RIP J. Gumbo's. Who's next?

December 15, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
J Gumbo’sIn a move that probably won't surprise anyone who tried the food, J. Gumbo's is closing after a six-month run on the first floor of the Hampton Inn downtown on Maryland Street. In the last year, the space has been three concepts: a Buffalo Wild Wings, BadaBoomz and J. Gumbo's. The Cajun joint with an impressive beer menu likely won't be the only restaurant closing at the end of the year; real estate sources say several restaurants are looking for buyers and negotiating to exit leases early (J. Gumbo's lease is expiring). Stay tuned for details. Which restaurants do you expect to shut down?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • I can't see how Z's steakhouse and oyster bar can make it with that
    bad location in castleton.Also,what about Mo's steakhouse downtown.
    does anybody know how they are doing?
  • I really don't understand all the snarky comments (not just here, but other places in the Indy blogosphere) about J. Gumbo's. You'd think folks would be more supportive of a local, independent business trying to make it Downtown.

    The food wasn't that bad, it was just redundant in a city with a place like Yats. And the lack of advertising, branding and occasionally questionable service wasn't going to win him any Michelin stars. But I'm sad that one of Indy's best beer selections is going away, and kinda disgusted with all the insults being leveled at the place from people who should know better.
  • I work in the office park in which Z's is located...that has to be one of the worst locations in the city. I lunched there once shortly after it opened; don't think I could afford the tab for dinner. That said, driving by in the evenings on 465, I often see a fairly full parking lot.

    Is Bertolini's still open in Circle Centre? I'd not be surprised to see them go.
  • With the $2.50 pints for the past couple weeks, I've been overindulging at J Gumbo's while I can. The number of active taps drops a little every time I go there. They were down to 22 taps (out of 40) last time I was there. I'll be very sad to see them go, though the word on the street is that Scotty's will be opening around the corner on January 5th. There won't be much of a lull in beer flowing in that area of town.
  • Bertolini's closed earlier this year.
  • I would like to extend mwp's comments to all of the businesses operating in the city. Giving people a public forum to speculate on the downfall of local businesses just doesn't seem to be a responsible thing to do. It only spreads unsubstantiated rumours, increases investor anxiety, and could make it hard for a company to get a short-term loan.
  • two-fitty pints was good. the rest? uh, no.
  • I generally enjoyed Gumbo's food; especially this time of year. It was fast, cheap, warm, tasted pretty good, and generally didn't require me to get a balloon angioplasty the same afternoon.

    I will be sorry to see them go
  • It's the Circle of Life, graeme. If I were an investor or a lender, I'd want to know if the service was spotty or the food was iffy or other signs of distress so as not to pour good money after bad.
  • Graeme and mwp...

    Give me a break. This isn't candyland.

    Why should anyone blindly support a business just because it's local? If the operation isn't up to reasonable standards of excellence, I'm not supporting it.

    Who wants a city full of mediocre restaurants? Not me.

    You want some local restaurants worth praising and supporting? Here are a few from across the spectrum:

    The Goose, Cafe Patachou, Taste, L'Explorateur, Siam Square, Sakura, Working Man's Friend, Judge's BBQ, and of course, Yats.

    I'm sure the fine people here could add many more.
  • Z's is hitting their numbers according my friend that works there........lunch is slower than the expected, but dinner is busier than they have expected.......it IS in an awful location though.
    Il Mulino is still expected to sign their lease early next year with a grand opening in September 09. Bertollini's has the lease paid through March.
  • I'm surprised the Steak n Shake near Castleton closed.......I would have thought that would have been a prime location........
  • Don't forget all the closed Starbucks in town. The one at I-65 and Keystone was only open maybe a year? My hope is that Dunkin Donuts will fill that void since they are looking to expand. Anything is better than an brand new empty building.
  • Sakura, while excellent, is hardly locally owned. The Rev. Sun Young Moon ownes it and Ocean World on 86th and about 1000 other sushi restaurants across the US.
  • J. Gumbo's is actually a franchise out of Kentucky. It isn't a local business. I knew it wouldn't last long when I went over there before a Colts game, and the place was dead silent. I hate to see it go as well.
    Their food actually wasn't half bad, and the beer selection is much better than the new downtown BW3's, which is much more corporate than the previous location. I just don't see how BW's does well with their undercooked chicken and crappy beer selection.
  • Yeah I really don't get the nasty comment about the food. It wasn't bad. In fact for $5 or $6, it was good. Sure, Yats was better, but the idea that we can only have one cheap cajun chain in town in ridiculous. The beer selection was fantastic and the food was above average for bar food. It will be sad to see Mike DeWeese, one of modern downtown's pioneers, close up shop.

    Ablerock: J. Gumbo's offered one of this city's best beer selections. Just because the food wasn't top notch doesn't mean the establishment was mediocre. I think it's inane to assume that just because a restaurant isn't among the top local restaurants in the city that it doesn't have any merits.
  • I really wish that Mike DeWeese would move to another, more easily accessible location and open a Beer Focused Bar. The beer selection at J. Gumbo's was arguably the best in the city (although there are certainly other contenders), but the atmosphere at J. Gumbo's/BadaBoomz was terrible. Also, the food, while not bad, definitely was nothing to talk about. If the food had been more interesting, like nouveau american bar food (burgers, fries, etc. with an interesting twist), and the environment wasn't sterile I would have patronized this restaurant more than I did.

    Mike, I hope you don't give up, but please find a new location and a truly unique food concept to go with your great beers. Good luck.
  • Rodney,

    It is given that we can have more than one cheap cajun chain in town. However, keeping up with Yat's is sure to put any entrepreneur out on the street. Joe Vuskovich is the epitome of a restaurateur who brings his unique culture to his food, and spreads it around town in the bellies of his loyal patrons. If Yat's EVER goes out, I'm leaving town and bringing my troupe with me.

    With that being said, I will gladly try any and every restaurant in town, as long as they have a Frank Sinatra cd in rotation on the PA. On the topic of music + food/drink = good time, any recommendations on a great jazz bar in town? Sure, you can go to many restaurants and enjoy good jazz music while eating, but I want to sit in the corner booth listening to live jazz in a dimly lit room while drinking my libation, and at least PRETEND I live during the Rat Pack era.
  • Jazz Kitchen and Chatterbox for live jazz. Nicky Blaine's also has live jazz some nights and would give you a better Rat Pack feel (though you're gonna pay through the nose for it).

    http://www.thejazzkitchen.com/
    http://www.chatterboxjazz.com/
    http://www.nickyblaines.com/
  • Jazz Kitchen is right next to Yat's on College & 54th.
  • The out-of-state Yat's wannabe chain location is going out of business. ---------------- COOL!
  • When I'm homesick for some real Cajun food, I head to Papa Roux. Yats, on the other hand, is how they say in the bayou,
  • Oops, deleted the last part ... Yats is, how they say, comme ci comme ca ... eh, so so :)
  • As for who's next? Quite a few. This is the time when we need to support our local eateries. Indianapolis is known throughout the region as a place with horrible local restaurants; and it's all because we don't support the local establishments, thereby allowing these chains to come in and take over. During this recession we need to help the local places survive and give them the capital to expand when the economy recovers while everybody else is licking their wounds.

    If we do then people in Cincinnati, Chicago and Louisville will be eating at their local Yat's, Patachou, or Bazbeaux and transferring their money into the Indianapolis economy; instead of Indianapolis residents constantly sending our money to Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, Cincinnati and Louisville. It's amazing that the Indianapolis economy has done as well as it has considering how much money we ship to other cities every time we go to these chain restaurants and other retail establishments.
  • To tailgator,
    How do you know Sakura and Ocean World are owned by Rev. Moon?
  • Tailgator, thanks for the heads-up. I was under the impression that Sakura was locally owned. 8 outta 9 ain't bad! :-)

    ---

    Continuing the discussion, food isn't the only thing that makes a restaurant a success or not.

    Interior design, atmosphere, staff, etc. all add up to create an experience and make an impression.

    For example, I like a couple of the salads at When Harry met Salad over by IUPUI. BUT, the staff is zombie-like, the seating/interior design is generic and bland, and the place always needs a good mopping/wipe-down. I don't go there nearly as often as I would if they stepped their game up and created a pleasant place to eat.

    I love places like Patachou, Taste, The Goose, and Siam Square because their food always excellent AND they pay attention to details. Each has created an environment that says they care about quality and have a sense of taste and style.
  • Two of my favorite locally owned restaurants haven't been mentioned yet. Enrico's is an outstanding Italian restaurant on the north side near the Glendale Mall. It's a little hard to find, but well worth it. Also, Augustino's on the south side, another outstanding italian restaurant at Stop 11 and Emerson just off of I 65 at Southport Rd. Oh, and The Acropolis on Southport Rd.
  • It get's no better in the City of Indianapolis than Oakley's on 86th.

    Extraordinary food.

    Great atmosphere.

    Positively a must do!
  • .......and yes, Oakley's is locally owned. The owner lives in my neighborhood.
  • For the record, Scotty's Brewhouse is hardly a sanctuary for good beer. good food. good people. like they tout. Their prices are completely inflated, their service is suffering big time, and their staff and management are treated like shit. It's sad, because it wasn't always like this. They're letting it go to their heads, and the ceiling isn't very high. It's not the bar you went to in college, I promise you!
  • I fear that several restaurants I love will close before the economy turns.
  • Interesting to see about Il Mulino. I had been wondering about that one, whether they were still coming or not. I'll be glad to see them opening. For an Italian chain, they aren't bad.
  • bigben: Everyone knows that Sakura and Ocean World are part of a sushi conglomerate. If you want good sushi, go to Wasabi on 82nd.
  • I find it is interesting for Cory to have such snaky remarks in his column about J. Gumbo's. Did you get turned down for a job there before you starting writing?

    As for J. Gumbo's, the food was not bad and Mike's selection of beer was second to none. I think it is an important point about supporting Indy establishments. Things that are different aren't supported and things that are more streamlined aren't supported. All the while, everyone complains that there's not enough stuff in Indy. BadaBoomz had different American fare, but was not supported. J. Gumbo's is more mainstream - it wasn't supported. Make up your mind.

    And as for people comparing J. Gumbo's to Scotty's - Scotty's is in an even worse location with some of the worst bar food I've ever had. The only good part about the location on 96th St is the crowd - which leads to the exhaustive wait times.
  • Another thing with J Gumbo is that it had smoking, so they tried to be a restaurant but also a bar. If they had just gone smoke free they would have gotten more tourist, families and people who want smoke free to actually eat there. I walked by one day and saw tourist being sent away because they had teenagers with them.
  • Thanks for all the tips on good local restaurants. Katie, for what it's worth I tried to support Gumbo's, but I had bad service and flavorless food during all five or so of my visits.
  • Yeah, as others have pointed out, I just don't get the idea of supporting local establishments solely because they are local. If I've got a choice between two places, I'm going to choose the one that meets my criteria at that particular moment, be it price point, quality of food, atmosphere, etc., REGARDLESS of whether my neighbor or an out of state conglomerate owns it. Some of these restauranteurs seem to think that they can slide by on the locally based tag and thats just not going to cut it. If your place is failing and the one next door isn't, then you should probably look at ways you can be more like the place next door.
  • I would love to see Mike D. partner with a truly unique restaurantuer. He can bring the beer and the partner can bring the rest. J. Gumbos clearly took a BW3 kitchen and tried to work up from it. You can't work up from frozen - fried everything. Granted, he tried pretty hard with the somewhat fresh (in concept anyway) crawfish menu, it just ain't enough of a franchise concept to carry the team. The beer part is easy. Concentrate on making consistent, GREAT food, with EXCELLENT staff, and you can be successful.

    Downtown: Alcapulco Joe's, Bourbon Street Distillery, and the Elbow Room are some of my favorite comfort places. McCormick and Schmick is dynamite. R Bistro is hard to beat. Beer deals are hard to be at Rock Bottom and / or the Ram. And last for now, but certainly not least, Palomino Cafe is simply amazing. Good value for some truly excellent, consistent, great tasting food, with an atmosphere that's is almost impossible to beat.
  • I'm honestly surprised that Alcapulco Joe's is still around........I can get the same thing by heating up a can or Hormel chili over a bed of Fritos.......
  • Shane Says:
    I’m honestly surprised that Alcapulco Joe’s is still around……..I can get the same thing by heating up a can or Hormel chili over a bed of Fritos…….

    Yeah! and you get salsa in a squeeze ketchup bottle! I looked around for the hidden camera the first and only time I went. Ugh.


    I thought I'd give some love to Hoaglin's on Mass Ave. A great place for breakfast or lunch with an urban but low-key atmosphere.

    P.S. More veggie-friendly places downtown, PLEASE!
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again.. Take your beer selection and open a BAR. Find a smaller space with affordable rent and you'll flourish! It's clear that people want support this local guy and his amazing taste in beer, but he clearly has made some terrible business moves. I would be rolling in cash if I were in his position... again. smaller space, affordable rent.. BAR (ok, serve some standard american fare.)

    Also, BW3 doesn't have a terrible beer selection. They go far beyond major domestics. BW3 will always do well because people like wings, beer and football.. it's a cash cow here in Indy.
  • oh yeah. alcapulco joe's is easily the grossest food I've ever consumed in this city.. and I love sub-par mexican food!
  • I have been to Scotty's a few times, but I don't know if I'll go back very soon. Last visit we got an appetizer of dill chips, two wraps , and three domestic draft beers. Our bill and tip was near $60 dollars.

    The place is nice, the food is good, the service was good, but that seemed like a bit much for me.
  • Call me crazy, but when I lived in Indy I used to enjoy my visits to Acapulco Joe's. Granted, the food wasn't going to win any awards anytime soon, but TRUST, I've had worse (and to be honest, I actually didn't mind the food). Drinks are good, overall inexpensive and a great atmosphere. Plus, it was close to home and you want to talk about a local restaurant who made a go of it back before any of the things that are now downtown were there, A.J's would be the place. They must be doing something right because they have been a fixture!

    P.S

    Re: the salsa in a squeeze bottle thing. I can take you to any number of truly authentic mexican restaurants here in SoCal or NoMe that have that same little squeeze bottle of picante sauce. It's not salsa and I dont ever recall being told that it WAS salsa on any of the occasions I visited Joes...
  • ablerock, what do you think of Taste's new interior? To be fair, I've not been in yet, but I've heard mixed reviews from the designey types I hang out with.

    I like Yats for quick and cheap, but the chicken creole at Gumbo-a-Go-Go (86/Ditch) is far better, and the peanut butter pie makes me make those yummy happy food noises. if you're northside, try them.

    Favorite small local place: La Piedad in broad Ripple BUT!! You cannot order off their menu of combination plates, which are dulled down for Midwestern palates. The specials of the house: pollo loco la piedad, flautas, and especailly the carnitas are mouth-watering wonderful, and I say this as an Arizona native. The carnitas are the best thing I've ever put in my mouth, honest.
  • damn nice bloggy we got goin here! :lol:

    Best Mex is Javier @ El Sol, which is IN FACT open, and they do a great job. I just treated 150 to cocktails and dinner there the other night and had nothing but compliments! The Guac is killer and the 7.95 Steak Fajitas lunch rawks.

    I had lunch at the Stinky Pickle in Castelton today and had never eaten there before it was great.

    Bazbeaux always does the job.

    chatterbox for jazz, if you can handle the ciggy smoke.


    Speaking of ciggy smoke, my homies over at the statehouse say there is biggie momentum behind the new statewide push to ban smoking in EVERY PUBLIC PLACE and likely will kick in by summer. If memory serves I think the date was July1 09 being talked about. Drop State Rep Charlie Brown - the bills sponsor - a line and let him know you want the smokers out in the street. http://www.in.gov/legislative/house_democrats/brown_biography.html

    I was at the Vogue last night watching Eagles of Death Metal and my clothes stunk so bad when i got home, and i had a sore throat this morning. smoking kills. i quit 6 years ago so i know.

    [/bloggy}
  • Guys, what really doomed the place was this city's lack of a clue when it comes to quality beer. There aren't that many people that know beer to support a world class draft house in this Downtown market since the residential development there is way behind where it should be. Until there is housing Downtown that is affordable for the young crowd that actually moves here from other markets to offset our incredible brain drain it won't matter. If you put the same concept somewhere North of 52nd St. it survives and/or thrives. It may struggle in the same space, however, since it doesn't carry all the familiar brands that the uneducated beer drinker recognizes. Don't get me started on the food. With Badaboomz we did standard bar food(I'd put that tenderloin up against any other) but the bottom line is the people that are Downtown for events and conventions now(tractor pulls and religious) don't go to restaurants/bars that have names that they don't recognize and they don't drink or could care less what kind of beer they drink. If this city had a clue when it came to draft beer Chalkies would still be open. The bottom line is locally owned places are scrutinized by the suburanlites that patronize Olive Garden when they go to NYC and Downtown will always be dominated by the national chains. When we were a BW's we made our $$ off of selling lots of domestic yellow beer and carried the cool stuff as a sidelight. Had I known how far behind the rest of the country we were I'd have sold it and moved to a real beer market. For those that really care about cool beer on tap, you have 12 days left(no Xmas Eve, Xmas and 1/2 of 12/26. If you don't, head off to the Beer Sellar or some reasonable facsimile and drink the same crap you usually do and wonder why your digestive system feels bad as usual. I'm out.
  • Thanks Mike, and I agree. Hoosiers don't like anything new, and the Tractor Hicks and Baptist Busses are far worser.They do want familiar food at familiar prices. Nondescript meat patties with sugary kecthup is all they need and all they want. Sucks to be them.

    good luck in the future.
  • McCormick and Schmick is a chain (not sure everyone realizes that). Acapulco Joe's is terrible for lunch and dinner, but honestly give their breakfast a try. I vowed to never step foot in there after my first experience with them, but their biscuits and gravy for breakfast is amazing! My co-worker drug me in there to try it and I'm glad that they did.

    Hoaglin is another solid option for breakfast and lunch. We need a good non-chain sandwich shop downtown...like a new york style deli. It could also serve as a good bagel shop in the morning.

    Anyone notice there's NOT a good place to grab just a quick bagel on Mass Ave or a quick sandwich (Subway and Starbucks do not count)? Everything is either sit down or call ahead for carry out (outside of Yats, but that's a different delicious beast altogether).

    Also, as for the live jazz comments, definitely Jazz Kitchen or Chatterbox. Chatterbox is a great locally owned bar; a bit of a hole in the wall, but you're always treated well and the owner seems like a good guy. Nicky Blaine's doesn't seem to have live music anymore. They put couches where the stage used to be. I've been in there several times in the last year and still had to pay $5 cover for no music...was just there on Friday night (not by choice) and the service has diminished greatly, but their attitudes have increased, not sure that's a good thing!
  • So why not put the concept north of 52nd?
  • DWTNINDY, there is already a non-chain sandwich shop downtown...like a new york style deli. It's called Shapiro's, on South Meridian.
  • Don't forget Patachou on the Park........WONDERFUL omlets and waffles! Shapiro's is also great, I feel people tend to forget about their south of downtown location.....
  • Donna...

    Your friends are right, the new interior is not as successful as the previous design. The first incarnation was fresh and airy, much like their menu. The new look feels more like a nightclub/steakhouse than a brunch place. Aesthetically it's still more sophisticated than a lot of the restaurants in Indy, it just has the wrong vibe, imho.

    Mike...

    I'm sorry J. Gumbos wasn't a world class draft house. You don't get to blame the rednecks for this one.

    How are people supposed to know it's a world class draft house when the name of the restaurant is J. Gumbos Down-Home Cajun Cookin' ?

    It's a branding, image, and communication problem, not a clientele problem.

    If the focus is the brew, then the focus needs to be on the brew, not the game of pool or cajun food. People are going to see the name Chalkies and go there to play pool, not drink fine beer. People are going to see the name J. Gumbos and go there to try cajun food, not drink fine beer.

    I wouldn't open a restaurant named Fat Burgers and be amazed at why no one is buying any of my plasma screens.

    If the focus of J. Gumbos was really the beer, then it should have been named something else and been advertised as a world-class draft house, not a middle-of-the-road cajun-joint in Indiana.
  • Mike brought up a good point about people eating at national chains when they are out of town. When I go out of town for work, it kills me that my co-workers want to eat at national chain restaurants that we eat everyday here at home. When I'm out of town, I go out of my way not to eat at national chains especially since the company is paying for it, and I could splurge a bit (at least before the economy took a nosedive). And don't even get me started on the beer selection in this town. Just think, Champps charges you $6.50 for a Sam Adams seasonal, which is barely drinkable, and you can't get a seat in there, Go figure.
  • The Chatterbox is the place for jazz. The owner is a really nice guy. I've been a regular there for a decade now. He treats his staff very well and his regulars he treats to sporting events, bowling outings, ect. A super local businessman who was a pioneer on Mass Ave. He definately deserves your business - the staff is always friendly too.

    I can't remember who mentioned it, but Enrico's is pretty good. A surprising atmosphere - not what you would expect by looking at the outside of the building. A few other good locals - Keystone Deli, the Donut Shop, Marco's, Mississippi Belle, Just Judy's, Zest, and of course, Mama Carrolla's. Several of those are good spots for breakfast, some are not fancy, but you get decent food for a decent price and good service. Not sure if it's really local or not, Cancun on north Keystone. The place is always clean and has a good atmosphere - not sure about the food, I'm not really a fan of mexican food, but I'm told it's good.

    Anyone know of a good Morrocan restaurant? I was sad to find out that El Morocco closed.

    McCormick & Schmick's, chain or not, is good. Not so pretentious as Oceanaire and I've never had bad food or service. Also, best ever happy hour.
  • I had absolutely no idea that J Gumbo's even had beer, let alone a wide assortment. I just thought it was a place to get cheap Cajun food.
  • Didn't the guy who started the J. Gumbos franchise used to be somehow associated with Yats? I actually thought the food was ok, but it certainly wasn't Yats. Never had service problems, but usually sitting an a nearly empty bar it isn't hard to get the bartenders attention :(

    I think there are probably a number of restaurants that will go under, particularly those who have flaws already and/or have questionable locations. I could post my list, but don't want to contribute to the rumor mill.
  • I used to go to the downtown BW3 BECAUSE of the beer selection (food was marginal but cheap and worth it for the hand-pulled Dreadnought, or Bishop's Finger, or whatever they had). They knew beer, and it was worth it. Once it closed, we looked at Badaboomz, and it just seemed like they were missing a script. We didn't stay to eat. J. Gumbo's didn't even register.

    The new BW has a terrible beer selection, and the same food. I won't be back.

    I agree with everyone else--this was a brand issue, not an ignorance of beer problem. How insulting of the owner to say that he failed because folks here aren't smart enough to appreciate good beer. He just didn't know how to get those people to come to his restaurant. Open a bar if you want to sell beer.
  • Went to Badaboomz during March Madness. Tow of the guys wanted to order the donut burger for the novelty. There were six of us in our group and it took more than an hour for food. Burgers were brought out on a regular bun, not donut, which I pointed out to the waitress. She proceeded to argue that it was a donut and I wasn't looking closely. Well, don't know about you, but donuts have holes in them and aren't a yellow bun. She then took the burgers back to the manager who, ten minutes later, confirmed they were buns and that they had been out of donuts for a while and hadn't changed the menu. Manager declined to come to our table to explain why wrong food was served and why there was an hour wait.

    We stayed for a while for the brews, but everyone was pretty ticked about the food and the workers' cluelessness.

    In this case, we would have preferred good service over mediocre food. Friends from our of town couldn't believe the place would stay open.
  • I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the $1 taco at Adobo, on Washington just east of Penn. We eat there often, sit at the bar, for this extremely good and fresh food served before 6 PM. Two of us can have a great dinner with beer and tequila for about $20, plus or minus and tip. I always give a generour tip. Granted a full dinner can be pricy but what is money for than to enjoy fine food with friends at a great restaurant. Speaking of a great restaurant, no one has mentioned R bistro. This has to be the very best restaurant in Marion County, bar none. Maybe I should not have mentioned either so I can always get in without a crowd.
  • J. Gumbo's is/was locally owned by a local man who has spent a lot of time, money and effort to stake his claim in the local restaurant scene. His business employed local people and paid local taxes.

    Since we're arguing about local versus chain, there's a lot of locally owned places that are part of a chain. Many chain restaurants are actually locally owned by local people who pay a franchise fee to be part of the chain. Local people own them, local people work in them and the money stays local, except for the franchise fee.

    Are we arguing about local versus chain? Or is it local ownership versus out-of-town ownership? Or do we just eat at whatever restaurants we prefer no matter who owns them?
  • Stars on Delaware for a quick sandwich downtown
  • I just have to add, because I can't let it slide, I am sorry Donna but La Piedad in Broad Ripple was easily the worst Mexican food I have ever had. I would rather eat microwave burritos.

    On the other hand, El Sol de Tala is easily the best mexican food in the city. Their menu goes far beyond the combination plate menus of most mexican restaurants and has good modern mexican food. Also, best guacamole ever.
  • Is Il Mulino still coming to Circle Center and if so when?
  • I have to argue that Adobo has the best Guacomole! :-)
  • Crystal, supposed to be 9/2009.
  • I moved to Indy about 5yrs ago and what I really noticed in local places here is the lack of service and how unprofessional it is. Most of it starts with the absentee management that lets the staff go and appear to provide no training or oversite. Have eaten at a lot of local places and the food is not bad, not great at most of them but not bad but the service just stinks.

    People go to chains because for the most part the chain has training and oversite for their staff and while it takes the personality out of the place it makes for a nice dining experience where you don't remember the food because you were too pissed off at the service.

    To get the local food industry on track they should do what is done in Vegas and have a food service and hospitality program at IUPUI and get buy in from the convention, hotel and restaurants.
  • You want bad service but a good concept? Try Brothers in Broad Ripple. I know i am all about the no smoking but dayum those untrained babies in there have no idea who the customer is.


    back to the BRT for me.

    p.s. El sol is the rawker in gwack. :dude:
  • IndyIndie, did you read my post about La Piedad? You MUST have ordered from the wrong menu. The combination plates are like TV-dinner Mexican, the especialades are awesome. Go back, try the carnitas. And trust me: I've been eating jalapenos since 1st grade.

    I had great Mexican from another place recently, don't know its name but it's 79th or so and Michigan in the same trip as Tuesday Morning.

    Also, someone upthread mentioned Zest, which is fantastic.
  • I miss Faux-Real pizza
  • Really, who cares if it's a chain or locally-owned. As long as the food is good and reasonably priced (or at least the price matches the taste/quantity) then what does it matter...

    My suggestion, though, is the Golden Ace. Across from El Sol. It's well worth the trip down east Washington St.
  • Or try the Country Kitchen - 19th and College. The best southern food in the city.
  • I just wanted to make everyone aware of a locally managed non-profit web site dedicated to supporting independent ethnic food restaurants: http://www.indyethnicfood.com.

    Our unwavering mission during the past five years:
    IndyEthnicFood is an educational website designed to increase public awareness of the cultural diversity of cuisine in Indianapolis and its surrounding communities.

    IndyEthnicFood is a dynamic database-driven information and directory service loaded with restaurant statistics and graphs. It is the most up to date and most accurate ethnic and independent restaurant directory in the city.

    Did you know there are 830 ethnic restaurants in 55 ethnic categories in Indianapolis? Check it out.
  • I enjoyed the wings and gumbo at J Gumbos on several occasions and found both to be good.
  • I also want to give props to Datsa Pizza and Urban Element on Penn across from the library, as well as Broadripple Brew Pub, and Brugge Brasserie in Broadripple. There aren't enough local food options, but they're out there if you keep looking.
  • I agree that the location is terrible, but I really enjoyed the cheap cajun food and the service was good every time I was there. I don't even drink beer.

Post a comment to this blog

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
  1. I still don't understand how the FBI had any right whatsoever to investigate this elderly collector. Before the Antiquities Act it was completely legal to buy, trade or collect Native American artifacts. I used to see arrow heads, axes, bowls, corn grinders at antique shops and flea markets for sale and I bought them myself. But that was in the late 60's and early 70's. And I now know that people used to steal items from sites and sell them. I understand that is illegal. But we used to find arrow heads and even a corn grinder in our back yard when I was a child. And I still have those items today in my small collection.

  2. I lived in California and they had many of the things noted in the proposed suggestions from the "Blue Ribbon Panel". California is near financial collapse now. Let's not turn the great state of Indiana into a third world dump like California.

  3. The temporary closure of BR Avenue will get a lot of attention. But, one thing reported by the IndyStar really stands out to me, and is extraordinarily depressing: “Police also have agreed to crack down on noise violations, traffic violations and public intoxication.” In other words, the police have generously agreed to do their jobs (temporarily, at least), instead of just standing around waiting for someone to call 911. When is someone in this department going to get off their fat arse (looking at you, Chief), get their minds out of 1975-era policing and into 2014, and have his department engage in pro-active work instead of sitting around waiting for someone to be shot? Why in the hell does it take 7 people getting shot in one night in one of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, to convince the police (reluctantly, it would appear) that they actually need to do their f’n jobs? When is the Chief going to realize that there’s a huge, direct, proven correlation between enforcing the law (yes, all laws, especially those affecting quality of life) and preventing larger crimes from occurring? Is it racial BS? Is that what this extraordinary reluctance is all about? Is the department and the city terrified that if they do their jobs, they might offend someone? Whom, exactly? Will the victims of violence, murder, assault, rape, robbery, and theft be offended? Will the citizens who have to tolerate their deteriorating quality of life be offended? Will the businesses who see their customers flee be offended? Or, is it simple ignorance (maybe the Chief hasn’t heard about NYC’s success in fighting crime - it’s only the biggest g*&#am city in the country, after all)? Either way, Chief, if you don’t want to do your job, then step down. Let someone who actually wants the job take it.

  4. I thought Indiana had all the funding it needed for everything. That's why the state lottery and casino gambling were allowed, as the new tax revenue would take care of everything the state wanted to do.The recommendations sound like they came from California. Better think about that. What is the financial condition of that state?

  5. I was a fan of WIBC in the morning, Steve was the only WIBC host that I listened too, he gave the news with so much flare that I enjoyed listening to him on my way to work. Katz is no Steve. Sadly, I will not be listening to WIBC anymore.

ADVERTISEMENT