DINING: Take your pick(les) of interesting choices at Black Market

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

While many terrific local restaurants have Indy addresses, more than a few of them seem to be disguised as chains. Maybe the more you look like the nationally advertised competition, the better your chances.

But it’s refreshing when a new eatery appears that feels uniquely itself—one that seems to have been designed to be itself, designed to be a place you remember, and designed with its neighborhood in mind.

Well, kind of. Located where Mass Ave collides with Interstate 65, Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave., 822-6757) is, for now, a neighborhood bar/restaurant without many neighbors. (That should change when the Trail Side apartment/retail building nearby is finished.)

Now, the minimal signage and out-of-the-way location can make you feel like you’re about to enter a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Inside, a long “community” table for multiple parties parallels the bar, and the dinner menu is limited enough to be scrawled on the wall. And—shocking and refreshing in this day and age—it has no blaring TVs.

The menu, too, is distinct. A Daily Pickles

($5) appetizer plate would stand out on any lunch—or dinner—menu. The pickled items

on this visit (they aren’t identical from day to day) were ramps (think fancy green onion), watermelon, the traditional cucumbers and an egg. A dollop of homemade peanut butter was the star of the show with its crunchy texture and sweet, peanutty taste. The pickles themselves were delicious, and the pink pickled egg added some visual interest.

ae-black-market-salad-15col The berries in the Arugula, Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad burst with flavor. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

The Arugula, Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad ($8) offered a tasty combination of ingredients, but in a mix simple enough that the flavor of all three was pleasingly apparent. Each blueberry was a plump, fresh burst of flavor making this a salad to be savored.

Even the heartier fare felt somewhat light. On the menu, the Black Market Burger ($13) boasted of buns from Bakery at Geist and our overenthusiastic waitress stressed that the meat also was local, or just down the road from Fischer Farms in Jasper, anyway. Served alongside an unadvertised (but welcome) arugula side salad, the juicy burger was unusually flavorful—turns out Black Market uses a custom blend of beef and lamb. A creamy goat cheese spread provided an extra tasty kick. Better still was the Braised Beef & Cheddar Bun ($13), a warm, sweet sandwich packed—but not overflowing—with moist, tender meat.

Desserts? Sure—if for no other reason than to see what such a creative kitchen would come up with. Blueberries & Lime Curd ($7) and Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta ($7) were both winners. The yogurt dish included cumin, an ingredient you don’t find in many desserts in these parts. For some, that might be a good thing. For me, I’m glad Mass Ave now offers another reason to cross College Avenue.•

—Lou Harry


First in a month-long series of reviews of new arts district eateries.


  • Black Market
    Have eaten at Black Market several times for lunch and dinner. Amazing food. The Black Market Burger is awesome. Love the buns. I buy them from Bakery at Geist often. A must try

Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am also a "vet" of several Cirque shows and this one left me flat. It didn't have the amount of acrobatic stunts as the others that I have seen. I am still glad that I went to it and look forward to the next one but I put Varekai as my least favorite.

  2. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  3. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  4. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  5. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.