Okay so I know I haven't posted much...well I guess at all...this week, but after spending Monday at the zoo with The Girlfriend I guess I've just kind of been working at my less fun real job and coasting through life. Today I want to break the cycle by letting you all know about my Chow Down Midtown experience.
Just for a little background in case you have missed my earlier posts Chow Down Midtown is a promotion for restaurants in the Broadripple and Meridian/Kessler areas to promote themselves with special 30 dollar for 2 meals or 30 dollar per person menus. For our adventure The Girlfriend and I called up a couple of our friends and got together with them for a meal at Moe and Johnny's. If I didn't know that MandJ's was doing the Chow Down promotion I doubt it was a place I would have ever thought about going to for dinner. From the outside it looked like a cool place to have a drink, but given it's bar appearance I would have expected typical bar food on the menu. This was hardly the case.
When we arrived we were seated and waited on promptly which was much appreciated especially I assumed they might be experiencing more diners than average due to the promotion. The option for outdoor dining was available, but we decided to forgo it due to the heat. The Chow Down menu consisted of a tasting plate for 2 including the choice of 2 proteins, choice of 2 cheeses, roasted red potatoes, locally grown tomatoes and asparagus, toasted baguette, sliced apples and sliced strawberries. The kicker to this setup was that also offered with the meal was each person got to choose either a tasting of 4 beers, 3 white wines or 3 reds. The choices for The Girlfriend and I were sliced sirloin steak with caramelized onions, grilled chicken with mushroom sauce, baked gorgonzola, smoked gouda and the beer for me and white wine for her.
The tasting platter was served all at once on a large wood cutting board brought to the table. Even though it took up a lot of room on the table with the beer and wine glasses I still enjoyed this presentation a lot. It made me feel like I was getting a special meal instead of the normal plated dishes at other restaurants. Also, even though this was a tasting platter make no mistake it was a lot of food. I'm sorry for not having pictures, but my camera settings were malfunctioning and I couldn't get any shots that were bright enough to make out the food. The sirloin was cooked medium just as we requested, and despite being sliced was still quite juicy. The caramelized onions piled on top were the perfect sweet accent flavor. The chicken was also perfectly cooked and coated in plenty of the mushroom sauce. I found the sauce delicious, but it seemed somewhat thicker almost to the point of almost being a gravy. The Girlfriend with her unnatural hatred of mushrooms was not as appreciative. I found the smoked gouda to be maybe my favorite thing on the platter. It had a lot of smoky flavor and went well with the steak, bread and even as a nice compliment to the sliced apple. I also enjoyed the baked gorgonzola, but it was very aggressively flavored (think severe blue cheese funk) and I don't think it melded as well with the rest of the flavors. The bread was a sliced baguette and it was toasted and coated with a little olive oil. I liked it, but I think it would have better if they had just left it as is. Our friends had a piece that was so heavily toasted it bordered on burnt. The other highlight was the asparagus. The spears we were served were very large and retained a nice snap to them. It was a nice green addition to the plate. The beers were pretty much what I expected, a dark beer, a wheat, an IPA etc. I enjoyed the Upland Wheat most of all, and the Bell's Two Hearted the least. However, I expected that going in. I'm just not a hops guy. Sue me. Despite what beers were served the awesomeness of including them with the meal can't be overlooked.
As for the service I found it to be very pleasant, and we were in no way shunned or ignored because we ordered off the special promo menu. The manager even came around to check on us a couple of times which I don't think happens at enough restaurants.
Normally this would be the section where I assign my numbered taste and value ratings. Being that this was a special promo menu with a flat price I'm going to avoid that here this time and just go all Jerry Springer on you and throw out some final thoughts. Chow Down Midtown for us I would have to say was quite a success. Moe and Johnny's really made an effort here to provide a unique experience. We got plenty of food. We got to taste several well prepared items. I much preferred this over 2 or 3 plated courses. The atmosphere was casual and relaxed. I don't really know what is on the M and J's regular menu, but whether it's for drinks, dinner or both I think I'll be going back to find out. Remember, take care of yourself...and each other.
Picture of restaurant via helloindianapolis.com
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 methodicaldudereallythinksalotaboutthefoodhesgoingtoeat.blogspot.com