People here in Indy say, “chicken and waffles”? They act like the two are alien concepts in restaurantland. Of course, people from other regions of our great country just belly up to the table and wait for the waitress to bring it on as many plates as she can muster. And, if you stop by the Citgo gas station at Ohio and East Streets in downtown you will not be disappointed with the flavors that grace your palate. The Max Out is a burger sensation complete with gravy and fries that will wear out even the hungriest of appetites. But on December 21st, 2011, I crossed into culinary joyland. I ordered the Max Waffler. It consisted of a blueberry waffle split in half and used to create 2 sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches. I added some onions to make the flavor more complex and will add gravy next time to make it even more unique. The food at Maxine’s really does have a taste of love in every bite. I hope a waffle is on your horizon soon.
2344 East 53rd Street
Well, if ya’ll don’t know by now, I am a southern boy who just did not like warm weather, so I married me a northern girl and transplanted myself North of the Mason-Dixon. But, I do miss some things from the South. There are these little breakfast joints that are open way too early and close just after lunch. Some of them still serve their hearty wholesomeness on melmac. I believe it does make food taste better for some reason, but it is not a pre-requisite for a fine dining experience. These dives have their own feel, clientele and even their own smell. The waitresses know how to care for customers and the cooks can flat sling it like no one else. It’s a good thing I walked into the Keystone Deli, because I can take that nostalgic trip down south much closer to home. There’s shortening in the biscuits and they will have to serve some of the breakfasts on 4 separate plates. You might as well call it a buffet. The pancakes are killer, the baked apples will make you want to call your mom, and you can choose from ham, Bacon, sausage…do I really have to say more? Get in your car, turn on you gastronomic positioning system and get going. They close at 2. Tell JFK and Sinatra I sent you. They will treat you well.
New Orleans is one of those places with its own pizzazz. You can’t ever forget the place. It just kind of tugs at your soul and gently calls for your return. Cafe Du Monde is worth the trip alone for beignets and cafe au lait, but the city also boasts one of the greatest sandwich creations ever invented, the po boy. Now, you don’t have to trek that far for one, thanks to Papa. Papa Roux, now with a location at the city market, and their original location at 10th and Post, makes Po Boys that New Orleans and all of Louisiana are jealous of. They have everything from smoked sausage to bbq pork to catfish and beef and a few other stops in between. They have amazing cole slaw and the vouxdoux onions are worth the additional George. The sides at 10th and post will wear you out and you will never walk away dejected. These guys are grand slammers every time, personally and professionally. Get to know the Papa, and be a part of the family.
Chi-town might be known for the dog, and Nathans of New York has definitely laid claim to the same culinary art, but Indy has its own original that can soar with the best of them. The old Henne meat recipe goes down smooth and succulent. But, I have to admit that the monster is one of the greatest items I have ever purchased. It gets even better when you ask for the Godzilla and they add a chopped up dog to the mix of fries, tots, chili, cheese, jalapenos, onions and the like. You will not be disappointed. Their new location has plenty of space for you and your friends, but you might still have to call a taxi to take you back to your car. Enjoy my friends.
I was at the Midas in Anderson recently talking to Tom, one of their managers. He said that one of the best tenderloins around could be procured at the Mounds Mall food court. Now, I like food court food, but people need not mess around with the tenderloin. It is a sacred art, especially in Indiana. I was skeptical at best, and made a b-line for the mall. I could not believe what I saw a few minutes later…an Indiana state-shaped tenderloin that had been rolled in flour, seasoning and potato chips. My, my. It is worth the drive. These guys started their culinary creations in a flea market, and have upgraded to the food court. They hope to have a food truck one day. They can park that bad boy on the street in front of my house. That’s what I’m talking ’bout. (The chicken tenders are done the same way. Take the family.)
Tucked in between the Rusted Moon Outfitters and the Broad Ripple Brewpub is one of Indianapolis’ best casual dining spots. The Monon Food Company serves up some of the freshest and best-tasting food in the city. Their presentation is always spot on and the flavor does not disappoint. As a bellydiver, I must admit that it scares me when a restaurant does not own a deep fryer. Baked potatoes are fine, and mashed potatoes will sometimes do the trick, but sandwiches need French fries, don’t they? The answer after visiting the MoFoCo, is of course not. If all potatoes could taste like the grill-top specialty item that is seasoned to perfection over there at 6420 Cornell Avenue, the world might end up being a healthier place, and I would lose some weight. But, the potatoes pale in comparison to the absolutely amazing taco creations that emerge from that kitchen. The chipotle fish taco complete with cabbage, chipotle mayo, fresh pico de gallo and guacamole is downright fantastic and worthy of a repeat visit in its own right. They have a Hawaiian fish taco as well, and the grilled tenderloin is begging you to step back across the fried dividing line. Dave, the general manager, is ready and willing to care for each customer, and the kitchen is poised to challenge anyone’s ability to breathe fire. As the old Pepsi slogan used to say, “the customer is why!” Monon Food Company gets it, and so should you. You won’t regret it.
Welcome back to Bellydiving.com!!! We have relaunched the site, and will be having a lot of new restaurant reviews, and some new guest reviewers. Thanks for joining us, and keep eating local!!
The Bellydiving Staff