DINING: Circle Centre’s new ‘rock’

Granite City

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

When a chain of restaurants opens its first central Indiana location, it will sometimes find its way onto the IBJ Dining review lineup. When one opens a second or third, well, those are usually ignored here.

But I’ll make an exception with Granite City (49 W. Maryland St., 887-1874). The Minnesota-based string of eateries already has an anchor location near Interstate 465 and Meridian Street on the north side. Now, though, it has boldly gone where far too many restaurants have failed before—into a certain ground-floor space at Circle Centre.

ae-dining-apb-granitecity-15col.jpg The latest location for the Granite City chain: a Circle Centre dining trouble spot. Above, the meatloaf and mashed potatoes make a filling lunch. (IBJ Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

Will Granite City outlive its ill-fated predecessors? The odds have improved dramatically with the expansion of the space to include an entrance on Illinois Street. Finding whatever restaurant was here used to be largely accidental. But, with frontage now sandwiched between P.F. Chang’s and Ruth’s Chris, the newcomer feels like part of the neighborhood.

Speaking of sandwiches, I wish I could be more positive about the GC Classic Cheeseburger ($6.95 at lunch, including a side). Better burgers are available at a number of downtown spots, although the price isn’t bad. The Meatloaf Sandwich ($9.95) was better. It was hearty, lightly barbecue-sauced and sided with a substantial portion of dense, skin-included, garlic mashed potatoes.

My strongest memory of a meal at the north-side Granite City was the Idaho Nachos appetizer ($10.95). And while downtowners have a different menu, it was good to see these make the transition intact. Fresh kettle chips are covered in Colby-Jack cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, queso blanco and green onion. Remarkably, they maintain their crispness. Usually, there’s bacon, too. But while we asked for ours on the side (in deference to a vegetarian among us), it never arrived.

For an alternative appetizer, I can also recommend the Northern Cheddar & Ale Soup (pricy at $4.59/cup, knocked down to $3.79 if added to a lunch entrée), a creamy bit of simplicity simmered with Northern Lager. And while fish tacos can now be caught just about anywhere, Granite City’s Crispy Shrimp Taco Trio ($13.95) gave its version an Asian glaze and a tasty Santa Fe cream sauce.

I returned to sample the flatbreads, a key element on the menu that I didn’t have room for on the prior visit. While the Classic Pepperoni ($9.95), with its thinly sliced discs, wouldn’t warrant a revisit (and arrived cold), I’d happily head back for the Maple Pepper Bacon and Tomato Flatbread ($11.95), where the chewy shards of pork and the garlic-aioli-brushed crust found flavorful common ground with the rest of the toppings.

There’s always a honeymoon period with new lunch spots downtown, but Granite City’s army of servers seemed comfortable handling the large crowds and making amends for mistakes. If you don’t want to deal with your fellow patrons, or if you have a large party, the new space also has three private dining rooms.

Plus, there’s now outdoor patio seating—notable for a location that never had an outdoor face at all.

—Lou Harry


Third in a month-long series of new mall restaurant reviews.


Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.