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DINING: Deliberate dive spices up south Broad Ripple

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Dining - A&E

It takes guts to name your bar/eatery after a term for failure. It takes more guts to combine furnishings and décor in a way that makes the place feel like it was built in 1981, with unplanned design changes, posters and paintings added in a haphazard way ever since.

All that adds to the gritty charm of The Sinking Ship (4923 N. College Ave., 920-7999).

And while it’s likely to turn off non-smokers and survivors of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, anyone else looking for a friendly Broad Ripple drinkery outside the parking meter radius might want to dive in.
 

Dining On this ship, you can get your burger stuffed with peppers (above), blue cheese, and more. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Amid the corn dog, tater skins and nachos (here, Not’chos) on the appetizer menu, I was intrigued by the Dukboki ($7.50), a plate of Korean rice dumplings in a spicy sauce. Think Asian gnocchi and think twice about ordering if you have any aversion to dishes that kick. Otherwise, enjoy.

The specialty here is the stuffed burger—which, the menu warns, takes some extra cooking time. Worth the wait, I say, after taking on a hand-packed Flamin’ Damon ($11). Here, pepper Jack cheese and jalapenos were packed into a 2/3-pound patty, which seemed to modify the heat while flavoring the meat. Other variations include the Blew Damon (with blue cheese and bacon) and the Deutschland Damon (ground corned beef stuffed with sauerkraut and Swiss).

You’d think that the fish sandwich at a place with an oceanic name would impress, but The Whaler ($7.50) was merely an unexciting but sizable plank of pollock. Better were the Buffalo Chips ($5.50 for a full order, $3.25 for a half) in which Buffalo seasonings energized battered and fried potato slices. And I’m sure some will appreciate that Sinking Ship keeps a separate deep fryer for orders from vegetarians.

Another plus: If you’ve had too many bottles of microbrews (there’s a good selection to choose from), you may have less trouble than usual sorting out your tab: All the food prices on the menu already have tax worked in.•

–Lou Harry

__________

First in a month-long series of reviews of restaurants that sound wet—just like spring in Indiana.

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  • Burgers!!!
    Stuffed burgers are awesome. So is the Cuban. The smoking dosent bother me as it is a bar. I don't think it's a "hipster" hangout. But if it is, every ones always been nice to me. And I don't have tattoos or piercing. Place could use more art/stuff on the walls but I think that happens overtime. I overheard the bartender talking about them putting a beergarden out back which I think would be nice.
    Seems there still getting there feet under them as service has improved greatly, interested in what this place is like in a year. I do enjoy the place alot . But I would defiantly call it a pub/bar far more than a resturaunt.
  • Cancer Box
    Sinking Ship is a pretty cool place, which is a shame because walking inside you have to open the door, then try to peel back the layers of smoke to find your way through the place. This place is becoming the new hipster hangout instead of Alley Cat, which is a bummer--there's a reason Alley Cat was recently voted the most pretentious bar in town. I get that smoking is part of the whole punk scene because they will try anything that makes them seem like they just don't give a crap, but it's a little overboard here. If you don't mind smoke, check it out, but if you don't want to smell like a cigarette for a month, avoid it.
  • Place is great!!
    Love this place. A great hang out spot. We gotta drive 30 minutes to get there and pass tons of other bars, but this one is the best. Check it out if you wanna have a good time, eat some great food, meet so cool people and chit-chat with the great bar tenders.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

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