McGilvrey’s Pub and Eatery, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Speedway)

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McGilvrey’s Pub and Eatery is a racing-themed bar/restaurant on the West side of Indianapolis, in the town of Speedway.  I’ve known of McGilvrey’s for quite some time (I used to live on the West side), but didn’t have a chance to visit until last week.

It’s nicely appointed in race decor, and it’s larger than it looks from the outside.  We visited on a weeknight, when the weather wasn’t very good, and expected it to be empty, but it was pretty well packed. It was obvious that nearly everyone there were regulars, as they obviously knew each other by name.

Their menu offers their “famous” hand breaded tenderloin in two sizes, a large and a baby.  I opted for the large.

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The sandwich was obviously hand breaded and the meat was fresh and tender.  Sadly, there just wasn’t much flavor to either the meat or the breading…it was quite bland.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a BAD tenderloin…it just wasn’t especially good.  It was also pounded out VERY thin, which isn’t my preference.

It was served as I requested (Onion, mayo, and ketchup) and I opted for the standard side of chips.  All in all, I’d give the sandwich a 3.  It’s average, and, personally, I wouldn’t order it again.  But if you prefer a thinner, less seasoned tenderloin, you might find this to your liking.
My wife had a pub salad and breaded mushrooms.  The salad was pretty basic – chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a slice of radish here and there.  The Italian dressing was really good.  The breaded mushrooms were very good.  You can get them with a side of ranch or marinara.

A couple of things left this visit less than stellar.  First, the service was not that great.  It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t especially friendly nor prompt.  I had to flag our waitress down after the meal, after waiting a while for our check, to actually get our check.

Secondly, it’s a smoking establishment.  I’m not really sure how that happened, because I thought all of Marion County was non-smoking.  But, there were a LOT of smokers in the bar and it detracted from our overall experience.

McGilvrey’s is located at 3009 N High School Road in Indianapolis.  I couldn’t locate a web page for them, but they do have a Facebook page.

86th Street Pub, Indianapolis, IN

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86th Street Pub is a place I’d been to a time or two in the past, but didn’t remember it making a big impression on me one way or the other.

I’d heard…likely through social media…that they were under new management, and I had intended to visit, but had never got around to it, until my wife was invited to be part of a podcast that originates from there.

The pub is located in a somewhat aging strip center on 86th street, just West of Michigan Road. There are a variety of businesses in this center, and the 86th Street Pub is located right in the center.

Upon entering, I was struck by how well lit and airy it was…a welcome change from many of the dark, almost depressing pubs I visit for work from time to time. And it’s big, too! They main room has quite a few TVs, and the back room has pool tables, a couple of TV’s, and it, too, is well lit and inviting.

So, the atmosphere was good….and I saw the hand breaded tenderloin on the menu, and had to give it a try.

86th loin

I’ll keep this short and sweet. This is one of the best tenderloins in Indy, hands down. The meat is fresh, tender, and moist, and the breading is sublime. Nice, light, and crispy, it compliments rather than overwhelms the taste of the meat. I’ve had two of these tenderloins in the last couple of weeks, and both of them were a solid 5 out of 5 bites.

Several sides are available, and I HIGHLY recommend the onion rings, available for a small upcharge.

While dining at the 86th Street Pub, my wife has tried several of their offerings: the Black & Bleu salad, California Chicken Club, and the Spicy Southwest Wrap. She liked them all and wouldn’t hesitate to get any of them again! But her favorite part is the fact that, in addition to their standard beer selections, they have a surprisingly diverse offering of local and regional craft beer. There is truly something for everyone, and they do great job at changing up what they have on tap.

In addition to their beer selections, The 86th Street Pub also features live entertainment…music, trivia, and more.

I do have to put a plug in for the live podcast, the Indy Drinking Dead. Broadcast live from the pub Sunday nights at 8PM, followed by a current episode viewing party at 9PM. You can find the podcast website at http://www.indydrinkingdead.com

You can find the 86th Street Pub online at http://www.86thstreetpub.com

Cafe Audrey, Indianapolis, IN (Guest Review by Janie Morrison)

Cafe Audrey
Last Tuesday my OTHER Holly friend and I decided to meet for lunch near where she works at Fort Ben.  Not Rick’s wife, but Holly Harrison Lee, who has been my friend since we were in first grade.  
 
Neither of us had been to Cafe Audrey’s at the Fort, but were glad to try a new place.  It is only open for breakfast and lunch and they serve breakfast all day.  I decided to try the breaded tenderloin sandwich and Holly had an omelet.
 
Audrey tenderloin
The description says that it is made with homemade  crunchy breading and that the meat is tender inside.  This was true.  It came with homemade chips for $7.99 but I substituted cottage cheese for $1 more.  There were several other sides I could have chosen as well as an onion rings or wedges upgrade for $1.49.
 
I have been pondering how to rate this sandwich for a few days.  I liked it.  The breading was flavorful and indeed – very crunchy.  The meat was tender.  The problem for me was the ratio of breading to meat.  I think the breading overwhelmed the meat a bit.  It was 2/3rds breading to 1/3 meat.  I would have liked it better if those ratios were flipped.  But, nonetheless, it is a good sandwich and I would give it a strong 4.
 
Holly liked her omelet and the rest of the menu looked very good.  The place itself is very quaint and inviting.  It is very clean.  The manager checked in to make sure everything was okay and our server was very sweet and informative.
She said the restaurant was built in 1901 as stables for the horses on the fort.  Later it was used as a post office. More recently it has been a restaurant.  It has just reopened after closing briefly while transitioning to new ownership.  They were serving off of the previous menu when we were there, but hope to have their new menus soon.

El Reparo, Brookville, Indiana

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El Reparo is one of our “go to” places in Brookville.  And, let’s face it, there are not a TON of restaurants in Brookville, Indiana, but El Reparo has always had good food and good service, so we’re regulars there when we’re in the area.

As you can probably tell by the name, they’re a Mexican restaurant, and their Mexican food is VERY good.  They have a limited American menu…a burger, chicken fingers, and I THINK a steak, but they’ve recently added a hand breaded tenderloin to the menu, so I decided to give it a try.

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The meat itself was quite good!  Nice, moist, tender, and not pounded out too thin.  I liked it quite a lot!  The breading was…interesting.  It was quite unlike any I’d ever had.  Don’t get me wrong…I liked it!  It just wasn’t traditional.

You’ll notice that there is a slice of cheese on this sandwich…that was my mistake.  It’s noted on the menu that this sandwich has cheese on it, but I didn’t see it, just glancing at the menu.  I prefer my tenderloins without cheese, but this was a nice change of pace.

I’m going to give El Reparo’s breaded tenderloin a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  It’s above average, but it’s not what I would call great.  Still, it’s worth getting if you like tenderloins.

The sandwich is served with potato wedges, and I’ve got to say a word about them.  They were FANTASTIC.  Well-seasoned and perfectly cooked, I will absolutely ask for these again!

El Reparo is located at 819 Main Street in Brookville, Indiana.  They also have locations in Rushville and Connersville, Indiana.  I was unable to locate a web site for them.

Gatsby’s, Indianapolis (NW side)

I’ll be honest.  I’ve had folks request that I review a certain restaurant/tenderloin, and I’ve had varying success.  I always feel badly when sometime tells me about a breaded tenderloin that they think is a 5 out of 5, and it turns out to be a fritter.

So, when a good friend asked me to join him for lunch and review the tenderloin and Gatsby’s…I was cautiously optimistic.  I really hoped I wasn’t in for a letdown.  And, I suspected I wasn’t…because he is a firefighter, and if one thing firefighters know, it is good food.  I later found out that the owner of Gatsby’s is an Indianapolis Firefighter, another plus.

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Gatsby’s looks like your typical strip mall pub from the outside.  It’s located just off of I-465 and 71st street on the West side, and is surrounded by office parks and motels/hotels.

Upon entering, it’s much larger than it looks like from the outside.  There’s a raised dining area, and the main floor.  They make efficient use of the space here.

The wait staff was friendly and helpful, but we both knew what we wanted…the breaded tenderloin.

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When they brought it out, it was obviously hand breaded, and it’s sized right. It’s not so large as to be overwhelming, but it’s certainly filling.  The sandwich is seasoned PERFECTLY….and the breading stays crisp throughout the life of the sandwich.  The meat is moist and tender.  Although I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, I can say with assurance this is one of the best tenderloins I’ve ever had.  It’s a 5 out of 5, no questions asked.  Seriously.  Go get this sandwich.

For my side, I chose onion rings, and I’d say they are above average.  They’re not the best in town, but they’re certainly better than what one usually gets.

Gatsby’s breaded tenderloin goes for $8.29, and is served breaded, grilled, or Cajun. Cheese is .50 extra.

A bit of advice….if you’re going for lunch, go a bit early, or after 12:00 Noon.  We got there about 1130, and it was pleasantly busy, but by noon or a few minutes after, there were folks waiting to be seated.

Gatsby’s is located at 6335 Intech Commons Drive.  You can find them online at http://www.gatsbysonline.com , and they also have a Facebook page.

Opera House Pub, Elwood, Indiana

Who knew that Elwood, Indiana, has a real, honest to goodness, Opera House?  I’ll admit that I had NO idea until a couple of years ago, and it’s a truly amazing place.

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The owner of the Opera House building opened the Opera House Pub a few months ago, and it’s a welcome addition to downtown Elwood.

The Opera House Pub leans towards the classy side of casual.  It’s nicely decorated with historic posters and pictures of the glory days of the Opera House, and lots of dark wood and leather gives it a very nice feel.  There’s a TV up above the bar, so one can check out the sports scores, but you’re not bombarded with sound from every corner like so many pubs these days.

There’s an extensive beer list featuring local, regional, and national brews, and the service is top notch.  We were there for a show at the Opera House, and lots of folks were dining before the show.  Even though it was quite busy, the service was stellar.

The menu has a nice selection of steaks, sandwiches, salads, and more.  They offer a hand breaded tenderloin, and, of course, that’s what I chose.

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The meat itself was VERY good.  Obviously fresh, it had a nice thickness to it, and was done to perfection.  The texture of the breading was good…it had a nice, satisfying crunch to it, but….it was a bit bland.  I appreciate the effort they’ve put into this sandwich, and with some seasoning it could be great.  As it stands, I’ll give it a 3…just average.

For her dinner, Holly had a Porterhouse and baked potato, with enough food left over for two more meals!  The steak was prepared as she requested and she said she wouldn’t hesitate to get it again.

All in all, this was a very positive experience.  We’ll certainly return to the Opera House!  The Opera House Pub is located at 200 S Anderson Street in Elwood, Indiana.  I was unable to find a web site for them, but they do have a Facebook page.

Takathemoke Restaurant Milroy, Indiana

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Takathemoke restaurant is located in the little town of Milroy, Indiana, at the junction of highways 244 and 3 in Indiana.

We’ve passed by this restaurant countless times in our travels, and have always been meaning to stop in, but, never seemed to be passing through at meal time.  This trip, the time was right and we were passing through at the right time for an early dinner.

Takathemoke appears to be in an old farmhouse.  The back part of it has been converted into a bar, and the front is two small dining rooms.  It’s a small restaurant, but very cozy.

As I mentioned, we were there for an early dinner (about 330 PM) so it was kind of an “off” time for them.  Only one employee was on duty, but she did a capable job of taking care of us, even though she was cleaning tables, waiting tables, and cooking.

They offer their hand breaded tenderloin in 2 sizes, a large and a small.  When I saw the price….I was amazed at how inexpensive it was.  The large was 6.95, and that included fries (or another side), and the small was 4.95, and that included fries or another side of your choice.  I opted for the large, of course. 

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It’s a darn fine tenderloin.  The bread them in-house, and the breading has a VERY nice crunch to it, and stays crisp throughout the life of the sandwich.  The meat was above average, but I’d say it falls short of being outstanding.  Still, it was an above average sandwich, if just a bit on the bland side.  It could have stood some seasoning. I’ll give it 3.5 out of 5 bites.

As an added bonus, they serve Wick’s Sugar Cream Pie, the perfect way to end ANY meal!

Takathemoke restaurant is located on State Road 244, just east of State Road 3, in downtown Milroy, Indiana