2023 Week 20 – The Asian Invasion
I ended up out at the track twice last week for work events. Tuesday was wet, and there were no cars on the track, so I ducked out after the event. Thursday was beautiful; the cars were out, turning laps and dialing things in. I always end up at the track every year for a vendor event or an event tied to work. Kind of a nice way to spend an afternoon!
Cheeky Bastards, a newish British restaurant on Fall Creek in Geist, is now open for dinner. I’ve yet to make it over there, but I’m hoping to check out their Fish and Chips (or Banders and Mash) for lunch very soon.
The Hustle had a great long-form piece titled “The $40m bet that made South Korea a food and cultural power” that explained how Korean food has taken off, similar to what Thai food did in the U.S. from 2022-2018 with help from the mother country.
Gastrodiplomacy, a term first coined by The Economist in 2002, happens when governments try to increase the value and knowledge of their nation through food.https://media.hubspot.com/south-korea-mightve-picked-up-your-dinner-tab-2
I used to work with a guy that left his job to go work for the State Department doing something very similar. Bringing countries together with food and culture. Interesting stuff!
Following up from Week 17, where we referenced the disappearance of AM radios in new automobiles, The IBJ reports on a “Bipartisan bill aims to require AM radio in new cars.” The comments don’t disappoint, either…
It’s usually nice to see news coverage of your hometown, and then there are times it’s not… “Fishers Council approves $50 parking fee for nonresidents for Geist Waterfront Park.” The backlash on this decision is all over social media and has been brought up in several of the conversations I’ve been a part of this last week. I understand the need for crowd control, but this is just a bad look for an otherwise great project. I, for one, look forward to trying out the new kayak launch. It has to be better than the alternative we have at the Geist Park upstream.
And finally… The Deal Guy discusses “NEW Amazon Prime Benefits You SHOULD Know in 2023!”
2023 Week 19 – Giddy Up
I Spent most of last week on PTO in the Texas Hill Country and loved every minute of it. I flew down to San Antonio, picked up my better half, who was down there for work, and drove north to Comfort, TX, about 45 minutes northwest of the city.
When I booked the Trip, Enterprise had some very affordable options, including several premium models for just a little more than a full-sized car. I ended up with an Audi Q3 SUV for the trip and really enjoyed driving around the Texas roads. You’ll first notice the speed limits if you’ve never driven in Texas. On a 2-lane curvy road, the posted speed limit is often 10-20 MPH higher than in Indiana (70MPH +), and on the highway, it can be as high as 85 MPH. The little Audi was a champ and got surprisingly good gas mileage as we traveled between locations at speeds that sometimes felt too fast!
Our B&B (Hotel Giles) was an old hotel built in the late 1800s and was very nice, with covered porches and a gazebo in the back. Our host was very gracious and had a wonderful breakfast ready for us at 9 am sharp every morning. The town also had an amazing little wood-fired pizza shop in an old gas station down the street with delicious pizza and homemade gelato that was some of the best we had ever had.
Fredericksburg, TX, is often referred to as the Napa Valley of the South because of the number of wineries in the area (over 100), and it was our destination of choice for several days of the trip. Their Main Street was full of specialty shops, restaurants, breweries, and several wineries.
While this was the first time I’ve gotten out of San Antonio and visited TX Hill Country, it will NOT be the last. So many things to do, and in typical Texas fashion, the people are as nice as can be and openly welcome visitors to their great state.
SlapFish opened a new location in the Fishers District a few months ago, and we finally made our way over there for dinner. We ordered a Shrimp Roll and Fish and Chips. Both meals were very fresh and fairly priced (under $20 each) for the portion size. We don’t have any dedicated seafood restaurants in Fishers, so SlapFish is a welcome addition to which we will be returning soon!
And finally… I’m a pretty observant person, and I see a lot of crazy stuff on my daily travels to and from work in Indianapolis. Expired license plates are seen daily, and their sheer number makes me wonder how people are getting away with it. A quick search turned up a 2019 report from local TV station WRTV titled “Parking a car with expired tags or no license plate is illegal in Indianapolis.” It’s not a local issue, as a TV station out of Oregon reported something similar last May:
And Colorado less than a year ago:
2023 Week 3 – Sorry, Have a Salad and Warm Up
Sorry about those warm weather comments last week. I feel responsible for the snow we have now and, and the snow we’re supposed to get this week. Mea culpa.
Are people still into the Zodiac Sign thing? I hadn’t heard anyone mention Signs for a long time, then I ran across an article on Eat This, Not That. Your Favorite Fast Food Chain According To Your Zodiac Sign tries to match you, your sign, and the fast food chain you’re destined to become in another life. Mine was shockingly accurate, so maybe there’s something to all this!
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.
2022 Week 26 – AMPed Up
I checked out a couple of new lunch spots while working in Downtown Indy these past few weeks. The AMP at 16 Tech was our spot for lunch while conducting a site tour in the area for an upcoming Board Meeting (we typically rotate these around the city). The AMP is a food hall with stalls made from converted shipping containers. It’s unique to the city, and the various shops add a lot of variety to the location. I ordered a cheesesteak from Mambo’s, and while not the same as Hoagies and Hops, it was a nice sandwich that hit the spot. When looking at Mombo’s website, I found out they have a location in City Market, so I’m going to have to check that location out too.
My other “new” lunch spot was Turchetti’s Delicatessen in Fountain Square. I’m calling it “new” because I visited pre-covid when it was a carry-out spot with very limited seating. During this visit, I sat in the new Bistro area that had seats for about 2-dozen and a decent-sized bar. They bill themselves as a Soccer Bar, so I’ll need to re-visit when the Soccer season starts back up, and check it out for myself.
My new job allows me to work from home on Monday and Friday so I’ve been trying to spend some of my lunch money locally (as well as eating at home). One of those local spots has been Wild Ginger on 116th St. It’s a nice family-run sushi shop with fresh food and great service. I’m finding myself there at least once a week lately.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be curious to see what’s happening in Downtown Indianapolis in the upcoming days after the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe vs Wade. There have been several (peaceful) protests this weekend & the politicians return in early July for a 30-day Special Session. I can imagine there will be a lot of things going on around the State House during that time!
2022 Week 4 – Pizza & Chill
I’m not sure what took me so long, but the Sun King Tasting Room at Fishers District has become a regular hangout lately. I’ve eaten from the three rotating food stalls since its inception but never really stuck around much more than that. However, now that I’m writing more and looking to get out of the house this winter, I’ve been visiting the Test Kitchen at least once a week to enjoy a Sun King Orange Vanilla Cream Ale and something from one of the three food vendors. You really can’t go wrong with any of them. You have Smash Burgers, French Bread Pizza, and Tacos/Tortas. These all fill a need one way or another, and on any occasion, at least one sounds good to nosh on. I can only imagine how popular this place will be in the warmer months when the upstairs bar and outdoor deck are open.
After seeing it on many cooking shows, I had to make it a point to source the spreadable pork sausage known as ‘Nduja. I was able to find it at Whole Foods (in the cheese section), where a 4 oz tube costs $6.99. The brand I purchased says it’s “Spreadable Proscuitto,” which sounds a little more appetizing. We broke out the crackers and went into this with an open mind… It was DELICIOUS! The flavor reminded me of a mild pepperoni that’s been blended to a smooth paste. The spice takes a long time to build and never gets too uncomfortable. Paired with a nice white wine and some cheese, this makes a great little appetizer that should prove to be a hit. (UPDATE: Smoking Goose makes their own version that I will be picking up next time I’m downtown)
We received our first measurable snowfall last Saturday in Central Indiana. I could still see the grass, so it wasn’t much of an event. After an unusually warm December, I hope Spring gets here early as I’m ready for a few road trips. Inspired by the always amazing 36 Hours In … series from the NY Times, I have been thinking about hitting up Toronto in the late spring. Have you been? Is there anything I should be sure to see while I’m there?
And finally, do you know how the fire pole originated? Fire poles in firehouses were originally installed to allow for faster descent than the houses’ narrow spiral staircases, which were themselves installed because horses kept climbing to the second floor and getting stuck.