A “Greasy Spoon” that’s served downtown Noblesville for decades has been transformed into a gem of a diner, and just gained some loyal fans!
Having lived in Noblesville from age of 12 to 24, I’ve eaten at the Uptown Cafe on several occasions. I always remembered it as a smokey little hole in the wall with OK coffee and so so service. It’s changed hands few times but never really changed. That’s until now…
The Uptown Cafe’s new owner purchased the place about two years ago. She’s updated the interior to give it a more modern (contemporary) feel. It’s still a small place that only seats about 30 p eople at a time, and when we visited on a Saturday morning we were fortunate to get a seat at the counter.
Before I talk about our experience I have to mention the disappointment I had with the CUSTOMERS!
<Soapbox ON> You walk into a SMALL diner on a SATURDAY morning in a BUSY downtown setting. If the place is any good you’re most likely going to have to wait a few minutes to get seated. It’s a beautiful May morning and there is ample seating for you and your uptight mother to wait outside. I’m sorry that the 6-top in the back is not immediately available for you. Had the owner known royalty was going to be visiting I’m sure she would have sterilized the area and roped it off for you the night before. I appreciate we live in the Land of the Free, but do you REALLY have to stand right next to me and expel your displeasure all over MY breakfast? How about you try Denny’s next time and take that crappy attitude with you… <Soapbox OFF>
Back to the Uptown… The weekend menu is limited but has enough variety to make just about everyone happy. This is, after all, a diner and once you see the short order station you’ll understand the limited choice. Speaking of Short Order, the cook they have is a lot of fun to watch. We sat at the counter and were amazed at the speed and efficiency she displayed while working on no less than 6 orders at a time.
After getting settled and ordering a cup of coffee (GOOD coffee) I ordered the Uptown Biscuits and Gravy (with hash browns and an egg) and Zoe (my foodie daughter) ordered the Brown Sugar and Buttermilk Hotcakes (with chocolate chips) and THICK cut bacon.
One of the things I like about sitting at the counter of a small place is the ability to watch the preparation of your food and the movement of your ticket from printer, across the rack and onto the spike (or in this case the trash).
About 10 minutes after we placed our order it was out turn to enjoy the food. Zoe’s pancakes were off the chart good. I would do without the chocolate chips as they were flavorful enough on their own. My Uptown Biscuits and Gravy came served in a bowl. First time I’ve seen this and it works well! Great scratch made biscuit with sausage cream gravy. Exactly what I was wanting…
Total with tip was a little over $20, not bad for the portions and atmosphere. We will be returning again SOON as I want to check out the other menu items I watched being prepared right in front of me.
The Uptown Cafe is located at 809 Conner St, Noblesville, IN 46060. They also cater and offer a selection of sandwiches, boxed lunches & even breakfast items. Details on their website.
Located in a neighborhood setting south of the Goshen courthouse, the South Side Soda Shop and Diner was my destination for lunch this rainy Thursday. Because of the location parking is at a premium, but I lucked out and found a close spot.
Made famous to non-locals by the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network, this place seems to be a destination for locals and foodies. As a case in point, I overheard an older couple in the booth next to be going on and on about the real lemon zest in their lemon meringue pie (only foodies do that). Naturally I had to order a slice to validate their claim, but we’ll cover that later.
When I was waiting to be seated, a gentleman paying his bill commented on how good the “real grilled tenderloin” was. Looking for a light lunch, once seated I opted to go the pork route. The “grilled” pork tenderloin sandwich ($4.80) is actually done on a flat top grill, not over an open flame as I was assuming. It comes with Lettuce, tomato and mayo. Making the order a “Basket” ($1.25) added a nice portion of shoestring fries and a small cup of coleslaw. Knowing I was probably going to have to verify the zesty claim I opted for a diet soda ($1.40) like it matters at this point.
I’ll have agree with the gentleman I mentioned earlier, it was a really good sandwich. The fries were nice and crisp and the coleslaw had a nice tang. Now that I’ve devoured the sandwich and sides it was time for desert.
I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I had to taste this lemon zest for myself (that’s my story). The lemon meringue pie ($2.25) was a pretty decent sized slice with a nice pile of chewy browned meringue on the top. How did it taste you ask? VERY lemony & quite delicious (good call grandpa)!
Total bill for this visit was $12.48 ($10.48 + $2.00 Tip).
The South Side Soda Shop and Diner is located at 1122 South Main Street. They are open Tue-Sat from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.