DINING: Airport's Patachou and Tchopstick outlets provide excellent fare

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Dining - A&E

Last week, as part of our month-long look at dining options at Indianapolis International Airport, we limited ourselves to Civic Plaza, the open-to-the-non-ticketed public hub of the new terminal. Well, one column wasn't enough to cover the food choices there, so I went back, solo, for a second visit.

This time, I started at Cafe Patachou (241-6224), where a greeter was on hand to explain the popular Indy eatery's offerings to uninitiated travelers, many of whom seemed confused by the perhaps too-extensive menu.

I dined at lunch time, but Patachou is open from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., meaning that you can satisfy your breakfast cravings just about anytime with a grab-and-go muffin ($2.75), a sit-down Croissant French Toast ($8.25) or a steaming bowl of comforting Oatmeal ($5.95), complete with brown sugar and a choice of whole or 2% milk (Fruit can be added, taking it up to $7.75). All held up well to the high standards set by its sister restaurants, maintaining the quality that has made it the go-to place for brunchers in Broad Ripple, downtown, and beyond.

Another Broad Ripple staple, Naked Tchopstix (241-6444), also fares well in its airport incarnation. Because so much of the food purchased from these vendors will be taken onto flights, I decided to subject Tchopstix to the waiting test, putting off digging into a trio of sushi rolls until a half hour after purchase.

Happily, the Spicy Salmon Roll ($5.95) and particularly the Maui Roll ($9.99) held up very well. The latter, from the Specialty Roll part of the menu, featured a delicious combo of shrimp tempura, cream cheese, asparagus, mango and avocado. From the cheaper end of the menu, the California Roll ($5.49) was unexciting and could have used a splash of sauce — but I had forgotten to throw any into the bag when I paid.

My only complaint: The sushi-makers set my ordering slip down directly on top of his fresh ingredients while making our rolls. Bad form. But good food.


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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.