The 'burbs: culinary wasteland or undiscovered territory?

May 6, 2013
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As a wannabe foodie, I read Indianapolis Star writer Jolene Ketzenberger's recent "A Taste of Indy" feature with great interest.

Her in-no-particular-order list of 50 local restaurants worth trying is a great representation of the city's culinary past, present and future.

It didn't shock me at all to learn that Jolene had trouble limiting herself to 50 entries, but I was surprised that so few of them are located north of 96th Street. By my count, just four of the eateries on the list are in the northern 'burbs—and three of those (Bazbeaux, Shapiro's and Yats) are part of local chains. Chef Neal Brown's Pizzology in Carmel is the lone exception.

So what do you think, North of 96thers? What local restaurants would make your destination-dining list?

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  • Yum
    The Friendly Tavern - Zionsville; Uptown Cafe and Syd's - Noblesville; The Roost - Fishers; Peterson's (just barely north of 96th).
  • My to-dine list
    I have several on my to-dine list that I've heard good things about (Divvy and Matt the Miller's in Carmel, Noah Grant's in Zionsville, Matteo's in Noblesville)but I'm sure there's more ...
  • Suburb Dining
    The Loft at Traders Point. Technically it has a Zionsville address so it counts. Stonecreek- Zionsville, Noblesville
    • Rocks!
      The Thai Kitchen just south of 116th on allisonville rd. Rocks!
    • Loft Schmoft
      I never understand the positive comments about the Loft at Trader's Point Creamery. I have been there a handful of times, mostly at the insistence of others, and have repeatedly been disappointed. The service is terrible, just terrible. I am fine with restaurants hiring young staff, but I am not fine with restaurants hiring young staff and not giving them adequate and consistent training. If you care about your customers then you should have well-trained staff. Besides the poor service, the food was forgettable. As someone who eats primarily organic, I understand the appeal but an organic establishment shouldn't have free reign to ignore quality standards in terms of taste. I would compare the Loft to Rick's Boatyard. Both places must realize that customers will continue to flock there for reasons other than service and food quality, so they choose to ignore both.
    • Suggestions
      Peterson's, Bella Vita @ Geist, Eddy's & Cooper Hawk

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    1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

    2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

    3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

    4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

    5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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