Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill, Indianapolis

Big Daddy's

I’ve heard of Big Daddy’s a few times, but had never had a chance to visit.  It’s not close t home  (I’m on the far north side, and it’s on the south side), but on this particular day, I was meeting my good friend  (and fellow musician) Larry Wayt to visit Ping’s Music on the south side of Indy  (BTW…if you’re looking for a music store, I HIGHLY recommend Ping’s Music) so it was the perfect place for us to meet for lunch.

Big Daddy’s is HUGE.  I was kind of amazed just how big it was on the inside.  And it was PACKED.  Even though it was hopping…there was hardly an empty seat in the house…our service was prompt and friendly.

Big Daddy’s has a very full menu, of pretty typical bar food…sandwiches, burgers, pizza, a steak or two, and a few salads.  Pretty much everything is made fresh in house, and it shows.

I chose, of course, the breaded tenderloin.

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I’m not really sure you can tell by the picture, but this sandwich is HUGE.  Honestly, I was suspect, because I’m from the school of thought that bigger isn’t always better.  I’m always suspect when I ask a server how their tenderloin is, and they reply with “It’s big!!”.  I didn’t ask how big it was…I asked how was it.

But I digress.  This is one fantastic tenderloin.  Hand cut and breaded, the meat is tender and moist, and it had the perfect amount of breading.  Just enough to compliment the flavor of the meat without overwhelming it.  In addition, the breading had a nice seasoning to it, which only added to an already outstanding sandwich.

So, how big was it?  I couldn’t finish it…and that, my friends, is a REAL rarity.  How do I rate it?  It’s a 5 out of 5, no doubt about it.

I was unable to find a website for Big Daddy’s, but they do have a Facebook page.  They’re located at 2536 S Meridian Street in Indianapolis.

 

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Smee’s Place, Indianapolis

 

Smees

Smee’s Place is a pub/restaurant at 86th and Ditch in Indy that I’d heard about, but not visited.  

It’s located in a strip mall that isn’t real visible from 86th street, so it’s not a place one is likely to stumble upon…I suspect the vast majority of their business comes from word of mouth, as opposed to folks seeing it and dropping in.

We were meeting our friend Richard for supper to talk about an upcoming project, and he was actually the one who suggested it, otherwise, I’m not sure we would’ve stopped there.  It’s in a part of town we don’t frequent much (even though it’s pretty close to home).

I really liked the vibe from the minute I stepped in the door.  Lots and lots of woodwork, nice lighting level, and even though it got crowded as the evening went on, the noise level was perfect for carrying on a conversation without feeling like I was straining to hear.

The menu is what I would call “upscale pub”…many of their sandwiches and dishes have a bit of a twist to them.   On their website, they proclaim “Fresh food and a friendly atmosphere” and that is spot on.  From the hostess to the server, everyone was friendly and professional.

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I chose the hand breaded tenderloin.  It’s served on a brioche bun, and although I’m not a huge fan of “fancy” buns, I’ll say this one was really good and complimented the sandwich perfectly.

From the first bite, I was impressed with this sandwich.  The meat was nice and tender, and the breading was, again, the perfect complement to the meat.  Nice and crisp, it was appropriately seasoned, and didn’t overwhelm the taste of the meat.

In addition, I really liked the size of this sandwich.  It was enough for a hearty meal, but not so huge as to be overwhelming.  I’m giving this sandwich a 5 out of 5 bites, no question about it.  The price is right, also – $8.95 with a side of fries.

For her dinner, Holly chose the fish tacos.  They are served with a generous serving of Basa, shredded lettuce, and diced tomato.  The fish is grilled, not fried – which is exactly what she wanted.  Fish tacos are often Holly’s “go-to” dish on any menu and for the price of $14.95, she was anticipating the best fish tacos she’d ever tasted.  She reports them to be good, and filling – but not stellar.  When we go back to Smee’s, she will definitely try something else on the menu.  That being said, she HIGHLY RECOMMENDS the lemon rum cake!

Smee’s Place is located at 86th and Ditch.  You can find them online at www.smeesplace.com

Slippery Noodle, Indianapolis

slipnoodle

The Slippery Noodle Inn (usually called just “The Noodle” by locals) proclaims itself Indiana’s Oldest Bar, established in 1850, and has live blues 7 nights a week. Friday and Saturday nights they feature two bands on two separate stages, so it’s all about the blues here!
We’d been here a few times to hear (or play) music, but it’s usually been late at night so we usually only got drinks or appetizers instead of a meal. This particular night, though, the Cosmic Preachers were playing a set, and Holly and I opted to come early and have dinner.
A good way (for me, anyway) to judge whether a place has a decent tenderloin is to check the menu and see if they order it grilled AND breaded, as opposed to just breaded. I’ve found places that do both typically serve a real breaded tenderloin, as opposed to a fritter passed off as a tenderloin.
The menu offers both, so I took a shot.

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This is a big sandwich! And, it’s not a fritter, it’s a real piece of meat. The meat was nice and tender, and the breading was crispy and I liked the texture of the breading quite a lot. The meat was flavorful and seemed fresh, and the breading was tasty, but I do think it could have stood just a bit more seasoning, at least to my taste. The bun was nicely toasted, and the sandwich was served dressed as I requested. All in all, though, it’s a very good sandwich and I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 bites, well above average and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again. It sells for 9.95, with homemade chips, or you can get fries or another side for a slight upcharge.
For her dinner, Holly chose the black and bleu salad. The menu describes it as a very basic, plain salad, but it comes out with several extras (like a sliced hard-boiled egg and onions) that she didn’t actually want. In addition, the steak has some kind of sweet, barbecue type sauce on it. This was definitely not anticipated, and she did not read anything about this on the menu. Had it been stated in the item description, she would have ordered something else entirely.

The Slippery Noodle Inn is located at 327 S Meridian in Indianapolis. You can find them online at http://www.slippernoodle.com

Alibi’s Bar and Grill,  Indianapolis 

​Alibi’s bar and grill is a place that we were vaguely aware of…matter of fact, we’d had dinner here several years ago, but it’s in an area that we don’t often find ourselves in so it tends to fly under our radar. We were taking care of some personal business in this part of town, and decided to try their tenderloin.

Located in Shadeland Station, Alibi’s has been around since 1986 and their website proudly proclaims they feature “hand crafted, American cooking”. As an added bonus, they’re non-smoking and all ages, a huge plus in my book!

Situated in the Shadeland Station shopping center, it’s a very large place! Nicely decorated in dark wood, there are TV’s around tuned to sports, but not so many to be overwhelming, and the sound is down low enough that you can enjoy a nice meal without being overwhelmed by constant noise.

Of course, I was there to try the hand cut and hand breaded tenderloin. It’s offered breaded or grilled, and comes with your choice of side for a bit over 9 bucks.

So, how was it? It was very good indeed! It’s big, but I wouldn’t call it huge (at least by breaded tenderloin standards). It’s pounded out to a nice size, but it’s not paper thin. There’s a very nice texture in this sandwich…the crunch of the breading and the firmness of the meat. The meat was tender, yet firm, and had a very good flavor. I REALLY liked the breading, but feel it could have used some more seasoning…perhaps something as simple as a bit more pepper…to really make this sandwich shine. It was served dressed as I requested, the bun was nicely buttered and toasted. It was a quite satisfying sandwich! I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5 bites…well above average and worth your time. On a side note, I REALLY liked their French fries!

For her lunch, Holly chose the white Stromboli. Alibi’s white Stromboli consists of a grilled chicken breast, smoked Gouda cheese, onions, pepperoni, and banana peppers, topped with a white sauce that seemed to be a simple creamy Italian dressing. It is served lightly toasted on a soft hoagie. The manager visited our table and said she likes to request this sandwich toasted longer to enhance the crunchy texture of the bread. Holly said she would definitely get this sandwich again. And when she does, she will take the manager’s recommendation and ask for it to be toasted a little longer.

Alibi’s is located in the Shadeland Station shopping center, 7381 N Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis. You can find them online at http://www.alibisgrill.com and they also have a Facebook page. 

Keystone Sports Review, Indianapolis

Keystone LogoI’ve had several folks recommend Keystone Sports Review to me, saying I should try their wings AND their tenderloin, but the opportunity just hasn’t presented itself for us to make it there at a convenient time.  Yesterday, my wife had a day off and we decided to do a late lunch/early dinner.

Keystone Sports Review is a small sports pub located at 56th and College.  It appears to have been a fast food restaurant at one time in the past, but it’s been Keystone Sports Review for a number of years.

Upon entering, it really IS as small as it looks from the outside.  There’s a small bar, a few tables and a handful of booths, and that’s about it. There are a lot of TVs in a small space, but the volume, while loud enough to hear, wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t carry on a conversation.

Their menu features wings, of course, as well as several sandwiches and other dishes.

Holly and started our meals with a salad, and it was an outstanding salad!  A nice mix of mixed greens, and…oh, those croutons.  They’re made in house and they are simply amazing.

Keystone TenderloinI chose the hand breaded tenderloin for my sandwich, and at the first bite, I was hooked.  THIS is what an Indiana Tenderloin should be.  It was very lightly breaded, and the breading had just enough seasoning to compliment the flavor of the meat.  The meat itself was moist, tender, and full of flavor.  The sandwich was served with the dressings I requested, and was large enough to be satisfying, but not so large as to be overwhelming.  Perfect flavor and seasoning, this is a five star tenderloin all the way.  One of the absolute best I’ve ever had.  And, at $6.95, it’s a bargain.

For my side, I chose fries for a $1.00 upcharge.  They were good, but fell short of outstanding.

For her meal, Holly chose the wings! They come in three sizes and a variety of flavors. She chose a full order of wings (10 pieces) and split the order between two flavors, choosing the Cajun Dry Rub and Hot Garlic varieties.  She really enjoyed the Cajun Dry Rub wings, but found the Hot Garlic to be a bit too vinegary for her liking.  For the price, (10 wings for around $8.00) you can’t go wrong.  The wings come with carrots, celery, and their homemade blue cheese dressing, which is outstanding!  You can also sub in ranch dressing instead, and order extra veggies if you desire.

 

Keystone Sports Review is located at 56th and Keystone.  Their website is http://www.keystonesportsreview.com/