2023 Week 16 – Lookout, Costco!
Ahhh, Indiana. It was 80 degrees the other day & we had a Freeze warning last night. Hopefully, the freeze didn’t kill any of your freshly planted flowers. We haven’t planted yet, so that’s a good thing! I didn’t get around to drafting this week’s post over the weekend, so I’m knocking it out Monday evening. It’s amazing how the weekend can get away from you!
The nicer weather the past two weeks has allowed me to take walks during lunchtime, and one of my destinations recently has been City Market. While it’s nothing like it was pre-Covid, several shops are hanging on, and they are getting a fair amount of lunch business. Cafe Olivia has gotten a lot of love in my office, and after getting a few sandwiches from there, I can see why! I tried a Cuban sandwich a few weeks ago, and although it wasn’t pressed on a Plancha in the traditional way, it had all the flavors and really hit the spot. On the last visit, the Cuban was unavailable, so I asked the lady behind the counter what their best seller was, and she said the Pastrami Reuben was a popular choice.
I’m not a huge sauerkraut fan and asked for a light amount. As you can see from the picture, there still was a considerable amount, but it was really GOOD kraut. Mixed with Thousand Island, it was a perfect complement to the Pastrami and dark Rye bread. Cafe Olivia has a rotating display of “Dirty” Chips next to the checkout. These are some seriously good chips, with the skin on and lots of seasoning. It’s disappointing that the Indianapolis City Market took such a hit during the Pandemic, but I’m glad to see several shops that weathered the storm. My favorite Crepe Shop didn’t make it, though. City Market still has a lot of really good places to eat, from Sandwiches to Pizza to Mexican and Middle Eastern. If you work downtown, it’s a nice walk to the market and still worth visiting!
After watching the construction and receiving about a dozen flyers, we finally ventured to Hamilton Town Center to check out BJ’s Wholesale Club. If you purchase a $55 membership, you get a $40 credit applied to your account, so for a net of $15, it was a good way to get us in the door. If you haven’t been to a BJs Wholesale Club, it’s like a Sam’s Club or Costco but with less “stuff” in the middle (clothing, etc.). It’s more focused on food, and the crowds are a fraction of what they are at Costco. I’ve visited twice, and both times were very nice, with little in the way of crowds or lines at the registers. One of the unique things about BJ’s is they take coupons, and they have digital coupons in their app. I saved a considerable amount from my last purchase by clipping digital coupons. You’re also not restricted on the type of card you use for payment (Costco). As far as alcohol sales go, this BJ’s location is only selling beer and wine at this time.
Similar to Sam’s & Costco, BJ’s sells discounted fuel too. I’m in the Hamilton Town Center area pretty regularly, so topping off the tank will be something I plan on doing. I need to compare the prices with Kroger and the Fual Point Discounts I get to see if it’s worth a special trip up there or not. I just checked, and my Costco membership expires at the end of July; I think BJ’s might be replacing it.
And finally… Robertson, Phillips, and the History of the Screwdriver. Did you know Canada has its own type of screw (and driver) that’s all but unheard of in the US? The History Guy had a video discussing the differences in another fascinating history lesson.
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 15 – Looking for Lunch in Lawrence
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing some work in the Lawrence, Indiana, area a couple of days a week. It’s not a place that I frequented very often before January, but I decided to explore the food scene when I started spending time here. Specifically, Lunch in Lawrence.
Pendleton Pike and 56th St are long strips of chains with nothing unique standing out on the surface. But, dig a little deeper, and you can find some hidden gems owned by locals serving some quality food.
Fitzgerald’s Catering & Lunch House – Ft. Ben
First written about in Week 6 2022, Fitzgerald’s is located in an unassuming (former barracks building?) off Otis Ave. It’s an assembly-line-style lunch counter run by a hard-working group. They feature scratch-made items, even down to the pickles served on their Cuban sandwich. They can get quite busy, and seating can be limited, as people like to linger and talk. The restaurant is clean, and the service is prompt and friendly. Fortunately, they offer online ordering that’s always been ready when I got there to pick it up. They announce the daily specials on Facebook and have a good variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The Cobb Salad, Cuban, and Roast Beast sandwiches are my favorite things to order.
Porter Books & Bread – Ft. Ben
This place looks easier to find on Google Maps than it really is. You place your order in the basement of a multi-story, multi-tenant building and climb the spiral staircase to the seating area above. The walls are exposed brick with bookshelves and some great music playing in the background. Their house-made Ficoccia is used for several of the sandwiches and comes with the salad. I think the Octavius Salad is one of the best in the area, and the Vonnegut Sandwich will not leave you hungry if you manage to finish a whole one.
The Grill – McCordsville
While technically not in Lawrence, it’s close enough for me to drive to for lunch, so it’s on the list. The Grill has an over-21 side and a family dining side. Both times I visited, I sat in the bar. I’ve only ordered one thing both times, and the Fried Chicken salad hits the spot with a nice-sized salad with a large portion of pounded out sliced fried chicken breast on the top. The service is very friendly, and you can tell this is a family-run place with the father of the group running the show.
Tritan Brewing Co. and Bistro – Ft. Ben
The Bistro at Tritan is only open Fri/Sat/Sun for lunch, so I’ve only been able to have lunch there once on a Friday. I first wrote about it in Week 8 of 2022. It was a toss-up between the fish and chips or the tenderloin. My server asked how hungry I was and when I said quite a bit, she didn’t even hesitate to recommend the tenderloin. I really enjoyed this sandwich and would order it again if I’m in the area when the Bistro is open.
Notable mention to Jacomo Pizza that I’ve had for lunch a few times but never took any pictures. It’s pizza, and we know what that looks like. It’s quick if you get a slice or two of the daily special and scratches the itch if you want pizza and/or a fast lunch.
While there are not many local restaurants in Lawrence, there are enough to have some variety when in the area a few days a week. I still need to check out the Garrison at Ft. Ben and the Caplingers location on Pendleton Pike. It’s also been a long time since I visited Mama’s Korean, so I may have to fix that soon.
Following up on my initial review of Grammarly in October 2021, I’m still finding it a HUGE resource to make sure the communications (and blog posts) I have are concise and properly formatted. I’ve learned I have a big issue with missing commas, and Grammarly has made me more conscious of that and helped my grammar along the way. It’s still not a cheap utility, but if you make a living communicating with people, it’s worth checking out.
And finally, The Urbanist posted a video of a strange skyscraper in New York City with no windows. These kinds of buildings are not that unusual, in fact, we have a similar AT&T building in Downtown Indianapolis, but this one is very unique looking.
2022 Week 6 – Snowmageddon
We received our first big snowfall of the season last Thursday. Total accumulation in the Indy area was 6-8 inches. It was enough to shut the city down for the day. Although some people like it, I’m not a big fan of the snow shovel (or the sore back for days afterward). Luckily I found a neighborhood Boy Scout on Next Door offering his services to neighbors and asking people to pay what they think is fair. Glad to see some kids out there are willing to do a little manual labor to make some money.
When the weather turns cold, it’s fun to start a new show & really get into it. I’m not one to “binge” in the true sense of the word by watching non-stop all day long, but I can knock out a few episodes a night and finish a season pretty quickly.
My current Top-10 “binge-worthy” shows (in no particular order) are:
- The Sopranos
- Breaking Bad
- Better Call Saul
- The Americans
- Halt and Catch Fire
- Sex Ed
- Good Girls
- Ted Lasso
- Bonus: Rick & Morty
I’ve been working a few days a week in the Lawrence, Indiana area, and there’s a serious lack of decent food over there. After a lot of scanning the area on Google Maps, I happened upon a place called Fitzgerald’s Lunch House. My first meal was an online order because I was short on time. I ordered the Roast “Beast” with Mac & Cheese (self allowed cheat day). Everything at Fitzgeralds is scratch-made, and you can really tell. The quality is superb, and the portions are plentiful. It honestly was one of the best roast beef sandwiches I’ve had in a LONG time.
I returned the next week for more of the same, only to be told they were out of roast beef. I immediately spotted the Cubano on the menu and placed my order. The is the real deal, the sliced pork loin was the key, and it was pressed to perfection on the proper roll. After talking to one of the employees for a few, I found out they even make their own pickles. And I’m here to tell you the pickles shine on this sandwich.
I’ve since visited Fitzgerald’s Lunch House each week of the past month, and the quality and consistency have remained on point. This is a place I would eat at every couple of days if I worked in the area more.
And finally, are you old enough to remember hearing Sonic Booms in the Midwest? OrangeBean had an interesting article that explains why Sonic Booms are very rare these days over the U.S.
That’s it for this week. I’ve been trying out some new places to eat & should have some more reviews coming soon! Stay warm out there.
2021 Week 40 – Upland Brewing FSQ
Low-carb eating at lunch leaves you with a few options. Of course, salad and some kind of protein are the easiest to locate, and it’s nice to visit different places to see what they can come up with. Upland Brewery in Fountain Square has been a destination for a couple of lunches over the past few weeks, and I think it’s time I share it with the readers of IndyScan.com.
The brewery is nice and open, with a covered patio on the west side of the building. Unfortunately, their parking lot, shared with Grey Goat Cycles, only has about five spaces available, but there’s plenty of street parking in the immediate area.
The staff has always been super friendly, and the menu has a nice variety of sharable appetizers and burgers, salads, and tacos. After 5 pm they serve larger entrees like steak and pasta.
On my first visit, I ordered the Chicharrón appetizer. This was a HUGE pile that I ended boxing up and taking back to the office to share. The crispy pork skins we’re made fresh and were delicious but be warned, the rub they sprinkle on top is spicy! I need to remember to ask them to lighten up on the spice next time I order these.
The Side Salad I ordered was very fresh, and the buttermilk dressing was delicious and made in-house. For my protein, I chose the char-griller burger with Jalapeno Blue Cheese sauce on the side. The burger was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was delicious; if I had some french fries, it would be an excellent dipping sauce.
If you’re looking for a place to have a group lunch and maybe a beer on a Friday afternoon, this is a great place to check out. They have a lot of available seating, and the atmosphere is very comfortable. Also, for a brewery, I think their food is pretty excellent.
I have a few more reviews in the works, including a few new purchases from Apple and an application that’s really opened my eyes to how I communicate. Stay tuned!