Review – Baileys Almande

It’s tough being a self-described foodie and suffer from lactose intolerance.  In my case it’s pretty easy to manage the symptoms with over the counter supplements as long as you remember to take them early in the dining process.  It’s not a fun experience to digest dairy and realize you don’t have a Lactaid available to counter the future “effects” of your poor decisions.  Milk products are in a lot of things you might not expect so it’s important to be prepared.

As someone who loves Baileys Irish Cream over ice, especially in the winter time, I was excited to learn they made a dairy free version.  Evidently what’s available now is the 2.0 version.  Version 1.0 was released in 2016, labeled as Vegan, and contained Bees Wax (a big no-no in the vegan community).  Hands were wrung, Birkenstocks were kicked off, and the Paddington Bottling Company (maker of Baileys) was taken out back and scorned for their misgivings.

The 2017 2.0 release is now “certified” vegan and gluten free to boot!  I’m not really interested in either claim but the dairy-free aspect piqued my interest so I bought a bottle to try out.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, Baileys Almande is pretty nasty.  From the appearance, to the smell, to the taste, it’s NOT a substitute for the real thing.  I’m not sure what they were going for with this product but I think they need to go back to the drawing board.

I’m going to fix a small glass over ice right now, just for you, and try to explain what it’s like:

Appearance – Baileys Almande is very watery, similar to plain almond milk.  Maybe that’s what the beeswax helped improve?  It’s almost thinner than water!

Smell – Slight almond smell that’s not entirely pleasant or natural.

Taste – The first sip is the worst.  You’re expecting that warm and creamy mouth feel that comes with regular Baileys.  You don’t get any of that here.  It’s like a clammy limp-wristed weak handshake from a mortician at a funeral.  Yeah I’m sorry for my loss of $20 too.

Aftertaste – OK it seriously gets worse after you swallow.  You’ll experience a bitter taste followed by what I can only explain as chalky and slimy.  It lingers way longer than you want or expect.  Another sip only amplifies the first experience and the aftertaste builds upon itself.

I’d love to know how many people make a subsequent purchase after their first experience.  I know I’m staying far far away from this stuff and I’ll take my chances with the original.

Have you tried Baileys Almande?  What was your experience?

 

Indy – Henry’s Coffee Bistro

I’ve driven past Henry’s Coffee Bistro many times when working downtown.  I had some work to get done before visiting one of my clients and needed somewhere to work for a while.  Since I was driving down East St it seemed like a good time to check out Henry’s.  The free parking on the north side of the building was a big plus since there was NO street parking to be found in the area.

I was a little surprised that the place was empty at 9:30 am and so was Mike the lone employee behind the counter.  We had a pleasant conversation and he proceeded to tell me about the place and some of their offerings.  I settled on a sausage and egg croissant and an Americano coffee.

The Bistro has a nice variety of food and drinks and the walls are covered with interesting artwork that can be purchased.  The location on East Street just south of Mass Ave, and adjacent to the Nestle Inn, makes it a little hard to find the first time (if you’re not familiar with the area).

The sandwich was much bigger than I was expecting and it hit the spot.  The coffee was served in a large ceramic mug and was perfectly prepared.  Before I left another small group came in for what looked like a meeting/interview but other than that the place was pretty quiet and not busy at all.  I hope it’s just because of the inclement weather we were having at the time because I’d hate to see this place go out of business.

I’m always looking for nice little places to tuck into and get some work done between meetings, or just to get out of the office and have a nice change of pace.  I’ve had my share of meetings at the Coffee Chain’s and will always choose something local if I have the option.  The vibe and atmosphere are always better.

Henry’s is open for breakfast and lunch daily and I’ve been told the place is pretty busy for Brunch on the weekends.  If you’re in the area check it out and let me know what you think!

Henry’s Coffee Bistro
627 East St, Indianapolis, IN 46202

Most Popular Post (Ever)

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.

Best Of – Downtown Indianapolis Lunch

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.

Shapiro’s Deli

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.

Cluster Truck

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.

Hoagies and Hops

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 Great Divide

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.

Sahm’s

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.

Pearl Street Pizza

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!

Subito

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.

Wildwood

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.

Fast Burrito

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.

Pot Belly

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!

Happy New Year & 2018 Blogging Challenge!

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…