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Indianapolis restaurant.com?

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ohbonobogirl Jan 30, 2011 04:28 AM

Hubby and I are heading to Indy next weekend for a mini-vacation from Columbus, OH. We were given restaurant.com money for Christmas and I was wondering if any of the restaurants on it in Indianapolis are worth it. I know in Columbus it can be really hit or miss with some questionable business practices, so I figured I'd check it out on the boards first to see if anyone had any insight. So far, we're planning on (and I know these wouldn't necessarily be the choices of others) either the mug n bun or the Tamale Place on Saturday afternoon, Fogo de Chao on Saturday night b/c my husband loves meat and the $30 devour downtown deal is pretty great, along with not having this option in Columbus, breakfast at Cafe Patachou, lunch somewhere (maybe whichever of the first two we didn't hit), and dinner somewhere, probably on the way home. Any other ideas or recs? Columbus's local, innovative food scene is taking off pretty well lately, so we're really looking to try places that are unlike those available here.

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Cafe Patachou
4911 N Pennsylvania St, Indianapolis, IN 46205

Tamale Place
5242 Rockville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46224

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    ohbonobogirl Mar 16, 2011 11:38 AM

    It was a great mini-vacation! Definitely recommended for a weekend. Priceline's "name your own price" hotel, couple of hour drive, overall very good. Foodwise, here's what we did:
    -Tamale Place and Mug 'n Bun on Saturday after getting into town around lunch time. We split a couple of tamales. Decent, the husband LOVED how huge they were. At the Mug 'n Bun we split a tenderloin sandwich, fries, and a root beer. Their root beer is definitely worth the trip. Very smooth and caramel-y
    -Attempted to visit Trader's Point Creamery for some ice cream/snacks. We drove through the snow and got briefly stuck a couple of times before getting there only to find out it was closed until 4:00 pm for a private event. Serves me right for just assuming they'd be open on a Saturday afternoon and not calling first. We tried to hit up an antique Toy Museum, too, and which was also closed.
    -Fogo de Chao for late late dinner. I was very impressed with the overall quality of the meat as well as the salad bar. Much better than anything similar we have around Columbus. Restaurant week included desserts too, all for $30/pp.
    -Sunday breakfast at Cafe Patachou. Husband had the croissant french toast and was thoroughly impressed, and I took it easy with some fruit and yogurt. The cinnamon toast was so simple yet so delicious. There's a small chain in Columbus called "Northstar" and the two seem like twins.
    -Sunday Lunch: Maxine's Chicken and Waffles. I'd heard about it before the trip and happened to find a groupon before we left, so that's where we went. The food was amazingly wonderful, but the service was slower than molasses. For the two of us, it took a good two hours for pretty standard orders of wings and waffles with a couple of sides. The service was friendly, but very slow. It was inexplicable as well because there looked to be more employees than customers and the place was full of customers.

    Overall, we had a great time in Indy. I was really impressed with how "walkable" it is. We trekked all over downtown and visited the Rhythm Experience, tried to visit the Zoo, spent some time in the other museums, and really just enjoyed being outside in the snow. It was a great break from normal stuff here at home. Thanks for all of your help in figuring out different places to consider.

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    Cafe Patachou
    4733 E 126th St, Carmel, IN 46033

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      ohbonobogirl Feb 4, 2011 01:25 PM

      Thanks so much, huiray and nsxtasy. You've been great! We'll be leaving tomorrow morning and I'll check in after I get back.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ohbonobogirl
        huiray Feb 4, 2011 05:04 PM

        Have a good trip!

        1. re: ohbonobogirl
          w
          walterhutton Mar 16, 2011 09:45 AM

          How did the the Indy trip turn out? Did you enjoy your mini-vacation?

        2. nsxtasy Jan 30, 2011 05:42 AM

          In my experience, most of the restaurants on restaurant.com are not worth wasting a meal at. OTOH the Devour Downtown promotion in Indianapolis is fantastic, and includes some of the very best restaurants in town, such as R Bistro, the Oceanaire, Euphoria, 14 West, and Palomino. (I've posted detailed reports on dinners at all five of these in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348586 ). If I were you, I'd concentrate on taking advantage of the deals on Devour Downtown instead of bending over backwards to go to restaurant.com places.

          However, to answer your question more directly, I looked at the restaurants listed on restaurant.com and two names stood out. One is Peterson's, the steakhouse in Fishers (suburb northeast of Indy). The other is 14 West, although there are restrictions; you probably can't use their Devour Downtown menu with a restaurant.com certificate, and the DD is probably the better deal.

          5 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy
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            ohbonobogirl Jan 30, 2011 06:07 AM

            Thanks for the reply. That's kind of how it is in Columbus, and if I hadn't received the GC for Christmas, I probably wouldn't have even considered it. We're doing Fogo de Chao through Devour Downtown but probably won't hit any others because we won't be getting in until later on Saturday afternoon.

            1. re: ohbonobogirl
              nsxtasy Jan 30, 2011 08:49 AM

              One thing about Indianapolis - a lot of the better restaurants are closed on Sundays. Of the six places I mentioned in my reply above, only two are open on Sundays: Palomino and the Oceanaire. I frequently pass through Indy on Sundays and the Oceanaire is where I usually end up. It's great, if you like seafood!

              If you're not sure, you can park the car and look at the menus out front, then decide which one you want; they're only a block from each other. If you're driving, parking in the indoor garage for the Circle Center is really cheap ($1.50 for up to 3 hours); it's on Maryland Street between Illinois and Meridian, and the entrance is on the left under the pedestrian overpass. If you take the elevator/escalator you'll come up inside the indoor mall; you'll need to go outside because both Palomino and the Oceanaire entrances are outside on the street, even though they're on that same block.

              The Devour Downtown deal runs only through Saturday, February 5, so it won't be going on on Sunday unless they decide to extend it.

              On Sundays, Palomino opens at 4, the Oceanaire at 5.

              1. re: nsxtasy
                huiray Feb 4, 2011 06:27 AM

                Devour Downtown (DD) has been extended through Feb 9.

                I recently tried the DD menu/dishes at Oceanaire. Dreadful. Avoid it.

                1. re: huiray
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                  ohbonobogirl Feb 4, 2011 09:25 AM

                  Thanks! I saw that it was extended and will definitely be checking it out further.

                  My husband is not really a foodie and this is his valentine's day trip, so the restaurant chocies are more focused on him than I would normally prefer. We're doing either the Mug 'n bun, Maxine's Chicken and Waffles, or Tamale Place for lunch on Saturday, Fogo de Chao for dinner, Cafe Patachou for breakfast, somewhere from the previous list for lunch, and may stop at a bakery or for ice cream or somewhere before heading home Sunday afternoon. Any other suggestions or ideas? Or, where's some really good ice cream? So far I'm thinking Trader's Point, but we may also check out the toy museum with attached ice cream parlor.

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                  Cafe Patachou
                  4733 E 126th St, Carmel, IN 46033

                  Tamale Place
                  5242 Rockville Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46224

                  1. re: ohbonobogirl
                    huiray Feb 4, 2011 10:41 AM

                    Sorry, don't know about ice-cream places...not something I go for.

                    As for lunch on Sunday - you mentioned you wouldn't mind something that you couldn't get in Columbus. Suppose you went for something "Indianapolis" or "Indiana" in nature? Here's on CH thread on it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/707657 You also mentioned considering a chicken place for a meal - Hollyhock Hill might be another idea to think about - they open at 12 noon on Sundays. [Chicken fried in lard, in a quaint "old-world" setting w/ "family-type fixin's" :-)

                    ]

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                    Hollyhock Hill
                    8110 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46240

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