On my recent trip to Indianapolis my wife and I grabbed a quick breakfast before heading back to Cincinnati. We walked past the Indianapolis City Market the day before and the next morning I searched there for a breakfast spot. I quickly found 3 Days in Paris and we immediately headed that way.
Indianapolis City Market
We arrived just after 9 AM on a Monday and found the market mostly empty. The market itself opens at 7, but the creperie doesn’t open until 9. 3 Days in Paris is right in the center of the market. After placing our orders my wife and I took turns exploring the other booths while waiting for our crepes to be made. Keep in mind that only two crepes can be made at a time, so if they are busy it could take some time for your crêpe to be prepared.
I’m not a fan of eggs, so I was really happy to see plenty of crepes offered without eggs in the them. I went with the Harvest crêpe filled with ham, Havarti, apples, dried cranberries, spinach, and a cherry chipotle sauce ($8.49). This was an awesome crêpe and it was really filling! My wife was equally as happy with her green eggs & ham crêpe with egg, ham, mozzarella, spinach, and pesto ($7.49).
3 Days in Paris makes an excellent crêpe and I would absolutely go back at any time to sample more. The hot date with bacon, Havarti, goat cheese, dates, onion, and walnuts looks very intriguing.
Prior to the recent Mumford and Sons concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, my wife and I had dinner at the nearby Napolese Pizzeria location. I made a reservation for 6 PM a week before the sold out concert. We arrived to find our table waiting near the windows looking out toward Meridian Street. The tables were packed in like sardines at this place, but we made the most of it and enjoyed some conversation with our neighboring table while waiting for food and drinks.
Whipped Goat Cheese Dip
We started with the whipped goat cheese dip appetizer with caramelized onions and served with focaccia ($9). The dip was outstanding and the serving was more than enough for two, but that didn’t stop us from eating every last bit. This is a very hearty spread, and not really a dip, so it is very filling.
From there we split the Hamaker’s corner pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, provolone, and mushrooms ($15). Again this was more than enough for two, and though I wish I could have taken the rest home for a late night snack, we didn’t have anywhere to keep it during the show. Overall the pizza was really good. I could have used a little more cheese to really cover the pizza from edge to edge. Otherwise the toppings were plentiful and the taste was good. I would not hesitate to go back to Napolese Pizzeria on a return visit to Indianapolis.
A few weeks ago, Kim and I traveled to Indianapolis to sample some food, some brews, and most importantly to see Mumford and Sons. This was Kim’s first time seeing the band, my fourth. This was by far the closest I have been to the stage for one of their performances. All of the other shows I have attended have been general admission, but for this show I was able to get some really good assigned seats on the side. Here are some photos from the fabulous night!
We hosted a Kentucky Derby party this past weekend complete with mint juleps and fried chicken with all of the sides. As an appetizer I made mini Kentucky Hot Browns that turned out really good, so I wanted to share a recipe.
Serve with Mint Julep
- 4 thick slices of turkey breast (as thick as the butcher will slice)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar
- 3/4 cup grated romano
- pinch nutmeg
- 6 slider buns
- 2-3 roma tomatoes, sliced in 12
- 8 slices booked bacon
- Cook the butter and flour over medium heat in a pot, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.
- Raise the head to medium-high and add the milk, whisking until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cheddar, 1/2 cup romano, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Separate the bun halves and toast each piece.
- Place each toasted bun half face-up on a large pan.
- Divide the turkey over the top (1 slice should cover about 3 bun halves).
- Layer with a tomato slice, mornay sauce from above, and a sprinkling of romano.
- Place the pan under the broiler until the sauce is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a place and sprinkle with paprika, parsley, and top with crumbled bacon.
I’ve been to Arnold’s Bar & Grill many times before, but most of the time I am just there for drinks. Sometimes that’s just for a quick drink with a friend at the inside bar, or other times it’s for several while watching a band play on the covered outdoor patio. I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a meal before going to a concert downtown.
Thankfully we were seated on the covered outside patio. I like this a lot more than the handful of dark inside tables. We were meeting my wife’s sister and her husband, who beat us there and ordered the roasted garlic appetizer ($9) with feta, olives, and gluten-free chips instead of the standard pita slices. My brother-in-law has recently discovered a gluten sensitivity and was happy to find many items on the menu available gluten-free.
There were two items on the menu that I had a hard time picking between. Fortunately my wife agreed to try these as well, so we split plates. First up is Arnold’s hot brown with a grilled hoagie roll, fries, Mornay sauce, roasted turkey, bacon, and tomato ($12). This was a very filling take on the Kentucky hot brown sandwich. I liked the addition of fries to the mix and the turkey was top-notch. However I felt that the Mornay sauce was lacking a little in the flavor department, perhaps not the right blend of cheese was used. With that said I still enjoyed the sandwich and would not hesitate to order again.
Our other selection was Marty’s waffles and chicken with fries ($20). This features a Belgian waffle from Marty’s Waffles truck. The fried chicken was drizzled with a delicious buffalo sauce and the waffle was covered in syrup. The flavor combination was excellent. However the waffle was a little tough to cut, even with the sharp knife that was provided. This was a good dish, but not in the same league as Taste of Belgium.
Waffles and Chicken
Both of our dishes were good, but both had slight issues with execution. I would order both of them again, but I do think there is room for a little improvement. With that said, the dinner was still above average and Arnold’s is definitely worthy of a visit or two.
At the beginning of the year, a Latin street food restaurant called El Camino opened in Mt. Lookout Square in the space formerly occupied by Annabele’s. I never made it to Annabele’s so I cannot comment on how the inside is different from before, but the first thing that jumped out at me was how small the dining room was. There can’t be much more than a handful of tables inside.
At the time of my visit on a Sunday just before 6:30 the tables were probably half full. Being that this is a counter order style restaurant I would expect tables to turn over pretty rapidly, but I just want to point out that there could easily be a time when you’d have to wait for a table. I placed my to go order and waited just a few minutes for it to be prepared before taking dinner home to share with my wife.
Queso Blanco Dip
We started with the queso blanco dip with Mexican chorizo, served with house made tortilla chips ($6.95). The cheese was made with MadTree Lift and definitely had a distinct beer cheese flavor, which I liked. However it was a too thin for my liking and didn’t have as much chorizo as I would have hoped.
El Jefe Tacos
On the other hand, the El Jefe tacos were outstanding! These consist of pulled pork, pickled tomatoes, caramelized onions, sweet corn salsa, and fresh cilantro ($9.75 for 3). Of note here was the use of flour tortillas, which my wife really appreciated, as she isn’t particularly fond of corn tortillas. The pork was juicy and cooked perfectly, and the tomato and onion mixture really shined.
We also tried the Cubano sandwich with braised pork shoulder, thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese, house made mustard, and pickles served on Sixteen Bricks bread ($7.95). The fresh-baked bread was top-notch and overall this was one of the better Cuban sandwiches in Cincinnati. It was a fairly large sandwich and was very filling. I will definitely be back soon to sample some of their other sandwich and tapas offerings.
Occasionally my wife and I still find time to sneak away for a busy workday for a nice lunch. The location for this latest dine was D. Burnham’s, which is hidden inside the recently renovated Renaissance Hotel at 4th & Walnut. The interior of this contemporary restaurant is very modern, there are even a couple of relaxing couch areas inside the dining room. We arrived just after the 11 AM opening and were the first patrons to be seated. Over the course of our meal a few more tables were occupied but there was plenty of room when we left around noon.
The lunch menu features nearly a dozen sandwiches, plus almost as many salads, several pizzas, and a few larger entrée plates. There were a few items that jumped out at me, but eventually I was sold on the chicken cordon bleu sandwich as it came on a pretzel bun. This sandwich was topped with shaved maple ham, Gruyere cheese, bibb lettuce, tomato, and garlic Dijon aioli ($12.50). The pretzel bun did not disappoint and overall the sandwich was quite good. Sandwiches are served with a choice of fries, kettle chips, or fruit. The fries were cut in-house and reminded me of those my family would make at home growing up.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
My wife ordered from the “healthy fare” section of the menu and had a marinated vegetable sandwich with grilled portabella, eggplant, roasted red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, topped with arugula and fresh mozzarella on french bread ($11). This was served with a house salad of spring mix, tomatoes, sweet onion, and a lemon vinaigrette. That’s a whole of vegetables for me, but my wife seemed happy with her choice.
Overall we were happy with our lunch selections. The dinner menu is a little more limited and much more expensive, so I don’t think we will return for dinner but a follow-up lunch is not out of the question. The breakfast menu also doesn’t look too bad, so I’ll have to remember that for our next stay downtown.
This past Saturday was the first ever home game for new local soccer team, FC Cincinnati. Their home stadium is Nippert on the University of Cincinnati campus. The 35,000 seat capacity is much larger than they should expect to draw, but a very respectable crowd of nearly 15,000 turned out on a chilly night to see the first of fifteen home games for this season.
Having the upper deck on the east side of stadium closed (along with some of the lower sections) makes the crowd more compacted and looks good. The Bailey section behind the north goal was especially packed and rowdy. It featured members of a couple of fan clubs that have already started up, along with anyone else who wants to buy a general admission ticket and stand for the entire game. I think I will go for this next time, but with the kids with us for opening night it would not have been a good idea.
I will admit that I am not the most knowledgeable fan of soccer, not even close to being an average fan I would say. However I found the game to be extremely exciting and full of action. It was almost as if either team could have scored at any time throughout the match. Fortunately for the hometown fans the home team scored more than their opponents, with one of the goals being featured on SportsCenter, and went on to win 2-1. I will definitely be back for more soon, though I have prior plans that will keep me away from this coming Saturday’s game.
After visiting Krueger’s Tavern, I have finally completed the Over-the-Rhine trifecta of Thunderdome Restaurant Group offerings. First I enjoyed the tacos and margaritas at Bakersfield. Then I fell in love with the fried chicken at The Eagle. Would I be as impressed by the elevated bar food from Kruger’s Tavern?
I’m not much of a red meat eater, so I skipped the house ground burgers, which is the largest part of the menu (a house made veggie burger is available). After eliminating the house made sausages from my list, I was left with a choice of two sandwiches of a few salads. My choice was pretty clear at this point and I ordered the Cuban ($10) with a side of fries ($4).
The Cuban is served on a traditional roll with braised pork shoulder, ham, Gruyere cheese, home made pickles, Dijon mustard, and black bean purée. This was a very good example of a fine Cuban sandwich, with delicious pulled pork and outstanding pickles. The black bean purée was a welcome addition, though it didn’t stand out much with the other flavors.
The fries are served with a malt vinegar aioli that is incredible. I’m a big fan of malt vinegar on the fries and this delivered a little something extra that I found very enjoyable. And with that the verdict is out that Thunderdome can do no wrong.
Some time ago I met a college roommate for lunch down at Pontiac in Over-the-Rhine. The BBQ and bourbon bar has been open for over a year and comes to us from the creators of Senate. The interior of the space is rustic, warm, and welcoming.
Though I wasn’t able to sample any drinks on this visit, the bar is fully stocked with ten rotating taps of draft beer, a lengthy bottle and can list, as well as a dozen specialty cocktails and quite the bourbon list. With a large portion of the space dedicated to the bar, I would be surprised to find that the drinks being a reason for many people to stop for a visit.
However on this visit I would be focusing purely on the food. The food menu features a handful of BBQ sandwiches, along with platters of smoked meats served by the pound, a long list of snacks and some sides to round it out.
I almost ordered the pulled pork sandwich ($9) but instead went with the BBQ quesadilla, which seems to have disappeared from the online menu, along with a side of cheddar bacon grits. I knew it would be hard for the sandwich to compete with the pulled pork sandwich from Eli’s so I felt like I had to mix it up.
I was really glad that I did because this quesadilla was actually very good. Perhaps a petition is in order to bring it back to the menu? My friend had the pulled pork sandwich and commented that while he didn’t think it was as good as Eli’s it was still above average. And the grits were also very good, full of plenty of cheese and just the right amount of smoky bacon. Pontiac is well worth a visit for the food alone, and not to mention a very solid drink list.