Indy – Northside Kitchenette

I’ve wanted to try this place out for a while now and had the opportunity to go 2-days in a row over a recent weekend.   Northside Kitchenette is owned by the same people who run the next door Northside Social (one of my favorite north-side restaurants for a date night).

The first day we went around lunch time I had the “kitchen’ette’ sink” ($12) which features a 1/2 order of Biscuits and Gravy topped with breakfast potatoes, bacon crumbles, two eggs over easy and cheddar cheese.   This was a really good play on the type of skillet dishes you can get at other places but this was in a bowl with enough gravy and sauce for 2 orders.   I really liked this dish. It was rich and filling enough to leave me full for most for the rest of the day.  I totally spaced taking pictures but it’s worth checking out if you’re hungry.  My son ordered the same as me and the girlfriend ordered the Eggs Benedict ($11) (sauce on the side).   Everyone was happy with their dishes and each said they would order the same again.

The next day we had the opportunity to return, and we did!  This time I went for the Eggs Benedict (also sauce on the side because a bad sauce can ruin an otherwise delicious dish) and my date ordered a half-order of their brioche french toast ($6).  A couple of libations were in order and we tried the Raspberry Bellini ($9) and Hibiscus Mimosa ($10) the latter of which  included a delicious candied hibiscus flower in the bottom of the glass.  Both were well balanced and very refreshing.

Eggs Benedict, with perfectly poached eggs, Pork Belly, and Avocado
Raspberry Bellini


Hibiscus Mimosa

Just about all of the dishes come with roasted, and quartered, potatoes.  While delicious in the “kitchen’ette’ sink” (because of all of the sauces) they were strongly seasoned on their own.  We definitely tasted cumin and, I think, rosemary.  I appreciate the aggressive seasoning, which is unusual in most potato sides, but it was a little much on their own so I opted for fruit on the second visit.  The fruit cup was delicious and contained a great mix of pineapple, grapes, and berries.

I’m really happy with the quality of the food at Northside Kitchenette.  Everything tasted fresh and the portions were just right for my appetite.  Being able to get seated right away on a weekend is a BIG plus in my book.  They had a steady rotation of customers and the service on both occasions was attentive and just right.  I’m happy to drive down from Fishers every once in a while to enjoy a nice breakfast/Brunch/Lunch at this place.

What’s your experience with Northside Kitchenette?  Any other places I should be checking out on a Sunday morning?

Northside Kitchenette
6515 N College Ave
Indianapolis IN 46220
http://www.northsidekitchenette.com

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!

Wildwood Market – Fountain Square, Indianapolis

I’m always looking for something different for lunch when working downtown. One of the many things I love about Indy are all the dining options.  It seems like a new one comes online every week so it’s fun scoping them out and adding to them to the rotation.  I had lunch with a foodie friend in Fountain Square a couple of months ago. While driving up Virginia Ave, on our way back downtown, we spotted Wildwood Market and had to stop.

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If you’re familiar with Locally Grown Gardens in SoBro you should have an idea what to expect at Wildwood. It’s a similar concept where an old Service Station type building has been repurposed as a neighborhood mini-market. What makes these places different from the chain stores (7-11 or Village Pantry) is they specialize in locally sourced items and products with ingredients you can pronounce.

From a sheer number of items, and variety, this place is amazing.  Dry goods, meats, cheeses, frozen items, and fresh bread, this place is a MUST VISIT to get all the goodies for your next picnic.  Also a good place to pickup holiday treats for the foodies in your life.

A short while back Wildwood started offering a rotating sandwich and salad of the day for lunch. Priced at around $8.00 each and full of all kinds of interesting flavor combinations it was an immediate hit for me! In fact I’m going out there at least once a week to grab a sandwich and eat it on site (several seating options) or back at the office when things are hectic.  Wildwood Market posts today’s specials on their Facebook Page every day around 11am so you have something to think about for the next hour.

Today’s Lunch Sandwich: Pastrami, Peppered Smoking Goose Bacon, Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar, Roasted Poblano, Creamy Red Pepper Vinaigrette, Mixed Greens On Rye Bread.

Photo from the Wildwood Market Facebook Page
Photo from the Wildwood Market Facebook Page

Pair that with a bag of McClure’s Spicy Pickle potato chips and an Oatmeal Pecan Carmel Cookie for dessert you have a great meal for around $12.50 (enough to split with a friend if you’re a light eater).

A word of warning.  The sandwiches and salads are first-come first-served and when they’re gone they’re gone.  I always try to get there by 12:30pm and have yet to walk out empty handed.  I really need to start trying the salads as they have some great combinations as well but I can’t quote get over how good those sandwiches are!

Wildwood is open Mon – Sat  10AM – 8PM.  They do a special breakfast dish as well as lunch on Saturday.

Have you been here?  What did you think?  Post your feedback below.

Wildwood Market
1015 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Ladies & Gentlemen; I Give You the Batali

Sparked from a recent Nuvo.net review and hungry for something different than the typical downtown fare I stopped at Goose the Market on my way back to the office.

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This was the first time I’d tried Goose for lunch & they had a pretty steady lunch crowd.  Each sandwich is made to order and the bread is pressed and toasted.  After getting my order in I was told it would take about 15 minutes.  Just enough time to wander around the market and check out all of the unique and seasonal products.

Within about 10 minutes my name was called and I was handed a warm little bundle wrapped in brown butcher paper.

2014-07-23 12.50.03Back at the office I was able to finally unwrap this beauty that was making the car smell incredible during the 15 minute drive.

Goose the Market was named as one of the Top 10 Sandwich Shops by Bon Appetite with good reason.  The Batali (named after Mario Batali’s father) is a fresh and chewy baguette stuffed full of spicy coppa, soppressata, capocolla, provolone, tomato preserves, hot giardinara, marinated red onion, mayo, romaine.  It’s big, messy and unbelievably delicious.  In fact, letting the sandwich sit for a while only helps because the bread absorbs some of the mess and the flavors have a little time to meld.

The Batali reminds me of the Pressed Picnic Sandwich I’m very fond of and it’s a lot less work to get!  At $7.85 it’s a great deal and one that I’ll be adding to my lunch rotation.  In fact since starting this post a few weeks ago I’ve already returned and had the sandwich again.  It was just as amazing as the first time.