IBJOpinion

DINING: Washington Street eatery sparked by sibling synergy

Dee Gusto’s

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

This month, we search for darn-good dining and daring dishes in a quartet of columns devoted to restaurants on the D-list—restaurants that begin with “D.”
 

ae-deegustos02-15col.jpg Dee Gusto’s Fried Chicken Wing Dinner shows surprising subtlety. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

First up, Dee Gusto’s Southern Cooking (1430 W. Washington St., 423-3553), a mom-and-pop—well, actually a sister-and-brother—operation housed in a former ice cream parlor just west of the Indianapolis Zoo. The restaurant is rooted in the recipes passed to owners Dee Dee Washington and Calvin Davis by their mother, Gustoria. In operation since 2010, Dee Gusto’s has room for only six tables, but also caters and serves takeout.

We dined in, missing the signature Breakfast Skillet ($8.99) which, along with Biscuits & Gravy ($4), are the only two dishes on the a.m. portion of the menu. The latter is also available for lunch as part of a $5 menu whose other options include Grilled Cheese, Chicken Drummettes and a Pork Chop Sandwich.

I wanted the full deal, though, so opted for the Pork Chop Dinner ($10). Here, a baked, breaded pair of chops displayed a delicious, crunchy exterior and sizable, meaty interior. When a place outside of the South has “southern” in its name, its kitchen often seems tempted to exaggerate the regional flavors, over-accenting like a bad actor. That’s not the case here, where subtlety wins out over excess salt and spices. The Chicken Wing Dinner ($9) similarly satisfied, with five substantial pieces providing plenty of crunch but not at the expense of the hidden fowl.

Each dinner comes with a square of dense cornbread and a pair of sides. If returning, I’d pass on the so-so Home Fried Potatoes and stick to the Greens and Mashed Potatoes. The latter didn’t leave us reaching for our water glasses as those in lesser establishments often do. The quality of the rest of the offerings now has me curious about the Basa fish (raved about by other reviewers) and Macaroni & Cheese. And, of course, those Biscuits and Gravy. A return visit—or two—may be in order soon.

Desserts? Of course, since they are made in-house. We sampled the Caramel Cake and Peach Cobbler ($2.99 each), preferring the former’s discreet use of the sweet coating on a hearty cake to the latter’s canned-fruit-meets-tasty-crust combo. Other optionsinclude Apple Dumplings (alas, all gone by the time of our lunch visit) and, depending on the day you visit, Banana Pudding or Key Lime Cake.

Best of all, the meal was served with the most genuine smiles of any eatery I’ve visited all year. At the risk of cliché, we felt like we were welcomed into a friend’s home. I only wish I had friends who cooked like this.•

—Lou Harry 

__________

First in a month-long series of D-restaurant reviews.

ADVERTISEMENT

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. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT