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 yet...it 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.
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!!
THE WRAP UP
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 :)