Bloomington, IN - Quick and casual near the Bluebird
My wife and I will be coming down to Bloomington on Friday (9/22) to see the Del McCoury show at the Bluebird. (Off topic - If you like Bluegrass this will be a great show. We're friends with the guys in the opening act, a great band from Indy called The Stringtown Pickers, and Del McCoury has been going strong for 50 years.)
We're looking for something quick and casual, in that general vicinity (walking distance). Unfortunately, we won't have time for a meal at Tallent (I want to linger over every course!). We haven't been over to the places on 4th St for a couple of years, anything new over there? Laughing Planet might be a good fallback if we're really pressed for time. Anything right there on Walnut or College that's worth trying?
Also, we're spending the night there (in the hotel in the student union). I was planning on Runcible Spoon for breakfast. Would you recommend that, or is there someplace better in the area? Is there a good fallback spot in case the wait for a table is too long? IU has a home football game that Saturday, but it doesn't start until 3:30 so I'm hoping to beat the majority of the crowd.
Turquaz is a fairly new and enjoyable Turkish restaurant on 4th Street. Samira, on the corner of Walnut and 6th does decent Afghan. For breakfast, I'd probably choose the Uptown or the Village Deli, both on Kirkwood, over the Spoon (unless you're really into the atmosphere).
second Village Deli and Michael's UpTown for breakfast. The Uptown would be good for dinner too. Essan Thai which is across from the public library, Bombay House on 4th. If it is as chilly as it is here today The Irish Lion does good Dublin Caudle and I like their fish and chips too. Don't forget Little Zagreb for steak or ribs.
Wow, Del McCoury at the Bird! I am envious. I love that music (are you familiar with the album Del cut with Steve Earle? It's great, although I guess that relationship ended on less than amicable terms. But I digress.) I lived in B-town for 22 years. During that time I hung out at the Bluebird a good deal, and also played on that stage seveal times. And I became good friends with the owner of a wonderful, tiny restaurant next door--Michael's Uptown Cafe. It had about six tables and served that best breakfast in town.
After the theater next door burned (around 1980) and a bunch of bricks fell through the Uptown's roof, closing the place for a while, Michael reopened and soon moved to much larger quarters on Kirkwood, just off Walnut. And he's still there. The restaurant has evolved over time. Michael has had several partners, of which I was one for several years. The menu has grown more sophisticated, but the great breakfasts have remained a specialty.
Now, I must tell you that I haven't been to the place for several years, but I hear that it is still good. I moved away from Indiana in 1998, and I've been back to visit only twice. I miss it. And I miss the Uptown. If I were in Bloomington, that is where I would eat, no question about it.