2021 Week 49 – Odds and Ends

The Big 10 Football Championship was in Indianapolis this week, and we had a flood of visitors from Michigan and Iowa on Saturday. It wasn’t much of a game as Michigan smashed Iowa 42-3 but it’s always nice when the city can host such a big event.

I checked out the Guggman Haus brewery on the near west side Saturday afternoon. I was really impressed with the size and layout of the place. I thought it was just a house but they have a huge multi-room beer hall with a lot of TV’s for watching sports. Their Pilsner was quite tasty and they have a nice variety of German-inspired brews. I’m looking forward to returning to try out the food…

Red Notice on Netflix, staring Dwane Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot was a surprise hit. It’s a great action/adventure movie and worth the watch!

We made it up to Condado Tacos at Hamilton Town Center earlier this week, and it exceeded expectations. They have a huge variety of tacos, and the prices are very reasonable. It’s had lines outside the door since it opened, but we got lucky the night we decided to check it out. I drive by the downtown Indy location all the time but now that I know what it’s all about it might be time to add it to my lunch rotation.

And finally, “Jurassic Park but with a Cat” is the latest Youtube creation by Owl Kitty who’s creators use video editing magic to insert their black cat into famous movie scenes. The Behind the Scenes videos show you how they do it and how much work it takes.

Broad Ripple – The Sinking Ship

Spending some time on my on this week I decided to start checking out all of my “wish list” items on Urban Spoon.  The Sinking Ship jumped out at me that Sunday morning and I decided to head down to Broad Ripple for lunch to check it out.

With a tagline claiming they’re “Putting the fun in functional alcoholic since 2011” how can you go wrong? To be honest, I’ve driven by this place for a while now & just never noticed it.  My first exposure to The Sinking Ship was an online petition to the Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board:

The Sinking Ship needs your help! The liquor license of the bar is up for renewal and a local group (Meridian Kessler Neighbors Helping Neighbors) is trying to protest their license renewal. If the license goes, the business goes too. The Sinking Ship has had NO violations and is a great asset to the community!

Being well over 21 I immediately noticed several signs in the entrance advising patrons to stay out unless they have a valid ID.  When I ordered a beer (served in a mason jar) I was carded (been a long time since that’s happened).  In fact, they were carding everyone.  I guess it’s a good way to keep out of trouble if you make it a policy to card everyone.

There’s a lot of unique artwork on the walls and I’m going to spend more time checking them out on my next visit.  This is a smoking establishment so if that’s going to bother you be forewarned.

I was waited on by Chris who had a pair of the biggest ear gauges I’ve ever seen.  He was a really attentive and towards the end of my lunch he put on some really good tunes that kept me there for another beer. Overall the service here was really good and very friendly.

The Sinking Ship looks like a neat local bar to hang out at.  There were several people sitting around with their laptops chatting it up with the bartender and surfing the web (free WI-Fi is available).

The menu has some interesting items, such as Cajun Corn Fritters and Cajun Green Beans.  I chose the “Build Your Own Damn Burger” ($7.50) and selected mushrooms and swiss cheese.  The sandwich came with the normal setup of onion, tomato pickle and lettuce (bib lettuce!).  I choose Mac N’ Cheese for my side (at Chris’ suggestion) and it was awesome.  I could have made a meal out of the Mac N’ Cheese alone.

The burger was cooked well but could have used a little more seasoning.  The freshness of the produce was nice, especially the tomato and bib lettuce.  I was definitely pleased with the prices too.  2 beers and the food totaled $15, not bad for lunch in Broad Ripple!

If you’re looking for a nice place to hang out and you’re in the SoBro area, be sure to check out The Sinking Ship and enjoy the artwork!  I’m really digging the “Sid Vicious Clown” in the images below.




The Sinking Ship on Urbanspoon


Cincinnati – Hofbräuhaus Newport

On a recent visit to the Queen City my daughter and I decided to have a late lunch at the Hofbräuhaus in Newport Kentucky.  This place is a German Style beer hall complete with the traditional “Oom-pah Band” and can get quote crowded in the warmer months.  Good thing they have a big Bier Garden out back to keep the riff raff at bay.

From the Hofbräuhaus Newport website:

Hofbräuhaus Newport is America’s first authentic Hofbräuhaus, modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany.

Fun and friendly is the atmosphere in the Bier Hall, with live music and about 250 soon to be close friends. There is also a quiet dining room for those who want to simply come and enjoy the delicious Bavarian fare. Many dishes are prepared with ingredients specially made locally for the Hofbräuhaus or imported from abroad. The Bier Garden, with freshly planted trees and shade awnings, will seat an impressive 400 guests. The view is of Newport’s waterfront with the Cincinnati skyline as its backdrop. [MORE]

This place is huge and it’s always full of people drinking the awesome beers from Germany (some are also brewed on site).  On a previous visit I caved and paid the $10 premium to take home my very own glass stein that holds 1 liter of beer (about 3 bottles worth).  It’s kind of like the big glass you get a Mexican restaurants, if you can’t lift it you’ve had enough to drink…  When not using my $10 Liter glass for my favorite malted beverage it doubles as a great flower vase (one the cat’s can’t knock over!).

The Menu at Hofbräuhaus is very German focused (obviously) with some kid friendly choices mixed in.  This visit I opted for the Bauern Pretzel Sandwich ($7.99) “A mound of Ham and Swiss Cheese served on a Sesame Seed Pretzel bun, and topped with our Signature Homemade Bier Cheese”.  It was like a bastardized ham and cheese sandwich and the combination worked.  The Bier Cheese was the star of the show and it’s good on just about anything (including your shoe if you drink enough).

I almost forgot that I tried a cup of their Hofbräuhaus Bratwurst Chili ($3.99) “Our Homemade semi-spicy Chili”.  This was definitely NOT the traditional Cincinnati chili but it was quite good (even if it did have beans in it)… (ha).  I would order a bowl of this if they had that size available on the menu.

My daughter, who us a big Wiener Schnitzel fan chose the Bier Cheese Chicken ($14.49) “Tender Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Bier Cheese, Sweet Peppers and Onions, served with Mashed Potatoes”.  Again, the Bier Cheese was the ingredient that put this dish over the top.

For dessert (who can’t say no when the kids ask for dessert?) we split the Windbeutel ($4.99) “Bavarian Cream Puff with Chocolate Sauce and Powdered Sugar”.  When my daughter posted a picture on Instagram she had over 100 “likes” before the night was over.  We liked it very much and since it was not overly sweet it’s probably going to be my dessert of choice on our next visit.
One thing that’s happened more times than not lately is we were seated at the same table as we were 6+ months earlier.  I know it’s a coincidence but this is not the first time that has happened in the last year (at other places).  I always find it odd when that happens.

 If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy some great beer, traditional food and some good music you should check out the Hofbräuhaus in Newport Kentucky.  Don’t worry about bringing the kids, they’ll love the place and they can be loud without bothering anyone in the room.

Note to Self: Stop using your camera phone and use your DSLR…  Indoor pix with a Blackberry usually suck!

Hofbrauhaus Newport on Urbanspoon

Fishers – The Chatham Tap

Located in the heart of Fishers along 116th St The Chatham Tap opened in 2010.  There’s another location on Mass Ave in downtown Indy.  During its first year my wife and I visited and, although we enjoyed the brew, we did not care much for the grub.  It was very bland, under seasoned and just not that good.

The Friday night before the Indianapolis Super Bowl I was “baching it” and decided to give this place another try.  I’d been craving a burger all afternoon and after checking out the online menu I already had an idea what I was going to get.

The Chatham Tap is a lively place, (and pretty loud tonight) it’s decorated in a soccer theme with plenty of TVs covering all the major sports channels.  I was sitting at the end of the bar & kept watching the staff high-five each other over and over.  Must be required or they really like each other.

I settled in and ordered a pint of Guinness while I double checked the menu.  There it was… The Smoking Black and Bleu burger. A Cajun Seasoned 1/2 lb hand pattied burger, brushed with chipotle Tabasco, topped with melted bleu cheese and two strips of rasher bacon.  Red onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes round out the setup.  It’s all served on a perfectly toasted brioche style bun.  This was the kind of burger I’d been thinking about all day.

Homemade chips and the normal list of sides are available but when I saw the “hand breaded onion rings” I had to give them a shot.  Onion rings are usually very hit or miss so this was a gamble.

The bartender tonight (Rudy) was very attentive but not overly chatty, just the way I like my barkeep.  It took about 10 minutes before the food arrived and it looked even better than I imagined.  The burger was covered in melted bleu cheese and all the produce looked fresh with the exception of the tomatoes which I would expect this time of year.  The onion rings were nice and thick and had obviously been freshly made (eat enough onion rings and you can tell these things).

I kicked the tomatoes off to the side and ate the pickles on their own (sandwich slice type, nice and cold).  Once stacked with toppings this burger was pretty big.  A big extra point for the Rudy.  He brought catchup and mustard to the bar along with the silverware.  I like my onion rings with mustard and I always hate to have to ask for it.

I’m just going to get this out of the way now…  This burger was fantastic.  It was cooked exactly how I ordered it (medium) and it was smothered with melted bleu cheese (one of the best cheeses in my opinion).  The onion rings were just as amazing.  The coating had just the right thickness and the onions were nice and sweet.  They reminded me of giant Big Boy onion rings except bigger and, I’ll have to admit, better.  Add a little dab of mustard and I was in onion ring heaven.

Score another point for the Rudy as he was right there when it came time for another beer.  He used that time to ask about the food and he was on his way.  I was pretty impressed with how he was managing his side of the bar tonight.  He’s definitely good at his job and others noticed it as well.

The Chatham Tap has definitely redeemed itself and I usually don’t give places a 2nd chance.  It took me a couple of years to try it again but I’m glad I did.  Good atmosphere, attentive staff and great food make this place a winner.  I’m adding this place to my limited rotation of Fishers restaurants.

If you’ve been there or go there after reading this let me know what you think!

Chatham Tap Restaurant on Urbanspoon





Indy Cigar Bar

Forget the lectures about cigar smoking, I don’t care (seriously I don’t care).  I enjoy a good cigar and if you don’t like it, stay away from me when I’m smoking it!  If you like to enjoy a cigar and don’t like being relegated to the porch or garage I have a place for you to try.

Owned by Corey Johnston the Indy Cigar Bar is located at 3357 East 86th Street, directly across the street form the main entrance of the Keystone Mall.  It’s a perfect place to escape to when your wife/daughter (or both) decide they need some “mall time”.

Having heard my boss talk about “Corey’s” several times I knew I had to check it out.  I’ve since been there several times and have fully enjoyed each visit.  The thing that makes the Indy Cigar Bar different from other Cigar Stores is that this one serves hard alcohol (and beer).

This is not just any alcohol this is an incredible selection of bourbon and scotch that will pair well with your favorite smoke. On my last visit I enjoyed one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve had in a long time and saw a total stranger buy a war veteran a box of cigars to thank him for his service to our country (that was pretty cool).

The walk-in humidor has a hundred+ cigars to choose from so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.  If you get hungry The Indy Cigar Bar has several sandwiches to choose from.  Each Wednesday you can get a King David hot dog for free when you buy a cigar.  I have not had anything to eat there but it’s on my list to try on a future visit.

When you purchase a cigar from the Indy Cigar Bar, and yes you need to buy a cigar not bring your own, the helpful staff will clip, cut, punch it to your requirements and toast it to perfection for you to enjoy. The newly expanded seating area gives you plenty of options on where to sit down and enjoy your smoke (and drink if you choose to partake).

Next time you’re in the area and have an hour to kill, be sure to check out The Indy Cigar Bar.  Be sure to tell Corey you heard about his place on IndyScan.com and try the Bloody Mary, it’s REALLY good!

The Indy Cigar Bar is open daily at 11am, closed Sundays

01/25/12 – [Updated a few things after publishing because I didn’t like the way it read…]