Tonight we’ll find out who’s going to Super Bowl LVII. The 49ers and Eagles start the action at 3 pm with the Bengals and Chiefs playing the second game at 6:30 pm. I’m predicting the Bengals and Eagles are headed to the big dance on February 12, 2023. I have a $5 Draft Kings bet on each matchup today, so just a LITTLE skin in the game to make it interesting.
I took a little trip to McCordsville yesterday to revisit Trax BBQ. I had been craving smoked meat for a few weeks and decided it was time. I ordered a 2-meat platter with pulled pork and brisket. BOTH were very tender and flavorful. For sides, I picked Mac-and-Cheese and Hush Puppies. The mac was nice and cheesy and went well with the pork and beef. The hush puppies looked great but had an off taste that I’m attributing to the oil needing changed in the fryer. I mentioned it to the counter staff on my way out, so hopefully, they were able to do something about it. I decided to try their potato salad and beans on the next visit. Oh, the house-made pickles were delicious, as were the variety of sauces ranging from sweet to vinegar to mustard to hot. You’re sure to find one that hits the spot.
The meal with a fountain soda and tip came out to around $24 which is not bad for the quality of the food (not counting the hush puppies). Trax BBQ is right next to the railroad tracks in McCordsville and shares the space with Scarlet Lane Brewing. Scarlet Lane has some interesting brews. I was initially planning on having BBQ and a Beer but nothing jumped out at me so I opted for the first Diet Coke I’ve had in about 6 months (it was good).
And finally… The boys over at Jolly set the scene for the 2023 Girl Scout Cookie season. These two Brits have a very interesting show on YouTube. They traveled to the United States last year and had quite an adventure learning all about American Cuisine.
I’ve been a fan of a good salad for as long as I remember. As a kid, one of my favorite things to do when we went out for dinner was hit the salad bar (*Cough*Ponderosa*Cough*). So Many Choices! When I’m working downtown I have 3 favorite salads I rotate through.
Cluster Truck has cured my hunger too many times to count, especially during Covid, when getting lunch delivered was difficult at times. The Cluster Truck Cobb Salad has been my favorite for a long time. I’ve also watched as the delivery of this Salad has risen from $19 to almost $24 today (with a tip). It’s a little on the pricey side but when I need a big salad and only have 15 minutes to eat, it hits the spot. This salad has chopped egg, bacon, diced chicken breast, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and blue cheese. It’s normally served with a side of balsamic vinaigrette, but I substitute that for their ranch.
A newer fascination of mine is Sweet Green. Having recently been disappointed by a “salads only” shop near my office, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Several of my co-workers had visited and all were singing the praises of Sweet Green. I finally launched the app and was immediately captivated by their Buffalo Chicken Bowl. Consisting of: blackened chicken, chopped pickles*, tomatoes, cilantro, blue cheese, za’atar breadcrumbs, shredded kale, chopped romaine, sweetgreen hot sauce, caesar dressing, this salad packs a punch. The Caesar dressing along with the hot sauce are the real standouts here. *These are a new addition and I have not tried the salad with pickles yet, but I’m looking forward to it!
Finally, when I want a solid salad, and I’m ready for a short walk, I head a few blocks east to Whole Foods Market. Often referred to as “Whole Paycheck”, you can break the bank at the salad bar because you pay by the pound. Unfortunately all the good things on the salad bar are heavy. Mixed greens, cheese, olives, marinated mushrooms, roasted mushrooms, cucumbers, roasted chicken, bell peppers, bacon bits, and ranch dressing? Yep, that’s a big boy and I’m taking it down. My salads at Whole Foods average around $20 but I usually end up not eating dinner or just snacking later in the evening. PLUS it’s a good excuse to get some fresh air and walk away from the office for 30-minutes.
BONUS SALAD: If you’re ever in the Nora area I strongly recommend you go to Big Lug and order a Willie’s Special along with a pint of whatever brewers choice is on special that day. For $20 (before tip) you get a punch-in-the-face salad and a cold beer. The Willie’s Special has mixed greens tossed in ranch, topped with a choice of hot or mild fried Nashville chicken, black bean corn salsa, diced mozzarella, guacamole, & Frito salt. I HIGHLY recommend the MILD Nashville chicken. They make the sauce in-house, so I’m told, and it’s usually hotter than a true mild. I’ve also been told “it depends who makes it”.
OK, Special Mention (can you tell I’m kind of a salad junkie?): Sahms on 116th St in Fishers (same owners as Big Lug) surprised me last Friday with a Cobb that had diced grilled chicken breast (very juicy and well seasoned), capacollo, Roma tomatoes, crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocados, scallions, crumbled bleu cheese. The Chicken was still warm, normally a problem with salads, but it was not so hot as to wilt anything so it was a nice contrast to the cold salad.
So there it is, the 5 salads I’m thinking about when I’m thinking about eating a salad. As you can see, I’m not a micro-green and light vinaigrette kind of guy. When I was dipping my toes in the Keto diet I found that these kinds of salads are more in line with Keto than the Standard American Diet (SAD). That got my attention. But as I said before, this can be my one meal of the day and I’ll be completely happy. As someone who usually skips breakfast (now called Intermittent Fasting) I’m usually not hungry for anything before 10 am and by then I just wait for lunch.
And finally… You need to be nice to our future robot overlords. My suggestion is to purchase some Boston Dynamics stock to show your support.
We’re 4% into the year, according to @year_progress on Twitter, and it’s really hard to believe how warm this winter has been. We had a cold snap around the holidays, but it should not be in the 40s in mid-January. We checked out a new restaurant this week and dug into the history of mid-century telecommunications.
Benyue (Formerly Lucky Lou) has opened in the former Houlihans at the Castleton Square mall. If you’ve visited Saraga’s original location on the west side, you might have noticed Lucky Lou next door. It’s an extremely popular Duim Sum restaurant and one of the only places to get Dim Sum in Indy.
I stopped by on a Sunday, and the place had a nice lunch crowd. The restaurant itself is quite large, and there is plenty of seating. I was immediately offered several types of hot tea ($1.50), and I chose Jasmine. It was quickly served in a pot that held a lot more than I was going to drink.
Not knowing the portions (quite generous, by the way), I ordered General Tso Chicken, BBQ Pork Steamed Buns, and Shrimp Shumai. Every dish was served hot and tasted fresh. General Tso had a lot of dried chillis, and they added a nice spicy heat to the dish. The steamed buns were light and airy with a delicious BBQ pork filling. Finally, the Shrimp Shumai were perfectly cooked and full of ground shrimp.
If you’re looking for a new place to try, I’d recommend checking out Benyue. Their menu is quite extensive, and you’re sure to find something you like.
You have most likely seen an AT&T Long Lines tower and might have even wondered what it was. In the 1950’s AT&T used these giant ratio towers with specialized “Horns” to relay telephone (and television) signals across the United States via microwave. Garrett Fuller has a great article detailing the use of the long-forgotten (and now abandoned) AT&T Long Lines system. I found the following video interesting as well.
Welcome to 2023! I hope everyone had a nice New Year’s weekend and returned to the office with a new spark, ready to tackle what 2023 has to offer. I was off work for 2 solid weeks and was ready to hit the ground running when we all came back into the office last Tuesday.
It’s official! Saraga International Grocery in Castleton is FINALLY open! The grand opening and ribbon cutting were on December 23, but we were in the middle of an artic freeze, so I’m sure the turnout was pretty light. I had an invite but decided to stay home and stay warm instead. I stopped by after Christmas for a brief walkthru, knowing I would be returning later in the week for some more serious shopping.
Outside the old TargetFrench PastriesKorean CornDogsYour source for Russian Mushrooms!A wall of Hi-ChewAnd this Isle of RamenProduce for days
If you’re looking for that hard-to-find ingredient or like to try foods from other countries, this is a place you must check out. It’s no Jungle Jim’s, but it will fill the need for a lot of items I would normally drive to Cincinnati for.
I’m a slow riser in the AM & after getting a short news brief from NPR via the Alexa alarm, I like to scan the headlines before getting out of bed. There are some really good newsletters out there, and because of these, I can’t tell you the last time I sat down and watched the local news. Some of my favorites are:
Now, I don’t read all of these each morning, but I always have at least one in my inbox queued up for something to read when I have some downtime, like standing in line or waiting for my food at a restaurant. Do you have a favorite daily newsletter to share? Leave us a link in the comments!
And finally… When was the last time you watched a truck being built? It’s amazing the amount of automation in use these days, and the following video shows how they assemble the new Ford F-150 Lightning.
Where do we begin? 2022 was a wild year, full of food, tech, travel, and fun. The site stats continue to improve, with an average traffic rate of just over 5000 page views per month. Thanks for returning to read my weekly ramblings! With that, let’s go back and revisit some of the highlights from 2022.
While I can’t predict what 2023 has in store, I’m already planning several trips to new places around the US and maybe even an international trip, or two, later in the year. We’ll continue the weekly post schedule, as that seems to be doable on all but the craziest weeks. I have a lot of post ideas saved up, and I look forward to sharing what I’ve found and continuing with my thoughts and observations. Happy New Year, and we’ll see you again next week!
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