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It’s Serious Business People February 22, 2013

Tuna Salad. I take it very seriously.

Until today I had one true love, one location, no other tuna salad existed. I’ve had others and always felt guilty afterwards.

Today…. A new tuna salad rocked my world and I’m not ashamed to say it.

My friend Jenn Lisak invited me to lunch at SoBro Cafe yesterday. I’ve never been to SoBro before so like any good food lover I checked out their menu before I went.

The first thing I noticed on their menu was their claim to have “Impeccable Chai” for a sorta spiffy price. I said out-loud (to myself) “they must be pretty damn proud of that tea.” When I arrived at the cozy spot I ordered the Impeccable Chai straight away. I think the server could sense a hint of sarcasm when I ordered it, she just smiled sweetly as to say, yeah, you’ll see. So.. I’m an ass because it truly is impeccable. Perfectly creamy and the right hint of warm spices. I was almost transported to another place when she asked if I “liked it?” I said “yes” sheepishly, and took another sip.

The lunch menu has a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, and such to nosh on (lots and lots of Gluten Free and Vegan options here my friends.) My eye went directly to the Tunisian Salad which I noticed after perusing the menu the night before. The Tunisian Salad is tuna salad with potatoes, lemon caper dill sauce on texas toast with harissa, boiled egg, and melted cheddar cheese. Ordering this meant I was going out of my tuna salad comfort zone. I’ve only been out maybe half a dozen times and have always been disappointed. Then I thought, if the Chai is that damn good, the sandwich has to be good. I asked the server if the sandwich was good, she said it was “excellent” – that’s a done deal. Chips came with it, but I opted for a kale salad. The kale salad was dressed nicely with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

When the sandwich arrived it looked so delicious. So much so that I lost my head and didn’t take of picture of it before taking a bite! Wow, that’s all I can say. There is some love in that tuna salad. Salty from capers, acid from the lemon, sweetness from the mayo, and heat which must have been from the harissa. It’s safe to say a changing of the guard happened in my tuna salad world. I’ll have fond memories of my old tuna salad, our times together, as I drive past it to go back to SoBro Cafe.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s more. After we finished our lunch the owner brought out a piece of cake for us. It was a slice of banana (thanks Gwen Stefani) cake with peanut butter icing.  It had the consistency of a carrot cake, it was sweet but not too sweet. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t typically order a piece of banana cake, it was a very nice surprise.

I’ll definitely go back to SoBro Cafe. They have brunch on Saturday and Sunday which always perks Mr. D’s ears up. If you’re not a fan of tuna salad, get the Chai and thank me later.

SoBro Cafe

SoBro Cafe – Menu, Hours, Etc.

SoBro Cafe on Facebook

SoBro Cafe on Twitter

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Spook-tacular Dinner Cerulean Style November 5, 2012

When Duncan Alney of Firebelly Marketing  asked if I would like to attend a pop up dinner under the City Market on Halloween, how long do you think it took me to say yes? I think the look on my face was enough. A new restaurant Cerulean Indianapolis was hosting the event. He could have told me I was going to eat dirt and I would have been there. I did, by the way eat some delicious dirt.

There were 20 of us. Some social media foodies and great mix of people that won the restaurant’s pop up dinner sweepstakes. Everyone met at the Tomlinson Tap Room. Some of us whispering about actually eating in the catacombs beneath the City Market. Tales of ghost and haunting filled the room when our gracious hostess said it was time to head down.

Not knowing what to expect, I didn’t expect the dirt floor, or the hair on the back of my arms raising up and we shuffled down the old stairs. Through the dim lights we arrived at our destination.  Awesome right?

Speaking of awesome, the food, was absolutely delicious!  Chef Caleb France was very gracious and described his restaurant and the dishes we would be enjoying and that they would be paired with a wine sample.

They started us out with a seared scallop, which was not on the already prepared menu. It looked as beautiful as it tasted. Cooked to perfection, perfect start!

Our next small plate was kale, carrot, radish, caramelized onion, dirt. You read it right, edible dirt. It was paired with a Branborg Estate wine (Umpqua Valley, OR.) Everything was crisp and fresh, another delight!

My favorite option of the night was the yellow perch, sweet pepper, fennel, mushroom corn. The yellow perch melted in my mouth, the peppers were sweet, with the right amount of fennel. It was paired with a Overstone (Hawke’s Bay, New Zeland.)

I would have been satisfied with that dish alone but then they brought out the pork dish. It took me to Thanksgiving. Pork Loin, cranberry, fresh sage, apple, ginger, with a hint of bourbon. The loin was so tender you could cut it with a fork, the cranberries were just the right amount of tartness.  It was paired with Domain de Servana Cotes due Rhone Grenache Blend (Rhone Valley, France.)

Our next taste was of the smoske, beef, bone marrow, stout, mustard braised greens. The beef was well seasoned and tender, the greens were amazing! It was paired with Burgess Syrah (Napa Valley, CA.)

Usually I’m not much of a desert person but when presented with white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate that looked like a magician put it together I was all in. Surprisingly light and fluffy! I thought it would be impolite the lick the plate in front of the other guests. It was paired with Bodegas Dios Baco Amontillado Sherry (Jerez, Spain.)

What a perfect night! I asked Chef Caleb why he chose Indianapolis for his next venture? “I love that Indy has been transformed into a dinning destination by many great chefs and now, the stage is set to begin to redefine what it means to cook and eat in Indianapolis.”

Isn’t that delicious?

Cerulean Indianapolis opens Friday, November 23, Black Friday. Which I think is spectacular!

Find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ceruleanindy?fref=ts

Follow them on Twitter @ceruleanindy

 

Four Gems with a Extra Point February 1, 2012

While dining in Indianapolis during the week of the Super Bowl we want you to have a great experience.  We have several “heavy hitters” in town when it comes to restaurants.  You might have heard if you’re in Indianapolis, you must go to ____________.  Certainly true, and each of those restaurants deserve all the hype they get.  If you’re here all week, or part of it, I thought about suggesting a few places within walking distance of the Super Bowl Village that deserve some local love.

Cafe Patachou:  225 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana   “A student union since 1989”  know for their killer breakfasts, Cafe Patachou will leave you filled with Hoosier Hospitality!  Nominated for the “Super 46” sandwich contest their Broken Yolk sandwiches are an Indy favorite.  My suggestion would be the Broken Yolk Sandwich with Ham* Two fried eggs, Swiss cheese, ham and grainy mustard on your choice of buttered toast.  One word – Yum.  With an array of other soup, salad, and sandwich choices, Patachou is a first down winner!  *Breakfast, Lunch, (Dinner – during Super Bowl – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until 5 p.m.)

Tata Cuban Cafe:  137 West Market Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.  “Our cafe offers all the right ingredients to create the magic food, atmosphere, and rhythms of Cuba in Indiana.”  Tata’s Sweet Plantains are worth the short walk over alone!  Sweet, light, and salty, these little devils will transport your taste buds straight to a warmer climate.  The Cuban Pressed sandwiches will make your mouth water just looking at the steam rolling off the fresh bread.  If you’re in the mood for something heartier may I suggest the Pernil Guantanamero, *Pork leg seasoned with tropical spices roasted to perfection.  Be sure not to miss this Quarterback sneak!  *Lunch, and Dinner service.

King David Dogs:  135 North Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana   “An Indy Original since 1941” King David Dogs has that “snap” that you crave when you want a good hot dog.  It all starts with their signature all beef 1/4 lb. hot dog.  With 30+ options, you can build the hot dog of your dreams.  My suggestion would be the “Indy Dog” of course, *topped with onions, yellow mustard, sport peppers, and french fries.  Or perhaps you might fancy the Boom Boom Dog *with a fried egg, and cheddar cheese.  If you like a little heat in your condiments you won’t want to miss the Jalapeno Mustard made fresh daily.  *Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Tavern on South:  423 West South Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.    With “starters” like a Blue Crab Pot Pie, and “Hoosier” Cheese Fondue, you will look around this gorgeous setting and think “WOW.”  Known for their delicious and savory food, and gracious service, this is Hoosier Hospitality at it’s best.  For lunch, I suggest the Tavern Tenderloin Sliders *two hand cut pork tenderloins, panko crusted, with mustard aioli, lettuce, pickle, and shaved red onion, on  fresh pretzel rolls – seriously!  A dinner favorite is the Lobster Stuffer Flounder *Holland flounder, Maine lobster, with boursin cheese potato puree, and citrus buerre blanc.  Tavern on South also has a note worthy wine list with nightly drink specials.  Touchdown!  *Lunch, and Dinner service.

The Libertine:  38 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana  One word – Phenomenal.  Specialty Drinks, small plates, a perfect way to end your evening in Indianapolis.  You will fall in love with everything here, I suggest the Bacon Flight, that’s right, you read that right!  Artichoke Puffs that you would run over a defensive tackle to get to. Popcorn infused with bacon grease gives a new twist to a classic favorite snack.  Described as “Tall Dark and Handsome”  you won’t want to miss this calling card at the end of the night.    *Tuesday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.  Friday – Saturday 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Enjoy your time in Indy!

 

46 December 21, 2011

46 Days is all you got left before the Superbowl hits Indianapolis.

So what are you going to do “Business People?”

I’m mainly taking to restaurants.  I see all of you whining and bitching about how business is down on the news.

So what are you going to do?

I’ll tell you who isn’t whining and bitching, Scott Wise of “Scotty’s Brewhouse.”

“We’re in the business of forethought. You’re always trying to foresee, ‘What do I need?’ Multiply that by 1,000, and that is the Super Bowl.”

So if you’re thinking, wow, this might be a good time to create a Facebook Fan page, or gosh, maybe we should add that  Twitter account we’ve been talking about.  Do you want the truth?   You’re probably too late.

It’s so frustrating for me to see establishments that claim they need more business yet won’t embrace Social Media.  Are you “half -in” on Social Media and do a really bad job?  Did you have someone working for you and didn’t see the financial payoff after 3  months?  Right when the uphill battle was going to begin to be fun, and I mean a lot of fun, you quit. You’re going to do Social Media on your own, how’s that working out for you?  Ends up you don’t do it, or do it poorly, and the account created and nurtured lays stagnate.

So where does that leave you with the Super Bowl coming to town in 46 days?  PANIC is a word that comes to mind.

I just Googled “restaurants near Indianapolis, Indiana”

1.   St. Elmo Steak House (Your SEO Company needs a bonus.)

2.  Oceanaire (Really?)

3.  Rock Bottom ( Your SEO Company DEFINITELY deserves a bonus.)

4.  The Rathskeller

5.  Barcelona Tapas (Not even on my radar)

That’s the top 5, in Indy.  There are Gems, GEMS, I tell you that will not get visited because you haven’t put yourself “out there” as far as Social Media goes.

There are hotel rooms that cost $45.00 in Brownsburg that now cost $450.00 A NIGHT for the Super Bowl.  People are not going to spend a week here and just go to downtown establishments.  Get your voice heard, get customers in your door, get your place on the Super Bowl map!

Start yesterday.  Establish a presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Add your location to Yelp, 4Square, Urban Spoon, etc.  Now is not the time to be shy folks, it’s game time.

If you want some help, give me a call.