Broad Ripple – Boogie Burger

Between work and an after hours activity I found myself driving on Keystone Avenue looking for some food (I was especially hungry since I worked through lunch).  My plan was to stop at Sakura for some sushi but at 6pm (on a Thursday night) the parking lot was packed so I sought out an alternative…

As I drove down Broad Ripple Avenue I approached Boogie Burger and I turned in, remembering it was on my Urbanspoon Wishlist.  With only a few cars in the parking lot I figured I would not have to wait long to eat.

Upon entry to Boogie Burger I was greeted by the friendly staff and, since it was my first time here, they helped me with the menu.  Being a sucker for a Mushroom & Swiss burger I picked the “‘Shroom” ($6.09) and an order of beer battered onion rings ($3.19).

I had just gotten settled into my chair, and was enjoying the 80’s music, when my order was called.  That was fast…  A little too fast…  The ‘Shroom burger looked good and was dressed as I requested (lettuce, onion, mayo) and it was overflowing with mushrooms.  The onion rings looked good as well.  Nice sized order and not greasy looking.

This is where my normal review is going to differ.  I like to pass on good experiences and normally skip negative reviews.  This time I’m going to tell it like it is and by now you’ve probably guessed it’s not going to be positive…

There is no way this burger was cooked to order unless they threw a patty on the flat top when my car pulled into the parking lot. With as much as this burger had going on it was bland.  I mean no seasoning bland.  The mushrooms were nice and earthy and had a hint of seasoning but not nearly enough.  The patty was cooked through with a very minor hint of pink in the middle.  The produce was fresh and the cheese melted, so no complaints there.

I guess I was expecting more…  More flavor for sure…  I ate the entire thing so it was not awful.

On to the onion rings.  These were thick cut and beer battered.  I was careful on the first bite not to pull the onion out of the batter as that seems to happen more times than not.  The sweet onion inside was cooked through and soft enough to bite through.  The flavor of the batter and onion was great but after my third ring we hit a snag…  As you can see in the picture the remaining rings had fused together during the cooking process and, this is the bad part, the batter was still raw in the middle.  The three rings I had were good and I would order these again without hesitation (if they were separated and cooked through).  But a dollar a ring is a little much.  Yes that’s mustard on the side, please don’t judge me… (ha).

Boogie Burger is nicely decorated on the inside with bright decor and quite a few seating options, including outdoor seating.  It’s kid friendly, clean, has free refills (who doesn’t offer that anymore?), and it’s in a good location.  The service was friendly, no complaints about that.

I want to like Boogie Burger and I love supporting local business. For a place that touts itself as a premium  burger place they need to watch the quality control.  Maybe my burger was supposed to taste the way it did but I can’t help but think the salt/pepper was just forgotten during the cooking process.  The onion rings should not have gone out the way they did, especially when it’s obvious that huge mass was going to be under cooked.

Did I make a big deal about this meal when I was there?  No.  Would they have taken care of it?  I think they would have.  Am I going to give Boogie Burger another try?  Yes, and I’ll and will write a follow-up post about the experience.

Boogie Burger on Urbanspoon

 

Indianapolis City Market – 3 Days in Paris

Table with a view

My son & I ventured downtown last Saturday to check out the Indy Winter Farmers Market that’s now in the historic Indianapolis City Market.  The plan was to do a little scouting around and then head to the Torta shop I reviewed the other day.  The Torta shop ended up being closed because they are expanding (good news!).  We both immediately decided to go back to the City Market and check out 3 Days in Paris.

We had a great experience at Findlay Market’s Crêpe Shop in Cincinnati so we were hoping for something similar.  Like the other shop the food is made in front of you and it takes about 5 minutes to make it.  Like Cincinnati there was a gathering of people waiting on their food and watching the crêpe makers in action.

Sweet Crêpe

We ordered one sweet and one savory crêpe.  The sweet being one of the day’s specials ($5.00).  It consisted of chocolate, bananas, marshmallows and crushed graham crackers.  The savory called “Red Eggs & Bacon” ($6.50) was filled with Egg, Bacon, Havarti, Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.  I put a little squirt of Siracha sauce on the savory plate just in case it needed a little flavor boost.

One of the things I like about the City Market is the ring of balcony seating on the second floor.  It gives a great view of the facility and it’s out of the way of the crowds.  We headed upstairs and grabbed a table with a great view.

Savory Crêpe (almost gone!)

We were both very happy with our decision to return to the market for lunch.  I liked the Indianapolis version of my crêpe better than the one in Cincinnati, mainly because it had more flavor.  I did end up using a little Siracha towards the end though.  The sweet crêpe was very good and the dark chocolate kept it from being overly sweet.

The Indianapolis City Market is located at 222 E Market St. and if you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday morning check out the Indy Winter Farmers Market.  I will warn you that a lot of the shops at the City Market are closed on the weekends but parking is free in the lot to the east and the Farmers Market has a lot to offer.
Note to self: make sure to wipe off the fingerprint smudges on your camera phone before shooting pictures for a review!  One of the very few design flaws on the Blackberry 9930.

3 Days in Paris on Urbanspoon

 

 

Sriracha sauce

Downtown Indy – California Pizza Kitchen

First of all I’d like to say “Welcome Back” to California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) after a long absence from Indianapolis.  When the Keystone at the Crossing location closed we started missing the BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad immediately.  We were randomly rewarded with that dish when we made it down to Texas or Water Tower Place in Chicago but that was few and far between…

The new CPK location in Circle Center Mall downtown is great.  It took the place of Alcatraz and my sentiments appear to be shared by many online when I say this is a HUGE upgrade for the space.  With a mix of indoor and outdoor seating CPK seats around 200 guests and does not seem that big (it’s only utilizing the ground floor of the 2-floors occupied by Alcatraz).  It’s not a quiet place by any means so prepare yourself for some noise.  The open kitchen can be seen from just about ever table as well.

We arrived around 6:30 on a Friday night & had a 5-10 minute wait before being seated.  Initial service was prompt and courteous and our drink/app orders were placed.  Service started getting a little slow after that.  Nothing ridiculous but you could tell they were still getting everything working smoothly.

We ordered the following:

  • Bang Bang Shrimp
  • Kids Pizza – Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushroom (Son)
  • Wild Mushroom Pizza with Chicken (Me)
  • Kung Pao Spaghetti (Daughter)
  • BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad minus Cilantro add avocado (Wife)

The shrimp appetizer was delivered quickly and was identical to when you get a PF Changs and Bonefish.  It was just large enough for the four of us to each get a few bites.  So far so good.

After a while three of the four entrees was delivered with the salad, of all things, being over 5 minutes behind the pizza and pasta.  Once delivered it looked (and tasted) great.  Kind of odd that the only cold item ordered took the longest to receive.

The Kids pizza was quickly devoured and reported to be great.  The wild mushroom pizza lacked salt but once added was very tasty. The crust was tender and flavorful just like I remember it.

The Kung Pao Spaghetti was the surprise dish at the table.  It was loaded with spice and surrounded by dried red chilies.  The pasta was cooked perfectly.

The BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad looked and tasted great.  Even with 3 of us sampling it my wife had about 1/2 left to bring home for the next day.

Overall I’m going to give CPK a 4 out of 5.  The food was good but the service was just a little off.  We’ll be making repeat visits, there’s no doubt about that, & hope to see the timing improve.

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Cincinnati – Jungle Jim’s

On a recent trip to Cincinnati we traveled to the north side to re-visit one of our favorite foodie destinations.  Jungle Jim’s is a true landmark and worth a 2-hour drive from Indianapolis to the Queen City (we were in town for the Fourth of July holiday and a mini-summer escape).

Only until you get inside can you understand the size of this place.  Think 3 Big-Box stores stuffed with row upon row of grocery supplies to cater to all corners of the earth.  No matter what you are looking for it can be found at Jungle Jim’s

After you get through the huge deli and liquor sections (including $4000+ bottles of wine)  you are greeted by a larger than life produce section with products from all over the world.  A lot of it is unrecognizable at first but the price tags help you get it figured out.

One of the many unique things about Jungle Jim’s are the sections dedicated to world regions.  Indian, Asian, Mexican products are all well represented.  A new addition (since my last visit) are the hot sauce isles (yes more than one) with products grouped by alphabet.

Smaller countries get their own little rooms packed with their unique products.  Looking for something unique to Holland, France, or Greece?  Chances are you will find it.  The British section has teas and sauces that will make an ex-pat feel like they are home again.

I was even able to find the “Tiger” seasoning I have been looking for since my last trip to Madison, Indiana where it’s used on the outstanding burgers at Shipley’s Bar & Grill.

A new 2nd location in the Eastgate area is scheduled to open in 2012.  I’m really looking forward to this as it’s close to where we visit and will save me the 30-minute plus trip to the north side.

Below are some random pictures and comments from our last trip.