Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 Sisters Cafe

I know 3 Sisters is a popular place for reviews with the local bloggers and it's been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but my Mom wanted to go there, and I hadn't been, so I'm going to go ahead and join the club.  I'm gonna review this puppy!

The other day I posted a picture of my Mom and I at a unknown restaurant, and one person guessed was 3 Sisters!

The Place

In the heart of Broad Ripple, Momma J saw this place on DDD and told me she wanted to go there even before she arrived.  It's super cute, an old house and the inside made me feel just like I was having breakfast at Gramma's house.  It has all the old wood floors and big old windows and is just homey.  We got out and about early and it was a beautiful day in Broad Ripple and has been since...pretty sure this is not a secret these days.  BR has been booming!  But, 3 Sisters was not crowded which really added to that quaint atmosphere.  Just a few nice folks drinking coffee, reading their papers and enjoying some delicious food together!

The Food

Since it was my first visit, and Momma J had seen those wonderful corn cake delights on DDD, we absolutely had to order them.  But, before that, we ordered coffee, which I totally must comment on because it was that good.  It was really nutty and noticeably good for Diner coffee...I might go back just to have a cup of coffee and sit on the porch.  Okay, so we were drinking that and deciding to order the corn cakes and split a side of bacon.

Check those out!  The corn cakes were sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with seasonal fruit (raspberries today) and served with either lemon curd or a fruit compote (also raspberries) and fresh whipped cream.  They said they put whatever that have on had in there, raspberries or blueberries are common.  I'll take either, thank you very much.  Clearly, as you can see by the picture, we probably could've split these and been satisfied.  I always do that!!!  But, since I had them, I had to try to eat them, how sad to let them go to waste?!?  Eat them, I did, my friends.  They were really, really good.  Crispy on the outside, but creamy and fruity on the inside.  The corn cake was NOT sweet, which was perfect.  The fruit inside and the dipping sauces added the sweetness you yearn for in a brekky like this.  The sauces were almost too good to be true.  One was as delicious as the next and I got a little crazy and started dipping in the lemon curd and then in the raspberry sauce...just for fun.  Uh-mazing.  I ate bacon was also yummy...when is bacon not really.  Maybe if little Wilbur, the prize pig, was looking at me through one of those big windows...maybe then, not so good.

The Verdict

Obviously, I only ate one thing here.  But, let's be honest, the first thing you try at a place can make or break it for you.  Everything came together with our little (Or not so little in this case) breakfast, from the coffee to the cakes.  The menu had some really mouth-watering options that I am definitely looking forward to tasting some of the lunch sandwich options or one of their many scrambles.  They have vegan and veggies choices abound as well as fresh and interesting ingredients, making this place a staple for my restaurant repertoire!  I think I want to become the 4th Sister and rename this place...I hope they will have me :)

3 Sisters Cafe on Urbanspoon

ChowDown MidTown

Check it out!  I, for one, am super excited about this and really looking forward to it.  If you are a food fanatic like me, you may already have the heads up, but if you missed it...I am letting you know now.  I went to only one restaurant during the Devour Downtown Indianapolis event this winter (I found out about it too late!!).  Luckily, there is another opportunity this summer in August.
What an amazing deal for either get to try a selected menu by the restaurants, posted on the ChowDown website (or on facebook), and get their special 3-course meal for $30 a person.  This is the perfect if there are some restaurants in MidTown you have been wanting to try, but haven't for whatever reason.  It's especially perfect if there are some restaurants you want to try that might cost a little more than you have been wanting to's the time to go for it.  Or, June 6th-16th in MidTown, at least :)  Chow down, kids!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Monon Food Company

I am really behind on posting our restaurant visits, but I am determined to get them up!  It was over a week ago that we visited The Monon Food Company in Broad Ripple.  Last Friday there was a gallery tour around the BR, and we definitely wanted to check that out.  There were some really cool little galleries hidden around the village that we didn't know were there and some that were more obvious, but we hadn't been in.  It was a nice way to explore and it was a really great evening out too.  You can't ask for much more than that in Spring if you ask me.  We saw some interesting pieces, I actually enjoyed it more than the First Friday around Mass Ave we went to a few months ago.  After we had walked all around, we ended up outside of Monon Food, they had some outdoor seating with a minimal wait time, so we stopped in.

The Place

They have a really great location, I just love this area of Broad Ripple.  There are so many restaurants for breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, desserts and drinks.  Whatever you are feeling, you can find it here. We have had hits and misses with the restaurants, but the atmosphere is always a win for me.  The Monon Food Company is located right next to the rail trail (hence the name :)) and has a really cute wrap-around porch for fantastic fresh air dining.  They serve a variety of American-style food options, but they also have a gourmet taco menu and a decent selection of craft beers by the bottle for $4 each, not bad. The style of the place is nice and open, so even if you are sitting inside this time of year, you're not too closed in.  There is plenty of seating on the deck and great opportunity for people watching.  I don't know if it was in the air with the gallery tours happening, or the random bumble bee looking for love, but we just kept making friends with all the people sitting around us, it was really a cool atmosphere and some interesting people out!  It was fun :)

Our bumblebee friend, starting conversations all over the Midwest :)
The food

Here's the rundown.  I don't know why, but I ordered bbq ribs.  I think they just sounded good to me, so I went for it.  I had mashed potatoes, which I typically think you can't go wrong with, and green beans on the side.

It may be my fault, for ordering ribs at a non-steakhouse type restaurant, but I wasn't really thinking that way before I got them.  I always like to be optimistic and just order what I am feeling like having.  It is always good to think about what the specialty might be at the place you are at, however.  Hindsight, these were not my favorite ribs.  They were just very underwhelming, but that wasn't my least favorite part of this meal.  There was something very off about the mashed potatoes.  This was confirmed by various other patrons, whom our bee friend helped us chat with.  They tasted like there may have been spoiled sour cream or something??  I didn't send them back or even say anything about it, I just ate my ribs and green beans and cursed myself for not ordering something more practical.  Oh yeah, I drank my delicious Sun King Osiris as well.  That always makes this better...much love Sun are so quickly becoming my very favorite.
Yum, Sun King in my belly
Since there is a separate menu for tacos, I'm thinking that's their thing...makes sense right?
Hubs got some Hawaiian fish tacos...good thinking on his part.  He's a very practical fellow, that Hubs.  Now, although I did not hear him scream with delight about these being the best tacos he ever laid his tastebuds on...they weren't made with rotten sour cream.  Sometimes, things really get put into perspective, eh?  He liked them just fine, overall a good experience for him.  They look pretty huh?  Lots of yummy mango gracing that plate.  He's loving to corn tortillas everywhere we go lately too!  

Wrap Up

For me, I will drink here.  I liked the vibe and the location, but the food experience was not so good.  I may be convinced to try an appetizer or something else very non-committal, but I'm not sure about that yet.  Our experience may not mesh with other's you see out there, but hey, it's all I can do...I eat and I tell it how I taste it, through my belly.  
Let's be serious, if I don't want to eat here, Hubs'll have to go on his own...we'll probably just go somewhere else.  It goes the same way for him, we bully each other to eating the places we like!  Happy Memorial Day week!  Hope you are working up to some fun weekend plans for the holiday :)  

Monon Food Company on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My mom and I went to Taste, because I couldn't resist taking her's one of my favorites in Indy so far.  Just wanted to post quickly about our breakfast, the good and the bad...and post some pictures!  You can visit my previous Taste post for more info about the place :)

The food and the pics

We decided on the egg sandwiches and a vanilla latte. My mom ordered the same thing, but one of us got fruit and one got homefries.  I know, we good like that.  Now, here's the good, those dang homefries were bangin'!  They were really, really good.  My perfect homefry actually, crunchy on the outside, squishy on the inside, perfectly salted and totally bite-sized goodness.  We housed 'em.  But, the sammy, unfortunately, wasn't my favorite.  There were a couple of things that troubled me about it.  1.  It was too eggy, with not much flavor...just a ton of egg in your mouth.  2.  A couple of bites resulted in me almost having to spit it out, it was so salty!  3.  They are huge and I don't think an egg sandwich is usually all that reheated...we should've split one for the both of us.  So, overall, not even close to my favorite breakfast sandwich.  The fruit was fine, although the chunks of melon could be a little smaller so I could fit them in my mouth...and I don't really have a small mouth, so they must be big!!

Moving on, and trying to recover from salt saturation, we scored us some vanilla lattes.  I asked to have mine less sweet than they usually make them, because that is typically a good bet for me with lattes.

Check out this awesome looking beverage!  What a cute presentation.  I wanted to say to the waiter, "Um, excuse me, I ordered a LARGE latte."  But, I refrained, because I wasn't sure he would get my random humor...what can you do?  Anyway, not only did this latte look amazing, and have a super yummy little meringue cookie served with it, it TASTED really good.  Maybe the best latte I have had in awhile.  I was happy and redeemed.  I forgot about my sandwich and focused on the perfect, creamy caffeine bomb in front of me.  It made me happy and I drank the whole dang thing, awwww yeah.

The wrap up

Now, I'm not gonna get hasty and condemn Taste for this experience.  Overall, it was good.  Our waiter was super friendly, the whole Taste experience was good.  We loved our lattes, and I don't think my mom had as much of a problem with the salty as I did.  So, maybe I'm crazy...I don't know, I speak what I eat.  At any rate, I'll be going back, for sure.  Still love Taste, just don't love the egg sammies, plenty of other things on that menu!

Taste Cafe and Marketplace on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 13, 2011

Goose! The Market

Everytime I say Goose the Market, I think of goosing that weird?!?  Goosing someone has nothing to do with food, but it can be fun :)  I have gotten so many recommendations to go to Goose I was very excited to go while my mom was in town.  I had heard through the grapevine that they have the best sammies in Indy.  That's a big reputation to uphold, but I was up for the challenge of checking it out and determining for myself.

The PLace

This market / deli / enoteca is located on the corner of 25th and Delaware in a small little section of town we had driven around quite a few times, but never been to.  I love when little treasures pop out at you when you feel like you've discovered everything.  There's always some gem hiding away waiting to make you day.  That's what Goose the Market was for us.  It's a really cool little place.  They have all sorts of specialty items (coffees, breads, pastries, sauces, condiments) and a really diverse deli selection upstairs with local meats and cheeses galore...and then you go downstairs, where there are tons of wines and a wine and cheese tasting room as well as more specialty items neatly arranged on shelves for you to peruse and drool over.

The deli selection - fresh and local meats and cheeses...yum

Reclaimed barn wood tables...and a plethora of wine downstairs

The Foods

We went last week just for sandwiches, but they also had a small wine tasting and thai sausage street food event last night in the Enoteca that was pretty awesome.  I think they have tasting events every once in awhile, so I will be going back next time they do!  Check out their blog to find out about future events.

But, back to the sandwiches.  The place is busy so far as I have seen the two times I have been there.  Lots of people ordering meats, cheeses, gelato, drinks and sandwiches.  You just walk up to the side of the cold case and make your order.  I think the sandwich choices change from day to day with a couple of them staying more constant.  

I ordered The Cortez, which was made with a nice thick slice of pork shoulder, gruyere, lettuce, asparagus and mustard on razor bread.  I am not sure if it's actually called razor bread, but that's what they call it in deli's in New Jersey, and I think it's a fitting name.  It is my favorite kind of bread for a sandwich, but you do have to be sharp!!  This whole thing was just delicious.  I must say, not just the best sandwich in Indy, but the best sandwich I've has since New Jersey delis...and they can make a sandwich now!  Look at that pork shoulder slice, so juicy and great flavor...and local!  Does it get any better?  They had some really great choices and some yummy sodas to go along with them too.  I grabbed myself a Sprecher cherry cola that is made with Wisconsin cherry juice.  Pretty delectable.  I'm making myself hungry writing this! I'm such a dork.

So, after we were completely stuffed and done overanalyzing our lunches (my mom and I only ate half of our sandwiches, which made Hubs happy because he had a whole sandwich to himself to eat the next day at work!), we checked out their awesome little garden and compost setup on the south side of the building.  So cool Goose!

The Wrap

Run, skip, bike, walk, scoot, roll...whatever...just go.  

Goose the Market on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mug n' Bun

We ended up at Mug n' Bun when we were on the West side the other weekend watching the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge at the Indy 500 track.  Hubs' cousin, JM, goes to Rose-Hulman and was racing the bike his team constructed, pretty cool!  The rest of his family were in Indy from WV and we decided Mug n' Bun seemed like a good lunch spot.  

Mug n' Bun (cute name), is a really cool little drive-in spot.  It's very old school and makes you feel like you are time-warped to the 50s or 60s.  I was into it when we drove up, they even had a sweet little sign directing you toward the joint...and a Jukebox!  

THe foods

We sat under the pavilion and when we were ready to order, we pushed the little button to summon the waitress.  Unfortunately, she did not roll out on skates!  The menu said they had homemade root beer, I'm not usually a fan of root beer, so I declined.  Everyone else at the table partook in the foamy goodness they were offering up, however.  Man, I sure did miss the boat on that one!!  Check out this tasty looking beverage.  It tasted as good as it looks...and that's coming from someone who shuns root beer always!  It was topped with a nice foam that could leave you with a satisfying mustache and the drink was smooth, not like Dr. Pepper, that to me is kind of harsh and too peppery.

The food is of the fast food variety, but doesn't totally fit into that category for me.  It tastes better than fast food, sure it's fried and greasy and it's burgers, hots dogs and fries, but nothing had the frozen patty feel or taste of McDonald's or the like.

Check our bounty!!!

                            I decided on the tenderloins sandwich.  I think this is some sort of Indiana specialty...sorry if that is uninformed...I am still new to the place!!  Anyway...sounded delicious and got me away from my burger fascination.  I also couldn't resist scoring some cheese sticks.  I like to get these at various places too and try to find the best ones (#1 so far, Arthur's in Cincy) beer battered cheese sticks...ever!  Hubs ordered himself a hotdog and some fries...pretty standard.  

I can't comment about his dog...I'm sure it was your average diggity.  But, my tenderloins sammy was pretty dang good, lightly breaded and super juicy.  This place has got it...for fast food, I only want to come here!  The cheese sticks were whatever, but just for the root beer...and the jukebox, I'd come back.    

The Wrap

Totally cool atmosphere, jukebox and retro signage.  Better than fast food, fast food and homemade root beer.  This place is a keeper.  Cool little joint...we'll be back, fo' sho.

Mug-n-Bun Drive-in on Urbanspoon

I'm back! And I've been eating...surprise.

My mom was here visiting for the past I was on a little hiatus from blogging.  But, not from eating, for sure!  We got our eat I have some blogging to catch up on friends.

Here's a little sneak peak of our first restaurant visit.  Can you guess where we are?

We had a super fun time and even got to spend Mother's Day together, which hasn't happened in years since I am always living somewhere far, far away, not the land of Far, Far Away, just not Upstate NY.  It happened to work out this year and we got to explore Indy for the whole week, eating and walking and hiking and watching Hubs run the Mini!!  Yay, he was awesome, P.S.  So, stay tuned for our adventures while I tinker with my pictures and get myself and my house back together.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fire! by the Monon

We hit this new BR spot, Fire by the Monon, on Friday night for date night.  We had a craving for burgers and I saw this on Urbanspoon while looking for a good burger and local beer place near us.  Then, it clicked, I have been seeing these signs on the Monon that say "Fire!" and have an arrow pointing off the trail.  I was curious, so with all that, we definitely wanted to check this place out.  The reviews online claim that this place focuses on local and organic and the menu looked really good, seemed like a perfect place for date night.

The place looks really cute from the outside with a rustic but contemporary feel.  There was only a 20-30 minuted wait when we got there...and there was a little wine tasting happening to occupy us while we waited.  Perfect.  At the bar, it wasn't too crowded and the bartender was super nice.  We tried a few reds they were tasting, but none of them super struck our fancy and none of them were organic or local, so nothing out of the ordinary.  We decided to order a Sun King Wee Mac (our favorite local brew), which they happened to have on tap.

I love me some Wee Mac.  It's right up there with my other favorite, Bell's Two Hearted.  Different types of beers, but both just GOOD beer.  Always satisfying and never disappointing.  The bar area is cute, although they didn't have anything on tap that we could see.  I think that the bar area may not be finished was kind of empty.  With our favorite on tap (in the back), and good service, we had an overall good experience there.  They have Upland and Flat 12 beers too, so a variety of local beers available for your liking.

The restaurant is a really interesting setup, very unique.  There are a few tables in  each of the various rooms, and some more tables in a back bar area. They have a nice wrap around patio that has tables for eating al fresco (yay!).  It felt comfortable and there was some nice attention to detail pieces, some really cool light fixtures and artwork.  We sat near the bar in the back and most of the tables were full.  The waiter instantly looked a little flustered and walked by us quite a few times before speaking to us at all.  He said he's be with us soon, but it was awhile before we decided we should just flag him down.  We were taking it easy and enjoying our beverages, but it was just about a long enough wait to start to think "We've been waiting a little too long here, c'mon now."

I wanted a burger, so ordering was pretty easy for me.
It looked like there was some other really good stuff on the menu, fish and steak.  Hubs got himself a pulled pork sammy after being convinced that they smoked it there on site, not everyday, but every two to three days...worth a try.
My burger tasted pretty good, it was cooked well and the bacon was yummy and maple flavored.  Hubs thought his bbq was okay, he said it was a little too pureed and it was hard to get the flavors with it being so mushy.  He would've like it to be a little more pulled than pureed.  But, overall, not bad and the sweet potato fries were pretty delicious.  They were both served with sweet potato fries and a little pickle relish garnishy dish.  The pickle relish had a little to be desired as far as taste, but it looked pretty.

The presentation was nice and I was excited about the sweet potato fries, of course.  I was a little concerned about my burger patty looking so perfectly formed, so I wanted to know more about it.  The owner stopped by and we chatted about the local/organic idea of this place a little.  Apparently, the burgers are not so local, however.  They come from a "local" distributor in Michigan, but that's not that local and it certainly doesn't mean the meat is local.  It wasn't clear.  The more we started to think about it, there wasn't too much local or organic happening on our plates.  I know this is a big thing right now and people are all about it, so restaurants are trying to get in on the craze.  But, my biggest qualm with this is, if you say on the front of your restaurant that you serve local and organic, this should be the basis of your restaurant.  I tried to recheck out the menu online, but there is no food menu that I can find.  For now, I am a little skeptical.  There are sources for local beef, Joseph DeCuis or local chicken, Gunthorp Farms and many restaurants are doing it and having big success.  AND...there are farmer's markets galore...the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market is starting next weekend!!    


Bottom line, this place has been open for 2 weeks.  It's a soft opening.  There are a lot of good things about Fire and Hubs and decided that we are going to definitely give it another try.  I plan on seriously checking out how things go here in the near future.  I am sure the service kinks will work out naturally and all of the finishing details of the restaurant will come together beautifully.  I do want to keep a watchful eye on how they handle the local and organic feel of this place though, and I will update about it on our next visit there.  They say on their website that this is a nog focus, and that their menu will change seasonally and frequently.  Go give it a try, see what you think and ask about where the food comes from.  Inquiring lets them know you care about this and it's important for them to care too.  We're not counting it out, and I don't think you should either...I simply want to have a conversation about it.  Eat and talk and know what you're eating!  Cheers :)

Fire by the Monon on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rene's Bakery Brekky

I've seen Rene's Bakery while wandering around Broad Ripple and I have read a couple of things about it.  It looked quaint and the reviews made it sound amazing, so of course, I must see for myself because brekky is one of my favorites.  I can't resist a deliciously carbby baked good!

I happened to be out early one morning and thought I would surprise Hubs with some treats.  Pretty sure he would still be snoozing when I got back, but what better to wake up to than some fresh baked delights!?!

I got these puppies to split.

Strawberry danish

Blueberry and cream cheese danish

The blueberry and cream cheese danish was to die for.  The pastry was buttery and croissant-like, and the blueberries were surrounded by a sugary glaze over the cream cheese filling.  Magnifique!  The strawberry danish had a similar pastry, buttery and flaky...and they both look super darn pretty, for sure!  The strawberry danish could've used a little more filling.  It seemed like it might have cooked out or snuck away somewhere.  I will forgive it and I will definitely be trying other things from this bakery.  I saw a rack full of fresh baked breads while I was in there, which will likely be my next purchase.  I love fresh baked breads and can't wait to try theirs.

Rene's Bakery on Urbanspoon
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