DINING: Neighborhood joint offers tasty tweaks on bar/grill staples

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

I didn’t expect to find a quote from a long-dead French food writer on an Indianapolis restaurant’s website, but there it was: “In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”

ae-jts-grille05print-1col.jpg JT’s Pork Out sandwich is a wonderful combination of grilled and smoked meat topped with coleslaw. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Maurice Edmund Sailland’s words ring true, no matter what the folks at Food Network would have us believe. A well-prepared dish doesn’t need sauces and sides to get my attention. Same goes for restaurants: White tablecloths and black ties do not necessarily equal excellence. Tasty food and friendly servers mean more.

I found both in abundance at JT’s Grille & Bar (2210 E. 54th St., 253-3300). As JT’s variation on the standard “bar-and-grill” name implies, the focus at this neighborhood joint is on the food, not the drink. And the quote on its home page told me I probably wouldn’t have to resort to Google to decipher the menu.

Indeed, the choices at JT’s are delightfully simple. And our selections were downright delicious.

I’m a sucker for a funny name, so I instantly gravitated to the Pork Out sandwich ($8.95): a grilled pork patty topped with pulled pork topped with coleslaw and served on a grilled bun. A side salad helped me justify the indulgence. (And I only tasted a drop of the yummy house-made bleu cheese dressing as a favor to you, dear reader.)

The pork-on-pork combo was fabulous. The patty was a solid foundation for the shredded meat and creamy coleslaw, keeping the sandwich together and providing a flavor-packed crunch that left me wanting more. The pulled pork, cooked in a smoker out back, was more subtle than the patty but equally appealing.

My husband continued his quest for a restaurant meatloaf that rivals his “World’s Best” recipe, ordering the Angus Meatloaf ($11.95) sided by cheddar whipped potatoes and a bowl of French onion soup ($2.50 upcharge). His clean plate was the surest sign that JT’s is a contender. Topped with a sweet-yet-tangy

sauce, the generously sliced loaf was moist and flavorful—its ingredients blended thoroughly enough before baking that they were impossible to identify.

Our companion opted for Chicken Cutlets ($11.95) with a side of baked beans, literally groaning with pleasure at juicy meat and light Italian breading pan-fried to golden perfection.

Then came dessert, thanks to our solicitous server’s high praise for the post-meal goodies the kitchen staff makes. We gambled on the Ambrosia cake ($3.50) and hit the jackpot. The fruity layer cake was moist to the point of creaminess, its light frosting making it seem less decadent than I’m sure it was. Simply perfect.•


Last in a month-long series of “Grill” 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. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with healthcare.gov. Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for you...build a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).