IBJOpinion

DINING: This Local welcomes outsiders

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

Is farm-to-table automatically better food than food that took a more circuitous path?

Not necessarily. Chefs, cooks and waitstaff are still required for dining alchemy. And all came together with barely a glitch at our recent visit to The Local Eatery and Pub (14655 Gray Road, Westfield, 218-3786).

ae-zzz7215-15col.jpg Duck wings are among The Locals’ farm-to-table offerings. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The Local isn’t subtle about its farm-to-table nature: A list of its providers is written out—along with the kids’ menu and dessert choices—on a gigantic board that covers the back wall in the high-ceilinged restaurant.

That’s how you find out, for instance, that the guest of honor in the lamb burger used to reside at Viking Lamb in Morristown. Or that goat cheese took a direct route from Greenville to the Local’s kitchen. Or that the duck came from Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange.

Not that we wanted to think about a brace of happy, frolicking fowl while devouring the Duck Wings ($11), an ample supply of which were crispy fried and given a kick with Chinese five-spice. Hoisin BBQ sauce added moisture and, if you looked below the sauce dish, a dab of house kim chi added another flavor dimension.

The abundance of veggies and beans in the Vegetarian Black Bean Chili ($3.99/$4.95) tilted it far to the stew side of the soup/stew range, making it as manageable by fork as by spoon. A Basket of Cajun Tater Tots ($4.95) was abundant and addictive. And a Side Salad ($1.50 upgrade over fries or tots sides) satisfied the beet-lover in me.

Fresh-ground specialty burgers switch out not only the meat, but also the dressing. The Elk Burger, for instance, gets blue cheese and roasted garlic. The Bison Burger comes dressed in a fresh horseradish cream sauce. And the Veggie Beat Burger has walnuts in the mix. I went with a Lamb Burger ($13). Moist but not massive, it combined nicely with tatziki, feta cheese and a bit of rosemary tomato jam.

ae-local06-15col.jpg Tater tots get a Cajun dusting. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The Mac-n-Cheese ($10) justified being about eight times the cost of a boxed version by dressing its cavatopi pasta with a surprisingly subtle white cheddar sauce sprinkled with bacon lardons. That’s pork fat, folks, and may it forever make you say “yum.”

Which raises a point: Farm-to-table items, thanks to their lack of preservatives, may be more healthful than their equivalents elsewhere, but that doesn’t make them healthful.

As such, The Local’s dessert lineup is as decadent as you’ll find in a mall outlier. Beignets ($6) were deep fried, caked in sugar, and tasted like a wonderful collision between New Orleans and the Indiana State Fair. Our waitress—and one that happened to be passing by—was effusive about the Blueberry Buttermilk Cream Pie ($5.50) but the overhype—and an under-baked crust—led to our being a bit underwhelmed.

But the Orange Julius—yes, I said Orange Julius ($3.95)—in the drink lineup certainly brought back memories. I had to close my eyes, since no effort seemed to be made to color-correct the grayish drink. But that’s all good. From this notable local restaurant, I wouldn’t have expected any different.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Second in a month-long series of farm-to-table restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Been a while
    I visited The Local several times when they were in their first year. I loved the creativity of the menu and of course the ability to support a local business. When they were good they were great, and when they were bad they were awful. Over time, their inconsistencies with food and service became too much. The final straw came during a themed lobster dinner night when they rushed us through a three course meal in under 20 minutes. They were so anxious to turn the table, the server didn't ask if we wanted to order more drinks or dessert. Haven't wanted to go back since. It's a shame, too, because their goat burger with tzatziki sauce was outstanding.

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. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

ADVERTISEMENT