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DINING: Zionsville's Oobatz! earns its punctuation

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Dining - A&E

As a rule, I avoid using exclamation points in my writing. I figure if the sentence is dramatic enough, the exclamation point isn’t necessary.

To see if that theory applies to restaurants, we’re going to spend the month visiting restaurants that include exclamation points in their names. First stop: Oobatz! (1576 W. Oak St., Zionsville, 733-1234)

With October weather still behaving, we lucked onto one of the patio’s fire-topped tables and quickly surrounded the flames with oversized offerings. Oobatz Crazy Dip ($9.29) featured crab, shrimp, spinach and artichoke served in the crock it was cooked in. Flatbread pizza chips gave sturdy support to the delicious combination that didn’t taste as busy as it sounds on the menu. We took equal pleasure in the Oobatz Signature Salad ($5.29 small/$8.79 large), a mix of romaine lettuce, cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds and gorgonzola crumbles.

Flames are the centerpiece at some outdoor tables at the new Zionsville eatery Oobatz! (IBJ Photo/Robin Jerstad)

All well and good (actually, very good), but the true test would come with the pizza. The NYC Cheese ($7.59 for a 10-inch, $9.59 for a 12-inch, and $12.99 for a 14-inch) was thicker than the traditional New York style. And, conversely, the Chicago Deep Dish ($10.99 for a 10-inch, $14.99 for a 14-inch) wasn’t as thick as one expects from a Windy City pie, but both are terrific additions to the local pizza scene, fairly priced, and well worth returning for.

Does this handsome, comfortable place do anything wrong? Perhaps, but we found nothing but pleasure deeper in the menu with a mozzarella-cheese-bathed Meatball Parmesan Sandwich ($8.49) and a capable-of-feeding-a-small-family Chicken Parmesan entrée pasta ($11.79). The former was served on a hoagie roll toasted just right—and brought to our table hot, even in the midst of a complicated order. The latter featured chicken breast thick enough to feel substantial while maintaining the necessary balance with its breading, cheese and sauce. It arrived on what seemed like a pound of perfectly cooked spaghetti. More than half found its way into the next-day’s lunch.

No room for dessert, but offerings included a Bucket of Italian Zeppellies ($5.89), Tiramisu ($4.79) and various Sorbet served in hollowed-out frozen fruit ($5.25). Gelato, too ($2.89).

If the rest of the month is anything like this, the exclamation point on my keyboard could be getting a workout. I mean, a workout!•

–Lou Harry

 

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  • Good small-town spot
    been there a few times. Its a good spot to hang during the summer months with the patio area and fireplace. It is a bit loud but food was good and I like the one man band. anything live is a plus.
    Full service bar and arcade games for the kids.
    I recommend the meatballs as an app

    Zionsville doesn't have an awful lot to offer so I hope it stays around a while!
  • Poor service!
    No wait to be seated, long wait to be served and for average tasting food that was not hot to arrive. Several wait staff people were near kitchen door apparently visiting with one another. Server was curt and inattentive. Needed to flag down another server for ater refill. We will not be returning. Patio looked interesting with firepits.
  • 4 n 1
    The noise level was really bad. They had a one man band. He was good however we thought we were going to a nice Italian restaurant. I couldn't tell if I was at a pizzeria, a bar, a concert, or a nice sit down dinner. Hence my title 4 n 1. Food we ordered was good. Just not what we expected.
  • so/so
    been there four times. noise level kindegarten. food a 5 out of ten. will try one more time.
    5yhm5

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

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