Monthly Archives: February 2011

Broad Ripple Brewpub = Delicious

So, Paul and I really like to eat and to try new foods, but there is one restaurant in Indy that we just keep going back to.

It’s called the Broad Ripple Brewpub. The menu is crazy diverse, with everything from vegan dolmades to bangers and mash to skewers of German sausage with sauerkraut balls. We’ve only been there with small groups, but the diverse menu really makes it a great place to take a group with different tastes or with many vegetarians, as our weekly dinner group in Champaign was.

Everything we have ever tried there we have loved. Some of those selections include their fish and chips, burrito, drunken tortellini and the German sausage skewers with sauerkraut balls, all of which were wonderful. So far my favorite has been their chili. Their chili is a combination of bison and beef and is served with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, red onion, sour cream and guacamole. So delicious.

The "light" portion of fish and chips

The fish and chips were delicious, and while some restaurants will give you french fries, the Brewpub actually gives you real chips. Now, I am ok with the fries, I just want the potato, but I have to tell you about the Brewpub’s pub chips. They are perfect. Light and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Served with a bit of salt and some ketchup, and they are to die for.

You also will notice that I labeled the above photo “light.” The Brewpub has a selection of their most popular dishes in a smaller portion. Every time I have ordered something that is also on the lighter menu, I have always ordered the smaller portion and still always had leftovers. Now, their regular portions are not disgustingly huge to begin with, and I would maybe rename the “light” menu to the “just right” menu. I have ordered from the light menu before so I could add an order of their pub chips.

We also recently discovered that Indy’s “it” food is the pork tenderloin sandwich. So, last time we went there, Paul checked it out.

Pork tenderloin as big as your head!

Apparently part of the pork tenderloin being the “it” thing is that they are huge, as exhibited by the above photo. But the hugeness does not come from it just being a huge cut of meat. It once upon a time was regular sized, and they pound it thin so it is tender and crispy and delicious. And also bigger than the bun and your head. Combined.

The Brewpub also has their own selection of brewed-in-house beers. A lot of them are more hoppy beers, and I am not a fan of hoppy beers, but Paul is and he likes them. I like to order their English style pub brews, which are more like porters and such. They’re pretty good, but they serve them English style, a.k.a., not ice cold, which I’m not a huge fan of, being American and liking my beverages cold. Their selections also change according to the season. They also have a nice list of bottled beer and several beers brewed in Indianapolis. They also sell growlers of their house brews to go. They can even sell them on Sundays. Which is a big deal. (For those of you unfamiliar with Indiana, you cannot buy any alcohol to go on Sundays. Anywhere. You can by a beer to drink at the restaurant, but you can’t take anything home. Not even from a grocery store. It’s crazy.)

The prices at the Brewpub are also good. Many of the entrees are less than $10, and the beers are also reasonably priced. We’ve always had good service there, and the atmosphere reminds you of a classic English pub, kind of dark with a hint of dingyness (the restaurant is very clean, just has a grungy vibe) They also have a nice outdoor eating area. There is no smoking inside the restaurant (Indiana is not smoke free, we were sad to learn) and the outdoor areas are divided into smoking on one side of the building and non-smoking on an adjacent side.

So, if you live here or are just visiting, Paul and I both give Broad Ripple Brewpub two thumbs up for lunch or dinner.

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Tucker

As promised, here’s some more information on our new family member, Tucker!

Well, of course you can give me a belly rub

Tucker glamour shot taken when he was with the rescue

Another glamour shot, very debonaire, don't you think?

We got Tucker on Jan. 3 from a dog rescue in Indianapolis. They had had him since Thanksgiving, where he was placed with a foster family and cared for well. (They had named him Butler, but as Butler is a rival of the SIUC Salukis, we decided to change it. He didn’t seem to mind.) He is a shar pei and pit bull mix, so he has really big floppy cheeks and tiny ears.

He was about 10 months old when we got him. As no one knows when exactly he was born, we decided to give him an auspicious birthday – The Ides of March. As of right now, there are no special plans for March 15th, but maybe he’ll get a special treat or something.

When we first got him, he was a pretty nervous puppy. He submissive peed a lot (Hooray for Clorox wipes!) but a month and a half after we got him, he is doing much better, and only pees a little sometimes when he meets new people. Which is why we like to make introductions outside.

Our house has a closed-in porch with a dog door (that he just barely fits through. We’ll be making sure not to overfeed him!), which is perfect. We don’t have to leave him in his kennel all day or worry about him destroying things or making a mess. We just don’t put anything out there if we would really be upset if it got destroyed.

The porch, and proof of Tucker's destructive abilities

Shortly after we got him, we started obedience classes. (We opted for 16 weeks instead of 8, as he is rather hard headed) So far he’s been doing really well. He has learned to sit and we are currently working on lay down, stay, leave it and loose leash walking. We almost have “off” under control. The foster family allowed him on the furniture, but we don’t, so it took a little bit to get that through his head. Now the most he tries is a paw or maybe both on the couch. He also jumped on people a lot when we got him, and while he hasn’t yet learned to stop jumping, he just leaps in the air and not on people, which is actually pretty adorable. For the most part, he is very calm and does well around people he doesn’t know. He gets a little too excited when he’s around new dogs but is not allowed to greet them, but he is also getting better with staying calm. He is very vocal, and grumbles a lot. He also yawns loudly and snores.

Some Tucker stats:

Weight: 54 pounds

Height: Approximately 24 inches at his back

Favorite toys: Tennis balls, soft toys and his bone

Favorite treats: Peanut butter and ice cubes

He also likes:

To conquer things (mostly Paul)

The Colts (but not wearing bandanas)

To sleep and cuddle by the fireplace

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Mmmm….pie

I just thought I would tell you all about my new favorite pie. It is delicious and warm and gooey and oh so simple. In fact, there’s a good chance you have all the ingredients in your home already!

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I got this recipe from a pie shop in Monticello, IL, for a story I wrote for At Home (one of the magazines I wrote for in Champaign)

Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (courtesy of Pies by Inge, Monticello, IL. As published in the Jan. Feb. 2011 issue of At Home in Central Illinois)

Ingredients

1 prepared pie shell, unbaked; 3/4 cup softened butter; 1/2 cup sugar; 1/2 cup brown sugar; 2 teaspoons vanilla; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup flour; 2 eggs; 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions

Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs. Mix in salt and flour. Add chocoalte chips. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 325 for one hour. Drizzle top with chocolate or sprinkled with chocolate chips. Serve with a large glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream.

The first time I made it, I used a store bought pie shell (It said it was deep dish, but it was a pretty shallow deep dish if you ask me). It tasted good, but the shell wasn’t in the best shape, the tin was bent and some of my filling leaked out. I would recommend maybe using a non-deep-dish crust to get the correct filling-to-crust ratio. The second time, Paul made the pie crust recipe that came with our Crisco sticks, available here. He modified it slightly, using a combination of butter and Crisco. It turned out absolutely delicious! We used a pie plate we received as a wedding gift, similar to this, which turned out to be too deep, so our filling only came halfway up the shell. The shell was delicious, so it was good to eat it plain, but in the future I will likely double the filling recipe to use in this plate.

I also recommend either eating it warm out of the oven or heating it up for 30 seconds in the microwave! It’s so delicious and gooey and really, how many people don’t like chocolate chip cookies? (I served it to a crowd and got rave reviews!)

Later this week I’ll give you all some more information about our dog, Tucker (as promised)!

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