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Mudsocks Grill, Noblesville, Indiana

We were headed towards Noblesville for a rehearsal, and were looking for a place to have a good, yet quick, meal.  We spied Mudsock’s on the road, and decided to stop in there for a sandwich.  Having never been there before, we were not quite sure what to expect, but were willing to give it a try.

Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly hostess, and immediately seated.  At dinner hour on a mid week night, there were a few customers in there, but not nearly as many as I anticipated.

The décor is pleasant…lots of dark wood, some TVs tuned to sports  (thankfully, with the sound turned down so it was easy to carry on a conversation), and I was surprised by how spacious it was.  This is a much larger restaurant than it appears on the outside.  It’s divided into two separate areas, a family dining area, and a bar/lounge.  It does appear to be all non-smoking.

Our waitress came and brought our menus and took our drink orders, and we were off to a good start.

Upon reading our menus, we both mentioned that it seemed a bit pricey for sandwiches and such.  Still, if the food is outstanding, we don’t mind paying a bit more for it.

The menu is varied and interesting, with a nice selection of salads, sandwiches, and entrees.  When I saw that they ordered a “beer battered, hand breaded tenderloin” I knew that was what I was going to order…even if it was $10.00 with chips.

We ordered our meals, and, as usual, I ordered my sandwich with ketchup, mayo, and onion only…and I always put emphasis on the “only”.  I opted for the onion strings instead of the chips for a slight upcharge.

So we waited for our meals.  And waited.  And then we waited some more.  So much for a quick meal!  Finally our waitress came out and told us our onion strings didn’t “look right” so she told the kitchen to re-make them.  (Holly had ordered the same side).

 

Finally our meals came, and I was disappointed to find my sandwich dressed with lettuce and tomato.  As is my custom, I cut a corner off the tenderloin and tried it without the bun.  The meat was good…probably a little above average, as was the breading.

The problem was…this is one GREASY sandwich. Not a little greasy…but dripping, leaving a puddle of grease on the plate greasy.  The taste was pretty good…but I just can’t get over how greasy this sandwich was.

And it was the same with the onion strings.  It looked like they hadn’t even been drained after taking them out of the deep fryer.  Grease dripping off of them, leaving a puddle of grease on the plate.  Yes, it was that greasy.

 

I’m torn on what to rate this sandwich…maybe they were having a bad night and I should cut them a break.  But, this is the sandwich I was served, so this is the sandwich I have to rate.  I’m going to give it a 2/5…below average.  With the service issues, I’ll give the experience a  1/5….pretty poor.

For her meal, Holly ordered a Mudsocks Chicken Portabella Wrap.  The menu says that it is “an herb-marinated grilled Portabella mushroom with roasted red peppers, grilled chicken, spicy garlic pesto sauce, fresh baby spinach, and Mozzarella cheese wrapped in a roasted red tomato tortilla.”  If you’re into this sort of thing, it sounds pretty good, right?  Holly indicated that it was a very disappointing wrap.  According to her…it, too, was greasy.  A greasy wrap!  Disgusting!  The most prominent flavor on the sandwich was the roasted red peppers, which were also overly oily, the spicy garlic pesto was neither spicy nor garlicky, and there was hardly any baby spinach or Mozzarella.  And the marinated Portabella had no flavor whatsoever.  And even though the waitress told us that she sent back the onion strings and had the kitchen make us fresh ones, Holly reports that hers came out barely warm.  Her meal was a major letdown.  No wonder she left the half of the wrap she didn’t eat in the fridge of the band rehearsal’s hostess and didn’t return to get it!

 

Mudsocks Grill is located at  14741 Hazel Dell Crossing in Noblesville, Indiana.  You can find them online at http://www.mudsocksgrill.com

June 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Plumps Last Shot, Indianapolis (Broad Ripple)

If you’re from Indiana, you’ve no doubt heard of Bobby Plump.  If you’re from the southern part of the state, he’s an icon, if you’re from the Muncie area he’s a villan.  Either way, he’s an important part of Indiana basketball history…and, I suspect, always will be.

He’s not the first local sports hero in any town to open up a bar or restaurant, but, these days, it seems most sports heroes lend their name to a chain rather than opening something special.

Plump’s Last Shot is, indeed, something special.  Set in Broad Ripple Village, on the Monon Trail, it offers ample outside dining as well as an inside dining area.  We chose to eat outside, as it was a beautiful spring evening, and enjoyed watching the walkers, runners, and cyclists going up and down the Monon trail.

Plump’s goes out of it’s way to make folks feel at home….which fits.  Bobby Plump is from the tiny town of Milan, Indiana, and everything about this restaurant is small town, right down to the water dishes provided for those who might want to bring their dogs to the patio with them.

Plump’s Last Shot menu is full of pretty typical pub fare, with a few surprises thrown in.  Holly chose a Buffalo Chicken Wrap, which was excellent…after getting over the initial surprise at just how HOT it was…and, I, of course, chose the breaded tenderloin sandwich.

Plump’s offers a hand cut, fresh tenderloin prepared 3 ways.  Grilled, Breaded, or Blackened…which is the first time I recall seeing a Blackened Tenderloin.

The breaded option is big, but not so big as to be overwhelming, which is just the way I like it.  The breading itself was tasty and had a really interesting “crunch” to it.  As far as texture, it was certainly a 5 out of 5.  The taste of the breading was a bit less stellar, but it was still VERY good and well above average.

The meat itself was also excellent…moist and tender, and the tenderness of the meat combined with the crunch of the breading made for an outstanding combination.

The bun and attention to detail was lacking a bit.  The bun was fine, but it appeared they had only made a very token attempt at toasting it, so that knocks a few points off.  And, the sandwich was not served dressed as I ordered it, and this lack of attention also decreases the score just a bit.

I must say a word about those onion rings.  That one word is WOW.  Do yourself a favor….get the onion rings.

Overall, I’m giving the Plump’s Last Shot breaded tenderloin sandwich a 4 out of 5 bites.  It’s well above average and certainly worth a repeat visit from me.  A little more attention to detail would bring the score up even more.

The sandwich sells for $6.95, and includes chips.  Fries or Onion Rings will set you back $1-$1.50 more.

Plump’s Last Shot is located at 6416 Cornell Avenue in Indianapolis.

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ro’s Bar and Grill, Greenfield, Indiana

Today’s Tenderloin review comes to  you largely by accident!  Holly and I had been to Greenfield to play a gig, after which we went to spend some time visiting her mother.  We were headed home, and our intention was to grab a quick drive through meal on the way home.  We headed for McDonald’s, and there was a HUGE line.  As we were trying to decide where to head next, we saw Ro’s Bar & Grill, and the chalkboard sign out front featuring a “Sirloin Steak and 1 Side:  $5.99″ and  decided to stop in.

Inside, Ro’s is really, really fun.  Although it’s 21 and over, it’s non smoking…a HUGE plus for me.  The walls are decorated with lots and lots of sports stuff, there are pool tables, dart boards, and other games.

We were greeted promptly by our server, and when we said we had never been there before, she went through the menu with us.  Outstanding service, I must say!  The sign for the steak dinner special led us in and it was my intention to have a steak dinner this cold Friday night.

But I saw they have a breaded tenderloin on their menu, so I asked the waitress about it.  She said,  “It’s the Bomb!!!”.  OK….I believe that’s a good thing, right?  I decided to try it, after she told me they’re hand cut and hand breaded.

The first thing I noticed when they brought it out was that this thing was HUGE….one of the largest I’ve ever had.  And, it’s not pounded out paper thin, either, there is some heft to the meat.

The meat itself is very tender and moist, and there is not a hint of gristle on it.  The breading was REALLY flaky, making a delightful mess on the plate as I devoured the sandwich.  It hangs WELL over all sides of the bun, where was perfectly toasted, and the condiments were brought exactly as I ordered…mayo on the bun, ketchup on the side, and onion…and as an added treat, this sandwich had not one, but TWO slices of onion on it.  Everything works well together on this sandwich, and it’s a bargain at $6.99 and that includes an order of fries.  For $1.00 more, you can upgrade the fries to Onion Rings or other side choices.

So, this sandwich has a perfectly toasted bun, great flavor, flaky breading, and it’s huge.  I can give it no less than a 5 out of 5 bites…as good as it gets!
Holly had the $5.99 steak special, and proclaimed it very good.  There was a little issue with that meal, though, and shows that Ro’s needs to pay a little attention to detail.  On the board outside,  it’s advertised as a $5.99 special.   When we got the bill, we were charged $6.99.  Come to find out, the special goes up $1.00 at 5 PM, which is when we were in there.   $1.00 isn’t a big deal, however, if you’re going to change your prices, please change you signs and advise your customers when that happens.  It’s not good for repeat business if you don’t.

Overall, it was a very good dining experience, the above paragraph notwithstanding.  A 5 star tenderloin is always reason to go back!

Ro’s Bar and Grill is located at 1415 N State Street, Greenfield, Indiana 46140.

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

106th Street Grill, Indianapolis

The 106th Street Grill in Indianapolis is a sports pub and family restaurant located on the North side of Indianapolis, at the intersection of 106th Street and Michigan Road.

There are two rooms here, one smoking and one non smoking, with independent ventilation systems, so there is no cross over from the smoking to the non smoking rooms, a rare sight in the Indianapolis area these days.  The Pub side is rather small, giving the feel of a neighborhood pub, and the family side is large and roomy with a small game room in the back.  There is magic for the kids on Tuesday nights in the family room, and a Wii competition on Thursday nights in the family room.  Both sides have several large screen TVs, with the pub side showing sports channels, and the family room showing a steady diet of, oddly enough, Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

The menu is quite complete,  with everything from sandwiches, wraps, and salads, to several steaks and a few ethnic dishes to boot.  The service is prompt and quite friendly, and there is also a quite extensive beer and wine list.

I was there to review their breaded tenderloin sandwich.  They also offer it grilled, if that is your preference.

The meat itself is simply oustanding.  A very nice, moist, tender cut of meat with no gristle to be found, and simply outstanding flavor.  The breading was very flaky, making a delightful crunch when you bite into the sandwich…crunch of the breading and the tenderness of the meat made for the perfect texture combination.  The texture and taste both rate a good, solid 5…..as good as it gets.

The sandwich is served on a perfectly toasted bun, adding to the experience.

Sadly, there are two areas that make the entire rating a bit less than a perfect 5.  First, the sandwich was just a tad bit greasy…not overly so, but certainly noticeable.  Second…they skipped on the condiments.  I asked for onion and mayo, and for onion, two lonely, little rings on the sandwich, and as you can tell by the photo, just a hint of mayo.  Take away the grease, add some onions and put the mayo on the side, and you’ve got a solid 5 all the way around.

On the plus side, the sandwich sells for $8.95, and that includes your choice of sides, of which there are a LOT of choices.  Fries, onion rings, potato  salad, cole slaw, and the list goes on. I choose onion rings, and was treated to a HUGE order of hand breaded onion rings…and they very well might have been the absolute best onion rings I have ever eaten.

I would REALLY like to give this sandwich a 5 out of 5, but with it being a bit greasy, and skimping on the condiments, I’ve got to knock a touch off for that.  I’m giving the 106th Street Grill a 4.5 out of 5 bites….WELL above average and certainly worth the trip to the North side of Indy.
The 106th Street Grill is located at 4335 W 106th Street in Indianapolis.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hall’s Castleton Grille, Indianapolis

Hall’s Castleton Grill is part of the Don Hall’s family of restaurants.  In 1946, Don Hall opened his first Drive In, in southern Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Since then, Don Hall’s has expanded to other parts of the state, with various kinds of restaurants being part of the Hall’s family.

I generally avoid the Castleton area like the plague, but Hall’s is one of the few places that will tempt me to make the trip.  I’ve have their Prime Rib on several occasions, and it’s among the best I’ve ever had.

Inside, it’s essentially a bar surrounded by a dining room.  There is also a pleasant outside patio area, where live music is featured most weekend evenings.  Their food features all American sandwiches, some wonderful beef brisket, steaks, and prime rib.

I elected to try their breaded tenderloin, which I had never tried before.

The Don Hall’s breaded tenderloin is priced at $7.50, and that includes your choice of french or steak fries, onion rings, potato salad, baked potato,  and it also includes cole slaw.  We were off to a promising start, as most other restaurants include chips with your sandwich and charge you extra for fries or rings.  To have them included with the price of the sandwich was a good sign!

The sandwich arrived and it was HUGE.  Once again, it was pounded out a bit thin for my liking, but the quality of the meat was very, very good.  Moist and tender, with great flavor.

The breading was, well, different.  Don’t get me wrong…it was very good, but it wasn’t what what most Hoosiers have come to expect on their tenderloin.  It was nice and crunchy, and quite heavily seasoned.  I’m not sure what all the seasonings were, but I did detect some sage and dill in the breading.  It made for an interesting tasting sandwich, but quite different than what a traditional Indiana tenderloin is.  It was a very good sandwich, however, it wasn’t what I expected when I ordered a breaded tenderloin.

The bun was nicely toasted, and the condiments were brought exactly as I requested them, and the service was prompt and efficient.  The breading stayed crunchy throughout the life of the sandwich, and was evenly distributed over the sandwich…in no place was it too thick or too thin.

So how do I rate a tenderloin like this?  I really did like it for a change, and I’d certainly order it again if I were looking for a breaded tenderloin that was a little different.  But, if I had a friend visiting from out of state and wanted to introduce him to our state sandwich, this is NOT the place I would take him.  It’s kind of a Hoosier sandwich with a touch of the exotic.  Many words come to mind when I think of Hoosiers, but “exotic” isn’t one of them.

I’m going to give the Castleton Grill’s breaded tenderloin sandwich a 3.0 on a scale of 1-5 bites.  It’s certainly better than the frozen pork fritters that many restaurants pass off as breaded tenderloins, but it’s far from a bright spot in the tenderloin galaxy.

Don Hall’s Castleton Grill is located at 6028 E 82nd Street in Indianapolis, at the main entrance to the Castleton Mall.  You can also view their website here.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Red Onion, Sheridan, Indiana.

First of all, I’d like to send out a hearty”Thank You” to Holly, Janie, and Maria for assisting me with this review!!

Sheridan is a small town of about 3,500, located in Hamilton County, Indiana, about 30 miles north of Indianapoolis.

Sheridan is also home to The Red Onion, which is quite popular not only in town, but folks drive from near and far to sample their food.  The Red Onion has a dining room, a bar, and features live bands and karaoke several nights a week.  Their menu runs the range from sandwiches to prime rib and about everything in between.  They also feature a banquet room that is available for larger parties.  They boast that everything on the menu is home made, and obviously take great pride in their menu.

Their tenderloin is the centerpiece of their menu, and it has been listed in several local and national publications as one of the best.    One of the things they talk about on their website is the buns…that they’re made from their own recipe, and they’re a special, 7″ sweet bun topped with sesame seeds.  And, it WAS a great bun.  A bit unlike any bun I’ve had on a tenderloin before.  I have to admit I was quite taken by it.

The meat was tender and tasty.  Not remarkable, but certainly better than most sandwiches out there.  The breading was very good, and the breading was just the right amount, not too much, and not too little.  The taste of the breading?  Very good.  Not outstanding, still very good.  On a plus side,  on half of the sandwich that stayed in the fridge overnight, it was still crispy in the morning.  You can’t say that about too many sandwiches!  The condiments are plentiful and they’ll be happy to include what you want on the sandwich.  I must add that the sandwich was QUITE salty..too much for my taste.

So, after all the ado about this sandwich…listed in one publication as one of the 5 best in the midwest…who would I rate the whole package?

I’m going to give it a 3.8.  It’s a pretty darn good sandwich, and if you’re in the area, it certainly deserves a stop.  It is better than your average tenderloin sandwich…but, it falls just a bit short of a GREAT sandwich.

The Red Onion is located at 3901 W State Road 47, Sheridan, Indiana.  If you wish, you can visit their website.

Happy Tenderloin Thursday, everyon!!

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Moon Dog Tavern, Indianapolis

Indianapolis seems to have more than it’s share of sports pubs for a city our side…at times, to me, it seems there is one on every corner.

Some of them are pretty special, some of them are run of the mill, and some of them are pretty terrible.  But, most of them are just average.

Once in a while, though, I’ll find one that I think stands out from the crowd, and Moon Dog Tavern is one of those.

Located on a busy strip of 96th street, it sets on the end of a strip mall, and has a lovely outdoor patio that overlooks a lake, a fine place for outside dining. On summer evenings, there is live music on the patio.

The inside is decorated with a mix of sports and music artifacts…everything from guitars to baseball bats.  It’s a hodgepodge of items that works well for me.

The menu runs the course from appetizers to steaks, a nice variety of salads and sandwiches, and a quite varied pizza menu.  We visited on a Sunday afternoon, and the Sunday special is all pizzas half off.  Certainly a tempting deal!

Of course, you know what I was there to try.  Their “Hoosier Tenderloin” certainly looked good on the menu.  Would it stand up to the test?

I’m happy to report that, from start to finish, this tenderloin was the stuff dreams are made of.  I might just have found a new favorite tenderloin in our fair city.

When the tenderloin was brought to me, I could tell it was a hearty slap of meat.  I cut a corner off of it for my first sample bite, and the meat was tender, tasty, and moist.  The breading is delightfully flaky and crisp, with the perfect flavor to compliment the meat.  The bun was wonderfully toasted…adding to the crunch of the sandwich.  Condiments were plentiful and it was served promptly, exactly as I ordered it.  Their tenderloins are hand cut and hand breaded, and the care they take in preparing their sandwich shows in the finished product.

Moon Dog’s breaded tenderloin goes for $7.95, and that includes a side of chips.  You can upgrade your side for $1.50, with a half dozen or so options…fries, salad, onion rings, or several other options.  I opted for the fries, and they were as spectacular as the sandwich.

I’m going to give The Moon Dog Tavern’s breaded tenderloin a solid 5 out of 5 bites..and I’m going to throw in a side of fries just to emphasize how good this sandwich is.

The Moon Dog is located at4825 E 96th street in Indianapolis, and is a 21 and over only restaurant.  If you wish, you can visit their web site  here.

Have a great week, everyone!

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Aristocrat, Indianapolis. (Broad Ripple)

I know, I know.  I usually post a picture of the front of the restaurant to start a review, but the first think I always notice when I go to the Aristocrat is the wonderful sidewalk landscaping, so that’w where we’ll start.

The Aristocrat is located at 52nd and College, just south of Broad Ripple proper, in an area that some folks call SoBro.  It’s an old English/Irish style pub that has developed quite a loyal following.

There is a bar with several booths and a couple of tables inside, and also a quite spacious dining room, complete with a stage where live Celtic music is played by the local group Hogeyye Navvy.
Their menu consists of typical pub fare, as well as several more adventurous dishes.  The special Monday night when we were there was a “Pub Filet” with portabella mushrooms, and a couple of folks who dined with us had it, and prounced it “very good indeed”.

I, of course, was there to sample their breaded tenderloin, and I had very high hopes for it.  And the sandwich lived up to my high expectations.

The bun was toasted perfectly, and the sandwich was served with exactly the condiments I requested.  The meat was moist and very flavorful, and the breading…oh, from the first bite, I knew I was into something special.

Breading is a matter of personal choice, some like it crunchy enough that it makes a mess every time one takes a bit, some don’t like it crunchy at all. I fall somewhere in the middle. I like a nice, satisfying crunch to compliment the texture of the meat, but I don’t like little crumbs falling all over the place.  This was a darn near perfect breading.  Nice and cruncy, yet it held it’s shape with every bite and didn’t flake off of the meat.

This is a nice, hearty, large sandwich, and certainly more than filling.  Nice, toasty bun, perfect breading, and fresh, flavorful meat.  The Aristocrat Breaded Tenderloin gets a 5 out of 5 bites.

The Aristocrat is a tad more pricey than some of the other tenderloins around town, it goes for $8.99 with “pub chips”, or you can substitute french fries or onion rings for $1.50 more.  I highly recommend the onion rings.
The Aristocrat is located at 5212 N College in Indianapolis.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Ale Emporium, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Castleton)

The Ale Emporium is located in one of what seems to be a thousand strip malls in the Castleton area of Indianapolis.  From the parking lot, it appears to be an average sized place with a nice outside dining area that has a couple of very nice outdoor firepits.

Upon stepping inside, though,  I was struck by just how HUGE this place was.  It’s multi-leveled, with a bar area, dining room, and a massive back room that has a well appointed stage, and there are flat screen TVs all around.  They appear to feature live music Thursday through Sunday nights, and it is a smoking, 21 and over only venue.

The decor is dark woods…mostly cherry and walnut, it appears, and their 4 page menu lists everything from burgers to pizzas  (Which a regular told me is better, even, than Bazbeaux), salads, and several delicious looking desserts.

I was there for a special music event, and, of course, had to review the tenderloin while I was there.

The menu lists it as a beer battered tenderloin, my favorite, and it was certainly good.  The sandwich is huge, and served on a nicely toasted bun.  The breading is crisp and the meat is flavorful, albeit a bit on the dry side.  The sandwich was served with the exact condiments I ordered  (mayo, onion and ketchup) and they condiments were plentiful.

The breading it self, as I mentioned, was crisp, but…well, a bit bland.  I would’ve expected a little flavor of the beer to come through, but it didn’t.

The meat was pounded thin, but not TOO thin. This is certainly a hearty sandwich and a complete meal in itself.  The sandwich is priced at $8.95 and that includes one side. I choose fries, and they’re skin on, perfectly done fries.

I can’t think of anything really bad to say about this sandwich, but, unfortunately, I can’t think of anything outstanding to say about it either.  It’s a good sandwich,  and certainly better than a lot of sandwiches in town, but certainly not the best.  After considering it overnight, I’m going to give The Ale Emporium’s Breaded Tenderloin a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  It’s above average and certainly worth a try, even if it’s not a “knock your socks off” type of sandwich.

The Ale Emporium is located at 8617 Allisonville Road in Indianapolis,  and you can visit them online here.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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