O’Reilly’s Irish Bar, Speedway (Indianapolis)

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I think I keep up pretty well on the restaurant scene in Indy, but every once in a while I find something I’ve missed and wonder how in the heck I missed it!  O’Reilly’s Irish Bar is such a place.

We had picked another place out for dinner, but pulled up and found they are closed on Mondays, so we went down the street to O’Reilly’s.  

I’m glad we did…I was taken from the start.  It was like stepping into old Ireland. Nicely decorated, pleasant colors, friendly staff, I felt at home from the moment we walked in the door.  A nice mix of music playing…real, traditional Irish jigs and reels with some more modern Irish music thrown in, it was warm and comfortable from the start.

The menu has a nice mix of Irish fare and more traditional Pub fare.  Of course, being in Indiana, a breaded tenderloin features prominently on their menu, as it should.  I was a bit skeptical…the menu says “potato crisp breading” and I wasn’t quite sure how I might like that.

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Turns out…it was absolutely fantastic.  The breading was nice, crispy, and flaky…but not SO flaky it broke off of the sandwich.  Wonderfully seasoned, and the meat was just as good…moist and tender. It had that great combination of textures…the softness of the bun, the crunch of the breading, and the firmness of the meat…that made for a perfect sandwich.  It’s a big, hearty, sandwich that will satisfy the biggest appetites. I give it a 5 out of 5 bites…it stacks up against any in town.

The sandwich comes with a side of fries.  I’d call them good, but not the best I’ve ever had.  I neglected to record the price of the sandwich, but it wasn’t noticeably more or less expensive than any others in town.

For her dinner, Holly chose Peter’s Fish Stew and reports it to be outstanding!  It was chock full of a variety of fish, shrimp, and mussels in a wonderfully flavored broth with fresh spinach and tomatoes.

O’Reilly’s Irish Bar is located at 1552 Main Street in Speedway.  They also have locations in Indianapolis, Greenwood, and Ft Wayne.  You can find them online at https://www.oreillysirishbar.com/  and they also are active on Twitter and Instagram.

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1911 Grill, Speedway, Indiana (Indianapolis)

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Recently, we knew we were going to be in Speedway and asked for recommendations on a good tenderloin in town, and were referred to the 1911 Grill.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’d even heard of this place before, but it came highly recommended so we decided to give it a try.

Located in the recently redeveloped downtown area of Speedway, the 1911 Grill is part of a VERY large complex that includes indoor go carting, banquet rooms and more.

The description on their website says “having an atmosphere much like a warm and welcoming Irish Pub”, and I’d say that’s certainly accurate.  It IS warm and welcoming and we felt comfortable from the moment we stepped in the place.

Our server, Chrystal, was knowledgeable about the menu, and she had a great sense of humor!  She struck a great balance of being friendly yet professional. We perused the menu, and it’s a nice mix of what I would call upscale bar food.

I chose the breaded tenderloin, of course, locally sourced meat and hand made on the premises.  One thing that struck me right off the bat…the sandwich was $10.00 and that included a choice of multiple sides.  Onion Rings are typically my side of choice, and there was no upcharge for that, as there usually is.

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The sandwich itself was quite good!  The meat was nice and moist. The breading had a very nice texture, although, for my personal taste, could have used a bit more seasoning. I’ll readily admit that I like a bit more seasoning than a lot of folks might, so that’s a matter of personal taste.  The sandwich was served dressed as I requested, and the bun was nicely toasted. It struck that balance of being a nice, hearty sandwich but not one so large it left me feeling bloated after. While I wouldn’t call it the best in town, it’s well above average and I’d not hesitate to order it again.  The onion rings were also very good!

For her dinner, Holly decided to take advantage of their Taco Tuesday special – which included three tacos (chicken or beef…hard or soft shell – customer’s choice) with a side of chips, sour cream and salsa for $7.99.  Her original intent was to eat a taco, have a few chips and salsa, and save the rest for later. What she didn’t know until the order arrived is that they are miniature tacos – not full sized ones. This would have been nice to know before placing her order, but certainly not a deal breaker.  The other thing was that the amount of salsa they served compared to the amount of chips. The serving of salsa was about 2 tablespoons of salsa to probably 2 ½ servings of chips. For a lover of salsa like Holly is, this was a disappointment.

The 1911 Grill is located at 1067 Main Street in Speedway, Indiana.  You can find them online at http://www.sikarting.com/restaurant

Barbecue and Bourbon, Speedway, Indiana

Bourbon and BBQ

Barbeque and Bourbon is a family owned restaurant in Speedway, Indiana.    It was founded by Dave Huff, who started catering in 2006 and, quite quickly, became known for his Memphis style, wood smoked BBQ.


Upon entering, it just “looks” like a BBQ joint to me.  Rustic, with lots of wood, it’s a nice combination of looking like it’s thrown together and nicely decorated.  I felt right at home right away.


Service was great!  Our server (Who’s name I neglected to get) was friendly and capable and knew the menu well.  Of course, my mind was made up, I ordered the breaded tenderloin, which I thought was fairly priced at 8.50 with a side of chips and habanero onions.

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This was a fantastic tenderloin!  The meat is moist and tasty, and the breading is wonderfully crispy/crunchy.  The breading itself is nicely seasoned, with just enough seasoning to compliment, instead of overwhelm the taste of the meat.  It was served dressed as I requested.  I believe this one stacks up against any of the best tenderloins in the state, and it’s certainly a 5 out of 5 bites in my book.  Just a word about the habanero onions.  I was unsure of that at first…and considered telling them just to leave them off (they’re a side item) but they’re absolutely fantastic.  I’ll get them again in a heartbeat.

For her lunch, Holly chose a pulled pork sandwich. For Holly, the pulled pork in a restaurant is a good barometer to see how well the restaurant does all of their food.  She’ll often order it if she can’t make a decision on what she wants to get, and then explore other offerings on return visits.  The pulled pork at BBQ and Bourbon is reported to be tender and flavorful, not mushy like some pulled pork can tend to be.  Her favorite part was trying all of the different sauces available.

 

Barbeque and Bourbon is located at 1414 Main Street in Speedway, Indiana.  You can find them online at www.barbecueandbourbon.com

The Coachman, Plainfield, Indiana

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The Coachman is a place I was familiar with, but had never visited. It’s in Plainfield, which, even though I’d consider it the Indy larger metro area, it’s a LONG way from home for us.

Plainfield was hosting the Indiana Optimist Club South District 1st quarter convention, and our Friday night fellowship dinner was there, and we were fortunate enough to be able to attend.

It’s a big, sprawling restaurant with a number of different dining rooms. It’s conveniently located right off of Interstate 70 and State Road 267, so it’s fairly easy to get to. It’s locally owned, by Plainfield residents, a huge plus in our book.

We had a group of 25 or so folks, but our server, Rhonda, and a couple of helpers did a GREAT job of serving a fairly large group that pretty much all showed up at once. (And, yes, we did let the restaurant know that we were coming).

The menu is quite large, and no matter what your taste, I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you’ll like there.

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We don’t do appetizers real often, but we thought we’d start off with an order of fried Calamari. It was very good! The breading was light and crispy, and the flavor wasn’t overwhelming. For 7.99, I thought it was a very generous serving and certainly enough for the both of us.

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For my dinner, I chose the center cut tenderloin. I was a little suspect when I saw the price…7.99…that it might be a tiny sandwich. As you can see, this isn’t the case! Hand breaded, it’s a nice, hearty sandwich that’s not so big to be overwhelming. The breading is light and flaky, and not coated on so thickly as to overwhelm the texture of the meat. The meat was tender and moist. The lightly seasoned breading and the superior meat made it a great combination. This was one of the best tenderloin I’ve had in a LONG time. It’s certainly 5 out of 5 bites. It stacks up against any of the best in Indy.

For my side, I chose onion rings, for the modest upcharge of 99 cents. They were good onion rings, but fell short of being GREAT onion rings.

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For her dinner, Holly chose the light portion hand breaded cod dinner, which came with salad and one side. The breading on the cod was thin and crunchy, and complemented the fish nicely. The salad included house made croutons, which was a nice touch.

All in all, this was an absolutely stellar experience. The food and service were fantastic, and even though it’s a long way from home, we’ll certainly return!


The coachman is located at 6112 Cambridge Way in Plainfield, Indiana. You can find them online at http://www.thecoachmanrestaurant.com

 

Drake’s, Indianapolis

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Drakes is a bar/lounge/restaurant on the north side of Indianapolis, in the Keystone at the Crossing area.

It’s a fairly upscale place, located in a strip mall that’s a mix of other restaurants and retail stores.  They actually have a dress code after a certain time. (9PM if I recall correctly)

We’d been on the road pretty much all day, playing 2 gigs in 2 separate towns, and were tired and hungry, and were looking for a place to relax and have dinner before heading home.

Perusing their menu, the have quite a few sushi choices on their menu (Which we didn’t recall from our first visit there), traditional pub fare, and a few surprises.

I mentioned to our waitress that I was disappointed there wasn’t a breaded tenderloin on the menu, and she told me it was on their special Oktoberfest menu and got that menu for me.

Being Oktoberfest, this is a German influenced tenderloin…and not quite traditional.  The menu description says “Fresh, never frozen pork, hand breaded and golden fried, on a toasted pretzel roll with caramelized onions, iceberg slaw, parmesan-garlic mayo and pickle chips”.

Regular readers will know that I’m a traditionalist…I like traditional, Indiana tenderloins without a lot of fancy fixings, but…this looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a try.

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The breading is quite good…and quite peppery.  Personally, I liked that a lot.  I believe the abundance of pepper is part of the German influence.  In SE Indiana, every tenderloin I’ve had in a German restaurant has been very peppery.  If you’re a fan of pepper, you’ll likely like It, too.  If pepper is not your thing…you might want to pass on this one.  The caramelized onions were a nice twist on traditional onion slices.  The iceberg slaw and parmesan-garlic mayo gave yet another layer of texture and flavor.

Since this is a non-traditional sandwich, I’m not going to rate it on my standard 1-5 scale.  Instead, I’m going to say it was very good.  Would I order it again?  If I were looking for something a little different, absolutely, I would.  I wouldn’t want one every day, still…it was a really nice change of pace.  If you’re a bit more adventurous about your tenderloins, I believe you’ll be quite happy, indeed, with this sandwich.

This sandwich is priced at 13.00 and that includes your choice of sides.  I chose the house made, crinkle cut fries and they were simply outstanding.

For her dinner, Holly chose the Sushi of the Month special, which was a Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl.  Having never tried this before, neither one of us knew much about it.  But after a little bit of research and information from our waitress, Holly thought she would give it a try…and boy, was she glad she did!  A poke (pronounced PO-kay) bowl can be accurately described as deconstructed sushi.  Take all the components of your favorite sushi roll, unwrap it, put it in a bowl, and you’ve got poke.  This particular offering had fresh (flown in the same day) yellowfin tuna tossed with citrus ponzu sauce, sushi rice, pickled radish and carrot, avocado, wasabi mayo, Sriracha, fresh jalapeno, wakame and toasted macadamia nuts. It was incredibly fresh and flavorful, and Holly reports that she would not hesitate to order it again!


Drakes is located at 3740 E 82nd Street in Indianapolis.  You can find them online at http://drakescomeplay.com/category/drakes-indianapolis/

Scotty’s Brewhouse, Southport. (Indianapolis)

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Scotty’s Brewhouse is a Central Indiana institution.  Scott Wise opened his first restaurant in 1996, when he was just 22 years old.  His story is certainly worth reading on their website, http://www.scottysbrewhouse.com.  I’ll just say I’m fond of his business model, community involvement, and his commitment to hiring folks with disabilities.  There are several of his brand around, and we always enjoy the chance to visit.

They menu is fairly typical bar/gastropub fare…burgers, sandwiches, and the like, with more than a few surprises thrown in.  I’m a HUGE fan of their burgers, but a visit to their northside location a several years ago left with a less than stellar impression of their breaded tenderloin, so I decided to concentrate on their burgers from there on out.

However, we were meeting a friend (and fellow geocacher) for dinner in Southport last week, and I saw a hand breaded tenderloin on the menu.  I thought to myself “This looks promising”, and when I questioned our server, she affirmed that it was, indeed, hand breaded in house.  With that piece of info, I opted to give it a try.

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As you can see, it is indeed hand breaded!  The seasoning has just a touch of a kick to it…enough to give it a very good flavor, but not enough to overwhelm the flavor of the meat.  The meat itself was tender and moist.  While not the absolute BEST tenderloin piece of meat I’ve ever had, combined with the tasty breading, it is certainly well above average.  On my scale of 1-5 bites, I’ll give the Southport Scotty’s Brewhouse a 4 out of 5 bites…very good indeed, and one of the better tenderloins on the south side of Indy.

The sandwich was served as I requested, although I’d have preferred a bit more onion…but that’s a minor detail.  the waffle fries were very tasty indeed, and I’d recommend them as a side dish.
Scotty’s Brewhouse can be found online at http://www.scottysbrewhouse.com  and also on Facebook and Twitter.

Foxgardin Family, Fishers, Indiana

FoxGardin Outside

Foxgardin Family is a fairly new restaurant/family pub in the Geist area of Indianapolis. This is the 2nd Foxgardin restaurant  (that I’m aware of, anyway) , the first being in Holly’s hometown of Fortville, Indiana.

The decor is kind of industrial looking to me…some open metal, hard floors, and chrome/steel.  It’s appealing, but it’s also VERY loud.  For me…I found it a bit distracting. It was tough to carry on a conversation with sound bouncing all over every hard surface.

Our server was prompt and friendly, and service was quite good.  The menu has some interesting choices…from a pork ribeye to a fried bologna sandwich.  Something tells me this isn’t your grandma’s fried balogna, but I’d give it a try.

We chose some appetizers this evening, and went with the fried calamari.  It was simply OUTSTANDING.  We’d not hesitate to order this again!

Of, course, for my dinner I chose the Midwest Tenderloin.  I think it’s a bit pricey, at $9.00 without any sides.  Fries, which I opted not to order, will set you back another $2.00.

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Honestly?  I was pretty disappointed in the sandwich.  As you can see, it’s not very large.  Those who know  me know that I believe bigger is NOT always better, but it didn’t appear that this had been pounded at all.  To me it seemed more like a breaded pork chop than a breaded tenderloin….and there IS a difference.  The meat was tasty, and the breading was fine,  although could have used some more seasoning.  I did have an issue with the bun…it was absolutely burnt.  Were it my restaurant, I’d have been livid if something like that came out of my kitchen.

All said….I’ll give the sandwich a 2 out of 5 stars.  It was edible, but I wouldn’t order it again.

For her dinner, Holly chose the fish tacos, and was very pleased with them.  The roasted salsa and chimichurri sauce made them extra special.

All in all, even though the tenderloin was less than stellar, it was a very positive experience.  We’ll certainly return…and I can’t wait to try the fried balogna sandwich!
FoxGardin Family is located at 10410 Olio Road.  You can find them online at Foxgardinfam.com