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DINING: Ciao-ing down in Greenwood courtesy of Cannoli Queen

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Dining - A&E
Sad to report that, in some areas of central Indiana, “going out for Italian” still means a run to Fazoli’s or Olive Garden. But there are pioneers fighting that culinary problem area, and one local success in the battle to bring authenticity to Indiana Italian food is parked in a shopping strip just off Interstate 65 in Greenwood.

I speak of Cannoli Queen (1279 N. Emerson Ave., 882-1908), a 2-year-old spot whose name might cause you to skip over it when thinking of a place to have lunch or dinner rather than just an indulgent treat. This Queen is well worth checking out, though, with or without a sweet tooth.

I stopped in for lunch on two recent occasions and, both times, the café staff proved welcoming, the sandwiches fine (although not destination-restaurant memorable), and the dessert samples on the counter abundant.
 

apb-cannoli-secondary-15col.jpg The Gabagool, right, is packed with Italian meats. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

For lunch, there’s a lineup of grinders, all $8.75 and served with Italian Fries (crinkle-cut potatoes with a heavy sprinkling of parmesan cheese).The Meatball offered dense orbs in a surprisingly subtle red sauce. The Italian Beef featured housemade sirloin tip beef with a hint of onion, more-than-a-hint of pepperoncinis, and shreds of mozzarella seemingly sprinkled on as an afterthought rather than melted on top. The Gabagool (which is a fun sandwich name to say. Go ahead. Try it.) takes the same soft roll and packs it with thin slices of Genoa salami, sweet and hot capacola, and mortadella rounded out with lettuce, tomato, spices, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

If you haven’t gotten your fill of counter samples, there’s a nice variety of Italian pastries, which rotate at the whim of the kitchen. Available for dining in or taking back to the office (hint, hint), their prices aren’t posted, but most of the cookies and biscotti will run you around $1. Of course, the Cannoli ($3 for the original and $4 for a chocolate dipped) are mandatory and not disappointing.


apb-cannoli-main-15col.jpg At Cannoli Queen, the title treat isn’t stuffed in advance – the better to keep the shell crisp. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

Some other things you should know:

• The biscotti is soft. Yeah, I know. But that’s a deliberate choice. The Queen and her kitchen court want you to taste the ingredients, not just the coffee you are dipping it into.

• Entrees, beyond the sandwiches—including Linguini with Shrimp, Chicken Parmesan and Re’Re’s Lasagna—are sold only after 5. These are, however, available in family style, serving three to five. I’m sure more than one Greenwoodian has ordered a tray and then pretended to have created it at home.

• The Italian music plays softly here. A nice, subtle touch that adds atmosphere without turning the place into an Italian cartoon.

• Timing is everything. As this issue was going to press, I discovered that this family-owned eatery will be closed through July 22 for the owners to go on vacation. But, trust me, good things will come to those who wait.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Third in a month-long series of reviews of game-piece restaurants.

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  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

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