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DINING: College Ave. beer emporium earns kudos for its kitchen

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Dining - A&E
Stereotypically, going out for a few beers does not involve pickled beets and/or arugula.

But once you get past the brew lineup at Twenty Tap (5408 N. College Ave., 602-8840), those, in combination, are among the first things that greet you from the Starters menu.
 

ae-twenty-tap02-15col.jpg Sautéed shrimp populate the deliciously sloppy Chimichurri Shrimp Roll at Twenty Tap (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

And that dish is not alone in its curiosity value. Sure, there are fries and burgers here, but you’ll also find Winter Panzanella Salad with roasted butternut squash, spinach, pickled shallots, and apples ($8), and a Roasted Mushroom Reuben ($9). It’s as if your friendly neighborhood fried-and-nothing-but bar was taken over by “Chopped” competitors.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. While its fare would never be mistaken for the choices down the road at the Red Key Tavern, Twenty Tap’s food isn’t intimidating or overly esoteric. The tastes are basic but intriguing and a pervading sense of freshness may help you rationalize indulging in an extra drink before taking a cab home.

For instance, on a recent visit, the Daily Soup ($3.50/$5 or a $1 side dish upgrade) was a creamy, smooth sweet potato. A cup was just enough. The aforementioned Pickled Beets ($7) with arugula were served with housemade Ricotta, balsamic and olive oil with a hint of lemon zest, making it straddle the farm fence between appetizer and salad. Either way, it worked.

The Steak Salad ($8) parked a sliced filet atop a bed of romaine and Napa cabbage, dressed up with red onion, grape tomatoes, jicama, and peppadew dressed in lime-cilantro vinaigrette, resulting in a substantial entrée. A Tex Burger ($9) was serviceable but not spectacular with an ample amount of bacon and a generous dose of onions and smoked provolone fighting for attention and losing out to the barbecue sauce.


ae-twenty-tap05-1col.jpg Everything goes down easier with a flight of local beer. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Better—and more surprising—proved the Chimichurri Shrimp Roll ($9). Sautéed rather than fried shrimp packed the bun, along with avocado, Bibb lettuce, fresh pico and chimichurri sauce (primarily olive oil and lemon juice) with nothing really to hold it together except your balancing ability. That, to be sure, could be impaired by an extra flight of beers. (You might spend more time choosing from among the 38 craft beers on tap than you spend with the menu entrees.)

No matter what you opt for, though, the Beer-battered Cheese Curds ($7) are mandatory. You’ll get a choice of two of the five aiolis—sriracha, chipotle, horseradish, chimichurri and roasted garlic—to dip them in, but you’ll be popping these straight from plate to mouth in no time.•

– Lou Harry

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Third in a month-long series of food-and-a-drink eatery reviews.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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