Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tavern on South - Explosion...

My roommate visted Tavern on South and told me I needed to try it.  First of all the location is right next to Lucas Oil stadium, which is awesome for events!  Second, it has its own parking lot!!!  Yes a free place to park Downtown!

The decor inside has a sports theme to it, and it is very cozy.  As I was seated I noticed the beer line up at the bar....WOW!!!  Great selection of beers!  I didn't know where to start!  The menu is very nice.  I ordered the bison burger with fries.  I had to!  My roommate got it and said it was great, and it is hard to find bison meat at restaurants!  It was amazing!  The meat was very moist and the bacon was superb!  I asked and Tavern on South buys the bacon locally, which is a huge plus in my book!  The fries were good too, nice and crispy!  It came out warm and the fries were seasoned well.

Some people get picky about fries and it makes me laugh!  Like I have said before, fried stuff is all the same!  I think if you can tell a huge different between fries, you are probably eating it too much and need to stop!  Critiquing fried food is like giving an opinion on fast is irrelevant and a waste of time!

I was able to enjoy a pint of the Single Wide IPA, then I had People's Mr. Brown....both excellent!  I haven't found these beers available on tap in Indy!  Hats off to Tavern on South and I wish you best of luck!  I can't wait till the summer to enjoy the rooftop patio either!  I am excited thinking about it!

Lastly, the service was great!  I read some reviews that were a little negative about the service, and my advice is to give a restaurant another chance!  Sometimes servers have off nights, or you can be the table that everything just messed up on; regardless, give places second chances.  Everyone should wait a couple of months after a place is open so it has the opportunity to work out all the kinks.  Each and every restaurant is its own beast.  When you are a restaurant manager, you basically plan for the unexpected and hope things work out for the best.  Unless the staff was spitting on you, or telling you to f*ck off....try it again.  Even though you are being waited on, you are not a princess so relax and try to enjoy the good points!  Again, I am very pleased to see something like this open in Indianapolis!  Cheers!

Tavern on South on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mesh on Mass, not a Mess

I have visited Mesh several times since it has opened a few months ago and I haven't been disappointed once.  Mesh has it all!  It has a wonderful and intimate outdoor area that is enjoyable when the weather is warm.  The inside decor is up-beat and cozy, all at the same time.  It is a great place to dine if you have a large group, an intimate dinner, a quick bite before a show, or if you want to grab a dessert and drink after a show!  I would picture someone like Jennifer Aniston dinning here.  It is classy and fun, but not too trendy where most may feel out of place.

The service is always great!  And the menu items are even better.  Mesh offers a happy hour menu from 4-6 and late night.  Everything is $2, and the menu is big!  Great way to grab a snack instead of having fast food or something fried.  Dinner items I have tried were the burger, the wedge salad and the sea bass.  All three were delicious!  The chef does a lovely job on presentation.  I love the variety on the menu as well.  There are lower prices sandwiches or there are higher priced entree items, so it really fits every budget!  And if you want to indugle....get a will be in heaven!

Thursday nights are fun!  Mesh offers half priced martinis all day long.  I guess it wants to compete with 45 degrees, and there is a definite competition!  I give many kudos on the Old-Fashion Ginger Martini!  It is excellent!  It is also nice to have a place that is featuring whiskey or bourben based drinks!!!  THANK YOU!!!  I am a HUGE whiskey, bourben and scotch drinker.  With good scotch drinks it is good to sip on it "neat" or on the "rocks", but it feels good to be included in a nightly special every now and then.  Let's be honest too, don't you all get sick and tired of having the same old specials of margaritas and long islands???  Boring.  Mesh is a great addition to the Indianapolis market!  Downtown needed something like this to come along, especially on Mash Ave!

Now, if you are a person that wants to pay $5 for a burger and get endless fries, go to Ruby Tuesday's.  You will be happy there.  The cost of items are priced out well at Mesh.  Good food is not cheap!  I am a big believer in "you pay for what you get".  Mesh is definitely worth the money.  Anywhere that has a chef preparing the meals, and there are good items to accompany it, you the consumer will pay more.  Why?  It takes money to pay a staff that knows what needs to be done.  Second, good sea bass and meat isn't cheap.  I know a lot of you out there live in la la land, but restaurants do not operate as a non-for-profit.  Whoever owns the entity would like to make some money, and be able to pay the staff well.  We are in America!  And I'd rather give my money to someone putting out a good product, and who pays taxes, then someone who has given up and would rather stand on a corner and get drunk.  So if you are that person that likes to b*tch because the Indianapolis area never has anything new, or you are sick of chains...this is the place for you!  Please remember, you aren't going to pay chain prices. 

Also, if you all have noticed I don't post pictures.  Why?  I am not a food photographer, and there is a real art in capturing the quality of a food item.  I'm not going to butcher a beautiful sea bass with my camera phone and a shaky hand after I've had a few drinks!  Also, you have to really take my word on this stuff!  Hopefully I sound believable enough you'll you see it for yourself!  Plus you can't smell and taste a picture and that's the best part about food!

Mesh on Mass Avenue on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Oceanaire

If you want good seafood, go to The Oceanaire!  I had an amazing experience there.  For all you people that say the best seafood is in Baltimore, Boston, Naples etc....guess what, you are right.  I get it.  You are right there by freshwater and the seafood is top notch.  I am in Indiana, and for being in a land-locked state, The Oceanaire does it right!

The atmosphere is very soothing.  Honestly, as good as the service and food was I could have sat on a tin bucket and still had no complaints!  My server was exceptionally great.  He was enthusiastic, he smiled and was extremely knowledgeable on menu items.  His name was John or Jon.  As soon as I entered I was greated by the manager or host and was seated immediately.

I try to limit my portions when I go out to eat because I refuse to be 200 lbs and diabetic.  I LOVE food, but I also love my health.  I prefer quality over quantity any day!  Since I was there with only one other person, we decided to skip on an appetizer and went straight for the entrees.  There are so many people out there that complain about being stuffed, or restaurants have really big portions, then portions are too small....blah blah blah.  I think people complain too much!  How could anyone go wrong with an extraordinary oyster bar, a vast wine list and fresh fish in Indiana?  I had the Mixed Grill Seafood Plate and my guest had the Black and Bleu Mahi Mahi.  Both of the items were prepared very well.  Seafood always has to be prepared with care cause if it is over cooked it will be very dry.  I thought both dishes were full of flavor, but not over seasoned.

I read some reviews on The Oceanaire and it made me laugh to see some of the responses.  One review was negative because there wasn't any fresh tuna available the day the person dined there.  Again, Indiana is a land locked state...product has to be flown into the area.  A lot can go wrong.  Sometimes when product is recieved it is bad, and it has to be rejected.  You can't just snap your fingers and have fish appear!  You aren't Jesus, for Christ's sake!  Sometimes the East Coast will have these things called snow storms, and a lot of business and production is haulted.  Restaurants are some of the hardest businesses to run and people can be merciless if things aren't perfect.

Please, if you go somewhere and they are out of something don't take offense to it.  Take the opportunity to order something else!  Remember this too, your server does not have control if a product is available or not take it out on he or she!  Tip well!!!  Hats off to The Oceanaire on a fine job on good food and service!

Oceanaire Seafood Room on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Champps Downtown

I visited Champps Downtown on Thursday night before and after seeing a movie.  I typically dislike going to chain restaurants, but it has been a while since I have been to Champps and I thought why not stop in and give it a try.  First off it has a lot of beers on tap.....all were boring.  It is your typical Fat Tire, Sam Adams, Bud and Coors that are being served.  Oh wait, there were two local craft beers....Sun King Sunlight Cream and Upland Dragon Fly IPA.  As I started to yawn, and thought about a water, I went ahead and got a Fat Tire. 

When I returned after seeing Black Swan (amazing movie), I was a little hungry.  I remember a long time ago I used to get a filet mignon burger that was pretty good.  But as most chains evolve....the philosophy is to cut and cut and cut and go cheap, so it was not on the menu anymore.  There were a lot of spruced up burgers and salads, but I was uninterested.  I think it gets a little old to get a BBQ or Bleu Cheese burger....blah.  I looked at the appetizers and was ready to fall asleep going through it.  Mozzerella sticks.....wings.....nachos.....chicken fingers, I mean, I have NEVER had those before....way to be a little original Champps.  How can any restaurant do any of those items poorly?  Step 1, take the chicken fingers out of a box....Step 2, dump the product in a fryer....Step 3, wait till the light goes off and put the product on a plate.  Oh, and all of the items were all at least $8.99 or more.  Yes, YOU the public will walk into a chain and get raped.  Most of the time you don't even know who the father is, you have an STD, then you are left wondering....what happened???  I have seen it time and time again.

My point is: I have seen so many argue and complain about the pricing at "mom and pop" restaurants when the food is typically hand made, but not blink twice to pay $16.00 for an appetizer sampler!  STOP THE MADNESS AND BE SMARTER!!!  Support local restaurants....especially if there is a chef in the kitchen, and the food is being prepared from scratch or close to scratch.

I was hungry so I ordered the loaded potato chips.  I was in the mood for some grease and it seemed a little different.  $8.99 for some chips with cheese, sour cream and green onions.  It was okay.  It was like having bad sex.  When you have sex, even if it is bad, it is still sex.....right?  I won't say I got raped cause I knew what I was getting into before I went there, so let's just say I got taken advantage of.  I tried it once more, but let this be a lesson to us all.....stop going to chains!  Why did I go, well I had really good company so I could have been at Taco Bell and not cared.  Plus I needed to make a point...

Champps Americana on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have been to many places in the Indianapolis may be plentiful at first but will eventually level out over the next couple of weeks!  Food is the word!

The Bar at the Ambassador

I visited this restaurant about 2 weeks ago.  The decor is very nice.  Black walls with red chairs, and a very nice bar area.  I felt very cozy as we sat down to begin our ordering.  We started with the alligator balls which were very good.  I thought the presentation could have been a little more colorful, but they were good.  I was very disappointed with my sandwich and the entree my friend ordered.  I got the shrimp sandwich.  It was fried popcorn shrimp and a hoagie bun.  Then a sad piece of lettuce and tomato were put on the side.  The plate was nice but  I had cocktail and tarter sauce in clear plastic containers on the side.  Along with the sandwich came chips....they were clearly Sun Chips.  I felt like it was very tacky.  I barely ate half of it, and didn't touch the sad hoagie.

My friend ordered the special that night.  He had horseradish crusted salmon.  The salmon was rubbery and the mash potatoes that came with it tasted like they came out of a box.  He received a basket of bread with his meal.  The bread was white toast....literally.  It was sandwich bread with no oil or herbs on it.  Very bland and gross.  It reminded me of when I have the stomach flu and I start nibbling on dry toast to see if I can keep food down.  We both split a side of the coleslaw because it comes with all the entrees. ( FYI - all the entrees came with fries and coleslaw...made me think of Joe's Crab Shack. And the entrees were the same price as the sandwiches???)  The coleslaw was very bland and way too creamy.  Lastly, we ordered dessert.  The pecan was very cold and hard and had a sad scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it.  The torte looked like it came out of a Sara Lee box....and it was $7.95!!!  I saw a review in the IBJ and talked about a chef from Louisiana.....ummmmm, I'm not sure he was present that night.  I felt like the food I ate was something I would cook up late night years ago after I smoked a big bowl of ganja.

I think it is sad that downtown is offering something so gives Indianapolis a bad name.  Oh and the server was weird.  Very weird and not knowledgable....would ask us a question then walk off before we could answer.  I wouldn't go back if I had a gift certificate there.