IBJOpinion

DINING: Big City Grill & Lemonade steaks a claim on 38th

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

Indy has no shortage of sandwich shops—Subway, Jimmy John’s and many other “what-do-you-want-on-that?” chains.

We don’t, however, have many sandwich shops where the portions aren’t determined by corporate policy and where the desserts aren’t shipped in. Which is why, in this month’s visits to “grill” restaurants, I want to celebrate Big City Grill & Lemonade (23 E. 38th St., 283-7000).
 

ae-big-cityprint-1col.jpg A Philly Steak with fries and a pink lemonade from Big City Grill and Lemonade. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

No, it isn’t the most polished eatery in the city. Its limited seating is more suited to someone scarfing down lunch than to a couple on a date. But the counter service is efficient and friendly. Free WiFi makes it a useful stop between downtown and the north side if that is your travel route, and—most important—the food succeeded well enough that I intend to visit again.

We tried a Philly Steak ($4.99 or a $7.69 bargain with a drink and fries), and once again I have to rant that true Philadelphia cheesesteaks don’t contain green pepper. Nonetheless, Big City understands that the quality of such a sandwich increases by finely dicing the meat and thoroughly mixing it with the onions, melted cheese (in this case, provolone), etc. A bit greasy, yes, but there wasn’t a tough bite to be found. The fries that sided it were also winners, with more than a dash of seasoning to spruce them up.

An Italian Beef sandwich ($5.49) could have come with a spice warning. The fine-cut roast beef here is mixed with hot, flavorful giardiniera—and packed to near overflowing into a roll with enough strength to soak up some of the juice while keeping everything contained.

You could get a soda, but the house drink is fresh-squeezed lemonade served in 20 oz. cups with the option to add Sno-Cone flavoring, including watermelon and fruit punch. I went with the strawberry, which was added to the icy cup of ade, wrapped in cellophane, and given a quick shake. Delicious—and what I didn’t finish at lunch stayed cold on my ride back to the office.

But I didn’t leave without dessert. Big City’s choices (cheesecake, peach cobbler, etc.) are created locally. I went with Banana Pudding ($2.99) which, with sliced bananas and wafer cookies, tasted like it came right from the family reunion picnic.•

__________

Fourth in a month-long series of “Grill” restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • I LOVE THIS PLACE
    I am hooked on the food at Big City! Expecially the desserts which I am so glad that you mentioned. Mama P's cakes are always moist and absolutely delicious. It reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen. Kudos to Steve for adding Mama P's desserts...the only place in the city that they serve!
  • Big City Grill is AWESOME
    It had been awhile since I had eaten here. I had lunch there today and it reminded me of why I like this place so much! The food is great. The service is amazing! Steve, the owner, is very friendly and approachable. Did I mention the portion sizes surpass anything you get from a "chain" restaurant. If you have not eaten here, you HAVE to go!

    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
    1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

    2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

    3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

    4. Exciting times in Carmel.

    5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

    ADVERTISEMENT