Monday, July 14, 2014

Midwest Tastes Best: Indianapolis

This three-part blog series highlights the food and coffee in the three cities Jorje and I visited on our bi-annual Midwest trip. My hope is to document the week of food and, if you happen to be looking for very specific recommendations for three Midwestern cities, you may get something out of it as well.

Part one (this blog): Indianapolis
Part two: Grand Rapids
Part three: Ann Arbor

I'm not sure if I would describe myself as a "foodie" though Jorje and I definitely enjoy a good, local restaurant whenever we visit a new place or return to our hometowns. Last week, during our Midwest trip, we had a crazy amount of great food stops leaving us in food comas each afternoon only to get refilled with greatness in the evening. Listed is a little bit of our experience and info on each place including what stood out, links to their websites, and the location of our visit though many have multiple locations in the designated city.

Despite being my birthplace, my wife's hometown, and the nearest large(r) city to my college, I didn't really get acquainted with this wonderful city's food until grad school and beyond. I love the many districts of this mid-sized city, each with a little bit of their own personality and flavor.

The Tamale Place
Greenwood (South suburb) ||

Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives at some point, this little joint, not surprisingly, specializes in tamales, perhaps distinguishing it from potential corporate competitors Qdoba and Chipotle. Our friends Bethany and Noah introduced us to this place and they loved their tamales though I strayed from the tamale and went with a steak taco along with the appropriate sides: some of the best brown rice I've had in a while and thick and hearty chips with a smokey salsa that is unlike any other salsa I've tried.
Must-have: the chips and salsa

Bazbeaux Pizza
Carmel (North suburb) ||

A favorite of Jorje and mine since college, Bazbeaux has pizzas that outdo just about any other thin-style that I've had. Distinguishing itself primarily with it's fresh ingredients, you can't beat a pizza that has fresh basil, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Sharing a dinner with Jorje's family out on their patio made for a perfect summer evening.
Must-have: Bazbeaux Special


Easily my favorite breakfast, anywhere. Jorje and I were able to introduce my little brother to this favorite. I'm a big omelette fan and these omelettes are ridiculous. Again, fresh and local ingredients make the difference here, justifying eating a huge potato, bacon, and cheese one filled every time. The serve-yourself coffee is delicious and the side of fruit is fresh enough to make even me give it a try. Oh, and if you're into mimosas, they've got options.
Must-have: The Omelette You Can't Refuse, the cinnamon sugar sourdough toast

The Brugge
Broad Ripple ||

This Belgian place has fantastic Belgian fries and twelve dipping sauces to go with it. The rest of their very Belgian menu is great though be prepared to pay for it. Most importantly, The Brugge offers my favorite beer, the Tripel de Ripple, a 10% abv blonde with hints of vanilla and pear and they'll limit you to two... appropriately. We sat at the downstairs bar to watch the Netherlands v. Argentina World Cup game but if you can, check out their upstairs (open weekend evenings) if you're into shuffle board.
Must-have: fries and sauces, Tripel de Ripple

This recently opened bar specializes in tacos, tequila, and whiskey. And they do all of those things very well. To be honest, I've only gotten their chips & salsa, tacos, and margarita, but everything was delicious. This hip place is located on the busy Mass Ave. and you'll probably have to wait for a table like we did (45 minutes on a Tuesday night), so be prepared.
Must-have: margarita, tacos

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