IBJOpinion

DINING: At Pawn Shop Pub, the smoke has cleared on good bar food

The Pawn Shop Pub

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E
Much has been made about the health benefits of the city’s ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. Less, if anything, has been made about the benefit to diners who once avoided then-cloudy joints and now can sample some of Indy’s best bar food without self-consciously fake-coughing to let others know their position on the subject.
 

apb-pawnshoppub02-15col.jpgThe Pawn Shop Pub is just west of Keystone Avenue on 54th Street.(IBJ photos/Aaron P. Bernstein)

While I’m looking forward to exploring other examples, I’m specifically writing here of The Pawn Shop Pub (2222 E. 54th St, 255-5430). The just-off-Keystone-Avenue drinkery—look for the building that can’t hide its roots as a Long John Silver’s—could be a quiet neighborhood bar or a boisterous party zone, depending on how enthusiastic the players are at the expansive corn-hole arena in the back. Food and drink service is available on the patio, with its parking lot view, or inside, where Christmas lights and bar signs make the place indistinguishable from others of its ilk.

The food is the difference. At most establishments, the choice of a side item usually comes after your main selection. At the Pawn Shop, though, the Onion Rings ($2.50 for a sizable half order) are essential.

Large enough to allow a game of ring toss, these hand-cut loops demonstrate quality control I wish some far fancier restaurants would employ. And they are even better dipped in Mama Selita’s Jalapeño Ketchup, an underappreciated gem from Red Gold, available on every table.

Man cannot live by side dish alone, though. Thank goodness the Pawn Shop knows what it’s doing elsewhere on the menu. The Breaded Tenderloin ($6.95, with chips) is a near-perfect example of the Hoosier staple. Again, the cutting is done by hand and the pork itself is pounded thin without turning it to paper. The breading is crisp and flavorful without dominating the meat. And the bun has enough give to allow proper handling without needing to resort to knife and fork.


apb-pawnshoppub03-15col.jpg The onion rings are mandatory.

While the tenderloin and onion rings is the prime lunch pairing, there are other worthy options. The Chili ($2.50/cup) keeps beans to a minimum, stressing tomato and meat and leaving little room for an ample supply of sided cheese, onions and crackers (mixing them in after every few spoonfuls worked for me). If you miss the beans, stick with the no-nonsense Bean Soup ($2.25), flecked with bits of ham.

My only Pawn Shop complaint? While I enjoyed the Patty Melt Burger ($5.75) for its component parts, it should go without saying that a melt should be, well, melted: Still-solid cheese kept the innards from cohering with the rye bread. A Vegetarian Melt ($6.95) also had trouble keeping its act together, despite an ample supply of roasted veggies within.•

—Lou Harry

__________

Second in a month-long series of reviews of game-piece restaurants.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • The Ale
    DMC, I haven't ordered a salad there in awhile, but don't remember issues with them in the past. The only thing I've had at the Ale that I would not again order was the gyros.
  • Ale Emp.
    Jessica, wondering if you've been to Ale recently? The last two times I've been for lunch, the salad has tasted "gritty" as if it wasn't washed well. They comped lunch the second time, but I'm wary to return. Assuming I was just really unlucky, their lunch of a slice, salad and soft drink is nearly unbeatable at $6.
    • Yea!!!
      I went there once before the ban. Luckily it was nice out and I could sit outside. I suppose you could say that hamburgers aren't that good for you, but their's are oooh so good tasting.
    • onion rings
      I'm also thrilled to be able to comfortably visit the now non-smoking bars around town. Your description of the onion rings have now placed The Pawn Shop Pub on my list of places to try. My favorite place to go since the smoking ban took effect is the Ale Emporium ... excellent pizza and wings, great steak dinner deal on Tuesday nights, and an extensive beer list make it a winner.

    Post a comment to this story

    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

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Angela IS the best RD

    2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

    3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

    4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

    5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

    ADVERTISEMENT