Day one on our own in Indiana, and we decided to wander around the museums and attractions in White River Park, an urban park and cultural area in downtown Indianapolis. First we hoped to try the LS Aryes Historic Tea Room, but that is only available for special events. So instead we tried the cafe in the Indiana State Museum, figuring museum cafes usually have decent choices.
I selected the only thing that comes close to being a regional specialty, a fried pork tenderloin sandwich. This was delicious! The pork tenderloin was amazingly tender, literally falling apart at the touch. The breading was nice and crispy, holding the meat together. Topped with some lettuce, tomato, onions, and a spicy dijon mustard dressing, this was a well-constructed sandwich. My only complaint was that the crisp of the pork was a bit oily in flavor, but the texture was great.
Pearl is a sucker for corn, bacon, and soup, so how could she pass up the bacon sweet corn chowder. Loaded with corn, potatoes, and bacon, this was a rich hot creamy dish. She paired the cup with a half-sandwich, a chicken salad sandwich so loaded that she needed to eat half of it with a spoon! The chicken salad was delicious, with flavorful chunked chicken instead of shredded. A surprising touch was the addition of cherries instead of the usual raisins. The result added a nice fresh tang to offset the creamy dressing.
So, if visiting the museum area, check out the cafe. It’s a great option in an area with little else to choose from.
Stuck in the office for lunch doesn’t seem to be so bad, as the San Luis Obispo Rosetta crowd has a pretty organized lunch order process for the fairly large staff. Today’s restaurant was Tahoe Joe’s Steakhouse.
I selected the namesake steak sandwich, figuring that would probably be the best sampling. When it finally arrived, I was getting really hungry, and upon opening the box I was practically drooling. Unfortunately the looks belied the taste. Although the bread looked nicely grill-toasted like you’d find at a diner, it was soggy. The fries were very soggy as well, bland, and the seasoning just made them salty and not worth eating.
This is the downside of order-in food.
However, the meat itself was lukewarm, but tasty, smokey beef and bacon, with a flavorful cheese. Had this been order-in instead of delivery, it probably would have been a fantastic sandwich. Being hot and fresh matters. As it was, I was disappointed and had to trudge on with my day dissatisfied.
After a very filling brunch, the little missus and I spent the afternoon wandering the French Quarter and the waterfront, eventually making our way to the Southern Food and Drink Museum. Afterwards it was nigh on suppertime, so we made our way back to the French Quarter with the intention of enjoying K Paul’s. Unfortunately they were closed on Sundays (as is most of this city), so we headed back to the hotel to cool off and wait for our appetites to return. After a few hours, we prepared to venture out to Camelia Grill, but a quick web search showed us they too were closed. At this point we were reaching closing time and decided to search for 24/7 dining options. Just down St. Charles Avenue from our hotel is The Avenue Pub.
We strolled the 4 short blocks and found a dingy gastropub with 47 different beers on tap, all of them smaller craft brews. The wife chose the Fox Barrel Pear Cider, and I went for the Steiner Weiss while we waited for our orders. The weiss had an incredible head that took the bar tender 5 minutes to pour and another 5 to fully settle. It was wheaty, as expected from that kind of beer, and a bit on the thick side. It stayed nice and cloudy throughout my entire meal and left no sediment.
Shortly our food arrived, a burger for the wife, and the grilled cheese club for me. Having seen mixed reviews, I was happy with the results, and the prices were quite reasonable. The grilled cheese had goat cheese, cheddar, and a heavy dose of a soft feta all melted into gooey yumminess. Along with bacon, tomato, and a fresh pesto, the whole thing was served on some nice thick slices of artisinal sourdough and grilled on a pannini press. The burger was good as well, tasty beef and cooked perfectly with all the juices intact, but otherwise nothing too special. Disappointingly, the burger was supposed to come with pecan crusted onion rings we wanted to try, but these were replaced with good, but generic cross-cut fries.
For late night dining, it was surprisingly good, and I would go back to sample more of the beer list, that being apparently scarce in the Big Easy where rum drinks abound.
Located on the 12th floor above Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis, the Skyroom is a lunch cafeteria that Richard Myer would be proud of. Curving white walls, white furniture, and even a white piano surround a soup and salad bar, and stations for pasta, burgers, Mexican food, and American deli sandwiches. Of course, being from LA, I passed on the Mexican station and made my way to the deli counter. Top of the list: a smoked turkey with applewood smoked bacon sandwich on cinnamon-raisin bread with cranberry aoli. The bread, pullaway style, cut thick and toasted, was sweet and packed with cinnamon. Unlike many delis, both the bacon and the turkey were rich with smokey flavor. The turkey portion size was a little small, but the ample amount of bacon made up for it. Coupled with a peppery coleslaw and your typical pickle wedge, this made for great way to spend a warm lunch watching the cold snow fall.