IBJOpinion

DINING: Granite City is a chain champion

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

People will always make the case that Indianapolis doesn't need any more chain or franchised restaurants. I understand the big-picture argument. I understand the desire for a greater regional culinary identity and the wish for a more adventurous restaurant clientele. To be honest, though, a good meal can temporarily dismantle my regional pride.

It happened, for instance, when I ate Idaho Nachos ($9.79), one of the signature dishes at Granite City Food & Brewery (150 W. 96th St., 218-7185), a Minnesota-based concern that recently opened its first central Indiana location.

The appetizer replaces standard tortilla chips with waffle-cut Idaho russet potatoes, fried to just the right degree of crispness, and caps them with a well-balanced pile of melted Colby jack cheese, bacon bits, diced tomatoes, sour cream and green onion. I expected the bottom dwellers to get soggy, but the last fry was as good as the first thanks to a combination of proper presentation and hungry patrons. Outstanding bar grub.


We were tempted to order a second load, but progressed to other parts of the menu, finding satisfaction there as well. The French Onion Soup and a Tomato Soup du Jour ($2.49 each) were both winning choices. In the former, the melted cheese roof covered a delicious beef and wine stock with ample caramelized onions and toasted croutons.

We were temporarily disappointed by the Buffalo Burger ($8.29) and the standard Hamburger (I tried the one from my
son's $5.49 kid's meal) in part because of the dull ciabatta buns, but the Southwestern Chicken Salad ($12.29) won us over with its fresh-tasting julienne-grilled chicken breast, chopped cilantro and tequila lime vinaigrette dressing. Even better was the Chilled Sesame Shrimp and Cucumber Salad ($12.49), well-populated with seafood and well-chosen companions, including cabbage, snow peas, crisp wontons, diced red peppers and a wasabi cream.

No complaint, either, with the Chicken Salad Clubhouse on Focaccia ($9.49), a
two-hander packed with a well-seasoned mix of roasted chicken breast, mayo, celery and scallions. The sandwich rounds off with bacon strips, roasted garlic aioli, and sliced tomato.

A promising-sounding Big Cookie ($5.99) was a messy letdown, but a hearty glass of Two Pull, a mix of the brewery's Northern Light and Brother Benedict Bock beers ($.95 for a 20 ouncer) could have forgiven a lot worse. As it stands, though, it just made me want to schedule a leisurely lunch meeting here-over beer and an order of Idaho Nachos. Or two. •


First in a month-long series of restaurants that rock-or, at least, have rocks in their names.
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
ADVERTISEMENT