Just an observation… I’ve been blogging for a while and I’ve covered a lot of content. I find it interesting that the most viewed post on IndyScan (12,867 views since it was published in 2010) is my recipe for Marsala Sauce! It doesn’t even show up on the top-5 pages in Google but people still seem to find it with regularity.
Good morning! I’m starting a series this year called “Best of”. This will be a Top-10 sort of list based on a random subject of my choosing. I’m open to suggestions or requests so if there’s something you want me to cover feel free to post a comment below.
This time I’m going to focus on the weekday lunch in Downtown Indianapolis. None of these are fancy but they’ve proven to be consistently good and are locked into the rotation of places I go on a regular basis (with the exception of one that just got added). These are in no particular order and it’s certainly not a complete list.
Often called an Indianapolis Institution this cafeteria style establishment turns out some of the best pastrami sandwiches around. Their house made rye bread is a great complement to the tender and smoky meat piled high inside. Prices are on the higher end of the spectrum and the staff can be a little abrasive, especially during the lunch rush. This is a place that’s nice to visit once in a while for a filling meal and a little people watching while you eat.
This Indianapolis Startup is turning the food delivery business on its head by offering a large selection of favorites from many area restaurants delivered to your door quickly and efficiently. All of the food is made to order in their central kitchen and delivered only within a 6-minute radius to help ensure your food is hot and fresh when you get it. My only complaint, and it’s not just Cluster Truck, is the bicycle delivery riders are some of the most unsafe riders I’ve ever seen. Running red lights, riding against traffic on one-way streets, and constant close calls with pedestrians in crosswalks. It gives recreational cyclists a bad name with motorists and make it’s unsafe for everyone.
Only about a year old this place is located inside the Flat 12 brewery on Dorman Street (near east side). They specialize in “Authentic Pennsylvania Hoagies”. I’ve had many Cheesesteak Hoagies here and they’re legit. From the house made shaved Top Round to the bread shipped straight from PA this place makes a mean sandwich. It’s been known to cause me to want to take an afternoon nap on occasion.
Ralph’s, like a lot of hole in the wall places, is a little rough on the outside and you’re not going to know what to expect on your first visit. The building has no windows and the parking is a little tricky because of the one-way street the building is saddled up against. They have an outstanding version of creamy potato soup, a hamburger club sandwich, and one of the best slices of coconut cream pie you can get in the city. Service is always fast and friendly and it’s reasonably priced.
The first Sahm’s restaurant opened at 116th and Allisonville in 1986 and they have continued to grow over the past 30+ years. I’ll always remember them for the pasta salad and coffee cake of which only the coffee cake is still on the menu. They have several locations around central Indiana as well as a few spinoff locations called Rockstone and Big Lug a pizza and brewery respectively. The Sahm’s location downtown, just north of the One America parking garage, includes a Rockstone menu and does a great lunch business.
If someone didn’t tell you about Pearl Street Pizza you’d probably miss it as it’s in an alley, aptly named Pearl Street, that’s just south of Washington between Meridian and Pennsylvania. Their lunch special of a speciality pizza slice, salad and drink is one of my go to lunches when the weather is nice for a little walk from the circle. You can be in and out for under $8 in about 15 minutes if you’re pressed for time. As I’m writing this post I learned Pearl Street will be opening a Fishers location in the coming months. I hope they have the same lunch specials as they do downtown!
Truth be told I’ve only been to Subito once but it was a very good experience. It’s a SMALL place with a loyal following. On my visit the owner, Chuck, was taking each order and knew a lot of the customers by name. He was super helpful and you could tell he was putting a LOT of effort to make it not only a good experience but a memorable one. They have a rotating soup selection that I hear is really good. On my visit I had a Cuban sandwich with a side of Macaroni Salad. Both were outstanding. Unfortunately the weather turned cold and I have not ventured down to Virginia Street since. Another visit needs to happen soon because I’m craving that macaroni salad.
I’ve reviewed Wildwood before and it remains one of my top lunch spots downtown. If I could figure out how to open one of these in Fishers I would. They feature a different sandwich daily and I’m not aware of them EVER repeating a combination in the 2+ years I’ve gone there. This is a place I have to hop in the car to get to at lunch but it’s worth it for the food, not to mention the cool little market with a great variety of speciality items. I’ve made my share of impulse purchases to take back to the office. View their daily sandwich creations on Instagram.
When I’m craving a Mission Style Burrito or the cheesiest Chicken Quesadilla you could ever imagine I hit the first floor of the Salesforce Tower and pop into Fast Burrito. The food is fresh, the portions are huge, and the prices are reasonable. This is a true alternative to the other fast casual burrito chains. Their daily specials draw a steady crowd every day.
This chain of sandwich shops has a premier location on the east side of Monument Circle. It’s a very popular place at lunch time often with a line 20+ deep to the front door. They have a decent selection of customizable sandwiches and salads at a mid-level price. A bonus for the location is plenty of outside seating around the Solders and Sailors Monument, especially when the weather is cooperating.
Honorable Mention – Jimmy John’s
I’m not a fan of big chains but when I need something to eat and I need it quickly It’s hard to go wrong with an occasional sandwich from JJ’s. The downtown location can typically deliver a sandwich in less time than it would take for me to walk to the location 3-blocks away. Like I mentioned above regarding Cluster Truck JJ’s delivery cyclists can be reckless and downright dangerous at times so heads up if you’re near Meridian and Washington.
So that’s the first of what I hope to be many “Best Of” lists to be published this year. It was actually kind of hard to narrow the list down to what I did as there are a LOT of great places to eat lunch downtown. I already have a few drafts I’m working on that cover such things as Coffee Shops, Pizza Shops, and Grocery Stores. Look for those in the coming months. Enjoy your week!
I hope everyone had a great holiday season and started 2018 off in a positive way. Things have been busy around IndyScan HQ and the Blog has suffered a bit by lack of activity. This post is sort of a catch up post summarizing some of the events in 2017 and, hopefully, setting the stage for 2018 entries.
I’m going to challenge myself to post a minimum of 1 entry a week detailing the things going on around me and the new things I’m discovering and/or enjoying. I’m going to harness the power of ToDoist to keep me from slipping. It’s one of my favorite task managers and when combined with Evernote helps keep my life organized and commitments met.
I had a log of fun posting images on Instagram this year and viewed some amazing photography. Most of it was from cell phones that have evolved to a point where they could replace the SLR for all but the serious photographers. I still love my SLR but you just can’t beat the convenience of a good cell phone camera.
I really enjoyed the new road bike I purchased in early 2017. It took me a while to get back into the groove and I still have a way to go to get back to the distances I used to ride when I was younger. I have a few trips planned for 2018 that should prove to be challenging as well as rewarding. One of my favorite rides of 2017 was the Monon Trail from Westfield to Indy and back. It was a little longer of a ride than I was expecting but it was a great accomplishment that sets a base for my 2018 riding goals.
I found the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to be an awesome resource for identifying places to ride around the US. I’ve already found some rides I want to do in Ohio as well as a great looking 2-day loop in Iowa. Stay tuned for trip reports and photos from the trail. It has to be above freezing though before I even think about the bikes…
We’re trying our hand at making wine this year too. We purchased a kit at Great Fermentations as a joint Christmas gift and have been brewing up 6-gallons of Pinot Grigio (30-bottles) the past month. Hoping to start the bottling process by the end of January and, after a little more aging, start sampling in April or May.
2017 was a great year full of its share of challenges but overall we had a lot of fun and tried some new things. I’m already expecting 2018 to top last year and I hope to share some experiences with all of you on the blog.
Until next time…
I’ve used TVShow Time! (now called TV Time) for over a year and it’s been a great resource to keep track of show’s I’m watching and shows I want to watch. I always wished there was a similar tool out there for Movies. When I reached out to the developers at TV Time I was told it had been “discussed”.
Without a useful app I resorted to keeping a list in Evernote that I would try to keep updated and accurate. The problem with this list was the lack of social integration and reviews/ratings by others. Then I found Letterboxd.
Letterboxd is about as close to TV Time for movies as it gets. It has a huge database of movies you can add to your “Watch” or “Watched” lists as well as thousands of users form around the world sharing reviews and opinions.
And like TV Time it will tell you WHERE to find your movies online through integration with a service called GoWatchIt. All you need to do is create an account and tell it which streaming services you have access to.
Let’s say I want to watch the 1963 classic “The Great Escape”. All I need to do it look it up and check the Watch area in the movie description. I see that I can rent it from iTunes for $3.99 or Amazon for $2.99. There are also options to purchase it through the various streaming services as well.
After adding my movie list into Letterboxd and clicking around to discover all the options I was happy to drop $19 for a year of their Pro subscription which adds filtering and complicated query functions to get the best out of the site. It has an iOS companion app as well as an app for the
If you love movies and want a great way to keep track of the ones you see, own, or rent, you should give Letterboxd a try. Let me know in the comments if you use Letterboxd or if you prefer another service. I’m curious to see what else is out there I might have missed!
I just realized the cord cutting “experiment” I started 2 years ago is still going strong so I think we’re beyond experimenting & it’s become a lifestyle. I’ve not run into any real issues but managing an antenna for each TV was a bit of a pain. Not having DVR capabilities made catching some shows (like F1 races at 2am) a little more difficult.
I’ve been waiting for a new type of antenna to come out for over a year. The Mohu Airwave is a device that allows you to get access to Over the Air (OTA) content from various devices on your Network. No more running COAX cable or antennas to every TV. Now your web-enabled devices (Smart TV, AppleTV, Roku, iPad, iPhone, etc.) can stream LIVE OTA content!
After mentioning the Airwave and the past due release to the Executive Chef at Kibbyhanas I learned of an even better product that’s available NOW! The HDHomeRun line of products connect to your home network just like the AirWave and are 100% compatible with the PLEX DVR service. This meant that not only could I get rid of all the ugly antennas in the house I could also DVR any OTA program free of charge using my existing setup and storage.
To setup the HDHomeRun you need to connect it to a WIRED Ethernet connection and connect an HD antenna. I put everything upstairs in the corner of a room so it was out of sight had had better line of sight to the TV Transmitters. Now that I have everything setup I may be moving things to the attic on the other side of the wall.
A bonus I quickly discovered was my Smart-TV treated the HDHomeRun signal on the network just like a COAX input so all the automation I had set up would continue to work like before. Win-Win all around!
The only negative I can say about all of this is your network needs to be able to handle the amount of wired and/or wireless traffic generated by multiple HD streams. I have a slight bottleneck in my setup that should be resolved soon with a new (faster) network switch.
If you’re looking to make OTA content available on more devices on your network and like the idea of getting rid of antennas on all your TV’s you should check out the HDHomeRun line of products to see if they might be right for you.