Yesterday, we took a daytrip to Indianapolis. We were supposed to go to a wine tasting in Seymour after brunch in Indy, but someone (Andrew, cough cough) didn’t make reservations in advance. So instead, we explored Indy.
For brunch, we had planned to go to Milktooth, which is rated one of the top brunch places in Indy. As you can probably imagine with a rep like that, there was quite a wait. So we drove around a bit and stumbled upon the Fountain Square neighborhood, which looks like it’s straight out of the ’50s—renovated Art Deco buildings, a duckpin bowling alley, and a super artsy vibe.
We popped into End of the Line Public House for brunch, which is in an old streetcar building. Although the menu was super traditional (omelets, a breakfast burrito and eggs Benedict), it was exactly what I wanted to eat. I had the breakfast burrito, which is served with a side of roasted potatoes. A mimosa accompanied my meal, and was just the taste of brightness and freshness a mimosa should have. Andrew had the New Orleans-style omelet, which I didn’t get to try because it was gone before I could ask for a bite.
After brunch, we stopped into New Day Craft Mead & Cidery. I’m not a huge mead fan, but the ciders were pretty spectacular, and I actually ended up getting a glass of the Shelby Blue Ribbon mead—strawberry rhubarb with a sweet finish. Of course, Andrew picked up a bottle of mead to take home, so I’m sure I’ll be trying that as well.
I had my heart set on checking out Indy Reads Books, a new and used bookstore on Massachusetts Avenue. From the outside, it looks like a three-story bibliophile’s paradise, but once I stepped inside, I was sad to see that it was only one story. When I think of a used bookstore, I think of the classics—Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Slaughterhouse 5, etc.—but Indy Reads only had a small selection of them. Most of the books were pretty recent, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what I was expecting.
After spending some time at a mall, we decided to head back to where Milktooth is because Andrew had seen a craft distillery (Hotel Tango) and a brewery (Chilly Water) he wanted to try. (This trip was supposed to be things I wanted to do, but when you’re married, you have to compromise, right?)
Hotel Tango is in an old carriagehouse, and it’s probably one of the coolest redeveloped buildings I’ve ever seen. As a craft distillery, they make gin, rum, vodka, whiskey and limencello, and their menu is full of traditional mixed drinks, as well as whiskeys on-the-rocks. I ordered a mojito, and it was one of the freshest, smoothest mojitos I’ve ever had.
Chilly Water is right across the street from Hotel Tango, and from what the bartenders said at both places, Friday and Saturday nights are hopping. I tried a taste of Chilly Water’s Harvest Moon Autumn Ale, which anywhere else would be called a pumpkin ale, and the Built to Last Pilsner. We also ordered the SerraNo Woman No Cry dip, which is hummus with serrano peppers served with pita bread and fresh veggies. It was amazing, and definitely something I plan to recreate at home.
I wasn’t feeling the brewery’s dinner menu, so we headed to Broad Ripple for pizza at Thr3e Wise Men, which is also—you guessed it—a brewery. As is my usual, I opted for the Bar-b-q Chicken pizza, which is topped with homemade BBQ sauce, chicken, applewood smoked bacon, red onions, mozzarella and parmesan. The pizzas are cooked in a woodfired oven, and are made with dough that’s been infused with their Golden Zoe IPA. And if you ever go to Thr3e Wise Men, get an order of breadsticks—they come withe three dipping sauces, including nacho cheese, which is phenomenal.
If I had to live in Indy, I would. Everywhere we went, there were bicyclists and pedestrians, and all parking was free (hint, hint, Cincinnati). And the houses in the neighborhoods we drove through were absolutely gorgeous. Lots of renovated late 1800s, early 1900s houses, as well as those that have received entirely new facades and now are brightly painted American Craftsmen/Cape Cods.
*For those of you who have never been to Indy, you may have seen it in the recent movie The Fault in Our Stars. (Sidenote: the bone park featured in the movie is actually an exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Museum. I definitely plan to go back and check that place out.)