DINING: The Elk stops at Main Street Organic Bistro

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Dining - A&E

A Brownsburg strip center organic eatery serving llama, yak, antelope, wild boar and alligator?

The prospect of such exotic fare led us to Main Street Organic Bistro (922 E. Main St., 286-3523) as the first stop in a month of “street” restaurant reviews.

Unfortunately, the llama, yak, antelope, wild boar and alligator were apparently on the endangered food list at this new, attractive eatery (as were the organic sodas).

“We’ll have the game again in a few weeks,” said our server, leaving us with only familiar meats to choose from for lunch.

But there were still surprises to be had. Among the available Build Your Own Burger toppings (with no upcharge from the standard $7) were tzatziki, black olive, red peppers, cucumber and, our choice, raspberry and kiwi. To our surprise, the fruit blended nicely with the flavors of the organic, locally raised turkey. A beef burger proved delicious as well. And while the Bison Stromboli Sandwich ($6.95) was equally satisfying, we’re not sure why it was labeled a Stromboli. Arriving on a long bun, it featured seared Indiana bison, provolone cheese, just enough marinara sauce to flavor and moisturize it without making it too messy, and fresh onions, all baked on a pizza stone.

The sandwiches were served with fresh potato chips—good ones—but our sense of adventure led us to supplement those with Celery Root Chips ($7), pale, crunchy discs that may not challenge potato skins and fries for munchability, but nonetheless made for a tasty change. Goat Cheese Nuggets ($7) were thick and lightly breaded and fried.

Dining Middle Eastern favorite Baba Ganoush gets the organic treatment in Brownsburg. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The vegetarian among us took pleasure in the Baba Ganoush ($12), a plate of creamy eggplant and anisette red peppers, artfully arranged. Half the size (and price) would have made it an ideal appetizer. She sided it with our meal’s only disappointment, Roasted Red Pepper Couscous, which was clumpy and unsuccessfully reheated (the plate arrived warmer than the food). If it’s that far beyond repair, we should have just been told the kitchen was out of it. That wouldn’t have been a shock.

Next time we visit this creative bistro, we hope the game is in play. But if it isn’t, we’ll happily settle for another fruity burger or, wait, how did we miss the Bacon Candy Pizza ($13) featuring maple-sugar-coated bacon?•

—Lou Harry

First in a month-long series of “street” restaurant reviews.


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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.