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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

__________

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

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  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

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