Bombers BBQ – Munster, IN

Restaurant Name: Bombers BBQ
Address: 435 Ridge Road, Suite F, Munster, IN 46321
FACEBOOK / WEBSITE 



In 2017, I did my annual BBQ Tour Trip and focused on just the state of Indiana. Visited six of the highest rated places outside of Indianapolis (my hometown) and the winner was Bombers BBQ in northwest Indiana in Munster. I didn’t have the food blog back then so I didn’t write about the winner, but I recently revisited this place coming back from the Chicago Auto Show with some college students from MyChurch Indy. 

Bombers BBQ recently moved. I will admit that when I pulled up to their original location and saw a bunch of white paper signs posted on the glass I thought the worst had happened and the health department shut them down. I was very relieved when I walked up to the signs to see them simply say they’ve moved just down the street. Inside the restaurant it’s got a great open concept and cafeteria style tables so you can sit with new people and enjoy BBQ together! The exposed ceiling with pendant lighting is on point and really provides a warm feel to the place. The wall decorations showcase the Air Force and has a few jackets from past wars and some neat articles. The dining area has views into the kitchen where they assemble all the food so that’s cool.

Top Left: Baby Back Ribs & Fries
Top Right Top: Alligator Eggs = Deep Fried Oreos
Top Right Bottom: Beef Brisket, Coleslaw, & Mac & Cheese
Bottom: Brisket Burnt Ends, Mac & Cheese, & Fries

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Brisket Burnt End Sandwich with smoked beans

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

The three students I took with me on this trip each ordered a good array of BBQ. One student ordered a full rack of baby back ribs. They were super tender (too tender for competition) and flavorful with a good amount of smoke. The beef brisket just melted in your mouth. It was super tender as well (too tender for competition again using the tug method) and had a very solid smoke ring. The burnt ends were delicious. I’m used to them being sweeter so they needed a little bit of sauce but if you’re a fan of just straight salt & pepper flavor on your beef then Bombers burnt ends are on point. The sides were good. Mac & Cheese was the guys favorite and it was good. Creamy and I liked the fact that they used shells vs. macaroni…always a nice unique twist to the dish.

I ordered the brisket burnt end sandwich with beans and the bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers. Let me start this review talking about the appearance and the plating of the food. The food comes out on metal tray on plastic paper so that’s a good middle of the road plating. The bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers looked AWESOME! I could tell that the bacon was crispy which is an absolute must for me. 

Having been at this place before, I set the bar pretty high and Bombers BBQ met it and in the grand scheme of the overall BBQ experience exceeded it. Sticking to just the review of the food I had, the burnt end sandwich was EXCELLENTLY done. The burnt ends as I mentioned earlier are simple (salt & pepper & smoke) and really allows the beef to do the talking. The burnt end chunks are a little larger than I typically see on a sandwich which caused a few pieces to fall off the sandwich. No biggie, as I got to eat those individually later.

The sandwich is served on a pretzel bun which is GENIUS! Past burnt end or brisket sandwiches I see a standard bun and if it’s not at least toasted some always makes the last few bites of the sandwich soggy. The pretzel bun, even though it wasn’t toasted any or at least didn’t appear to have been toasted any, held up very well to the moist brisket burnt ends.

The beans were good and had some of the pulled pork in it so it provided a good smokey flavor. The beans used were a little larger than I typically see for BBQ beans or baked beans which was a nice twist and they even provided a better texture as the beans were a little “meatier” so to say. The bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers weren’t nearly as spicy as I thought they’d be. Perhaps too much cheese? Regardless, it still tasted phenomenal and the bacon on the outside was SUPER CRISPY which is always a plus.

The only negative I’d have to say about the food is just the appearance and plating of the sandwich. The plate had too much “dead space” and made the sandwich look a little small. I think some red onion and pickle slices would’ve been a nice touch to the plate that could simply be used as garnish or could be used on the sandwich. It’d also provide some color that pops out to the eye.

SUMMARY

Bombers BBQ in Munster, IN won the BBQ Tour in 2017 for a reason and it didn’t disappoint again. It’s a great overall BBQ experience that everyone should try if they’re passing through Chicago area. The place is a few miles off of the interstate so it’d be a good detour well worth it.

Peg Leg Porker BBQ – Nashville, TN

Restaurant Name: Peg Leg Porker BBQ
Address: 903 Gleaves Street, Nashville, TN 37203
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAMWEBSITE 



The end of 2018 ended pretty high for me. God did some AMAZING things in many areas of my life and I got to spend a few days out of town in Nashville, TN for the Music City Bowl where my beloved Purdue Boilermakers would play (if that’s what you called it) against the Auburn Tigers. Since the game really is of nothing to discuss, I’ll focus this post on the night before the games dinner that me and my two friends, ironically both named Matt, had at the Peg Leg Porker BBQ.

Peg Leg Porker BBQ is tucked just south and west of the infamous Broadway of downtown Nashville and Peg Leg Porker BBQ is worth the walk over. The building is old-school as they call it and it fits the bill but does have some modern touches. Upper level dining area for reservations, main level dining area for first come first serve seating along with an outdoor patio that’s covered. Not a lot of flash or flare on the main level dining area but the open concept and view into the kitchen is nice. The wall decorations are of country music stars and their visits to the restaurant.

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BBQ Nachos – tortilla chips, pulled pork, nacho cheese, jalapeños

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1/2 Rack of Ribs with french fries & smoked beans

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Half chicken with green beans and mac ‘n cheese

The two Matt’s and I shared an order of the BBQ nachos. I ordered a half rack of ribs with fries and beans, one Matt ordered a half rack of ribs with fries & coleslaw (not pictured), and the other Matt ordered the half chicken with green beans & mac ‘n cheese.

Let me start this review talking about the appearance and the plating of the food. The food comes out on plastic baskets, which if y’all followed my posts from my 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour in St. Louis, MO you know this is a turn-off, but I understand the convenience of it all. The next thing about appearance and plating is the fact that the BBQ is not sauced or dry rubbed only. I did like the look of the ribs and the chicken from an outward appearance as it is always good to be able to see some rub on the meats. The jalapeños on the nachos add some contrasting colors.

I will admit that I was a little bit nervous when the meat came out just dry rubbed and not sauced. Most places don’t do this because it is difficult to keep the meat moist during the cooking process but Peg Leg Porker BBQ did a fabulous job. The ribs and the chicken were full of flavor but also moist and not dry at all! The ribs and chicken were a bit past the tenderness that I like as I was able to tear the meat off straight from the ribs or chicken and I like a little tug in my smoked meats. The side dishes were good. Fries are crispy but a little too salt. The Mac ‘n Cheese is very creamy, but the portion that I got was small in my opinion even for a side dish. I love the choice to use shells for their noodles as it’s a nice twist to macaroni. The green beans were a little bland.

The BBQ Nachos were excellent! The main thing I liked about them…ACTUAL NACHO CHEESE! Most places that do BBQ nachos just put some shredded cheese on top and pop it in the oven to melt the cheese, but Peg Leg Porker uses free flowing nacho cheese and get’s a big thumbs up for that. 

The only negative I’d have to say about the food is the beans. Both the BBQ beans and the green beans seemed bland. Perhaps it was a bad batch or the bottom of a batch, but there just wasn’t must that really stood out about those side dishes. I think some pulled pork in both the BBQ beans the green beans would add a nice smokey depth of flavor complimentary to the smoked meats.

SUMMARY

In closing, Peg Leg Porker BBQ is an absolute MUST VISIT if you’re passing through the Music City of Nashville, TN. They’re smoking meats the right way and if you’re looking for a flavor adventure of dry rubbed meats this is the place to get it from. If you’ve got time to spend a few hours in the downtown area take a stroll through Broadway and step in a few honky tonks and listen sit back and relax to the southern and country tunes of old and some new ones. 

Beast Craft BBQ Co.

Restaurant Name: Beast Craft BBQ
Address: 20 South Belt West, Belleville, IL 6220
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAMWEBSITE 



The final stop of the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour took me and my friends back across the Missouri River to Belleville, IL to Beast Craft BBQ. We made a change to this location vs. another BBQ joint because of multiple referrals from other managers and pitmasters we got to talk to at various locations over this trip.

Beast Craft BBQ Co. has a nice joint near a fairly major intersection in Belleville, IL a few miles off of the interstate. Lots of signage so you can’t miss it. Once you step inside you have a bar area to the right and a restaurant area to the left. The bar area is pretty nice, didn’t sit over there so can’t talk too much about it but it is pretty open and modern looking. The dining area has wood lined walls, storefront windows, and a really cool map of the different cuts of meat from a cow, pig, and chicken that we pitmasters cook.

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Wagyu beef brisket, pork belly, potato salad, belly brussel sprouts

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Pork steak, chicken wings, and bread pudding

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Wagyu beef brisket & candied bacon

At this point in the trip our taste buds and stomachs are pretty full and starting to get used to the flavors of BBQ. Beast Craft BBQ’s menu is pretty unique as everything is cooked a la carte. I ordered the wagyu beef brisket (yes…wagyu beef), pork belly, potato salad, and the brussel sprouts with pork belly chunks. My friends ordered the pork steak, chicken wings, bread pudding, wagyu beef brisket (yes again…wagyu beef), and candied bacon. All plates are served with warm flour tortillas.

The look at these plates screams flavor and BBQ. Smoke rings, well placed garnishes, and look of tender, juicy, and delicious smoked meats. The pickles and okra are nice colors additions. The wagyu beef brisket has a very nice amount of char and visible smoke ring. The chicken wings had a nice crust on the skin implying a little bit of frying took place. The pork belly had some serious bark…seriously good bark that is. The potato salad had good size chunks of potato and I really liked the dill garnish. The brussel sprouts had a very balanced amount of green and char and pork belly chunks. 

My favorite thing to eat at Beast Craft BBQ was the pork belly. It’s thick cut, smokey, tender, and juicy goodness and always an adventure for the taste buds. I really liked the potato salad as well. The perfect amount of dill garnish really enhanced the flavors. The brussel sprouts mixed with some pork belly chunks was a really good touch. The sprouts were super tender, not super fall apart soft, but not tough to bite through…exactly how I like my brussel sprouts. I had some of the candied bacon, pork steak, and bread pudding and they were all tasty too. 

I will admit that I had high expectations for the wagyu beef brisket but this batch of brisket fell a little short in my opinion. I probably should have ordered the leaner brisket as the slices I got were really fatty. I like some fat on my brisket slices but when I do a pull test on a slice of brisket and my fingers are drenched in beef fat I think it’s a bit much (perfect pull though for the brisket so it was a really good tenderness). The flavors were great but amount of fat was a turnoff.

SUMMARY

In short, Beast Craft BBQ Co. was a nice addition to the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour. It had a tough seat being our last joint but gave it a good fight. The pitmaster has experience in fine dining and makes the transition to BBQ really well. Looking forward to visiting this place again if I’m in town.

Salt & Smoke

Restaurant Name: Salt & Smoke
Address: 6525 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAMWEBSITE 



Day #3 of the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour had lunch take me to the Forest Park area of St. Louis just west of downtown. Tucked in the middle of Delmar Blvd, Salt & Smoke is fixed at the corner next to a statue of Chuck Berry!

Salt & Smoke was a really neat and trendy place. Outside it’s a typical storefront look with a bright yellow canopy so it stands out some. Inside it’s a modernized and contemporary restaurant. Wood floors and an array of wall coverings from painted plaster/drywall, chalk board paint, cedar planks, and a really cool crate storage wall structure. The lighting was alright…we went on a very sunny day so it was very well lit inside. When some clouds would get in the way of the sun it got a little dark but nothing too crazy. A very nice selection of bourbons and wines were on a very cool looking shelf above the bar.

The menu at Salt & Smoke is a very well balanced menu with a big emphasis on BBQ and smoked meats. I ordered a 2 meat plate with two sides and ordered the brisket burnt ends and pulled pork with sides of baked beans and mac n cheese. My friends ordered a pulled pork plate with the same sides and a 2 meat plate of chicken wings and ribs with the same sides as me. Each entree came with a bacon & cheddar roll or “popover” as they call it. We also ordered an appetizer of deep fried chicken skins with a side of honey mustard.

We finally found a BBQ joint that delivered the food on actual plates!!!!! I think the very first thing you notice when the entrees come out is the size of the popover. It’s huge! Typically put in the middle of the plate it does tend to hide the rest of the contents of the plate. A simple move to the left or right and you get a beautiful plate of smoked meats and side dishes (sides also in actual dishes and not styrofoam cups). The pulled pork and the burn ends had a nicely noticeable smoke ring. The baked beans were lighter in color than the last few places we visited and had a fairly unique flavor. The mac n cheese is actually shells and white cheddar cheese vs. yellow cheddar. It also has a breadcrumb crust which I think is some of the popover remnants.

Flavor wise, let me first start with the deep fried chicken skins. FLAT…OUT…AWESOME! Pretty much the number one thing my mom told me not to eat growing up when we ordered fried chicken is the very thing that Salt & Smoke drops into the fryer and pairs it with a tangy and sweet honey mustard sauce. Fried to a crisp, these guys have the texture you want from something fried and the tasty flavors that comes with chicken skins.

Let me talk about the meats now. The pulled pork was really great. Definitely one of the best pulled porks I’ve ever had. I never needed to sauce the pulled pork. The meat was tender, moist, and juicy. Very balanced smoke flavor and subtle hints of sweet, heat, and savory. The burnt ends were juicy and tender. A little larger cuts than expected but each cut was jam packed full of flavor. 

The mac n cheese was hands down one of the best I’ve ever had. I liked the move to use shells vs. standard macaroni noodles. It was also really awesome to use white cheddar vs. traditional yellow cheddar. The dish was super creamy. Paired with the breadcrumbs on top with some char to them provided a really great texture in every bite. Something gritty to start, creamy in the middle, and soft/tender in between. Deliciousness in every single bite.

The baked beans weren’t as dark as other baked beans we’ve had on this trip and they had a very distinct taste. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one that really jumped out as good in my opinion. It was almost like the beans were trying to be every single flavor possible. There were hints of savory, lots of sweet, lots of smoke, and it felt very unbalanced. Could’ve just been a bad batch or just something my taste buds didn’t enjoy. 

SUMMARY

Overall, Salt & Smoke is a mighty tasty joint in a very modernized and trendy part of the city. Great smoked meats that are juicy, tender, and flavorful. Sides, for the most part, that are excellent. A place that goes above the traditional and merges it with a modern yet classical feel. A must visit if in the St. Louis, MO area.

Pappy’s Smokehouse

Restaurant Name: Pappy’s Smokehouse
Address: 3106 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
FACEBOOK / TWITTERWEBSITE 



Day #2 of the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour had lunch return me to the champion of the very first BBQ Tour I did back in 2014…Pappy’s Smokehouse! Pappy’s was the baby back rib champion in the 2014 BBQ Tour, let’s see how they’ll stack up for their overall experience.

Located just north of downtown St. Louis and near St. Louis University, Pappy’s Smokehouse has been featured on Food Network and in many BBQ magazines and online articles as one of the best BBQ places in the country. The restaurant sits at a corner and is easily seen from the street. ARRIVE EARLY! A line will form very quickly, but it is worth the wait. We were fortunate to only have about 40 people ahead of us. We reviewed the menu and were thinking of getting a bunch of individual stuff but it was recommended to us to order the “Adam Bomb”. The combo meal included a full rack of baby back ribs, a 1/4 chicken, a pulled pork sandwich, a burnt end sandwich, three ears of deep fried corn on the cob, a side of BBQ baked beans, and a dish called the Frito Pie with hot link sausage. 

The food is served once again on a plastic basket with wax paper. A typical staple for a BBQ joint, but I’d still like something a little classier but I digress again. First look at this meal is yet again “LOOK AT ALL THIS MEAT!”. The ribs and chicken look amazing. You could see moisture and the juiciness of the meats from the very beginning. The deep fried corn on the cob had that charred look and was coated with a nice amount of butter and salt. The Frito Pie with the hot link sausage looked the absolute best. It was a great presentation with the very balanced layers of Frito corn chips, bbq baked beans, shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced red onions. This dish had some serious pop and eye appeal and looked absolutely DELICIOUS!

A quick rundown of all this delicious food. The baby back ribs were as I remembered from 5 years ago. Smokey, tender, and tasty. Near perfect competition style tenderness. A very visible smoke ring on the meat. Didn’t really need sauce as it had a thin coating on it already. The two sandwiches (pulled pork & burnt ends) were very well sized. The pulled pork did get a little bit dry but it was most likely due to waiting when to eat it as we had so many decisions and it’s so difficult where to start. The burnt ends were a little larger than expected but super tender and flavorful. The deep fried corn on the cob has a very unique texture. Party crispy yet juicy and buttery and salty all in one bite. The beans were good too. Too small of a sample to really get in depth with it though. 

The Frito Pie with the Hot Link Sausage is gonna get its own paragraph. This dish was the highlight of the meal. It was just awesome. BBQ, salty, sweet, tangy, and a super wide array of flavors in every bite. I think the red onion was a super smart choice as it added some sweetness to the dish and some really eye catching color to the plate.

Once again the plastic basket and wax paper presentation was tough to see but was easily overlooked as the food was awesome. I would’ve liked to have seen the buns for the sandwiches have a little bit of toasting to them as they got a little soggy. The pulled pork was surprisingly a little dry so it needed some sauce.

SUMMARY

Overall, Pappy’s Smokehouse exceeded my last visit and will continue to be a staple place to eat at everytime I’m in St. Louis or when friends ask me where to go in St. Louis to get good BBQ. For only being in business 10 years they’ve grown into a local staple with national notoriety. 

 

Bogart’s Smokehouse

Restaurant Name: Bogart’s Smokehouse
Address: 1627 S. 9th Street, St. Louis, MO 63104
FACEBOOK / TWITTERWEBSITE 



The first dinner of the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour took me to the south side of St. Louis, MO which appears to have gone through some recent renovations and looks to be turning the neighborhood around. Reminds of the recent redevelopments of Fountain Square and Irvington districts in Indianapolis. Bogart’s Smokehouse is a fairly new place but has become a staple of solid BBQ in St. Louis.

Located in the subdistrict of Soulard in St. Louis, Bogart’s Smokehouse is the real deal when it comes to BBQ. Taking up a corner lot in the heart of the district with a bright yellow and white painted trims on the exterior you can’t miss this place. Inside you see a lot of decorations of the city of St. Louis and a lot of history of the city which was really cool. Props to the manager when we visited as he took us to the back of the restaurant to see the cookers: Southern Pride BBQ Cookers. Great pits. Propane heat but still wood smoke capable.

The food is served in plastic basket with wax paper again. A typical staple for a BBQ joint, but I’d still like something a little classier but regardless. First look at my plate and my first thought is “that’s a lot of meat!”. A good thought to have when eating BBQ and looking down at a plate. As I investigated a little bit more I was pleasantly surprised with the beef brisket. If you can’t tell from the pictures above, the brisket was cut pretty thin which is usually a trade secret that the brisket was undercooked. The brisket slices were actually very tasty and flavorful. I didn’t really need any sauce on the brisket slices as the beef and salt and pepper spoke for itself with a good complimentary amount of smoke. The smoke wasn’t as visible as I’d like to see on  brisket but it was able to be tasted. The tri-tip was also thinly sliced but did need some sauce to really enjoy it. The ribs were pretty tasty as well. A little too tender for my liking as they were near fall off the bone. Very balanced flavors typical for the STL area. Nicely noticeable smoke ring on the meat once I bit into the rib.

The beans at Bogart’s are AMAZING! Probably some of the best smoked beans I’ve ever had. Little bits of BBQ in it and a good balanced amount of brown sugar and other spices brings the baked beans to a smokey and sweet and traditional balanced flavor. The potato salad was good, but I would’ve liked to have had more eggs in it. The pork skins were flavorful too. 

Besides the plastic basket and wax paper presentation, only a few things could’ve made this dish over the top. The pork cheeks could’ve been served warm. They appear to have come from a bag but I’m assuming they fried them in house. The tri-tip and brisket slices were too thin in my opinion but they made up for it with good flavor. I would’ve liked to have seen more evidence of smoke on the meat too. A little bit more egg in the deviled egg potato salad was expected but not met. Still tasted good though. I would’ve liked to have seen some desserts too.

SUMMARY

Overall, Bogart’s Smokehouse was a great visit. Small, homey, and a part of the neighborhood community BBQ joint to the T! Delicious food and a good array of meats and tasty side dishes. Definitely worth a visit again! 

 

Witt’s Smokehouse

Restaurant Name: Witt’s Smokehouse
Address: 10325 East IL 33, Effingham, IL 
FACEBOOK / WEBSITE 



The annual BBQ tour took a bit of a twist into a Bang Bang BBQ Tour. In years past I’ve done regions of the country and have done a specific meat at each place. Twisting things up, I’m doing a city specific place and judging “best of show”. Taking into account the ambiance of the restaurant, the appearance of the food when it gets delivered, and the overall taste profile which will be a combination of smoke, tenderness, and overall flavors. The destination this year is the greater St. Louis, MO area. 

Our lunch destination took us to central Illinois and this wood cabin looking place, Witt’s Smokehouse. Tucked about 2 miles off of the interstate in Effingham, IL, Witt’s Smokehouse has a great look of it going with the log cabin atmosphere. The interior of the restaurant has some galvanized metal look along with the rustic of a log cabin so it’s pretty cool.

For my lunch I ordered the pulled pork sandwich with a side of mac n cheese. The food comes out in a plastic basket on some wax paper so pretty standard for a BBQ joint. The pulled pork sandwich has a good amount of meat on it. The meat is sauced which is a little bit of a turnoff for me but not a deal breaker typically. The basket does look a little “empty” when you get it. The pickle is a nice garnish and provides a color contrast to the basket. The sandwich bun was on top of the meat so it was a tannish bun color and the yellow of mac n cheese when you first look at the plate looks bland at first glance. 

The food itself was pretty good. The pulled pork sandwich had a really balanced flavor. I did have to add some sauce but mostly to try the array of sauces Witt’s has available. Side plug for the garlic BBQ sauce…very tasty and a noticeable garlic flavor…almost too much but I enjoy that flavor with BBQ. Very good move on the cooks to toast the buns as sauced pulled pork can tend to soak into a sandwich bun and make the bun really soggy but the toasting of the bun put a nice crust so it held up really well. The mac n cheese was probably one of the creamiest I’ve ever had. Noodles were cooked really well. My friends that joined me on this trip got sides of baked beans and they were OK. A little too sweet for my taste. 

Negatives wise, I’m not a big fan of sauced pulled pork as it can be used to mask stuff. I was a little disappointed in the lack of smokiness in the pulled pork. With it being sauced it made it very difficult to see any smoke ring and it was difficult to taste any smoke in the pulled pork. Some garnish like green onion or bacon bits to the mac n cheese would’ve been a nice eye appeal and provide some additional pop to the plate. 

SUMMARY

Overall, Witt’s Smokehouse set the bar for the 2018 Bang Bang BBQ Tour. Good flavors and some culinary skills were on display. May try to request the pulled pork not be sauced but I think that’s how they cook it. The brisket that one of my friends ordered looked really good and near burnt end style. 

 

Late Harvest Kitchen

Restaurant Name: Late Harvest Kitchen
Address: 8605 River Crossing Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46240
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / WEBSITE 


Pork Chop – May 3, 2018

Earlier this week, my parents came down to Indy to celebrate my birthday. I always enjoy a nice fancy type of dinner every now and then and especially for my birthday so I got my folks and I a reservation to Late Harvest Kitchen. Tucked near the Keystone at the Crossing and Fashion Mall area, this restaurant is a little bit hidden, but quite the gem of a place. 

My mom ordered the General Tso’s Pork Belly over a bed of stir fry vegetables. My dad got the salmon. We shared sides of “Potatoes Minneapolis” and the Korean Fried Broccolini. Both sides tasted fabulous. The deep fried broccoli was super crispy which made the dish AWESOME! You won’t hear me say that too often about a vegetable, but it was really good. The bread was great and had a really nice garlic butter to go with the wide array of breads.

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Pork Chop with Baked Beans, Vinegar Peppers, Bacon Marmalade, & House Kraut

My main dish was the pork chop. The pork chop was accompanied with some baked beans, vinegar peppers, bacon marmalade, and a house kraut. When the dish comes out it looks very complex. You see beans, you see the pork chop, some kraut, the mound of bacon marmalade, and a pool of pork chop juices and it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

Let me start with the accessories to the pork chop. All were complimentary and tasty by themselves, but the bacon marmalade was my definite favorite. I would take a slice of the chop and put some of the marmalade on it and it was like a pork on pork explosion which was mighty tasty. The beans, peppers, and kraut were good on the eye and unique on the tastebuds. Complimentary but not outstanding individually. 

The pork chop itself was grilled PERFECTLY! A slight bit of pink in the center which for pork is acceptable to me. I want to tip the hat to the chef as their grill mark game was SPOT ON! The meat was tender but not fork apart tender which was good. It had a simple rub and traditional pork chop flavor and really allowed you to utilize the accessory foods for a fun array of flavors. Salty and sweet with the kraut, salty and heat with the peppers, salty and smokey with the baked beans. All delicious adventures for the taste buds. 

The only “negative” about the dish would be maybe too much pork chop juice can make the plate look a little messy and disorganized. Some brighter colors to make the dish pop some I think would also be a nice addition. The green chives are good and all, but don’t quite pop as what maybe some red onion would.

SUMMARY

Overall, this plate was great. Full of flavor and easy to eat. A fun adventure of flavor with the array of complimentary sides on the pork chop. Definitely a must try if you visit Late Harvest Kitchen.

 

Mimi Blue – Indianapolis, IN

Restaurant Name: Mimi Blue
Address: 870 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46202
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM / WEBSITE 


Meatballs Part 1 – April 29, 2018

Earlier this week I met up with a former student of mine for some catching up time. A good meet in the middle type of place that we both had never been to before is this place called Mimi Blue. Most famous for their meatballs, but plenty of other things on the menu, I had to try first them first hand. 

If you explore the menu they have an option for 4 meatballs of any kind or 3 meatballs of just one kind. It was a no brainer for me to go with the any 4 meatballs and sauces to make sure I get a good spread of flavors and textures. 

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I ended up ordering a classic meatball with marinara sauce (top left), another classic meatball but with a bourbon bbq sauce (top right), a beef meatball with a spicy bolognese sauce (lower left), and lastly a turkey meatball with the honey Sriracha sauce (lower right).

Looking at the four meatballs and their accompanying sauces, I was very intrigued to see which one I would enjoy the most. All four meatballs and sauces were delicious, but my favorite meatball was actually the turkey meatball with the honey Sriracha sauce. I want to say it was more the sauce than the meatball, but I don’t take one without the other as they’re complimentary to each other. 

The meatball was very well cooked and perfect size. Not too large where I have to fork and knife the whole thing, but not too small where I can eat the whole meatball in one bite. The meatball is tender enough it could be sliced with a fork, no knife needed. The sauce is OH MY GOODNESS AWESOME! A great balance of heat and sweet is the combo of honey and Sriracha sauce. Taste bud explosion right off the bat, with a salty flavor meatball middle and another punch of heat and sweet to end it. 

The meatballs are a must try and all the sauces were good, but this first post will focus on the turkey meatball with the honey Sriracha sauce. Future posts will discuss the others, but seriously…go and try them! 

Side note…the deep fried brussels sprouts are also worth getting. I don’t usually talk much about vegetables, but you know they’ve gotta be good if I’m showcasing them. 

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Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts

I must also give a shout out to fellow foodie Samantha at In The Midst Blog for her recommendation on getting the Banana Mousse. It was a creamy deliciousness that I will admit I should’ve gotten some other photos as this one below doesn’t fully give it justice. The crushed vanilla wafers in the middle add a really awesome texture and flavor depth to the banana flavors and creaminess of this dish.

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SUMMARY

All in all my first experience at Mimi’s was AMAZING! I’ll definitely visit again and try a new spread of meatballs and sauces. You should do it too!

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