I’ve been eating out a lot lately and I’ve been a little slow at getting my restaurant reviews posted. Rather than individually uploading my recommendations, I’m just going to mention them all at once.
Peterson’s – B.B. took me out to dinner at this high-end restaurant for our anniversary (I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not realize that it was our anniversary until about 1pm–he was going to do fun things with me all day and then mention the date later at 11:59). We started off with a spinach salad (it was pretty good, but not as good as the spinach salad at the Capital Grill). I ordered the Maine scallops in truffle oil and B.B. ordered the veal. The meal was fantastic. We ended with coffee and a very rich amaretto chocolate cake. I highly recommend this restaurant for special occasions and I also recommend making a reservation. 7690 East 96th Street • Fishers, IN (check out the menu)
Ruth’s Café – this is a brunch type place which serves good eggs Benedict. I’ve eaten here three times and have been satisfied with my brunch. The coffee is also good and if you order tea, they are one of the few places in town that serves loose leaf tea (the Earl Grey smells and tastes fantastic–if you’re like me, you’ll have to ask for cream because it’s not a common practice to add cream to tea). I recommend this place. Keystone Crossing • 3443 E 86th St • Indianapolis.
Three Sisters Café & Bakery – The restaurant is in a quaint little house and it always seems busy and packed with regulars. The menu items are all tempting and sounds delectable to the taste buds. During my first visit, I ordered the grilled eggplant sandwich. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but it was delicious! B.B. had the scallop tacos and commented that they were the best seafood tacos that he had ever had. I’ve only ever had the lunch items, but I anticipate going back to try out the breakfast menu. I recommend this place! Broad Ripple • 6360 Guilford Ave • Indianapolis, IN (check out the menu).
Woody’s Library Restaurant – Just as the name suggests, this restaurant has a library feel which is reaffirmed when you are handed your menu which is stuffed in the middle of a hard-back encyclopedia. I ordered one of the specials which was medium-rare steak medallions served with potatoes and baby asparagus. Very delicious. I would order this meal again. An added plus is that this restaurant is one of the few to ban smoking in the restaurant (a slow but gradual movement to become smoke free in Indiana restaurants). There is also a pub downstairs which looks friendly and inviting. 40 East Main Street • Carmel, IN (check out the menu)
The Journey – This is an all you can eat buffet-style restaurant. I know of some people who would love this restaurant (S.L. and D.H. come to mind). It serves sushi and seafood with an assortment of other Asian foods (like spring rolls, kim chi, wontons, chow mein, as well as other ethic cuisine such as calamari and frog legs). It is a good place to eat if you are hungry and have the metabolism of a teenaged football line-backer. Chances are, for a $20 per person buffet, you’re going to eat all you can eat, and some. I have been to this restaurant 3 times (too many) and have eaten a lot. However, the last time I ate here, something disagreed with me and I ended up getting sick (I think that it was the crab cakes or the baked scallops–which tasted a little off). Enter and eat at your own risk. 7155 E 96th St. • Indianapolis (check out the menu)
Siam Square – As a fan of Thai cuisine, I have to say that this is one of the best Thai places that I’ve been to outside of Thailand. I have been to this restaurant a handful of times and the food is consistently good. The popularity of this restaurant is obvious as this place is always full of people regardless if it’s during the lunch hour, dinner hour, mid-week or weekend. I highly recommend that you try this restaurant. One of my favourite dishes here is the pad seuw, a tasty dish of rice noodles, broccoli and bok choy. Downtown in Historic Fountain Square • 936 Virginia Avenue • Indianapolis (check out the menu)
Shapiro’s Deli – Supposedly the rye bread is well-known and fantastic. I’m not really a big bread eater, so I have not tried the rye. I did have a turkey sandwich and the bread was very good (whole wheat and baked fresh). However, I don’t think that it was the best sandwich that I have ever had. This place is a lot about quantity. I find that the portions are a little on the big side (I tend to favour quality over quantity). I also ordered the cabbage rolls–however, if you prefer savory over sweet, I don’t recommend this dish which had been baked in a sweet tomato soup–one of the few things that I dislike is tomato soup, but I like tomato sauce. I’m sure that there are things that I would like better, I just haven’t found them yet. I did get the apple pie, which was really buttery (I don’t have a strong sweet tooth). It was ok, but I kind of wished that I got the cream pie instead. In my opinion, it’s a hit and miss. 3 locations: Shapiro’s Downtown 808 S Meridian St • Shapiro’s Carmel 918 S Rangeline Rd • Shapiro’s at the Indianapolis International Airport (check out the menu).
Charleston’s Restaurant – Located on the border of Carmel and Westfield, this restaurant serves basic western food such as pasta, steak and potato fare. Although the restaurant has a decent atmosphere, it tends to get very busy and very loud. This restaurant is nothing special, but the food is ok. I ordered the Marsala chicken which was a bit saucy but otherwise tasted fine. This is a chain restaurant with locations throughout the midwest. 14636 US Highway 31 • Carmel, IN (check out the menu)
Locally Grown Gardens – For those of you who are environmentally conscious, this is the place for you. This restaurant is in a building that looks like it was formally a gas station garage. Bob Marley blasts from the speakers and you can sit down and enjoy your food at one of the picnic tables outside facing the streets or along the Monon Trail or you can choose to dine in the library which is filled with cook books and environmentally themed books. Owner and chef Ron Harris received his culinary training at the Culinary of Art Institute of America and his dishes reflect both his skills as a chef and his mantra of keeping the food personal by providing dishes made from produce grown locally. In addition to being a restaurant, it serves as a mini-market where one can purchase fresh produce and plants. For those more interested in traditional mid-western fare, a pig is roasted daily for pulled pork thick with barbecue sauce is available nightly. I had the gingerand citrus flavoured salmon with a spring green salad, which was beautifully plated and tasted delicious. It’s a very unique place to dine or visit. I am a huge fan of independent restaurants and I highly recommend that you try this place. 1050 E. 54th St. • Indianapolis, off of the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple.
The Egyptian Café and Hookah Bar – While I am not a big fan of smoking in public places, I can appreciate the culture and tradition that is associated with the hookah and I don’t mind the smell of the flavoured tobacco. B.B. and I didn’t try out the hookah, (I’ve never tried it but B.B. has) mostly because we were both getting over a cold and didn’t want to further irritate our lungs. When we went into this hookah bar, it was a Sunday and it wasn’t very busy. We did have a delicious dinner and I have to say that they served the best Greek salad (with romaine lettuce*) that I have ever had in my life! It was so tangy and savoury. I ordered the chicken shawarma and it was delicious. If you like mediterranean flavours, I recommend that you try this restaurant. In Broad Ripple, 6265 Carrollton Ave • Indianapolis (check out the menu)
*Note: I am not keen on having lettuce in my Greek salad, but I have found that in the mid-west and even provinces like Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Greek salad with ice-burg lettuce is standard.