and thought it was the perfect time to give it a try.

We arrived early, approximately 11:30ish, due to a few meetings and conference calls we all had in the afternoon at our respective places of employment. So when we arrived, there was only a slight line with a lot of open tables. An open seating restaurant, Taste embraces the concept of counter ordering and then delivering food to the corresponding table number you are given upon ordering. I liked the casual environment as well as the mix of the crowd of who was dining. We sauntered up to the counter and perused the menu while we waited in line.

Now, this counter of sweet treats smiles at you as you try to avoid eye contact and stare up at the menu. Then the smell of the freshly baked bread and cinnamon rolls meander their way to your nose. Suddenly, you find your eyes wandering. I have no idea how I stayed strong, but I did. Heck, I even ended up ordering a salad as my main dish. As I successfully avoided the sweets, I also noticed all the eclectic yet homey items on the menu. I definitely want to make it back for breakfast as there were some items screaming my name. But instead, a salad it was. I’d like to take a minute to mention you can build your own salad from quite a variety of items, but I opted to pick one already put together for me.

But to start the excitement of our luncheon meeting, one of my colleagues ordered deviled eggs to begin as well as the pommes frites. As I silently jumped for joy (I knew we’d be splitting these), we made our way to the table and waited patiently. The two ‘appetizer side dishes’ arrived first, and we dived in. The deviled eggs were creamy with a rich yolk and mustard taste, yet sharpened with a dill flavor. They were great, though a bit pricey for half an egg at $1.25. But it was a treat that I’d probably get again (a variety of eggs would be an even better treat though!)

The pommes frites were thing and crispy, everything that I want in a fry of this variation. Salted with thick, kosher salt and seasoned with black pepper, the seasoning was moderate thus complimenting the salty fried taste that is expected. A basil aiole was served to mellow down any salty flavor one might have (though I didn’t see it apparent by any means) and added a slightly elevated scale to otherwise normal fry. I liked the bright contrast of the basil, and the creamy texture played nicely with the crisp fry.

As for the main event, I had ordered chopped salad. First off, the portion was quite big. And it wasn’t all romaine like I anticipated, but a good mix of the toppings that sometimes make people to perceive salads as unhealthy. However, that wasn’t really my thought as I began to break apart the whole side of corn, straight of the cob. I bet in the summer the corn adds a depth of sweetness, but this time around, I wasn’t getting it. ::sigh:: Seasons. But the pungent bleu cheese flavor played well with the other expected flavors of sharp red onion and smokey bacon. I did like the tart green apple that were chopped within the salad and the lightness that the sherry vinaigrette provided the greens. Overall, it was a good, solid salad. I wasn’t blown away, maybe should have gone with my second choice, but it was still a good salad.

Overall, a great menu that seemed moderately priced as cafes go. I look forward to getting back (maybe for breakfast, though they do now serve dinner) and ‘tasting’ a few other things on the menu. Yup, I went there. With a name like Taste, how could one resist?

Taste Cafe * 5164 N. College Avenue * Indy (Broad Ripple), 46205 * 317).925.cafe

Taste Cafe and Marketplace on Urbanspoon

10-01 Food & Drink

22 Dec

This past weekend, a close friend of mine was celebrating a birthday. For her celebration, she selected 10-01 in Broad Ripple for dinner. I was excited with her selection as I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now and it just hadn’t happened. We made some reservations for seven of us at 6:00pm and made our way there on a Friday evening.

Upon arrival, we found a parking lot attendant. As anyone who dines in Broad Ripple knows, this is fantastic. Hunting down a spot sometimes can be a challenge, so being presented with a free parking option that was available is great. We quickly parked and met up with the group inside. There is a bar downstairs, the restaurant on the main level, and I believe a pilates studio upstairs. A modern and clean looking restaurant, we were quickly seated under a gorgeous chandelier of plastic art (really, I wish I took a photo of it) in the corner of the restaurant overlooking the main street.

Our server quickly took our drink order as we reviewed the menu. I had a late lunch so I wasn’t entirely hungry, but I still wanted to try many items. I was slightly disappointed with the menu though; I guess I had expected more from it. It seemed limited for some reason; maybe I just wasn’t craving much of what the ‘Midwest comfort food with a unique twist.” I settled on a dish that I had read much about, the jalapeno corn bread, and a small wedge salad with salmon. Hubs ordered a cup of soup and cod fingers. Completely out of our norm for a restaurant like this, but I expected good things out of what we ordered.

The dining room was extremely dark – they had dimmed the lights but they first completely shut off. We sat in the dark for about a minute only to be given a little light for 30 minutes before they turned on a few more. I say this because the first few photos are absolutely horrible, but I think I can still make my point in regards to my appetizer: roasted jalapeno cornbread.

I was so excited as I heard great things about it, but unfortunately, I can’t say anything but how disappointed I was. What I was served was a severely burned cornbread and fried brie bites that tasted like fair food. The cornbread was a good texture once the top and bottom layers were peeled off, but the burnt flavor carried through the interior of the bread. Subtle tastes of spicy jalapenos and a slightly gritty texture of corn flour were barely recognizable. Now, I should have sent it back. They shouldn’t have even let this pass the hot plate. But for whatever reason, I didn’t send it back. And as an avid cheese lover, I hoped the brie would save me, but all I got was a stale fried taste. I’m sure this dish is phenomenal, but I didn’t get it at all.

My disappointment only continued with my main course: a wedge salad with salmon. Our server raved about it so I thought it had to be good. But as he continued his explanation, I learned it was farm raised and Atlantic. I gave him a confused look but also the benefit of the doubt regarding farm raised salmon. What I got was a plate about the size of my hand covered with food. The plating was awful and look like an afterthought as a piece of salmon, skin side up, was thrown on top of my deconstructed wedge salad. The salad would have been absolutely fine by itself with the blue affine cheese crumbles (I believe affine is a preparation style of small crumble – anyone else know more about this?) and the Nueske bacon. This Wisconsin girl likes her Nueske, and I appreciated the large chewy pork bites. The bleu cheese dressing was creamy and sharp and the tomatoes were ripe. It was a good salad that unfortunately had a large portion of salmon dumped on top. The salmon, which I ordered medium rare, was border medium well/well done. It wasn’t dry though, but it wasn’t anything I would rave about.

Hubs dishes were beyond better than mine though. His soup, a tomato bisque, was thick and creamy. Luscious with rich tomato flavor, he was too nice to share a spoonful with me. And his catfish fries were really good as well. A house made batter as it was light but had a great crunch to it. And the catfish was delicious as well, especially with the srirachi tarter sauce it was served with. A slight spice really made all the difference with the tarter sauce. He had two great dishes, so I know that my dishes couldn’t be the norm.

Our server was good, attentive when needed but definitely gave us enough space to enjoy our evening with friends. I’m still slightly baffled by his salmon recommendation though. The restaurant is kid friendly (we were by two large groups of 15-20 people, and one was almost all children under 12) and smoke-free. Pricing was a little more than I wanted to pay for what I got as we paid (prior to tip) around $60 for the appetizers and two drinks. The added salmon to the petite salad was $11 by itself.

Has anyone else dined here? What were your impressions? Would you go back? I know I should have sent back the cornbread (I still don’t know why I didn’t), but what else is something I should have ordered? I really wanted to like this place, but alas, I’m not sure I would head back.

10-01 Food & Drink * 1001 Broad Ripple Avenue * Broad Ripple, 46220 * 317-253-1001

10-01 Food & Drink on Urbanspoon

3 Sisters Cafe

8 Sep

Another Groupon, I can’t believe it took me so long to dine at 3 Sisters Cafe.  The Groupon was sneaking up on expiration, so hubs and I made our way there for a Wednesday evening dinner.  I know that it has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and was popular for breakfast – but other than that, I wasn’t sure what to expect for dinner.

There was quite a wait when we got there.  I’m not sure if that is the norm for a Wednesday evening, but I am chalking it up the Groupon.  After all, many of the individuals waiting were just like us, holding a Groupon and reviewing the menu posted on the first floor of this older home.  Like many of my favorite restaurants, 3 Sisters is in a house, ready to serve in a variety of rooms from the open kitchen.  I loved the ambiance, very homey and local with art work on the walls.  It was very ‘Broad Ripple’, artistic and true to itself.

We ordered and the food was very quick out of the kitchen.  Hubs ordered d’nai, a meaty entree that was featured on DDD.  To say portion control at this establishment is an understatement – his sandwich was absolutely huge.  The tender and flavorful meat was piled high, so high you couldn’t see the french roll that made it a ‘sandwich’.  Though described as ham, this isn’t your average ham sandwich slices.  More like a slowly cooked, thinly sliced meat sandwich that was accompanied by braised kale and spicy pepper jack cheese.  I had one bite and was sold.  Though it was a huge portion, hubs liked it so much that ate much of what he was given (by much, I mean all, he was hungry!)

I was back and forth between breakfast and a dinner entree.  I ended up going with fish tacos – great choice.  I wasn’t anticipating the large fish filet, build your own style of meal, but I was happy to see it.  It was a white fish, pan fried so it was subtly crispy but fork tender.  I didn’t need the lettuce, tomatoes or red onions that came as toppings – the fish was so tender and succulent, absolutely delicious.  I loaded up the warm tortillas with fish, some of the green chili sauce and chili mayo.  Each were slightly spicy and worked great with the perfectly seasoned fish.  The guacamole was also great as it cooled down any spicy flavors that could be overwhelming to some individuals.  I barely ate any of the guac (though it was good), but I loved the spicy components that I was given with the fish and sides.

I was also served a salad, but I barely ate any of it because I was so impressed by the fish tacos.  I had some great dressing, 7 herb vinaigrette, which was bursting with flavor.  It tasted fresh and was extremely light, great with the greens and tomatoes – perfect for dipping.  Hubs ate a portion of it and agreed the dressing was top notch.

Finally, I had no intentions on dessert.  But I overheard our server mention a blueberry and goat cheese pie.  Since I absolutely adore goat cheese, I couldn’t pass it up.  We ordered it to go, but I took a peek (and bite) before we even left the restaurant.  The blueberries were subtly tart and the goat cheese, though subtle in taste, definitely gave it the expected creaminess component.  I loved every bite.  The crust was great too, slightly flaky and buttery all over.  Plus, a slight crunch from almonds on top – I’d go back for a piece of pie any day.

Our server was friendly and the prices were reasonable.  I can see why it would be featured on a television show, but as it isn’t really a dive, absolutely not a drive-in, I guess it would be characterized as a diner (though I still wouldn’t say that as it doesn’t fit what I expect out of a diner) though it is straight up a cafe.  The food, the ambiance, everything says cafe to me.  And I can’t wait to go back, this time, for breakfast.

3 Sisters Cafe * 6360 Guilford Ave. * Indy, 46220 * 317.257.5556

3 Sisters Cafe on Urbanspoon

Fire by the Monon

4 Aug

I had heard many things about Fire by the Monon, many good things.  So when two of our friends asked us to join them for dinner after Brewfest at the restaurant, I was excited to see what was being offered.  They boast local and heart-healthy items, so I was interested to see what would be offered on the Saturday evening.

We were fortunate not to have to wait for a table outside (our friends made it there prior to us and waited the 15-20 minutes for us – thanks friends!)  Though we weren’t crowded at our table, I did notice on the front patio tables were blocking any sort of walkway which patrons were grumbling about as they moved there chairs multiple times.  Fortunately, we were on the side patio and didn’t have that problem.  The weather was delightful as we waited a little bit for our server to arrive.

We ordered a round of drinks;  a wine flight for me at a mere $10,  a great sampling for the price, while hubs ordered a local draft of Sun King.  We sipped and enjoyed great conversations while waiting for our food.  Overall, the timing was a bit longer, service pleasant but slow.  We were enjoying ourselves, but I couldn’t help notice the delay.

When hubs ordered the rainbow trout, I don’t think he was anticipating the large portion.  What he got was quite were two nicely portioned filletes, cooked beautifully.  They were tender, flaky and had a light pan fried crust to them.  He really enjoyed them, as I did with the small bite I tried.  They were served with dirty smashed potatoes, but he wasn’t overly impressed with them as they were slightly bland in seasoning.  He had doubled his carb intake by ordering onion rings as well, which he didn’t really comment on.  Overall, he raved about the fish but didn’t say too much about his side accompanients.

I stayed with the seafood theme and ordered the salmon.  I know many people are weary about ordering salmon in restaurants, which I completely understand.  So many times it is undercooked or overcooked, like many fish items can be, but it is always noticeable with salmon.  Unfortunately, it was just a bit overdone for me making it slightly dry.  I normally wouldn’t have used the heavy serving of dill butter (at least not all of it) but couldn’t help but need it to compensate for the dry factor.  Though it was overcooked, it still had some great flavor.  Rosemary, which can sometimes be overwhelming, played perfectly with the fish giving it a subtle rustic flavor.  Dill was subtly sweet, butter creamy and smooth leaving a good finish to the fish.  My sides were the seasonal vegetables and sweet potato fries.  The seasonal vegetables were fantastic – a trio of vegetables, including the perfect summer corn stripped off the cob, perfectly done carrots (with where it isn’t crisp but not soft – just cooked well) and roasted potatoes.  I would have liked to have not had potatoes (the server didn’t say these were included – she actually told me I’d have zucchini) but it was a great side dish.  The reason I was not 100% pleased with the potatoes, though great,  was because I had ordered sweet potato fries as my side – I just wasn’t anticipating a double potato order.   The sweet potato fries were  double fried for a crisp exterior and tender interior.  I like to pretend sweet potatoes are ‘good’ for me because of the nutrients, but I can’t always convince myself as I enjoy the crunchy texture and dip them in mayo based sauce.  They were delicious, but really not needed as I would have enjoyed the fish and vegetables I had going on.

Overall, both hubs and I left happy with our meals.  It was reasonably priced with both our entrees being around $16 each, the service was friendly and atmosphere relaxing.  Our friends also enjoyed their meal and were happy that we were able to try the establishment.  I don’t know if I would seek it out, just the two of us, solely because I don’t think I would really think of the place.  It is tucked back in a neighborhood, I would really have to remember it to go out for dinner.  If we were in the area and people want to grab dinner, it is a definitely a place in the Broad Ripple area I would like to dine at again, but I think people would need to remind me.  I could see why people don’t always immediately think of it as an option, but it is a great spot to consider.

Fire by the Monon * 6523 Ferguson Street * Broad Ripple, 46022 * 317.602.8590

Fire by the Monon on Urbanspoon