Tag Archives: Counter Service

Taste

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

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Zoup! Fresh Soup Company

4 Jan

I love options. I can’t help it. I know it is a downfall of time – options waste so much of our time. And yes, it can lead to no decisions. However, when it comes to soup and the option to taste all that I want, I love options. Zoup! gave me those options and I’m a believer.

A casual restaurant, it is the type that you walk up to the counter, place your order, then return to pick it up when ready. When approaching the counter, hubs and I were greeted with a smile from a friendly employee. Then, she said the magic words: try as much as you would like. With over 10 soups offered daily, there is plenty to try. And they change all the time. I’ve been in 3 times now: every time I’m there, the soups are different. With the exception of two soups: lobster bisque and chicken pot pie. These are their signature soups, thus always available.

From my tastes, I tried all of them. A few stuck out though. Lobster bisque was too mild for me, lacked flavor and didn’t have depth too it. I expected more of a bisque, but it was too watery for me. The chicken pot pie was fantastic – creamy base with chunks of veggies and chicken, sprinkled with pot pie crust. It was unique and quite delicious. I also tried the pumpkin pie bisque. Subtly sweet with deep autumn flavors, I loved every bite but could see how only a small serving would be needed. Hubs settled on chili – rich in a beef and tomato flavor. He really enjoyed it and was quite full afterward – a cup will do.

I selected the three pepper chicken. A creamy tomato base had great flavor with perfect seasoning. In addition to the tomato base, there were chunks of tender chicken spread throughout the soup. And a slight spice from the three pepper; jalapeno, green and red peppers. I didn’t think it was spicy, but it was the perfect level of flavor from the peppers that both spice and non-spice lovers could rejoice in. I loved this soup – it was perfect to warm up my body on a cold day. I had also ordered it with a bread bowl. I don’t think it was a good choice for this soup, but I could easily have ordered it with a different kind. It was a sourdough bread bowl which is why I didn’t enjoy it with the soup. The sour flavor was quite strong – authentic in taste to me. It was great in flavor (if you like sourdough) and the serving was quite large. The bread was chewy on the inside yet had the perfect crunch on the outside. I would easily order this with a tomato bisque or one of their other soups.

Zoup! is a great place to warm up in the fall and winter months. I could see it in the spring too on those rainy days. Plus,the friendly staff informed me that in the summer, cold soups grace the tasting spoons. Think gazpachos and such. Lovely, just lovely.

I’d love to hear what soups others have tried if you were able to swing into Zoup! yet. Please, leave a comment and let me know what you loved or disliked. And if you haven’t been, go give it a try (and another. And another…) soon.

Zoup! Fresh Soup Company * 1430 West Carmel Drive * Carmel, 46032 *317. 810.9800 * @Zoup_Soup

Zoup! Fresh Soup Company on Urbanspoon