I was sad to see, as I drove by on my way to work, that after about two years and some odd months (maybe more), Da Blue Lagoon has closed up shop. The restaurant, once located at the intersection of 52nd and College, featured some very fine Caribbean food and an especially friendly atmosphere.
Their website is still up, and hopefully they will remain in business for catering, but no where else will I be able to have jerk chicken, festival rolls and fried plantains - all from a staff who loved their food and cared about their customers. Rest in peace Da Blue Lagoon.
We just got wind of this special Donatos is putting on: starting at 4:15 p.m. on April 15, the first 200 customers at each Indianapolis Donatos store can get a Hand Tossed pizza for just $4.15. You can also get a large cheese or pepperoni pizza for less than $5. Since my taxes have not yet been filed (doh!), I may be looking for an alternative to cooking on the 15th.
Erik over at Laughing Stalk gave us a head's up about the Flavor of Fishers this weekend.
This is a first ever event, presented by the Fishers Chamber of Commerce and Community Hospital North, will be held on Saturday, August 2, from noon – 10 pm at USA Parkway Circle (behind Sallie Mae).
Check out Erik's site for the complete details!
Marketeers and Wordsmiths may be interested in this press release that came across our inbox.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill invites consumers to help name a new, Carrabba’s-exclusive, limited-edition baby Super Tuscan wine debuting this fall from Ruffino. This is a fun opportunity for one winner to receive a $1,500 epicurean prize package including:
A case of the exclusive Ruffino wine
A catered 2008 holiday celebration for 12
A year’s worth of Carrabba’s dinners in 2009
Entries can be submitted online at www.Carrabbas.com until July 31, 2008.
Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe is a nice Turkish cuisine restaurant south of downtown in Fletcher Place near Lilly's. I've been twice; once this past summer with a large party for a birthday, and this weekend for a dinner for two. Both times the food was delicious, and the restaurant atmosphere was sunny and pleasant. They have lunch and dinner menus you can see online and a short wine and beer list. I'm not the greatest food critic in the world (I can't tell how a dish was prepared, or identify ingredients by the flavors), and I don't have time to write a long critique, so I'll let you judge for yourself from the photos I took. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back.
Continue reading "Bosphorus Istanbul Cafe"
Today is Dining Out For Life - Participating Restaurants will donate 25-50% of your food bill on April 12th to pay for local services in the Fight Against AIDS. Visit the website to see a list of participating restaurants.
Rocky River Grillhouse just opened up recently in Castleton at the location where Smokey Bones Barbeque used to be, and we were in the area shopping, so we stopped in for dinner last night to check it out. Every employee who talked to us - from the hostess to the servers - was focused and attentive, which is nice when you're used to indifferent casualness from a chain restaurant.
Continue reading "Rocky River Grillhouse"
Is there more than corn in Indiana? Amidst all the trash talking thrown this direction from Chicago during the Super Bowl, one of the claims that got flung around was related to the betting between Mayors and Governors - and the sending of "signature foods" from each City to the winning team. Apparently, some in Chicago were quoted as saying "they have nothing we want." (We got a Vince Lombardi Trophy right here that I bet you want, buddy.)
Indeed - here's a whole article making that claim: "Unlike Chicago, which has hot dogs, stuffed deep dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches, there are no foods associated with Indianapolis..."
Now Chicago's is a pretty dubious claim to begin with -- New York would probably take the hot dogs in a territorial dispute with the Windy City, and while I grant the Deep Dish style of pizza, New York has some pretty serious claims in the general pizza category as well. But are there really no foods associated with Indianapolis? Sure there are:
Continue reading "Indianapolis Signature Foods?"
My friend, Kate, was soon moving to Washington, D.C., so before she flew the coop, she and I decided to try something new with a trip to this four-months-old restaurant that sits quietly at 62nd and Ferguson, the former Broad Ripple home of Tavola di Tosa and Thai One On. Both of those eateries went out of business, and I worry that the same fate will befall L’Explorateur, first because of the out-of-the-way location and second because of the French (and slightly silly) name – will people take their all-important third date there if they’re not sure how to pronounce it? At any rate, it would be a shame to see this place close its doors prematurely, because the food is really good.
Continue reading "Restaurant Review: L’Explorateur"
I drove by the intersection of Broad Ripple Avenue and Westfield Boulevard yesterday and saw that they're installing a Noodles & Company at the former home of Mezza Luna (R.I.P.). While I agree that pasta is excellent drunk food, I'm disappointed that the space isn't being filled by an independent restaurant, such as the very good L'exporateur at 62nd and Fergusun. (Granted, it may not be fair to compare a $5 bowl of noodles to a high end French-Asian-Hoosier fusion restaurant, but there, I just did.)
I've eaten at a Noodles & Co. only once. The Bangkok Curry didn't set my hair on fire, but it was pretty tasty. And there is no better comfort food than the buttered egg noodles topped with grated parmesan. Here's the menu. Given the price and the location, I'm sure this will end up on our regular lunch rotation.
Dave found this when he was cleaning out his office. I don't know how old I was when I wrote this, and I'm not sure where we were living at the time. Sizzlers are mostly out west now, although I think they used to be more widely franchised.
I learned two thing from this:
1. I was apparently interested in reviewing restaurants at an early age.
2. Tastes change. Now I like scotch and lima beans (not together).
There once was a chef named Puck,
….eh, too easy.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been to the Indianapolis Museum of Art since last year’s massive renovation, although it’s close to my house and the makeover looks stunning from 38th Street. Last week, we finally made it through the front door—not to see the exhibits, but to eat at Puck’s, the latest restaurant by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. The choice of Indianapolis seems like an odd one, as most of his other high-end establishments are planted in New York or LA territory. According to Wikipedia, Puck did a former stint in Indy as the chef of La Tour, where perhaps he developed a fondness for the place. Whatever the reason, I'm glad to have another unique and creative restaurant in town.
Continue reading "Puck's"
At least twice a week, my office mates and I stand around with dumb, hungry looks in our eyes and try to figure out where to go for lunch. Our preferences lean toward cheap, close (to our building at 96th and College), and fish-etarian friendly (that's vegetarian fish).
Continue reading "Where Do You Want to Go to Lunch?"
I love hors d'oeuvres. They're bite-sized, which means you can eat lots of different ones, and you never know which little bacon-wrapped, deep-fried, cheese-encrusted, melon-infused, parsley-topped, skewered delight will be offered to you next.
This is why I love dim sum, the Chinese version of hors d'oeuvres. Dim sum’s even better, though, because they take it one step farther and make an entire meal out of it. Shen Yang, just north of 38th on Georgetown Road (the former location of Yummy), serves dim sum every day at lunch. Dave and I went there on Saturday and exhibited little restraint. Loosely translated, dim sum means "order to your heart's content," and we did.
Continue reading "Dim Sum at Shen Yang"
First, the coolest thing: they have a hookah bar!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a smoker or a fan of smoking, but if you’re going to smoke, smoke out of a hookah at a Mediterranean restaurant. You might as well do it in style.
But that’s not why I was there. I was there for the Mediterranean food.
Continue reading "Khoury's Mediterranean Island"
Last year Dave and I went to Jamaica for a long weekend. It was March and therefore horrible in Indianapolis. Jamaica was everything it was cracked up to be. The weather was mid-80s perfect, the water was azure blue, the people were nice, reggae wafted from every corner, and the rum was flowing. It was my first visit to one of those all-inclusive resorts where you stick a flag in the sand and someone brings you a drink. Heaven couldn't possibly be any better.
And then there was the food: jerk chicken, fried plantains, ginger beer, tons of fresh fish, specialties like ackee, and ubiquitous Red Stripe beer. Tasting those flavors brought back the entire experience, which is probably why I like Da Blue Lagoon so much.
Continue reading "Da Blue Lagoon"
96th and Keystone gets my vote as the most annoying intersection in greater Indianapolis. The lights are long, the quarry trucks are intimidating and dusty, the traffic cop on the west side of 96th confuses everything, the running middle turn lane on the east side of 96th Street promises imminent fender benders, the signage is poor, and the traffic gets worse as they keep building businesses to entice the ever-expanding neighborhoods of northeast Indianapolis. I avoid this intersection at all costs. This is where the northside Ruth’s Chris is. I’d probably like it better if it were located somewhere else.
Ruth’s Chris is the quintessential expense account steak house. It’s rich and clubby, and the waiters are well trained to read the customers and attend to them accordingly. You’ll get a fine meal whether you’re there for an anniversary, a business dinner, or to pick up a young Republican Carmelite in the bar.
Continue reading "Ruth's Chris Steak House"
McCormick & Schmick's is a high-end national seafood chain. My first experience with McCormick & Schmick's was in Boston, where you would expect the finest seafood. Our first night there, we had eaten and the famous Legal Seafood, and were pretty disappointed. It was like a slightly fancier Long John Silver's. The next night, we hit M&S. The drinks were generous and most importantly, the oysters fresh and delicious.
The Indiana iteration of M&S is about as good, but somehow something is lost in translation.
Continue reading "McCormick & Schmick's"
First, let me get this off my chest. I really want to add an apostrophe to the name of this restaurant, but Steven Oakley doesn't put it there, so I won't either.
By the look of the crowds at lunch and dinner, Oakleys seems to be in no danger of succumbing to the fate of many other independents. Oakleys serves excellent, fresh, originally prepared food in an elegant atmosphere and at very good prices. It's one of the best restaurants in Indy.
Continue reading "Oakleys Bistro"
One weekday just before Christmas, fellow IndyScriber Rachel Wolfe told me about this little Vietnamese place tucked in a strip mall behind Castleton, and she and I decided to head there for lunch.
If you like fresh ingredients and lustrous flavors and don't have any phobias relating to rice noodles, then this is definitely a place worth visiting.
Continue reading "Viet Bistro"
In a word: loud.
More words would be helpful? Well, okay.
Continue reading "Maggiano's Little Italy"
Abuelo's, a chain that has recently made its way to Carmel, bills itself as a Mexican Food Embassy, which was good for a few laughs. Can I seek asylum there? Do they have an ambassador? Do they have diplomatic immunity?
While the name sounds grand, the food was less so.
Continue reading "Abuelo's"
I hate Chinese buffets. Actually, I don't really like any buffet. It's that whole "quantity vs. quality" issue. I'm all about variety, but the point of most buffets seems to be to encourage you to undo you belt a few notches and shovel in as much food as quickly as possible, quality be damned.
Chinese buffets are worse because you don't have a really clear cut picture of what a dish is supposed to look like in its pristine state, vs. what it might have turned into after four hours under a heat lamp. It's all hidden under a viscous sea of brown cornstarch-thickened primordial goo. And is that really chicken? If you can't tell, then why are you eating it?
So, it was with much bitching and eye rolling that I first joined my colleagues at Forbidden City for lunch. And you know what? It wasn't half bad.
Continue reading "Forbidden City"
Upscale Chinese/Japanese Restaurant Shanghai Lil has just started offering Dim Sum on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. This is great news, as Dim Sum is hard to come by in Indianapolis.
Continue reading "Shanghai Lil to Offer Dim Sum"
I had low hopes for this restaurant for the following reasons:
1. It’s at the intersection of 69 and 82nd Street, where a car wreck seems always imminent.
2. It’s right around the corner from the emergency vet where we had to put our dog, Kelly, to sleep last year.
3. The entry hall is a cheesenormous convergence of Cracker Barrel and Disney’s animatronic country bear jamboree. You can buy a giant carved bear holding a roll of toilet paper. No, really.
In addition to toilet-paper-bear, one can purchase stuffed animals galore (most in the North Woods vein), key chains, jewelry, and many loon items, including loon salt and pepper shakers. In addition to the sellables, the waiting area features a giant fish tank, and—the piece de resistance—a lifelike bear that shakes its head and growls every couple of minutes.
My heart sank. Any restaurant that needs this much up-front distraction is surely covering up substandard fare.
Continue reading "Loon Lake Lodge"
I've joked for a long time that I wanted to write a review of restaurant bathrooms. Usually when I say that, I'm thinking of the impressive interior design of P. F. Changs, with its cool stone sinks, or the bright, friendly tile and chunky silver fixtures of Chalkies. Music Mill, which Jen reviewed last week, had beautiful black marble and clean, steel stalls, with piped-in music that had me humming along. Buca Di Beppo's is playful and fun, like the rest of its interior.
Yen Ching -- not so much.
Continue reading "Yen Ching"
I've been procrastinating writing this particular review because of my ambivalence about you. I really love you. I visit you at least once a week. I love your beautiful garden out front. I love the coziness of the big booths and dark wood walls. I love the cheerful outdoor seating. I love the separate pubby-feeling bar area. I love the live music on weekends. I love the black bean burger and the strawberry blues salad. I love that you're mere blocks from my house. I love your permanence, as if you've been there a hundred years and will be there a hundred years more.
Unfortunately, there are also some things I wish you would improve, and this is why I've been procrastinating. I don't want to give you a bad review. So instead, I'm giving you a list of "Needs Improvement." I hope it's constructive.
Continue reading "7 Things I Wish the Aristocrat Did Better"
Anytime a nightclub purports to also be a restaurant, red flags go up. There are fewer dining moments more dispiriting than eating a half-heartedly prepared meal in an underlit cavernous room that carries the odors of last night's festivities: stale beer, bleach-and-mildew bar rags, and just a soupcon of vomit. A friend once took me to a bar that served a "great breakfast." But the rows of liquor bottles and stale air just reminded me of the collective sweaty desperation that was acted out only hours before. The eggs were leaden in my mouth.
Happily, this is not the experience at Music Mill.
Continue reading "Lunch at Music Mill"
This small tea store and cafe just moved to 22nd street downtown, between Herron-Morton Place and Fall Creek Place neighborhoods, from their old location in Keystone at the Crossing. Because our neighborhood has been trying attract pedestrian-friendly retail businesses, the new locale was all the buzz on our neighborhood mailing list, so I stopped by to check it out.
Continue reading "Tea's Me Cafe and Gifts"
So, Thursday night. Work dinner. Pacers playoffs are in town. My boss wants steak. Everyone's looking to me for the restaurant choice because I write about these things. St. Elmo's is out. (Pacers, remember?) We've all been to Sullivan's and Ruth's Chris a few too many times. A colleague at work who's been around the steak block a couple of times recommended Eddie Merlots. It's on that burgeoning 96th Street stretch between Keystone and Allisonville Roads (not too far from work), and they could actually seat us at a reasonable hour (not 4:30 or 10:30) so Eddie Merlots it was.
Continue reading "Eddie Merlots"
The Savoy Restaurant’s Web site has a slick and lengthy Flash intro with boom-chukka-chukka-boom porn music and money shots of elegant food and people. The bit ends with the Savoy name superimposed on the word “Classy.” If you have you point it out, you’re probably not quite there yet.
Continue reading "Savoy Restaurant and Lounge"
The food choices along Broad Ripple Avenue can be appallingly bad. Some restaurants on the strip rely on their killer location and their frequently drunk patrons to hide the fact that their food totally sucks. Mezza Luna is not one of those places. Despite its primo location and large deck facing Broad Ripple Avenue and Winthrop, it refuses to cater to the lowest common denominator. I like it here because the food’s always good, it’s almost never crowded*, and most importantly, I’m always cold and they have a fireplace. It’s a great place to take out-of-town guests or even a first date. The dining room is cozy without being claustrophobic and elegant without being aggressively romantic. The other night we went here with friends of ours and let them try the place on.
*Note that the restaurant has a large outdoor dining area facing the main drag in Broad Ripple, so if it’s a nice day, all bets are off on the “almost never crowded” part.
Continue reading "Mezza Luna"
Don't forget that today is Dining Out For Life, an event to raise money for the Damien Center. Restaurants will donate 25% of their food sales to this worthy cause. See our previous post to pick a meal and a restaurant, or to get exact addresses of each restaurant, you can visit the Dining Out For Life website.
Translation: Is my butt getting big? If you've been eating Qdoba burritos, the answer is probably "faster than you think."
Continue reading "¿Mi extremo está consiguiendo grande?"
When you’re sick, you usually crave the food of childhood, like chicken soup or mac and cheese — the food of comfort. Here’s the weird thing: when my husband or I have a cold, we crave Thai food. Maybe it’s because the spiciness gets the mucus membranes going (sorry, fellow dining patrons). Maybe it’s because the strong flavors are discernable even with a stuffy nose. Maybe it’s because we were abandoned in a small Thai village as infants and raised on a steady diet of sweet coconut milk and fiery curry for several years, only to be returned to our Midwestern parents as toddlers, us none the wiser but for this mysterious Thai food connection.
Continue reading "Thai Cafe"
Dining Out for Life is an annual fundraising event held in 33 cities across America with all the proceeds benefiting respective HIV/AIDS organizations in their communities. On Thursday, April 14th, these fine Indianapolis restaurants will be contributing 25% of their food sales to The Damien Center. (The Damien Center provides and coordinates comprehensive services and education to persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in our community and offers free and confidential testing designed to limit the spread of HIV.)
Continue reading "Dining Out For Life - Thursday, April 14th"
In the last two days I’ve eaten at both Steak ‘n Shake and Sullivan’s for lunch. You’re probably familiar with both: Steak ‘n Shake is a casual diner-style chain restaurant popular with families and softball teams. Sullivan’s is a high-end steak house chain restaurant that’s popular with people who have big dates or big expense accounts. The funny thing is, you’re essentially getting the same thing at both establishments – beef, potatoes, veggies – but in very different wrappers. So, which is better?
Continue reading "The Great Cow Smackdown: Steak ‘n Shake vs. Sullivan’s"
Having lunch with friends is hard enough to do without having to pick a restaurant. Sometimes it helps to take yourself outside of your Flingers comfort zone and take a chance. Granted, I'm not about run out and seek five star roasted tarantula or any other truly exotic delicacy, but when my pal Clif suggested Vietnamese, I was interested.
Continue reading "Saigon"
Friends and I met downtown the other night to eat at Scholar’s Inn for a Friday night winter dinner. I had good memories of Scholar’s Inn, having enjoyed a good dinner on their back patio on a balmy September night. Scholar’s Inn isn’t a cheap date. You’ll pay for the luxurious surroundings and the big menu. You’ll pay…but is it worth it?
Continue reading "Scholar's Inn"
Binkley's at last. As before, parking was atrocious and the wait was quoted at "55 minutes" but unlike my previous attempts, we actually gutted it out and found ourselves eating a meal. Was the wait worth it?
In a word, yes. If you're looking for consistent crowd-pleasing fare in a pleasant inoffensive atmosphere, then go to Binkley's. Or Applebee's. Or TGI Friday's. Or any other number of chain restaurants where you'll find Brave New Food, market tested and lowest-common-denonminator approved. The only problem is, Binkley's isn't a chain restaurant. It just feels like one.
Continue reading "Binkley's"
The second best thing about Cafe Nora is the aroma when you walk in the door. The wood-fired open open fills the restaurant with the rich smells of sweet garlic and tomatoes and baking bread. The best thing about Cafe Nora is the food, which is, of course, creating all of those delicious smells.
Continue reading "Cafe Nora"
Situated right off the Monon on Main Street in downtown Carmel, Bubs is a popular lunch location, especially for (as my friend Mike pointed out) beefy white guys in corporate attire. It was so popular that we had to put our name in and wait fifteen minutes to get a table, and because we specified "first available" we ended up outside in the heated, awning-covered outdoor area, which was fairly comfortable even in February.
Continue reading "Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream"
I've had Manhattan bagels and Brooklyn bagels and Philadelphia bagels and chain store bagels. But no one makes better bagels than the folks at Bagel Fair. If you don't like bagels it's because you've never had a good one. Go here immediately.
Continue reading "Bagel Fair"
The Wild Oats "Natural" Grocery Store chain isn't exactly a restaurant, but it's one of the best damn places to get a healthy and diverse lunch. If one of your New Year's resolutions is to eat better, then this is an excellent place to start. On top of that, limited to grass and sticks (unless that's what you want). There's plenty of yummy food on hand -- even pizza. They'll even give you a place to sit and enjoy it.
Continue reading "Wild Oats"
The Claddagh Irish Pub is a midwestern chain of restaurants that approxmiates -- with a degree of authenticity -- the genuine Irish Pub exerience. That said, there are a few key differences.
Continue reading "The Claddagh Irish Pub"
A long-time favorite of mine, the Indian Restaurant Shalimar never disappoints, with tasty preparations made with high-quality ingredients, and one of the more delicious all-you-can-eat lunch buffets in town.
Continue reading "Shalimar-velous"
Where else can you eat Korean bulgoki beef and sip iced tea from bendy straws while the Beatles play in the background? The details make the difference here.
Continue reading "Naked Tchopstix"
It's rare for a non-chain restaurant to open in Indy these days, but what's a girl to do when you can't get in the front door?
Continue reading "Binkley's: Two Strikes and Counting"
There was a lot of buzz surrounding Vizion Restaurant/Vapour Lounge when it opened in September of 2003. Its high-end high-concept design and proximity to Fishers and Carmel boded well. If you build a pricey there-to-be-seen restaurant near the wealthy and want-to-be-seen, they will come. Come they did, at least for a while. It pulled in the intended crowd (although a friend suggested a more appropriate name for the place might be “Toupees and Gold-diggers”).
On my recent visit, I couldn’t tell what was in store for the future of this restaurant.
Continue reading "Vizion"
Looking for something fast (after suffering recent bad experiences with service at Union Jack’s and Houlihan’s) three friends and I hit Cheng Du for lunch. Cheng Du is an unassuming traditional Chinese-American joint in the Willow Lake East strip mall with an unpromising grubby exterior.
But here’s the bottom line: things improve immediately when you step through the door, and improve again when you see the prices on the menu: all of the lunch entries are under $6.00.
Continue reading "Cheng Du"
- About Us
- Board and Video Games
- Day Trips
- Events & Festivals
- Film & TV
- Geek Bling
- Hoosier Oddities
- Indianapolis In the News
- Indianapolis Living
- Kids' Stuff
- Local Attractions
- Local Celebrities
- Museums and Visual Arts
- Night Life
Chevy Silverado wrote: "Yes! Finally someone writes ab" on Dining Out For Life - Thursday, April 14th
dog wrote: "This super cute video is a rev" on Balloon Over Old Northside
sexy videos wrote: "Valuable data. Lucky us I disc" on More Than Just The Superbowl
social media marketing wrote: "Magnificent website. A lot of " on GenCon Registration Opens