Indy – The Donut Shop

In 1997 Nuvo Magazine* said The Donut Shop Bakery & Restaurant on North Keystone had the best omelet.  In 2005 it was awarded the “Best Chocolate Iced Cake Donut”*.  

An old Indianapolis Monthly article* mentions the area used to be a rare and ancient peat bog that was drained in the 60’s as well as a 385-acre dairy farm and part of the Freedom Trail.   I was unable to find an exact year it opened but I assume The Donut Shop has to have been around since the early 70’s.

Photo from Yelp

Let’s just say this place isn’t new. And it doesn’t feel new when you arrive, which is OK with me. It’s clean and well kept for sure (except for that squeaky kitchen swing door) and that says a lot. I stopped in on a workday while making my way downtown and the crowd was light but steady.

I’ve been driving past this place for a long time and only really noticed it about 2-years ago. I must have been looking at all the car lots that used to be across the street in the area.

Photo from Yelp

After being really disappointed with the last few places I’d stopped for breakfast (looking at you Wild Eggs & Yolk with your $13+ disappointment platters) I thought I’d see if a so-called greasy spoon could fill the void. I’m not asking for much. Scramble some eggs, crisp up some shredded potatoes and do more than partially cook some bacon. Toast or a biscuit is a nice addition but don’t call it homemade/scratch when it’s clearly previously frozen and delivered on a truck twice a week.

Upon arrival at The Donut Shop I was promptly seated, had a menu in hand, and coffee on the table in about 30-seconds. Oddly the napkin wrapped flatware only contained a fork and knife. No spoon for my single pack of sugar & container of half and half. I made the fork pull double duty today.

My #2 Combo

This place has a nice list of breakfast combos & I choose the #2 consisting of Two Eggs; Potatoes; Choice of Ham, Bacon, Sausage, or Turkey; and Toast for only $5.25 I picked Bacon & Rye toast this visit.

As I waited for my food I noticed this place seemed to have a lot of regulars eating in and carrying out (food and donuts). The phone was pretty busy too with call in orders.

After about 5-6 minutes my breakfast arrived and it looked great. The bacon was very thin and crisp and the hash browns were about as perfect as you can get. The eggs were scrambled nicely and the toast nicely buttered. The potatoes were probably my favorite closely followed by that toast. It was a proper rye bread that was cut on the thick side which I like.

That Rye Toast…

This was a solid meal for the money and I was out the door for under $10 with coffee and tip (CASH ONLY). I hear this place is crazy on the weekends and I can totally see that. Not sure where everyone parks as the parking situation is pretty sparse. I’m sure people get creative and “entitled” (don’t get me started on how people park around Indy).

When I have the time and if I’m in the area I’ll happily stop back in and I look forward to trying out some other combos on the menu.

The Donut Shop
5527 N. Keystone Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
317.255.3836
http://www.thedonutshoponline.com

*Info from the Donut Shop’s website – http://www.thedonutshoponline.com/buzz#

Indy – North End BBQ

I’ve had a craving for that Kentucky staple called a Hot Brown for the past week and the closest place to get one in Indianapolis is at North End BBQ in Nora.

The Kentucky Hot Brown is made up pf the following:

  • Bread
  • Turkey
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Mornay Sauce

The order of the ingredients often changes but when assembled you get something that looks like this:

Hot Brown at North End BBQ in Indianapolis, Indiana

This dish checks all the boxes for me. It’s rich and salty and the turkey is moist and smoked just right. The thick cut bacon has some chew and the Mornay sauce is something you want more of, even through the dish is covered in it. This is one of those meals thats best ate on a cold or rainy day and kind of defines comfort food for me.

For my side I choose Mac and Cheese topped with Bacon Jam. I was pretty underwhelmed with this side. It was very bland and somewhat dry. The Bacon Jam was a nice addition but it could not save it. I’m usually disappointed with the Mac and Cheese I get when I’m out and I’m not sure why I even ordered it this time! It’s not like I needed any more starch or carbs with this meal. The bottle of Lone Star beer I ordered went really well with this dish.

Mac and Cheese at North End BBQ

My son also ordered the Hot Brown and opted for the hand cut fries covered in smoked bone marrow butter. They fry thin slices of jalapeños with the fries for a nice little bit of heat. These were delicious and will be my side of choice when we return to satisfy our next Hot Brown craving.

Hand cut fries covered in smoked bone marrow butter at North End BBQ

North End BBQ serves up some really good food. Their pulled pork and brisket are some of the best in the area and their Moonshine cocktails are delicious. If you’re a Bourbon fan North End BBQ has an amazing selection and even offers flights if you want to sample multiple spirits.

If you’re in the area and in the mood for some great BBQ you should check out The North End BBQ!

1250 East 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
http://thenorthendbbq.com


The Best Way to Reheat Pizza

I love pizza and could eat it more than just about any other food.  If I wasn’t  eating it cold the next day I’d always use the microwave to reheat leftovers.

I came across the skillet method a while ago & it’s a total game changer.  It works best when re-heating just a slice or two.  The Art of Manliness had a great writeup of the various methods.

I’ve found that a non-stick skillet with a tight fitting lid works best.  All it takes is a cold pan, a few slices of pizza, and medium heat for 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness).  This usually get me a slightly crispy bottom (better than when it was delivered in my opinion), and the slice is heated through.

Not as easy as eating cold (my second favorite way), and not as soggy as the microwave, the stovetop reheat method is my new go to method to reheat last nights pizza for lunch today.  Give it a try & let me know what you think!

Indy – Northside Kitchenette

I’ve wanted to try this place out for a while now and had the opportunity to go 2-days in a row over a recent weekend.   Northside Kitchenette is owned by the same people who run the next door Northside Social (one of my favorite north-side restaurants for a date night).

The first day we went around lunch time I had the “kitchen’ette’ sink” ($12) which features a 1/2 order of Biscuits and Gravy topped with breakfast potatoes, bacon crumbles, two eggs over easy and cheddar cheese.   This was a really good play on the type of skillet dishes you can get at other places but this was in a bowl with enough gravy and sauce for 2 orders.   I really liked this dish. It was rich and filling enough to leave me full for most for the rest of the day.  I totally spaced taking pictures but it’s worth checking out if you’re hungry.  My son ordered the same as me and the girlfriend ordered the Eggs Benedict ($11) (sauce on the side).   Everyone was happy with their dishes and each said they would order the same again.

The next day we had the opportunity to return, and we did!  This time I went for the Eggs Benedict (also sauce on the side because a bad sauce can ruin an otherwise delicious dish) and my date ordered a half-order of their brioche french toast ($6).  A couple of libations were in order and we tried the Raspberry Bellini ($9) and Hibiscus Mimosa ($10) the latter of which  included a delicious candied hibiscus flower in the bottom of the glass.  Both were well balanced and very refreshing.

Eggs Benedict, with perfectly poached eggs, Pork Belly, and Avocado
Raspberry Bellini


Hibiscus Mimosa

Just about all of the dishes come with roasted, and quartered, potatoes.  While delicious in the “kitchen’ette’ sink” (because of all of the sauces) they were strongly seasoned on their own.  We definitely tasted cumin and, I think, rosemary.  I appreciate the aggressive seasoning, which is unusual in most potato sides, but it was a little much on their own so I opted for fruit on the second visit.  The fruit cup was delicious and contained a great mix of pineapple, grapes, and berries.

I’m really happy with the quality of the food at Northside Kitchenette.  Everything tasted fresh and the portions were just right for my appetite.  Being able to get seated right away on a weekend is a BIG plus in my book.  They had a steady rotation of customers and the service on both occasions was attentive and just right.  I’m happy to drive down from Fishers every once in a while to enjoy a nice breakfast/Brunch/Lunch at this place.

What’s your experience with Northside Kitchenette?  Any other places I should be checking out on a Sunday morning?

Northside Kitchenette
6515 N College Ave
Indianapolis IN 46220
http://www.northsidekitchenette.com

Weekend of Activities

If you know me you know I have a lot of hobbies.  Some would say I have too many…

This past weekend I took the boy to Ohio and introduced him to Briarwood Sporting Club in Bellefontaine and a really amazing  Loose Meat sandwich at the original Maid Rite sandwich shop in Greenville.

Briarwood is located on almost 500 acres of immaculately cared for property and offers 16 lakes with 11 different fish species as well as hunting opportunities in the fall.  I was the lucky winner of a discounted 1-year membership at a Ducks Unlimited auction last fall.  It’s not a cheap membership but after spending some time there I think it’s going to be a place we escape to many times a year.

Greenville Ohio is the home of Kitchen Aid and it has an amazing store that carries just about every make, model, and color the company currently makes in its factory down the road.  It also has a little museum in the basement that helps tell the history of the infamous mixer the company is known for.  I always have to stop in and usually end up bringing a new product or accessory home.  This time around I picked up some replacement parts for my stand mixer as well as a cold-brew coffee maker (future review in the works).

The Maid-Rite restaurant is about as old school as it gets.  Loose Meat sandwiches, chips, and drinks are the only things on the menu.  Somewhere in its history people started sticking gum on the building and after all these years it’s practically covered in it.  A little gross but it’s a tradition evidently.

Although the weather wasn’t the most cooperative we really enjoyed our day-trip to Ohio and are looking forward to the next one!