I had the good fortune of meeting my friend Neil Snyder for lunch recently, after not seeing each other for far too long.
He’d never dined at the Checkered Flag Tavern, and I wanted to go back and try their tenderloin, so we decided to meet there.
The Checkered Flag is a Westside Indianapolis institution. It seems like it’s been around forever. They HAVE been around since 1947, so I don’t think calling them an institution is hyperbole at all.
They bill themselves as a “five star dive bar” and I think that’s certainly appropriate. Outside, they have one of the best classic neon signs anywhere, and inside is spacious and roomy. As is to be expected with a bar just a stone’s throw from the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the decor is all racing. Posters, car parts, signed photos, it really is like a museum in there. I enjoy the indoor dining area, but this day we chose to eat on their patio.
I had already had the fried bologna sandwich here (and it’s one of the best) so I wanted to try their tenderloin this day.
It’s a hearty sandwich! Not pounded out paper thin, but still pounded out enough to tenderize it, I like the feel of the sandwich. It’s got a nice heft to it. Visually, it’s not the most attractive tenderloin I’ve reviewed, but the taste was quite good indeed. The meat is nice and tender, and the breading has a nice crunch to it. The breading stayed on the meat for the life of the sandwich, no flaking off. I do think it could’ve used a little seasoning, so I’m going to give this one a 4 out of 5 bites.
I chose fries for my side and they were pretty standard.
Checkered flag tavern is located at the corner of Washington and Morris on the West side of Indy. You can find them at www.checkeredflagindy.com and also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.