Eat Random

The idea for this blog is to blog about everything I think about food and food culture. I'll tell you what I like to eat, where I like to eat it and if I thought it was good or if I thought it was crap. My thoughts about food could go anywhere. Hey if you don't like it go blog at

Random Dude Eats Random Food Indianapolis restaurants

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Food Thoughts: Indiana Seafood

Last night the girl and I went out for her birthday dinner.  At her request we went to Red Lobster and had a nice meal with very good service.  However, this got me thinking about our choices for quality seafood here in the hoosier state.  Unfortunately, the short answer is that there aren't many. 

Because of Indiana's geographic location if you want to go out for seafood your choices are mostly limited to chain restaurants most often with premium prices or low quality fare.  Most Hoosiers probably don't even know the difference.  Many of the people I know either don't like seafood at all or only like it when it doesn't taste "fishy" or is deep fried.  I would probably feel the same if my family hadn't taken yearly vacations to Florida and Mississippi when I was kid.  Down there it's a different world.  Fresh seafood choices abound at almost every restaurant big or small, chain or independent.  Your shellfish is more likely to come broiled, boiled or grilled rather than fried.  The flavors are more sharp and sumptuous.  In fact there was once a place here in Castleton that was an offshoot of a Tampa based restaurant called Shell's and it was the closest thing I've had in Indiana to coastal seafood.  However, there were closed less than 2 years after we discovered the place.  I don't know the specific reasons why, but I'm guessing it was due to both lack of a customer base and the inability to sustain a successful business with fresh seafood at lower prices.

The purpose of this post isn't to complain about the seafood choices in Indiana.  I'm just missing something I used to have.  Then again considering all the snow coming down outside at the moment maybe I should just head south. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Britton Tavern

I live on the far North suburban side of Indy, and as I am wont to do I often seek out places to enjoy a good cocktail and music with friends that doesn't require traveling to downtown or Broadripple.  That place often ends up being Britton Tavern (14005 Mundy Drive, Fishers, IN 46038).  It's a big modern upscale bar with ton's of TVs, good live music, and with $2.75 23 oz. Coors Lights on Saturdays it has the best weekend drink special around.  Up until a couple of weeks ago one think I had not experienced though was their food.

I was there on a Saturday night with my friends to see one of the best local bands around, Through Being Cool.  I was hungry and I decided the time was right to expose my palate to a taste other than that of The Rockies.  I had the Patty Melt with my choice of side being tater tots.  The girlfriend got the bbq wings of which I sample a few as well.  I apologize in advance for not having very many pictures, but I didn't think about doing a review until I was done eating.  The patty melt was pretty much what would expect when ordering this dish.  The burger was flavorful and juicy and cooked through without being dry.  The cheese was melted and delicious and there was just enough caramelized red onions to add a little kick but not overpower the meat or take away from the texture.  It was also served on an interesting kind of marbled rye toast that had a sturdy texture that held up to the meat without becoming soggy.  Where was the sandwich lacking?  The dressing.  Maybe I'm alone on this one, but every good patty melt deserves it's fair share of 1000 Island dressing as a topping.  It was barely noticeable at all on my sandwich.  Maybe they think most people prefer it that way, but not me.  Now about the tots, I really thought they drove this dish home.  Britton is the only place I've ever heard of even having tater tots as a non-breakfast side item, and it was nice to have something different in texture than just fries.  The tots were fried very crisp and you definitely get a big portion of them.  Thumbs up all the way.

The wings that the girlfriend got however are a different story entirely.  My initial reaction to them visually was that they looked great.  Their size was above average and they gave you plenty in a single order.  However, my first problem with them was that when they were served they were right out of the fryer and way too hot to eat.  Normally that would be okay, but after we let these wings cool down the skin became soggy and not crisp which is a texture with chicken I can't get past.  As for the flavor the bbq sauce they put on the wings was so cloyingly sweet it was impossible to have more than 1 or two wings.  That is saying a lot coming from a guy that typically loves his bbq more on the sweet side.  As you can see from the picture, with the girlfriend and I both eating we still failed to finish the plate of wings.  This is something that NEVER happens with wings.  Anyway lets get to my ratings for this excursion.

Taste:  8/10 for the burger, 3/10 for the wings
Value:  10/10 for the Saturday beer special, 7/10 for the patty melt.  I can't comment on the wings since the gf paid for those on her tab and she didn't tell me anything about the price, but I'm guessing they were fairly pricey and you could do better with all the wing specials around at various places with better wings.
Randomness:  I'm giving points for this place being a non-chain and for them having tater tots, but this place is pretty well known on this side of town.  6.5/10

Britton Tavern on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 2, 2010

McDonald's Biscuit and Gravy

I'd first like to start off this post by saying how much I love McDonald's breakfast.  Nothing makes me happier than skipping out on my break from work to pick up some good eats off the dollar menu.  I thought I had tried everything that McDonald's had to offer for breakfast.  I was wrong.

The other day I was jonesing for some biscuits and gravy, but even though they are a popular breakfast item in this part of the country you can't get them just anywhere especially when fast food is concerned (didn't have time to get to go from a sitdown place).  I did have some choices such as Hardee's, but I think for the most part their breakfast and especially their made-from-scratch biscuits are a known entity.  As is the style of my blog I wanted something a little more out there.  That's where the B&G from MickeyD's comes into the picture.  As you can see from the photo above this was pretty standard fare for the affordable price of $1.29.  You get 1 biscuit which you have to split and pour the sausage gravy over.  First of all let me say I'm not a fan of that.  Just give me 2 damn biscuits.  Also, the taste here left much to be desired.  The gravy was watery and bland and more or less ruined what I consider a better than mediocre biscuit.  If I hadn't gotten hash browns in addition to this it would have been a very disappointing breakfast.  Now for the ratings.
Taste:  Incredibly sub-par.  I would venture to say maybe the worst fast food B&G on the market.  Go anywhere else.  If you're in Muncie go to Mac's.  Theirs comes highly recommended.  Score: 2/10
Value:  Obviously I can't complain too much here since it was only $1.29, but the problem is the dish itself is pretty cheap everywhere.  Also, you only get one biscuit that is on the small side compared to other restaurants. 4/10
Randomness:  Okay, so overall McDonald's is about the least random of a place that you could possibly eat.  However, how many of you even knew they had biscuits and gravy?  7/10.