Tag Archives: Sports Bar

Stacked Pickle

18 Jan

Right around the block from my house is a place called the Stacked Pickle. Located across the street from the Meijer in a strip mall, it filled a void for more restaurants in the area. I usually avoid this place. I’ve dined there twice before and wasn’t impressed. Cold food, mediocre service and standard atmosphere are only a few reasons why I haven’t returned. But I’m the one who suggested the location; I wanted to give it another try. So we squeezed our way through the door in hopes to get seated quickly.

The minute we walked through the door, my previous judgments continued to be affirmed. The hostess clearly wasn’t expecting a busy night and it may have been her first time with a crowd like this. We asked for a table and she stared at us. So, friend continued to ask if we could put our name on a list only to be told “well, I could do that, but it is really long.” Okay, you aren’t encouraging me or the group to stay much longer, but alas, we waited it out just long enough to see a booth open in the bar side. No buzzers were handed out, so I do not know how that hostess would find groups who were at the bar to grab a drink while waiting.

While ordering drinks and watching football, we did eat some food. Hubs and I split a plate of nachos and burger combination. The nachos were pretty quick considering how busy the place was which was surprising. They came out in almost a bowl type of plate, looking exactly like the menu photo. The photo looked like a lot of toppings, and there were a lot. Too much in my opinion as it left barely any chips for us to enjoy the toppings with. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a lot of toppings versus a dry chip, but the ratio left us with a bowl of toppings and nothing but a fork as a topping vehicle. I’m sure I could have asked for more chips, but it didn’t seem worth the effort. The nacho cheese sauce was abundant, which makes hubs happy. I’m more of a melted shredded cheese girl rather than the liquid; I just enjoy the taste more. Tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, black olives and sour cream – the normal nacho toppings were standard. But there were a lot of jalapenos, so if you don’t like spicy, get them on the side. The chicken was abundant like everything else, served in very large chunks. It would have been better chopped up once more to make it easier to eat – maybe cut in half – but it was still pretty tender and good in flavor. Overall, they could have been warmer, but they were better than the previous time we ordered them. Note: Sorry about the photos – it was extremely dark in there, but at least it is something!

For our meal, we split a burger/wing combo. For $10, you can order any burger off their menu and have it served with fries and four wings, your choice of sauce. We opted for the Big Pickle burger, ordered medium well. The previous times I had ordered a burger, the cooking style was extremely off. This time, it was spot on, but barely warm. The sauteed mushrooms and onions on top were warmer and better in flavor. The burger tasted greasy, just fatty tasting rather than having the meat taste I was craving. Melted cheddar cheese didn’t give much to the sandwich, and neither did the fried pickle slices on top. They weren’t crunchy, so I didn’t even get that texture element. The wings, with spicy garlic sauce, were barely warm and slightly rubbery. I’m sure they were fried, but they clearly were sitting for a bit or missed that crispy texture of a buffalo wing. The sauce wasn’t spicy as I expected either leaving me disappointed. The fries were standard, nothing special but not disappointing either. I do have to say that it did seemed like they were double fried though, like a sweet potato fry would be. Overall a good deal, but execution needs to be better.

Kids, families, couples of all ages – the atmosphere was all over the place. Much like the uniforms of the staff. They must be told to wear pink and black, because many had black yoga pants on – straight up yoga pants as in I could see the Champion logo on the waistline – and lacy pink tank tops or pink shoes. It didn’t fit at all and left me utterly confused and thinking that it looked unprofessional rather than sporty. The staff just seemed frazzled throughout the evening as well. We learned it was their two year anniversary that night (so all the people who came to watch football would need to compete with a band at 10pm), so maybe they weren’t used a crowd like that?

When the band started, it was like the restaurant was split into two different concepts. Twenty and young thirty somethings were on the bar side, having drinks and eating with friends. The bar side was a very different environment with late thirty and older somethings dancing like they were at a Broad Ripple establishment late on a Saturday night. It was quite odd to see the clash of the atmospheres, and a bit more odd to have to walk through when trying to get to the restroom. I just couldn’t figure out the environment the restaurant/sports bar/dance club/ social bar was going for.

To add one more item to the list of oddness/disappointment of the evening, our server wasn’t aware of the Foursquare deal the restaurant was offering. When it comes to social media, I’m all about restaurants jumping on the train and offering discounts/deals to those who participate. But, the staff (including the managers) must be aware of the specials and how to process them. We had a slight situation where our server couldn’t process the Foursquare element to both bills on hand, thus leaving a deal that isn’t usable again. Education on that would be ideal for the future. But prior to this, our server was very attentive and good through out the evening.

Well, I gave it another go. Not surprisingly, I’m still disappointed.

Stacked Pickle *12545 Old Meridian St., Suite 105 * Carmel, 46032 * 317.844.4448

Note – there is a location in Fishers as well.

Stacked Pickle on Urbanspoon

GG’s Bar & Grill

29 Dec

After picking up some items at a local brewery shop for hubs brewing project, my stomach was making noise. Acknowledging that my stomach needed something, I turned to hubs and suggested we grab something in the neighborhood. We were on the northwest side of Indy, near Binford and 65th Street, and neither one of us knew anything around the area with the exception of GT South’s and a few fast food restaurants. I shook my Urbanspoon app on my phone and GG’s showed up. Nothing was really on the review portion, so I took this as an opportunity to try something new.

We pulled up next to GT’s and to find GG’s. I have no idea if there is a connection between the two (anyone?), but the mini mall housed two restaurants among the three storefronts. There weren’t any windows, just two glass doors. We took a step inside to find a sports bar, more of a bar with tv’s. It was dark, but more welcoming than our last experience at a bar we knew nothing about. We grabbed a booth and waited for the bartender to make her way over as we perused the menu.

Going healthy in a sports bar is never really an option, so we always decide to go all out. Hubs really went all out by ordering a grilled cheese burger. Two grilled cheese sandwiches were the bread for the burger. Burger was cooked medium well/well done, but it still was juicy. I wouldn’t say house made, but it was still something of good seasoning. But that was it; no lettuce, tomato or onions were on this burger. The main thrill of the sandwich was the grilled cheese. First, there was a grilled cheese of American cheese. Then, there was a combo of two cheeses; from my guess, I’d say colby and mozzarella, on top of the burger. The cheeseburger was then put on the ‘bun’ of the two grilled cheese sandwiches. Cheese was melted all over the place. I expected more cheese flavor, especially with all the cheese on the sandwich, but it was a little lackluster for me. Hubs said it was good, but I thought the four slices of bread dried out the sandwich a little bit. The fries that were served with the sandwich were standard, nothing special, but they fit the bill for my fried craving.

We also split an order of chicken nachos. The chips were thin, crispy and salty. I did notice that they would break easily under the weight of the toppings once in a while, but it didn’t really bother me. The chicken was tender and flavorful. There was enough to go around, but not too much where it is overwhelming. Iceberg lettuce was crisp, though I would have liked it chopped up just a bit more. Once again, two different types of cheese with two different textures. A classic nacho cheese was drizzled all over, but there was also a broiled/melted mozzarella  was also on the nachos. I loved that every bite had some toppings as there was plenty to go around. And I’m an olive lover, so the black olives mixed with the crisp scallions were good to me.

Overall, this is definitely a neighborhood bar for the locals. The bartender, who was also our server, definitely had friends in the establishment. I would be pretty confident in saying out of the 15 people in there, we were the only ones who she didn’t recognize by name. She was friendly and the service was prompt. The bar was still a little dark for me; bare boned in decor with black walls. There were a few bar games and pool tables, and the smell of smoke slightly lingered from the night before I assume. I personally prefer something a bit more brighter, but from my perception of the lack of restaurants in the area, I could see local residents easily picking this place for a drink and a game.

GG’s Bar & Grill * 5701 East 71st Street * Indianapolis, 46220

GG's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Wings, Etc.

24 Oct

Hubs and I were out running some Halloween errands last weekend and decided to duck into Wings, Etc. for a quick lunch.  I had been here once before when it first opened a few years ago but didn’t remember a thing about it besides the atmosphere.  So when hubs suggested we try it again, I agreed knowing I’d be eating nothing more than a fried lunch.

Another reason why we selected this play was due to a football game – Indiana vs. Wisconsin.  I was slightly surprised to see a relatively empty restaurant, maybe 5 or 6 tables had patrons.  It seems like a good, casual place to watch a game if you aren’t looking to be tackled by crowds, which is what these tables definitely had in mind.  We picked our own seat in the bar and I looked around.  Just what I remembered.  Nothing special about the ambiance, light wood is the main decoration with beer signs and photos of celebrities on the wall.  The expected, casual sports bar atmosphere.   It seems like a  lot of empty space for some reason.  But I wasn’t there for the atmosphere, I was hungry.

We were happy to see an amazing priced lunch special.  “Half pound” lunches for about $5 until 2pm, any day of the week.  We had to wait a little bit for a server, so when she arrived, we barely missed the 2pm cut off.  But this extremely nice and wanting to please us server graciously allowed us to order off the menu.  Hubs chose boneless wings with regular fries while I opted for the pork tenderloin with curly.  All while looking for what to order, I had been right that fried is your basic option for this restaurant.  There were a few items that weren’t fried, but alas, don’t think healthy for sure (which I believe is a given at any sports bar).

Hubs ordered the ‘wings’ and I ordered the ‘etc.’ for lunch.  The wings were your standard boneless wings with a spicy sauce.  I didn’t try them, but he said they were good and just what he expected, nothing too special.  As mentioned, I opted for the tenderloin.  This was pretty big as it took up the basket.  It was fried to a crisp, but still had a good meaty bite to it.  Not pounded too thin or anything, but I not freshly made by any means.  The seasoning was good for me too, but once again, expected.  The bun was a standard sandwich bun that didn’t overshadow the sandwich.  And I personally like tomatoes, lettuce and pickles on my sandwich.  Though I could have had a few more pickles as the three didn’t nearly cover the tenderloin.  Overall, it was a good, but standard sandwich.  And the curly fries were just there.  I had clearly gotten the bottom of the bag as I had all little pieces, but I was content with that.

I didn’t expect too much but frozen fried food and it was exactly what I got.  I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to dine there, but if we were in the area, I would know what to expect.  Of course, I’d never look forward to fresh by any means.  We did have to wait a little bit for service, but once received, she was very accommodating and friendly.  And the food was more than reasonably priced with the special.  We each had a domestic beer and our food, all for about $20.  Which is good, cause I wouldn’t have paid anymore for frozen.

Wings, Etc. * 10491 Walnut Creek Dr. * Carmel, 46032 * 317.228.9880

Wings Etc. on Urbanspoon

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

Detour: An American Grill on Urbanspoon