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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Yats

If you're into food there is probably at least one place that you can think of that all of your friends have told you to go to so many times you almost tuned it out.  Even if you're open to trying new places or new types of cuisine you might just get tired of hearing how good a place is.  For me that place was Yats.  I had heard the hype from almost everyone I knew, and I had read the hype out there on the interwebz.  Much like ESPN's coverage of almost any sporting event I was afraid that Yats had no hope of living up to its reputation.  I was wrong.

Maybe it has something to do with this being one of my first experiences with Cajun/Creole food.  Maybe it had something to do with the rock bottom price.  I don't know what the reason, but Yats really really made an impression on me.  Never had I gone into a restaurant with such elevated expectations and had every one of them met and exceeded.  As for the meal itself I had the Chili Cheese Etoufee with crawfish.  It consisted of very fresh tend pieces of crawfish mixed into a delicious creamy roux served over rice.  I don't remember having a dish where I thought the flavors were more spot on.  You could taste the chili spices, you could taste the seafood, you could taste the cheese but no one thing completely overpowered anything else.  A serving size at Yats is a healthy portion, but there is no doubt I could eat Rosie O'Donnell's weight in Chili Cheese Etoufee.  Also, if you think maybe Yats isn't for you because you aren't a fan of spice I promise if you get the etoufee you will not be bothered by any excess heat.

Drunken Chicken
The Drunken Chicken was likewise a masterful dish.  It consisted of pulled chicken, garlic, tomato puree, and red pepper.  Be forewarned this dish is much spicier than the etoufee, but The Girlfriend admitted that even though it was a little more spicy than she would normally go the flavors were so good it didn't matter.  I wholeheartedly agree.  Actually I agreed so much I ate her leftovers before she got the chance.  Sorry sweetheart.

Each dish at Yats is also served with two pieces of their French bread, and it could easily be a just a throwaway side item.  Not here.  Each piece is perfectly crunchy and crusty on the outside and soft inside.  Also, each piece is slathered with a magical spread that makes it extra special.  Next time I go I will take them up on their offer of paying 50 cents for extra bread.  I suggest you do the same.

A couple more notes FYIs you might want to have before making the trek to the restaurant:  1.  You want to make sure you get there early enough to make sure they aren't out of your favorite dish.  At Yats when their out of something it comes off the menu period.  2.  The menu varies from day to day to some degree.  The etoufee is one of their best sellers so that is one of the mainstays, but the other 5 or 6 items on the menu tend to rotate.  You can check their website for the daily menu before you head out.  3.  Don't expect any frills.  Your entrees are served on Styrofoam plates and you eat with plastic utensils, but if that gets in the way of enjoying the food you're probably reading the wrong blog.

Taste 10/10  I came in with high expectations and was still blown away. I am going to become a new frequent customer.
Value 10/10  Very few places with food that unique and that good are places that you can afford to go back to on a regular basis.  Yats is the exception.  Two sizable entrees with bread and two soft drinks ran us only 14 dollars total.  Incredible.  That's fast food pricing for fantastic food.

Yats (Fishers) on Urbanspoon


Leslie said...

You may want to add the fact that they only accept cash.

Brent said...


My review is of the Fisher's location on 96th and they actually accept cards also at that location which is pretty sweet.

Pat said...

I actually believe the College location is the only one that doesn't take credit cards. Also at the College location, you get real plates instead of styrofoam and you will sometimes see Joe V, the owner, busing tables and bringing out food.

IndianapolisEater said...

The Peanut Butter Pie is pretty dreamy too. Extremely rich and decadent (and also quite large), but very outstanding.

On my last visit, I had the Jambalaya which was outstanding and the rice & beans, which was not. Still, it was an incredible value.

By the way, 100% agree on the bread. I would have eaten just that for my meal.

Brent said...

I did not have the peanutbutter pie. Even though I'm not a huge peanutbutter guy like yourself I may have to give it a shot.

Andrew said...

The peanut butter pie is a rare gem. It's one of my few dessert weaknesses! Gotta try the B&B next time... Black beans and corn, but oh so much more than that! It's delicious as well. And grab a bottle of their "Cajun Power" hot sauce for your table. I believe they have to purchase it directly from the manufacturer in Louisiana. The flavor of it is so addictive that I cannot eat at Yats if they don't have the hot sauce... Much like going and finding out that your favorite dish isn't on the menu. It is just as essential to me as the etouffee itself. Death Bed Meal: Half-Half Chili Cheese Etouffee and B&B w/ extra bread. Slice of peanut butter pie and a large iced tea. I adore Yats.

Indy Student said...

If you can, try to go to Broad Ripple next time.

As for the running out of food, all the food is made at the Broad Ripple location and is shipped out to the others. That's why if it runs out on Mass Ave or 96th street or whatever, then it's gone for the day. But at the Broad Ripple one, if it's early enough in the day, they'll cook another batch.

You also get real plates and, honestly, I think they give you a bit more food as well.

And if you become a regular, they usually knock a few bucks off the price.

Chris Meadows said...

Drunken Chicken is literally the BEST THING EVER.

Also, note that you can order half-portions of two different dishes to get a variety.

And at some locations, they serve beer in cups that have collectible fridge magnets in the bottom. (Don't poke your finger through until AFTER you finish the beer!)