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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Preview

Happy Friday to ya, you guys! Once again the weekend is upon us and with it allowing myself a bit of indulgence food-wise. We don't have any definitive food plans yet, but I recently found a new Chinese takeout place with an awesome name that I think I'll be trying tonight. Also I recently was awarded a nice promotion at work so I think at least some sort of celebration might be in order! Happy eating and have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Classy Pizza Review: Some Guys Pizza, Pasta, Grill

Most of the time when I have pizza it's something so quick, cheap, and dirty it almost feels like a Secret Service outing in South America.  It's true and I'm not going to act like I'm ashamed of it.  The siren call of $5 Little Caesars is hard to resist, and lately I've been wondering if maybe I've lost my ability to appreciate pizza that you can't buy with just the change you dug from your couch cushions.  A couple of weekends ago I decided to test myself with some pizza that has a better than average reputation. The Girlfriend and I decided to try Some Guys.

Located in an older strip mall at the corner of 62nd and Allisonville (other location 126th and Gray Rd.) Some Guys definitely doesn't look like much at all. In fact, unless you knew about it in advance or saw it while you were spending quality time at the discount tabacco shop you may not even have known it was there at all.  When I first drove by it some time ago it looked so small from the outside I thought it was takeout only.  However, when you finally walk in you're in for a pleasant surprise.  The atmosphere is bistroesque with deep warm colors, and while the seating area is small (protip: go early) its bigger than you would think. 

After we walked in we were seated promptly and began to look at the menu. We decided to start off with a classic appetizer of garlic bread with cheese.  While such a choice may seem pretty boring at first I have to say I'm a fan and I don't care...especially when it's done the way Some Guys does it. The bread was a crusty but soft sliced Italian roll and the garlic flavor was perfectly subtle. The cheese on top was melted without being burnt or crusty.  The app was good, but the pizza is the reason to stay.

While the Some Guys menu is varied in terms of entrees and toppings we knew we were going with a pizza and desired a classic combination with a dressed up twist.  The House Pepperoni with hand sliced pepperoni, ricotta cheese, and fresh basil was the perfect choice. It was the first time I had experienced any of those ingredients on a pizza and I was honestly blown away.  The hand sliced artisan pepperoni was thick and crisp on the edges with the ideal hint of heat.  I believe it may have ruined regular pepperoni pizza for me forever.  The ricotta added a nice creamy element that was a great complement to the spice of the pepperoni. The fresh basil had been added before baking, which I thought was an interesting choice, but the basil and tomato sauce combination is always a winner. And speaking of the sauce, it was quite good but I suspect that a good number of you might say there wasn't enough on the pizza.  I don't consider that a problem because I think of the sauce almost a condiment that adds flavor almost without being noticed. Just a personal preference.  Also, I found the crust extremely appealing in that it was thin without being either too doughy or cracker-like which I consider the death knell of an otherwise great pizza.

Taste 10/10 I'm still yet to make it to the much vaunted Pizzology, but as of right now Some Guys makes the top of my list of pizza available in Indianapolis or surrounding areas.  No complaints.  Zero. Even our service was exceptional.

Value 10/10 A double perfect score and well worth it. We ordered garlic bread with cheese, 2 drinks, and a medium pizza for under 25 dollars.  Considering that neither one of us went away hungry and the high quality of the food and service this is an absolute steal.

Some Guys Pizza (Northeast) on Urbanspoon

Quick Review: Hardee's Bacon Cheddar Breakfast Wraps

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  That's probably a phrase you've had condescendingly thrown at you from various sources since you were in grade school. It may or may not be true, but honestly I don't care. I just know that I'm a guy that needs to eat at least something in the morning to get going. Usually that means a small portion of instant oatmeal, but sometimes the old testosterone kicks in and makes me crave cheese, eggs, and something that got its house blown down by a big bad wolf.
In this case I decided to fill that craving with the Hardee's Bacon Cheddar breakfast wrap. Of you're wondering it is exactly what it says it is. Strips of bacon, a scrambled egg, and cheddar cheese sauce in a flour tortilla. Hardee's certainly isn't inventing this concept here. I remember being underwhelmed by a similar BK product a couple of years ago. However,  Since I'm a Hardee's fan and because I liked the idea of a cheddar "sauce" I figured it was worth a shot.
With a price tag of only $2.50 for 2 wraps I can't say I was dissatisfied,  but I think the execution held back the potential here. For example the cheese on my wraps was inconsistent. One was so overflowing it was incredibly messy while the other barely had any at all. The flavor of the cheese though was quite good and possibly my favorite element. The bacon was on par with the Hardee's bacon I've had in the past. It was salty, smoky, and while not thick it was better than average fast food bacon. I think the egg was the biggest disappointment. The "folded" scrambled egg was thin, rubbery, and flavorless. Much room for improvement.  The tortilla, on the other hand was a surprising bright spot. It was very soft and warm. Much better than a stale tortilla that one might get at Taco Bell.

Taste 5/10 The ultimate in average. Some good spots, some not so good. If you had the time you could easily make a much better home version, but it serves as a nice fast food breakfast diversion.
Value 6.5/10 At $2.50 for 2 and the ability to combo that for under $5 makes it an above average value.

p.s. I always try to use my own photos to back up how my meal appeared as opposed to the idealized version. I apologize for using the Hardee's photo here.  I was just to hungry to stop and think of taking a picture I guess.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekend Preview

Alright after a long week there is nothing I look forward to more than having a couple good meals over the weekend when I left myself splurge a bit.  Last weekend was very successful with my trip to Some Guys Pizza (review coming next week) so I'm looking for something equally as interesting this weekend.  I had been hoping to make it out to the Food Truck Throwdown, but The Girlfriend had to run some errands this morning so I'm not sure we'll make it there.  That's a little disappointing for me, but I encourage the rest of you go to check it out. 

Even if I don't get to sample some food truck offerings there is always the prospect of dinner tonight, and where were going is still to be decided.  I've been wanting bbq for some time so maybe a trip down to Squealers is in order, but I've also been trying hard to venture out to places that I've never been before that you guys would like to read about.  If you have any recommendations please let me know either here in the comments or via twitter @hoosierdaddyIU.  Have fun and happy eatings.

Friday, April 20, 2012

McDonald's Oreo Cream Pie?

Maybe I'm late to the party, but I saw some Twitter mentions of this the other day and it piqued my interest.  I know that McDonald's recently featured the Strawberry Cream Pie, but this is the first I'd heard of the Oreo variety.  If anyone knows of a Mickey D's in the Indy area serving these let me know.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Product Review: Edy's Maxx Drumstick Ice Cream

I scream. You scream. We all scream because we will be in incredible pain after literally paying an arm and a leg if you want to buy a little tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Seriously, that's why they sell it at CVS and Walgreens near the crutches, bandages, and tourniquets.  Those of us wishing to maintain body integrity  are probably searching for another less costly but equally tasty option.  I realize that some of you ice cream aficionados may scoff at such a statement.  Yes, I do realize that Ben and Jerry's offers some unique flavor combinations that may be the only thing that satisfy some people.  Myself, I'm not particularly married to Chunky Munky or Cherry Garcia so I've decided to look elsewhere.

The first option I decided to try out? Edy's Maxx Drumstick ice cream.  If you are not familiar with the favorite childhood treat that is the Drumstick let me catch you up.  It consists of sugar cone containing vanilla ice cream that is coated in a chocolate shell and rolled in peanuts. Edy's Drumstick ice cream consists of exactly the same components but chopped up and mixed into the ice cream instead of in a cone.  I have to be honest, even though this was one of my favorite frozen novelties growing up I was skeptical of how Edy's was going to treat it.  My past experiences with Edy's, particularly their Somoas ice cream, have not been favorable.  However, this time the price was right (a full 3 dollars cheaper than the same size Ben and Jerry's) so I decided to give it a shot.

I really enjoyed this particular flavor of ice cream.  Usually when ice cream has mix-in components they tend to add texture more than a lot of enjoyable flavor.  This time though I got plenty of the chocolate flavor along with the crunch from the peanuts and ice cream cone. I think it would have been better with a caramel element, but then again what isn't? Also, in that case it wouldn't have been a Drumstick product. As Billy Joel once said (probably not about ice cream) I love you just the way you are.

Taste 9/10 I would happily buy another pint of this the next time I get the chance. Classic elements and flavors from something that could have easily fallen into the gimmick trap.
Value 7.5/10 I think this score somewhat depends upon perspective. If I'm comparing it to its competitors in the name brand, small portion, premium ice cream market, like I am here, I think it stacks up well. However, if you want to compare it against some store brands (one in particular I will be reviewing later) I think it gets beat rather easily.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Qdoba's Top Notch Rewards Program

It seems as though every place you walk into to do commerce these days has some sort of rewards program. In all of these you spend money at their establishment and swipe your loyalty card. In exchange for both frequently coming back and giving up information about your buying habits the company gives you some type of reward.  At Kroger it's 10 cents off per gallon of gas once you reach a hundred points, some places might offer a free meal or softdrink, and I have no idea what it is at the Classy Chassis but hopefully some sort of psychiatric evaluation.  Most of the time these rewards may be somewhat of a waste of time, but I've found one I really enjoy taking advantage of: the Qdoba rewards program.

Up front you should know that Qdoba is one of my favorite haunts.  I'm a big fan of their BBQ burrito and nachos.  Once you sign up for a Qdoba loyalty card and swipe it every time you buy a meal you will eventually earn a free entree.  Truthfully though the free entree takes quite a lot of visits to get so that's not why I'm high on this.  The reason I like it so much is because when you sign up Qdoba sends tons of awesome offers to members via email.  For example I just took advantage of a Tax Day coupon that made any chicken entree (burrito reg $7.29) 5 bucks.  That's darn good. Also, in this case it was emailed to me last week and I got to use it multiple times between then and April 17th. 

If you're a fan of Qdoba like I am, and you are also a fan of getting free entrees, reduced price specials, free chips and queso I suggest you sign up next time you're there.

Image courtsey

Monday, April 16, 2012


As you may have noticed the last few months things around here have kind of slowed down in regards to how many blogs I've done per month.  I don't really have an explanation for it, but maybe I lost the fire a bit.  Also, lately we've been tending to stick to some of our favorite hangouts too often and not venture out to new places that make for interesting blog entries.  I'm not using this post as an apology.  I'm writing this post to tell you that that is going to change.  The whole reason I started this blog was to check out new places and give you my opinion accordingly.  That's what I'm going back to.  Make sure to come back and check for updates often because I'm going to try to update at least every other day.  Sometimes it may be more. Every post may not be a review, but hopefully we can use this space for food discussion or news. Happy eating everyone!

Product Review: Pepsi Next

Marty McFly: I want a Pepsi Free. Guy at lunch counter: If you want a Pepsi you're gonna have to pay for it!

The above exchange is one of many from one of my favorite movies of all time, Back to The Future.  Seeing that that line was written in 1985 we know that Pepsi has been on their kick of "new formula as marketing gimmick" for some time now.  Of course that isn't limited to just Pepsi, but since they're the one I'm focused on here you're just going to have to roll with me for a minute.  Pepsi's latest "gimmick" is of course an attempt to solve the oldest problem in softdrinkdom (eat your heart out Webster's). How can we make a product that tastes exactly like our oldest most popular original formula but without the sugar and calories so it can be enjoyed without a personal beatdown from healthfood crusader Michelle Obama? Has Pepsi finally cracked the code (probably not up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A)?

Granted I'm not a full time...or even part time Pepsi drinker, but I think I would have to say that the answer is no.  Pepsi Next is similar to other past attempts in that it tries to give us part of what we want and claiming it's the full monty.  It's just not going to work.  It's a formula that claims to have 60% less sugar yet still have the real "Pepsi taste". You all can disagree with me if you want, and maybe there are true Pepsi fans out there that will, but if this is supposed to taste like you're drinking a regular Pepsi I'd consider it a failure.  However, before I proclaim a total loss I will say that the flavor of Pepsi Next is better than that of Diet Pepsi. Of course in my opinion drinking Diet Pepsi is only slightly better than getting punched in the neck. But to each their own I suppose.

I think what it comes down to for me is that if you really really want a regular Pepsi, or Coke for that matter, just have one.  Everything in moderation. Drinking a soda that has less sugar or "diet" isn't really a healthy solution in any case.  I drink Diet Coke because I prefer the taste.  Always have.  Always will. In making your softdrink choices I suggest you do the same.

Taste 5/10 Meh-tacular for sure.
Value N/A It costs the same as every other bottle of pop costs.  I'll just say I'd spend my cash elsewhere.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Enough Already: Social Media and Restaurant Self-Promotion

"Don't believe the hype." I'm quite sure that when Public Enemy had a hit with those lyrics back in the early 90s they most certainly weren't talking about anything I'm going to write about in this blog post. Nonetheless that doesn't mean the phrase doesn't apply to the phenomenon I've seen way too much of lately, relentless restaurant self promotion via Twitter.

As some of you may know I'm a big fan of social media and twitter especially. If you're so inclined you can even follow me via that little link over there on the right.  Twitter serves a great purpose.  It allows easy social interaction and conversation.  It is a source for humor. And it can be used as a cheap and effective way to promote something whether that be a political ideology, a specific candidate, a blog (ahem), or yes even a business.  I don't find anything wrong at all with any of this, but I'm a believer in the concept of everything in moderation (bacon excluded) but it seems as of late some restaurants aren't subscribers to this philosophy. 

I believe it's one thing for a restaurant to use twitter to interact with customers (Pizzology, Boogie Burger, Scotty's Brewhouse) and to promote special events or menu items (The Local), but a more disturbing phenomenon is using the medium to blowup followers' timelines to do nothing but inflate their own hype.  Let me give you an example.  If I eat somewhere and enjoy myself I might tweet and say "@XXXXX I had a nice meal tonight. Looking forward to going back." It would be proper for that restaurant to maybe send me something back saying thanks for coming out or we appreciate your business.  However, what I've seen is one place in particular continuously retweeting without comment EVERY remotely positive thing people say about them.  It's obnoxious and excessive, and having ate there (review to come later) an inaccurate representation of the quality of the experience.  After all I certainly don't see any "My food took forever to come out and you turned my steak to shoe leather" tweets.  I know. I know.  Why don't I just unfollow? That's true I could do that and probably will, but I shouldn't have to.  The point is that if you're making people unfollow you your social media strategy is a big wad of fail.

As you are my readers I have to assume all of you are poor judges of writing talent discerning diners or at least hope to be.  I do my best to give you my honest opinion and go into each restaurant and meal with an open mind. But while I can help be a guide as to where you might best spend your hard earned dollar I'm not trying to make up your mind for you. If you see a restaurant trying so hard it seems like they're almost trying to convince themselves you should probably beware. I mean look what happened to Huey Lewis after he tried to make us believe the heart of rock n roll was still beating.

Ok so this isn't Huey, but it might as well be.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Patty Melt Obession Part 3: Hardee's Southwest Patty Melt Review

Over the last several weeks I've expressed on this blog my recent obsession with the patty melt sandwich.  Truthfully it's probably only slightly more healthy than the obsession some of my more romantically challenged male readers (sorry mom's basement dwellers) might have with Kate Upton, a Southwest Patty Melt "enthusiast in her own right.  On a more serious note I wanted to try the Hardee's Southwest Patty Melt because it not only fits my patty melt meme as of late, but it's also 1. a new-ish fast food offering 2. a Hardee's offering of which I'm mostly a fan and 3. the combo came with a free Oreo icecream sandwich.  How would this stack up compared to other melts I've had as of late?

The Hardee's Southwest Patty Melt might be a new sandwich to the Hardee's lineup, but there are definitely some derivative elements here beyond what constitutes the normal patty melt toppings.  The bread is Hardee's famous toasted sourdough that has accompanied their Frisco Burger for so many years.  The additions that make it different than the standard patty melt are the pepper-jack cheese substituting for swiss, jalapeno slices, and "Southwest sauce".  I've seen all those elements on other burgers and sandwiches before with mixed results so I was a little worried how they would work here.  Surprisingly, I think the answer is those elements work quite well.  The jalapenos, sauce, and cheese definitely added some kick, but I was a little amazed at how mild the flavor actually was.  Granted, I'm not someone who is that sensitive to heat but I definitely expected more heat from a sandwich with sliced jalapenos.  The 1/4 lb patty size was adequate and juicy compared to other "large chain" fast food burgers.  I think the sourdough "bun" with it's toasted yet soft texture made this better than if it was just served on a regular bun.  However, I think there were some drawbacks here as well.  Between the cheese and sauce I found the overall texture far too creamy. With the jalapeno slices it almost tasted like bland ballpark nachos.  Also, the Hardee's website makes no mention of it, but I could have swore my patty melt had mayo on it which I found to be serious overkill.  Also there were supposed to be grilled onions here, but they were somewhat hard to find.

Taste 6.5/10 I'm giving this an above average score because even when Hardee's has somewhat of a miss their burgers are still better than what BK, Mickey D's and Wendy's are putting out.  Real solution though is just to go to Culver's if one is nearby.
Value 6.5/10 I'm giving a similar slightly above average score here because I did get a free icecream sandwich with my combo, and it was quite a filling meal.

Additional Note: While I appreciate Hardee's offering free icecream with this combo it's pretty hard to get it back to your house or office without it turning into something messier than Curtis Painter's future career prospects.  Hardee's at least tried by putting it in a separate bag from my hot food, but in the end it was a ride on the failboat.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: Greek Tony's Pizza and Sub Shop

I love pizza.  I know that sounds like the typical answer any 10 year old would give you if you asked them their favorite food, but dammit it's true.  Some people might be particular in what style of crust or toppings they prefer or where they order it from to the degree that once they've found a favorite they'll eschew looking elsewhere for good 'za pizza (Sorry it was too douchey even done tongue in cheek). That's not me.  Sure I have my preferences, but pizza for me is graded on a heavy curve.  Even the worst pizza I've had wasn't that bad.  As a result I'm never afraid to try new varieties and new restaurants.  Recently I grabbed lunch at Greek Tony's Pizza and Sub Shop in Carmel, and let me tell you there will be no need to grade on a curve here.

First of all to give you a little background about what some of my preferences are.  First of all I prefer meat toppings full of porky goodness just the way God and Ron Swanson intended. Second, I tend to like thinner more traditional crust pizza over deep dish. Third, and here's where the Greek Tony's lunch experience comes into play, I almost never get pizza by the slice.  In the past I've felt unsatisfied by just having 1 slice of pizza even if it was large in size.  Pizza is an addiction for me and I can't eat just one.  So when I walked into Greek Tony's and ordered the single slice of pepperoni I had my doubts about whether it could fill me up. That worry was assuaged quickly as soon as my slice arrived in front of me.

Good lawd this slice of pep was huge. You can get some idea of scale by comparing it to my knife and fork in the picture. I knew I wasn't going away hungry.  Better than the portion size though was the taste.  I love pizza when it's done like they do at Greek Tony's.  The crust was the perfect combination of crusty on the very bottom yet soft and chewy when you bite in all the way.  Also, I couldn't get over how plentiful the cheese was here. It was as much mozzarella piled on a pie as I've ever seen.  The amount of pepperoni was adequate.  The only drawback I would say was the sauce.  There was so little of it in comparison to the cheese and pep that it was a little hard to even taste. I'm usually not a "there needs to be more sauce" guy, but here it is undeniable.  I think it should only be considered a small glitch in otherwise pretty awesome slice.

I also wanted to say a few words about Greek Tony's itself.  I absolutely love places that are throwbacks to an earlier age, and Greek Tony's looks like a place that hasn't changed in quite some time.  When so much of Carmel looks new and fancy it's refreshing to see a place that doesn't fit that meme.  They are located in an older building, they have years of collected hockey memorabilia on one wall and games for kids on the other like a truly old school pizza parlor.  Hand written specials are on a white board behind the counter where orders are taken by an employee with a friendly face.  I'm looking forward to a return trip, and If I can get myself away from the pizza  I might have to try their Italian Beef.

Taste 9/10 I enjoyed this pizza by the slice as much or more than any I've had.
Value 9/10 A slice and a medium drink was just over 5 bucks. Considering  the size of the slice and the quality of the product I'd call that pretty darn good. 

Greek Tony's Pizza & Sub Shop on Urbanspoon