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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. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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