Metro Diner, Indianapolis



I’ve been excited to try the Metro Diner on the north side of Indy ever since they opened a few months ago.  We actually tried to go this past Sunday, but the line was stretched out the door to get in, and we were on a bit of a schedule, so we decided to drop in last night for an early dinner.

The Metro Diner is a throwback to the diners of the 50s, with a bit of an upscale twist.  There’s a small counter with a half dozen or so stools in front of the grill, and a large dining area with tables and booths.  It’s a small chain, and their emphasis is on comfort food, as evidenced by some of their menu items…meatloaf, pot roast, and the like.

We arrived about 415 PM and again, I realized how very important a first impression is when trying a new restaurant.  There was a host at the host station, and we stopped and there was a moment of awkwardness…he wasn’t especially welcoming.  And, honestly, we both found him a little aloof and off putting, which wasn’t a good sign for a place that stakes its reputation on comfort food and being comfortable.  However, we were seated and our server, LaChelle, proved herself to be capable, personable, and helpful in explaining the menu.

I already knew what I wanted…the Big Bern Fried Pork sandwich, which is their version of a Breaded Pork Tenderloin.


I knew going in that this wasn’t a traditional Hoosier Pork Tenderloin.  For starters, it’s served on grilled Italian bread.  And it’s topped with provel cheese, wilted spinach, caramelized red onions, bacon, fried jalapenos, tomatoes, and garlic aioli.  I decided to be adventurous and get it exactly as it’s served.  Being a traditionalist when it comes to food (and most other areas of my life) this is a bit of a stretch for me, but, what’s life without a little adventure thrown in?

As is my tradition, I cut a corner of the meat off and sampled it, and my first thought was that it was just a little bland.  However, once I tried it all together, it was absolutely stellar.  All those flavors and textures meld together to make it a VERY good sandwich.  They’ve obviously done their homework on this one, every flavor and texture complimented the other one, without one overwhelming another on the sandwich.

Since it’s not a traditional sandwich, I’m not going to rate it on my traditional 1-5 scale…I’m going to rate it on the “would I order it again” scale, and the answer is, yes, absolutely.  I REALLY liked it and would not hesitate to order it again.

This is an added bonus….it’s so big, I couldn’t finish it all, which is a rarity for me.  I’ve got half left over for lunch today!

For my side order, I chose onion rings, and they were very good also.  I won’t go so far as to say they’re the best in town, but they’re well above average and I wouldn’t hesitate to order those again, either.

For her dinner, Holly chose the grilled fish wrap with homemade potato chips, and she reports them to be outstanding. The chips are extra crispy – like a kettle cooked chip – and simply seasoned.

We splurged for dessert this night.  I had the strawberry shortcake and it was awesome, and Holly chose the Key Lime Pie.  Being that the original Metro Diner is in Jacksonville, rest assured that their homemade Key Lime pie is the real deal – and it is delicious!
The Metro Diner is located at 3954 E 82nd street in Indianapolis.  Their website is and you can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Broad Ripple Tavern, Indianapolis



We don’t get to Broad Ripple as often as we probably should. It’s a very cool part of town, and accouple of our favorite restaurants ARE there….Shalimar Indian Restaurant and The Aristocrat. Still, it’s not a place we find as a destination very often.

We were having a meeting last week, and it was at the Broad Ripple Tavern, a place I’d vaguely heard of but had never been to.

Broad Ripple Tavern seems a little more “mature” than some of the other bars in the area.
Perhaps it was because we were there on a weeknight, but it seemed that the clientele was a little older. A nice bar in the front, it opens into a huge back room that has some pool tables, a very  nice stage, and a ton of TVs for watching sports or whatever suits your fancy.

Since we were having a meeting, it was a good way to judge how our server handled this. Our sever, Nicole, was a pro. She gave us ample opportunity to handle our business without
pressuring us to order or pay, yet made sure our drinks were filled and everything was taken care of in a timely manner. Well done.

The menu isn’t the largest I’ve seen…and features pretty typical pub fare: burgers, sandwiches, appetizers, and the like. I asked our server about the breaded tenderloin, and she assured me that it was hand breaded in house. On top of that, everything breaded item they serve…chicken fingers, etc, is hand breaded in a buttermilk based breading, so I was sold.


So, how was it? It was VERY good. As a matter of fact, I believe it stacks up well against any
tenderloin in town. The breading was quite tasty, nice and crisp, with just enough seasoning to compliment the flavor without overwhelming it. The meat itself was nice and tender. The bun was nicely toasted and the sandwich was dressed as I requested it. In addition, I believe the sandwich was just the right size…a nice, satisfying meal without being overwhelming. I give it a 5 out of 5, no doubt about it in my eyes.

For her dinner, Holly ordered the pulled pork sliders and tavern fries. She reports: “The BBQ was a little sweeter than I prefer. I’ll be sure to ask for hot sauce the next time!” When we asked what tavern fries were, we were told they were seasoned waffle fries. They actually came out at seasoned matchstick fries – but all is well, because they were very tasty!

Broad Ripple Tavern is located at 745 Broad Ripple Avenue in Indy. Their website is and they also are on twitter and facebook.

Peppy Grill, Indianapolis (Fountain Square)


There are a few places in Indianapolis that have attained legendary status, and I believe that Peppy’s Grill is one of those.

Located in the Fountain Square area, it’s been an institution for as long as I can remember.  Back in the 80’s, I occasionally had to make an overnight run to Indianapolis for work, and Peppy’s was our go to place for a 3AM breakfast.  As good as the food was, the people watching at that time of the morning was just as good…perhaps better.

Peppy’s, and places like it, are forerunners of places like Denny’s and Waffle House  (two of my favorites), 24 hour a day diner type restaurants that serve good, cheap food,  None of it is gourmet, none of it is especially healthy, but, boy, is it satisfying.

Peppy’s has the magic that a diner SHOULD have.  I’d a little bit run down, it shows some wear and tear, but it also shows a special kind of magic  you can’t find anywhere else.

The menu is pretty basic…hamburgers and cheeseburgers (called cheeseburgs), grilled ham and cheese, a ribeye steak, biscuits and gravy, and such.  It also offers both a grilled and a breaded tenderloin.

I rather suspected this might be a fritter, but I decided to chance it anyway.  After all, we were at Peppy’s and I wanted the full experience.


I’m happy to report that it’s not a fritter after all, but a true tenderloin.  It’s a solid piece of meat.

It’s pounded out thinner than I prefer, but the flavor was pretty good…not outstanding, but pretty tasty.  The meat I found to be just a bit on the dry side, but the breading was nice and crispy and stayed that way through the life of the sandwich.  The sandwich was nicely seasoned, and served dressed as I requested.

This isn’t a great sandwich, but it’s not bad either.  I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5 bites.  Although when we return I’ll likely order a cheeseburg, this certainly is a better sandwich than what a lot of restaurants pass off as a breaded tenderloin.

For my side, I chose the sour cream fries.   These are more like potato wedges with some sort of sour cream sauce on the side, and boy are they tasty!  I highly recommend these.
Holly chose the classic cheeseburg and sour cream fries.  The patty is preformed and a little on the dry side, but for the price, you can’t go wrong with this meal!

Peppy’s Grill is located at 1004 Virginia Avenue in Indy.  They don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or a website…which is part of their charm.

Guest Review: Hop Cat, Indianapolis (Broad Ripple)

We’ve got a guest review today by my pal and fellow comedian Lyndsay Curran.  You can read more about Lyndsay at the bottom of the review.


Hop Cat is a restaurant chain that started in Grand Rapids, MI in 2008 and Their fun, lively atmosphere, and interesting food, and great selection of beer,  has enticed locals and  tourists   alike.

There are 12 Hop Cat’s in the MidWest area and Indianapolis is lucky to have one.

Hop Cat Broad Ripple was the first of its kind outside of Michigan and  has been in Indianapolis since  August of 2014; and  brought with it 131 of the best local, national, and international beers to the burgeoning Indy Craft Beer scene.  Broad Ripple has no lack of diverse bars and eateries, but it’s safe to say that Hop Cat has been a staple on the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and College Avenue since opening.


I have lived in the Broad Ripple area for several years and have frequented Hop Cat on a number of occasions for beer and their famous “Crack Fries”­  and let me tell you they have never disappointed. However, I have never taken the time to delve into their menu beyond those fries..I mean really, what is better than fries?!?  Another bonus, they do allow children with a parent until 10pm but no kiddos after that.  Since I have a two year old, I appreciate the semi-family friendly vibe, and anytime I take Wyatt with me, he is treated with the same respect as the adult patrons.

Once you enter Hop Cat you quickly recognize that you are not in a typical bar.  The place is enormous with a hipster vibe and velvet paintings of Rock idols on the walls.  On a Tuesday night it was packed, loud, and full of young patrons waiting for the Vogue to open.  In other words, just my kind of place.  You have to understand that I LOVE bars of all types do to the intense amount of people watching.  Hop Cat does not disappoint.




Now onto the good stuff!  Our waiter was kind, attentive, and had an extensive knowledge of the beer list. After choosing our drinks, we settled on Vladimir Poutine “Crack Fries”.

 These are not your typical fries. Not only are they well seasoned and cooked to perfection,  They were covered in Wisconsin Cheese Curds, stout carmelized onions, bacon, spicy sausage grave, and, wait for it…..potato and cheese pierogies.  Yes, that just happened!  If you are drinking or hungover, these fries are your cure.  There is no need for ketchup with these beauties, but it’s an option if you must.

Since my fabulous date and I indulged in beer and fries we decided to share the “I Am the Pork Sandwich Who Knocks.”  The menu identifies the sandwich as a beer battered and pretzel encrusted pork tenderloin topped with topped with Swiss cheese, sesame citrus slaw,  lettuce, tomato, and haystack onions.  Served on a jumbo toasted English muffin and topped with a pickle spear.  It comes with…you guessed it, more crack fries.  (I could NOT have been happier.

HopCat Loin

The waiter asked for our tenderloin to be split in half and we each were given our own basket. This is customer service at it’s finest­ no awkward cutting of the sandwich at the table or discrepancy on portion size of those fabulous fries.  The sandwich was visually appealing;  the colors of the condiments really added appeal and freshness to the plate. The bun was a perfectly toasted English muffin,  the softness of the muffin with it’s  crispy edges really added a nice twist to the typical bun.  The breading had a nice crunch, was well seasoned with the beer pretzels, and the perfect amount of salt.  The pretzel breading was an enjoyable break from the traditional.

 The meat was thick and had a nice flavor, but was, unfortunately, slightly dry.

The description of the included toppings made my mouth water, but did not deliver in   reality. The swiss cheese was barely noticeable­–who wants to waste calories on something they can’t even taste?  The slaw was uneventful.  I was hoping for a great vinegar/citrus punch, but that never happened.  The haystack onions were unnecessary.  There was no need for the crunch of the crispy onions, as the tenderloin itself was cripsy and they didn’t add much flavor.

I give this a 2.5 yums on a scale of 5.  I liked it, but would pass it up for their mac and cheese and a side of crack fries.

The service was fantastic! I would like to give a WOO HOO to our waiter, he was quick, knowledgeable, and ensured our needs were met.  While I may not indulge in another  “I An the Pork Sandwich Who Knocks”, Hop Cat is clearly here to stay and I look forward to trying other menu items while getting my fill of fantastic beers and their WONDERFUL crack fries.


About Lyndsay:  

Lyndsay Curran is a single mother of one beautiful 2 year old living and eating her way through Indianapolis.  She spends her days educating future nurses at Marian University and her nights trying to wrangle a wild toddler.  Some nights you can find her roaming the Indy comedy scene as an amateur comedienne.  Being a lifelong Hoosier her love of tenderloins is deep and real. Please check out Lyndsay’s blog at  or you can follow her on twitter, @LyndsayH1




Hard Rock Cafe, Indianapolis


I’d been to one Hard Rock Cafe’ before…Myrtle Beach, maybe?  And I don’t remember much about it.  Had it been a terribly good or bad experience I’m sure it would have stood out, but it didn’t make enough of an impression on me that I either sought another one out, or sought to avoid one.

Some friends of ours…Point of View Comedy….were performing at the Indianapolis Hard Rock last night, and we decided to go have dinner and support them.

Most of you probably are aware of the Hard Rock….it’s a Rock and Roll themed restaurant, with posters, guitars, albums, and more.  If you’re into music, it’s a pretty cool place to go just wander around and look at the displays.

I’d not intended getting a tenderloin, as they don’t have one on their menu.  However, each location offers a “Local Legend” burger, and I asked what it was….it was a breaded tenderloin!  What better local legend for Indiana than a breaded tenderloin?

Of course, it’s what I ordered.


About the best thing I can say about this sandwich is that it wasn’t a fritter.  It was fairly thick, but both the meat and the breading were pretty bland.  Don’t get me wrong….it just wasn’t good, either.  It was filling, and it wasn’t a fritter…that’s pretty much all I can say about it.  I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5 bites…below average.

For her dinner, Holly had the Cobb salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  She said it was good, but that she could have made it at home for half the price, and it would have been just as good.

As a whole, I found the food to be mediocre and overpriced.  But, I realize that a lot of folks really DO like the Hard Rock.  It’s just not my personal taste in a restaurant.

JT’s Grille, Indianapolis

JT’s Grille is a place we had heard about, but had never had a chance to visit before now.

Housed in what appears to be an old Waffle House, this place is about as far from a Waffle House as one can get.  Part neighborhood bar, part restaurant, it all works and works together well.

The walls are nicely decorated with art from local artists, which is a nice touch, and the color combinations in the restaurant….something I seldom notice…are warm and pleasing.  I felt right at home from the moment I stepped foot into JT’s.

The menu has a nice selection of burgers, sandwiches, and full meals.  They apparently do a booming breakfast business, also, but I didn’t get a chance to check the breakfast menu.

When I saw their hand breaded tenderloin on the menu, I knew what I was going to order!




As you can see from the photo, this thing is HUGE.  I was stunned at how large it was for the price ($8.95 with a side), and that doesn’t happen to me very often.

Often, bigger is not better, but that’s not the case here.  Let me tell you, folks, this is one stellar tenderloin, one of the best in town.  The breading is light and crispy, and stayed very crispy through the life of the sandwich.  The meat?  I can’t say enough about it.  Nice, moist and tender, this is certainly tenderloin hall of fame material.

The sandwich was served dressed exactly as I requested, the bun was nicely toasted, the whole sandwich was certainly a 5 out of 5 bites.

For her dinner, Holly chose a grilled pork chop, which came highly recommended by the server – and for good reason:  it’s simply fantastic!  Moist and flavorful, you can’t go wrong if you order this as your entrée!  This particular offering includes soup or salad and choice of side for $10.95.  She got a side salad before the meal and went with JT’s special white cheddar and caramelized onion mashed potatoes!  As good as it sounds (if you like that kind of thing…and Holly does!) she says that this side left a lot to be desired.  The potatoes were neither cheesy nor oniony…they were actually quite plain.  She indicated that she would definitely order the pork chop again, but she would choose a different side next time.

JT’s Grille is located at 2210 E 54th Street in Indianapolis, just off of Keystone.  You can find them online at, and they also have a Facebook page.

The Pawn Shop, Indianapolis.

The Pawn Shop pub has been on my list to try for quite some time now, recommended by friends.  The holiday season has been quite busy for us, but things are slowing down now, and it’s time to get the reviews rolling again!

Those of you who have been around Indy for a while might remember the Pawn Shop from when it was up on College Avenue…I believe it was where Binkley’s is presently located.  I had visited there once or twice, but that’s been 20 or more years ago, and I honestly don’t remember much about it.

Located on 54th, just West of Keystone, the Pawn Shop is located in an old fast food restaurant building, but upon stepping inside, it has the feel of a bar that has been there forever.  They obviously have a lot of regulars, at lunchtime the majority of folks coming in were greeted by name.  Although we had never been there before, the atmosphere was welcoming.


I knew from the start that I wanted to try the tenderloin.  As we perused the menu, the server told us that the special of the day was 1/2 tenderloin and beer cheese soup, which was what Holly elected to try….more about that later.  I chose the full tenderloin.

The sandwich itself?  One word comes to mind…sublime.  This was a darn near perfect tenderloin.  The meat was moist and tasty, and the breading was the perfect compliment to the meat.  Nice and crispy, and it stayed that way for the life of the sandwich….no getting soggy for this one!  The bun was nicely toasted, and the sandwich was dressed exactly as I requested it to be.  This is, from first bite to last, a 5 out of 5 bite tenderloin.  You won’t be disappointed if you order this hand breaded delight!  It sells for $6.75, and, apparently, that includes chips.

I WISH I could say the rest of our experience was just as good….but, it’s time for the other shoe to drop.  I ordered the breaded tenderloin with fries, and I got the tenderloin with chips…and they appeared to be the crumbs out of the bottom of the chip bag.  Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m not really a picky diner, but I DO expect to get what I ordered.  That lack of attention to detail could cost them a repeat visit from some folks.  On top of that, after we finished our soft drinks, we were never offered a refill.

Holly’s Beer Cheese Soup was mediocre, at best.  It was as if someone took a can of cheez whiz, tossed a couple of potato chunks in, and heated it up.  There was no hint of beer in it…none whatsoever.

To wrap this up, there is no doubt that the tenderloin is a 5 out of 5….certainly worth driving across town for!  And, hopefully….your service experience will be better than ours.

The Pawn Shop is located at 2222 E 54th Street in Indianapolis.  Their website is