I’m going to be totally honest here. Before heading to Indy for Memorial Day Weekend, I didn’t have high hopes for the food and beverage scene. I hate to admit it but I think my years living in New York have made me a bit harder to please when it comes to food. However and per usual, I was completely wrong! Indy actually has some really impressive restaurants and bars so I wanted to share a few of my favorites.
A Healthy Breakfast
My very first meal in Indy was brunch at Cafe Patachou, a local Indianapolis restaurant chain. I later found out that Martha Hoover opened the first location shortly after moving from NYC to Indy twenty years ago. She struggled to find a health conscious breakfast spot so she created one herself. There are the basics with variations: omelettes, granola & yogurt bowls and French waffles. Then there are some out-of-the ordinary dishes that are well worth the gamble. I ordered one of their Broken Yolk sandwiches (Bacon and Avocado to be specific) with a side of their Cinnamon toast (highly recommended on Foursquare). The Cuban Breakfast is another local favorite.
After an adventurous day split between whizzing by pedestrians in a real IndyCar and scooting around on our Segway tour through White River State Park, cocktails were calling my name. Our group headed to Platt 99, a trendy bar inside the newly opened The Alexander hotel. Just to give you a quick rundown on the hotel itself, there is avant-garde art literally lining the walls of the lobby. One art piece is completely made out of hair combs and another out of old records. Led by Indy leading mixologist, Michael Gray, his cocktail meny dates from the 1850s to today. I ordered two gin-based drinks but there were plenty of other liqueurs to choose from including Pisco, Aguardiente and Aquavit in addition to regulars like vodka, tequila, whiskey and rum.
Time for Recess
Recess puts an interesting spin on dinner. For one thing, there is a set menu each day and that is all they serve. There are of course variations for vegetarians or if you are allergic to a certain ingredient. Otherwise, what you see is what you get. Chef Greg Hardesty chose to name the restaurant Recess because it is his culinary playground. I loved how fresh and flavorful the ingredients were and how well they are presented on the plate. There are also wine pairings for each dish or you can order drinks a la carte. As fancy as the food appears, Recess’ indoor decor has an industrial and urban feel to it. It seemed like many of the diners knew each other, thus adding to the friendly atmosphere.
Wine & Cheese Indulgences
If you do head to Indy, definitely check out Tastings, a restaurant and wine shop all in one. Basically, you put money on a card and sample different wines. If you aren’t in the mood to taste a bunch of different wines, you can just order a glass or bottle like any other restaurant. My husband and I also ordered a cheese plate and the goat cheese flatbread. I expected the cheese plate to taste great but the flatbread threw me for a loop. It was the perfect level of crispiness (at least for me) and the goat cheese added so much extra flavor into the mix. The prices aren’t bad either. Between the two of us our total came to just over $60 and we had more than our fare share of wine samples.
Beer & Burgers Galore
Bru was sort of an impromptu decision on my last day in Indy. A few of us were checking out the new Cultural Trail and naturally, all that peddling made us hungry. We passed Bru along the way and decided to quench our thirst with locally brewed beer and satisfy our cravings with delicious burgers. In addition to their burgers, Bru also offers salads, sandwiches and other snacks. To get started, we ordered the Bru fries (French fries) with their ketchup that is made in-house and the Roasted Peppers & Goat Cheese appetizer. I then ordered a Burger Snack (considered a mini burger but it’s normal size I promise). My “mini” bacon cheeseburger was $4, I kid you not!
This trip was hosted by Visit Indy. All opinions are my own.
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