Sunday, July 8, 2012

Indianapolis Pizza Royalty

Like many Jane Doe: Foodie readers, pizza is one of my favorite things. No matter what mood I am in or what I am craving, pizza is always a welcomed suggestion! During my food blog hiatus I had some pretty amazing pizza. Here is the run down of my top 3 pizza places in Indianapolis. Conveniently located around the city for your craving pleasure, I introduce you to Napolese, MacKenzie River Pizza, and California Pizza Kitchen.


Napolese Artisanal Pizza

Atmosphere (*****) Ok, I'm not going to lie, this is my FAVORITE pizza place and may be my favorite overall place to eat in Indianapolis. The restaurant has recently expanded to accommodate more seating and I really appreciate it because now I don't have to wait so long to eat! The whole place is painted a deep navy blue which gives off a very warm and cozy feeling. The wood fire oven and visible pizza kitchen allow you to see what's going on and you can even sit up at the bar and watch the pizza masters make your pizza. 


Service (*****) We have been to Napolese many times and have had great service every time, no exceptions. I love going here because I know we will be taken care of and never go thirsty! There really isn't anymore to say because it's top notch. 


Food (*****) If you haven't guessed, every category gets five stars but especially this one. We generally get the same thing every time because we love it so much but I have had other things and will talk a little bit about them.
Appetizers: When you sit down you get a bowl of really tasty olives (my fiance's opinion, I don't like olives) to tide you over until you get your first round of food. 
You get more than this, but they were eaten
while I was getting my phone out 
The Baked Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce with flat bread is out of this world. I have seen this appetizer before so it's not anything new but defiantly worth getting at Napolese. What is very different and very good is the Housemade Ricotta, Roasted Onion and Garlic. It comes with a variety of great bread. The ricotta is so rich and the garlic flavor is present without being too much. The consistency is like hummus and is perfect smothered on the bread. 

I have reviewed a few caesar salads on Jane Doe: Foodie but this is one of the best. The dressing is more of vinaigrette with a hint of lemon. It's really refreshing and not heavy at all. The parmesan sprinkled on top ties the whole dish together nicely. One is big enough to share, unless your not the sharing type! 
I was too hungry and forgot to
take a pic until the end!
Pizza: And now, what we all really care about: the pizza! When we go as a couple we share one pizza and create our own (they should rename this the Jane Doe: Foodie pizza). We get the tomato sauce with mozzarella, goat cheese, mushrooms, and on my half I get new potatoes (yes that's right) and on my fiance's half he gets some sort of onion. It's pretty much the best thing I have put in my mouth. The goat cheese is so creamy and goes really nicely with the thick potato and mushrooms. 
The Jane Doe: Foodie Pizza :)
I have also had the Buffalo Margherita, the Meridian-Kessler, and some of their daily special pizzas. The daily special pizza's are great  because they are using fresh ingredients that are available to them locally. For the more "traditional pizza" types, give it a try because I guarantee you will love it. The whole Cafe Patachou empire can do no wrong!  

Dessert (*****) I should have told you this first: save room for dessert. Napolese makes it's own gelato, which is amazing. They typically have 6-8 flavors from your basic chocolate to the crazy like malt ball. BUT they also make the best freakin cobbler I have ever had (sorry mom). They have a different kind each time we go, but so far I have had strawberry-rubarb, apple, and berry. You know the crumble on top of cobbler? Napolese's is the best. I would suggest you get the cobbler topped with a scoop of gelato. 


Overall (*****) You should probably just make plans to go to Napolese tonight. As I sit and write this I am trying to think of the conversation I will be having with my fiance tonight to convince him to go tonight. 


Napolese
114 E. 49th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205

Napolese on Urbanspoon

MacKenzie River Pizza 

Atmosphere (****) The woodsy-esque atmosphere at MacKenzie River is actually really warm and relaxing. From the bear photos on the wall, to the canoe hanging in the middle of the restaurant, you feel like you are in Montana. The bar area is really nice and secluded from the regular seating. This is nice because MacKenzie is defiantly a family place but it can also be an adult place over in the bar. 

Service (*****)  I am not sure if I am digging the pizza place service because I am always so hungry for the pizza and I am not worried about anything else but the service here is great too. We were there Thursday night with a friend and between him and my fiance they drank about 6 cokes apiece and their glasses were never empty. Also, I always get a glass of milk with their dessert (for more keep reading) and they never look at me funny, other places do. 

Food (****) MacKenzie River has a great selection of food. I have heard that their pasta and sandwiches are very good, though I can't get past the pizza so I may never know. One nice thing about this place is their pizza dough options. They have a regular crust that is between a thick and thin, they also have thin, and a whole wheat, which comes like the regular crust. YUM!
Appetizers:  We have gotten the Goat Cheese Queso and the Logpoles. Of course the queso was selected because of the goat cheese (I don't pass that shit up). This is really good but different from other queso you may have had so beware! The Logpoles are basically breadsticks with marina sauce but defiantly a good starter.   
Goat Cheese Queso 


Pizza: We have been to MacKenzie River quite a few times and tried something different each time. All of the pizza's have been good. I like the celery salt sprinkled on the bottom of all the crusts, it's a nice touch. The veggies on all the pizza's have been really fresh and crisp. While I generally like my veggies soft when they are on a pizza, I don't really mind the crunchiness here. So far we have tried and enjoyed the BBQ Chicken Pizza, BLT, Buffalo Wing, and the Madison, and a couple of Create Your Own pizzas (see menu for descriptions). By far the celery on the Buffalo Wing and the Create Your Owns I have made is like my favorite thing. Why has celery been left of pizza everywhere else. News flash pizza places: ADD CELERY. 



Dessert: The MacLovin is one of those things that you dream about and crave non-stop. It's bad news, but oh so good. It's a chocolate chip cookie (hints the glass of milk mentioned earlier) baked in a cast iron skillet topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. When they bring it out you can still hear the cookie dough sizzling and when you dig in the dough is still gooey. Do yourself a favor and get it no matter what diet you're on. 
Yeh..thats right
Overall (****) This is a great place to go on a Friday night for pizza and drinks with friends. The service, food, and atmosphere all please and I promise you will be coming back, even if it is just for the MacLovin


MacKenzie River Pizza
5001 82nd St. 
Indianapolis, IN 46250 

MacKenzie River Pizza on Urbanspoon

California Pizza Kitchen 

Atmosphere (****) I love the contemporary design of California Pizza Kitchen. It really fits into the downtown vibe and makes you feel like you are dining at a upscale eatery. An added bonus of sitting next to the window is you get to do some great downtown people watching. I will say at busy times the noise can be a bit much but I am glad people are tr! 

Service (***) The service could use some improvement. We have been here twice and one time it was ok and the other time I had to go look for our waiter at the end of the meal for our bill. The place is pretty big and I did count that our server had at least 5 tables, which were not strategically placed so I sort of understand the waiting. 

Food (*****) Ok, if you have had the frozen CPK pizza's from the grocery store you are probably aware that when they make a pizza it really tastes like what they are saying it it. For example, we have gotten the Cheeseburger Pizza at the store and it really tasted like a cheeseburger. We have also had the BBQ Chicken Pizza and it too was straight up BBQ Chicken. So when we ate at the actual restaurant it was no surprise (well it kind of was) that our Club Pizza tasted like you were eating a club sandwich! There was even lettuce on top tossed with a mayo dressing. SO GOOD! I would have never thought lettuce on top of pizza was good but they make it work.


I also recommend the Gorgonzola & Pear Pizza. This is on the more sweet/rich side but very tasty and different. I had to get it without the nuts but took a picture of what it looks like with everything. 

Last, but certainly not least, I would recommend the BBQ Chicken Salad. We have had pizza version so we tried the salad and it may be one of the best salads I have ever put in my mouth. I can't even describe it because there is a lot going on but when it comes together it's heaven. 
This doesn't do it justice...get this salad.

Dessert (?) We opted for Huddles Frozen Yogurt when we ate here so I can't talk desserts but if they are made like the pizzas I am sure they are a delight! 

Overall (****) If you are downtown you should try CPK and be adventurous with your pizza selection. I know sometimes it hard to get away from ordering what you know you like, but here if you like a club sandwich, you would like the pizza because somehow they taste the same. Plus it's right below the movie theater at Circle Center making it a great dinner/movie date night place. 

California Pizza Kitchen 
49 W. Maryland St. 
Indianapolis, IN 46204

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Farm Bloomington = Worth the drive!

This morning we ventured down to Bloomington to do a little shopping and eating, but mostly eating! I woke up craving Farm Bloomington and with a lazy Saturday ahead of us, we decided to take a road trip. It is defiantly worth the drive. They are open breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we have only been for brunch so let me know if you've eaten there for dinner. The brunch was perfect today and I hope you try them out!


Atmosphere (*****) Farm Bloom is located on Kirkwood right by the square and all of the great little shops near campus. The restaurants inside fits the name perfectly and from the get go you feel at home. Quilts, farm equipment, fun light fixtures create a really laid back atmosphere.


Service (****) The service at Farm Bloom is good. They are not rushing to get you out of there so you can sit and relax and have conversation. Our drinks were never empty and the food was hot when we go it, which is what I like to see. There are two different kitchens, I am not sure which does what, but that did make our food come out at different times, but only like 2 minutes apart. Nothing to write home about.


Food (*****) The menu is pretty diversified. The have your savory breakfast and lunch items like omelets, breakfast pizza, burgers,  and the sweet like french toast and the hot cereal. I have wanted to get the french toast from the first time we went but it has orange in it so I can't. They had 3 special omelets with lots of different ingredients like peppers, gouda, and pork belly.
This time I got the Hot Cereal: dried black cherry & chocolate chip cream of wheat, thick cut peppered bacon, and wheat toast. It was delightful. The cream of wheat really tasted of black cherries and chocolate. It was really smooth with chunks of cherry and the wheat toast dipped in it was out of this world. 


I had gotten the bacon before so I already knew I was getting it no matter what. It has crisp parts for me and the floppy parts that my fiance likes and the portion is perfect for 2!
My fiance got the Hoosier Benedict. Biscuits topped with sausage gravy and eggs over-easy with peppers and breakfast potatoes. This was the kind of dish that gives you the perfect bite. When you get some biscuit, gravy, eggs, peppers and a few potatoes all on the fork its like an explosion in your mouth! This was a great dish. 
Dessert (?) I could not get one, but I would be a bad provider of food information if I didn't tell you about the cinnamon rolls. They have pecans baked in and poured on top so they are out for me, but I may risk the nut thing for this roll. Its drenched in cinnamon goop and smell divine! Plus the roll is the size of your head so it's totally appropriate for your meal. 

Overall (*****) This place is so good and next time your in Bloomington you must stop. Or if you want to take a drive one morning, I'd head their way. Great service, food, and atmosphere plus it's near all kinds of fun stuff. 

Farm Bloomington 
108 E. Kirkwood Ave. 
Bloomington, IN 47408 

Farm Bloomington on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good morning: Eggshell Bistro

This weekend we wanted to try a new brunch place and ended up sitting at the Eggshell Bistro in Carmel. Eggshell is one of the new restaurants at the Carmel City Center along with the newcomer Divvy and a Carmel favorite: Mangia. The City Center is conveniently located just off the Monon Trail. So take an early morning bike ride and stop in at the Eggshell Bistro to enjoy some tasty brunch fare. 


And while your at it, take my poll located on the left hand side of Jane Doe: Foodie. What is your favorite local breakfast/brunch place? 




Atmosphere (***) I would expect no different in Carmel, but I have to say that the decor is a little much for such a tiny place. There were only about 10 tables inside and it was pretty cramped. However, the tables are cute and cozy and there is outdoor seating, which is a big plus. 


Service (**) As noted above, Eggshell is pretty small, so I was kind of shocked that the service was so slow. Don't get me wrong, we were in no hurry so this was not an issue per se, but you'd think they would want to turn tables quickly because of the 5+ parties waiting. The waitress just seemed overwhelmed and I get that happens sometimes, but I didn't even get the tea I ordered until our meal came. 


Food/Drink (****) Again with the tininess, the portions were pretty small for the price. But once you bit into your meal you didn't even notice! I had the potato frittata and a side of seasonal fruit. The frittata  was stuffed with gold and purple potatoes topped with a roasted heirloom tomato and dollop of goat cheese. The egg was cooked perfectly, which made the whole thing come together nicely. The fruit was crisp and there was a great variety of things like grapes, kiwi, and berries. 

My fiance got the Berkshire sandwich and when they set it down WOW my mouth was watering! Placed between a pretzel bun is an over-easy egg, two thick pieces of pork belly, pickled red onion and greens. The pork belly was really flavorful while having the crispy edges I look for in bacon-type meat. The runny yoke (not my favorite) was perfectly cooked. The only downfall was there was little to no dressing on the side salad. 

Overall (****) The food really is the highlight of Eggshell, which is how it should be. I am not rushing to get back there, but if I am in Carmel looking for breakfast, this is where I would head. Hopefully as they get in their groove the service will improve. 


Eggshell Bistro
Carmel City Center
51 West City Center Drive 
Carmel, IN 46032

Eggshell Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bonnaroo: The Music

So I really went to Bonnaroo for the music, and stumbled upon the food (see Foodaroo @ Bonnaroo). And while Jane Doe: Foodie is a food blog, I really wanted to share the music and give everyone who couldn't be there a taste of what they were missing. With so many bands and stages it was hard to see everyone and everything. Take a listen (Youtube vids b/c mine aren't the best quality) and who knows, you might discover your new favorite performer. So without further ado here is the music:


Day 1: Thursday June 7th
Who: K. Flay (*****) K. Flay is so awesome. Her music gets you hype and she was a great start to Bonnaroo. Pretty awesome for a white girl rapping!



Who: The Lonely Forest (***) This band was pretty chill. They kind of remind me of a lot of the bands that are coming from the West Coast but it was a good band to lay on a blanket and enjoy the show.

Who: Danny Brown (*****) Really fun and super energetic! We only stayed for a couple of songs because we were headed elsewhere, but he sounded good and the crowd was going crazy.

Who: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (****) So I know your saying, is he related to the race car driver Dale Earnhardt? Well I still never got a straight answer, so google it! This show was packed and it was a really good time!

Day 2: Friday June 8th 
Who: The Tune-Yards (****) My Roo buddy was super pumped for this show and it was great! The sound of this band is really different and they had a pretty big following..enjoy! 




Who: Two Door Cinema Club (*****) Soo great, and defiantly a new favorite.

Who: The Avett Brothers (*****) One of the reasons I made an appearance at Bonnaroo, The Avett Brothers are soulful and have such sweet voices. LOVE THEM!

Who: Feist (*****) Another reason I went to Roo, Feist was one of my favorite shows! I love her music and loved that she kicked her songs up a notch to get the crowd going. You have to watch the video!

Who: LUDACRIS (*****) Now I have seen Luda before so I knew how hype he would get the crowd, but WOW he did a great job. We went cray at this show!

Who: K. Flay, Silent Disco (****) The silent disco was so fun. You go in and put head phones on that are connected to whoever is DJ'ing at the time and no one else can hear what is playing. We went when K. Flay was performing and we danced like crazy! 

video


Who: Foster the People (****) While we didn't hear them play Pumped Up Kicks, we did hear a bunch of other stuff that was really good and fun. They sounded great and I would like to see their whole show!

Who: Radiohead (****) I am not the biggest Radiohead fan, but I was excited to see them. They did a great job, played mostly their new stuff, which I understand because it really caters to the people who were at Bonnaroo (having a really good time, man)! 





Day 3: Saturday June 9th
Who: Das Racist (*****) Another really great rapper that I had no clue about until Bonnaroo! You must watch!




Who: Blind Pilot (****) The very laid back sound from Blind Pilot made for a nice afternoon siesta. 

Who: Santigold (*****) AMAZING SHOW!! She tore it up and got the crowd going crazy! 


Who: The Roots (*****) I have seen The Roots a few times, but they did a great performance on Saturday right before Chili Peppers. We got really close and it was so fun! 


Who: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (*****) Chili Peppers are one of my FAVS and I was so happy I got to see them again. They put on a stellar show and I was soo impressed with their new guitarist and FLEA! 

Who: Skrillex (*****) Skrillex put on a late night show from 1:30-3:30am and got 80,000 people so hype! The video is unbelievable and you MUST watch! 

Day 4: Saturday June 10th 
Who: Fruit Bats (****) Good way to kick off the last day :(


Who: The Black Lips (****) One of the best bands there for sure. Such a good sound! 

Who: THE BEACH BOYS (*****) I'm not going to lie, The Beach Boys were one of the main reasons I attended Bonnaroo. I am a huge fan of their music and will be playing a lot of it at my wedding! Enjoy the video and the beach balls bouncing throughout! And, notice the conga line in the first video...hilarious! 
video
video

Who: Fun. (*****) The other reason I went to Roo was Fun. I LOVE all of their music, not just the song on the radio. I really suggest you check out their Pandora station, it has changed my work week! 




ANNNNND there you have it! I promise from now on I will stick to food, but I just had to share some of the best performances of my life. If you ever think you want to go to Bonnaroo, YOU SHOULD. It was one of the greatest experiences and I can't wait to go back! 

ENJOY! 

Foodaroo @ Bonnaroo

Hello all of the loyal Jane Doe: Foodie followers! I have been out of commission for quite sometime accomplishing things for the Year of the Do! Between wedding preparation, bachelorette party in Vegas (stay tuned for those reviews) and my first trip to Bonnaroo...I have had little time to sit back and give Jane Doe: Foodie some lovin! So get ready because over the next couple of weeks I will be releasing 2 blogs a week! 


BONNAROO!! So of course being the music lover I am, I went to Bonnaroo for the amazing music (see separate Bonnaroo music blog) but don't think I didn't devour some of the 100+ food vendors! We had originally thought that we would be eating at our campsite but psshh.. after I walked into Centeroo I said forget that..I am going to Jane Doe: Foodie it up Roo style! They literally had every type of food you could crave (if you know what I mean) for reasonable prices. 

Here is a recap of the amazing food that this little piece of heaven on earth has to offer! 


Day 1: Thursday June 7th 
Broadline: Chicken pita (****) This pita was exactly what we needed on a hot summer day to re-fuel us and not make us feel like we had food babies! Stuffed with chunks of good chicken (I am particular about my chicken), sautéed onions and peppers, lots of crisp lettuce, and a heavenly chilled ranch sauce, this was the ultimate pita. Not to mention the pita was soft and fluffy...YUM! 


Day 2: Friday June 8th 
Dippin' Dots: Rainbow Ice (*****) Always a favorite, Dippin' Dots had carts everywhere at Bonnaroo! This delicious treat really cooled me off and made me extremely happy! For those novice Dippin' Dots fans, the Rainbow Ice is very different from the other flavors...it's more icey than creamy and when it melts it's especially good! 

Petros Chili & Chips Food Truck: Original Chili Bowl (*****) This was by far one of my favorite things I put in my mouth at Roo! I was stoked when I saw they had the Food Truck Oasis with trucks from all over. Petros specialized in chili bowls with some stellar chili layered with Fritos, cheese, sour cream, black olives, diced tomatoes, and jalapenos.  It didn't even matter how hot it was, we got this twice while at Roo

Bearclaw Coffee: Large Blended Iced Mocha's (*****) As most of you festival go'ers know, you must caffeinated and stay cool..our answer: Bearclaw Coffee! Not only were the people working funny and personable, but the drinks and food were soo good. If you wanted to put a pep in your step this is where to go at Bonnaroo

Day 3: Saturday June 9th 
Sweet & Savory Truck: Fried Avocado Taco (****) Wow...this was delish! A tempura fried avocado with a cilantro lime slaw topped with a chipotle cream. The avocado was still firm, which I was really happy about. I just discovered that mush fruit/veggies are just not my thing. The cream was really tangy and the whole thing had a good crunch from the slaw. 

T's Concessions: Curley Fries with Cheese (***) I can't pass up cheese fries and these did not disappoint..for what they were. This was a situation where my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I am glad I had my Roo buddy to help share. They were good...a bit soggy by the time you got to the bottom, with no fork! 

The Amish Baking Company: HOT GLAZED RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU DOUGHNUT (*****) As I am sure you gathered from the title, this was amaze-balls! I mean this is what it was all about folks. I am a HUGE doughnut fan and as I have been watching my weight for a certain September 15th event, I have fasted myself of all doughnuts, but not this one. It was too special. I have NEVER had something so good. The doughnut was hot and the glaze was so sweet, but not too sweet. I was in love and it was probably best that I didn't stumble upon this utopia again the rest of the weekend! Check out their Facebook page to see all of the other RAVE reviews! 

R&C Thai-Chinese BBQ: Teriyaki Chicken with Fried Rice & Egg-roll (***) I wanted to go a little outside of the box from fair food and food trucks so we tried this place because it had a long line and smelled really good! The chicken was not great, remember I am a picky chicken person, so I ate around the meat. However, the fried rice was great and the egg-roll was really crispy, which is the way it should be, and good. All in all, eh. 

Spicy Pie: Veggie New York Style Pizza (*****) We had just got done shaking our rumps to Red Hot Chili Peppers (truly amazing show, check more about it here) and were famished. I know your saying, how could you be famished after all of the food you've already eaten, but don't judge, I was! This was so yummy and just like New York pizza. The veggies were still a little crisp, which I appreciate and it was big and filling. 

Carnahan's Ice Cream Gazebo: Soft Serve Cone with Sprinkles (*****) By this time at night, 2:30am, after Skrillex had just made 80,000 people go crazy, we thought it was in deed time for a little ice cream. It was yum and kept me awake as we made the 1 mile (approximate) trek back to our campsite. A true treat next time you visit Centeroo

Day 4: Sunday June 10th 
Dobos: Blackened Chicken with Gumbo Rice (*) Ok so #1 I was throughly disappointed when I ordered this and the guy said "that will be $17", I was shocked but it was the last day and I figured what the hell. #2 this sucked. The chicken was grisly and the rice was very dry. All in all I was pretty disappointed. Not to mention later that night when we got 2 happy meals and 2 large drinks at McDonalds for $6.50 and my Roo buddy pointed out that I had just earlier paid $17 for chicken and rice. Meh 

Sweet Tea (*****) The first thing the person checking our car into Bonnaroo said, was make sure you try the South's sweet tea. Traveling through the South I have had my fair share of Sweet Tea, but this was extra awesome and really cooled us off on a hot summers day. We had it everyday! 


And so my friends, thats where my Foodaroo at Bonnaroo ends. It was the most amazing experience and I can't wait to go next year. As you can image, I am on a strict fruit and veggies diet indefinitely! Visit my Bonnaroo Music blog to get a first hand look/listen at the music that brought us here. And please visit the food vendors pages I have linked to in each review. They were so friendly and stuck it out through the heat and deserve some recognition. Also, I have to give Bonnaroo props for having food vendors use all recyclable and compostable materials.