Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Giveaway! Malicious But Delicious Dinner-- CANCELLED!!

***SORRY TO SAY THIS DINNER HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE, SO THE CONTEST HAS BEEN CANCELLED
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Hey everyone!

I've got 2 tickets to give away to the upcoming "Malicious but Delicious" dinner July 9th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It's being held at COurses Restaurant downtown. I'm already attending and would love to meet some of my readers there! It's a 21 and over dinner, so please don't enter if you're not over 21. I think this sounds like a very fun event.  If you don't win the tickets, you can purchase them here:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/malicious-but-delicious-a-feast-of-invasive-species-tickets-17324545181

On Thursday at around 5:00 p.m., I will randomly select one commenter from this post on to give the tickets away to. If you don't respond by Friday morning, I'll pick a new winner. Leave a comment and tell me which course you're looking forward to trying the most!

Here's the details:

Please join The Nature Conservancy and Sun King Brewing Co.  
as we raise awareness of the invasive species that threaten our native Indiana plants and animals and help eradicate them...by devouring them!
Dinner features invasive species and the culinary artistry of:
Students and Staff of Ivy Tech:  An amuse-bouche of pan-seared Asian carp with wilted garlic mustard greens  
Abbi Merriss of Bluebeard: A salad of crayfish, lambs' quarters, day lillies, and white mulberry vinagrette
Neal Brown of the Libertine: Intermezzo of infused cocktails
Craig Baker of Plow and Anchor: Thai red curry and Asian carp soup, garlic mustard kim chi, pickled forest floor, cilantro 
Jonathan Brooks of Milktooth: A pig in S#%t:  wild boar belly, Russian olives, Chinese water spinach, and wild parsnips
Nicole Ankney of Four Birds Bakery:  Financier with buttermilk ice cream, Japanese knotweed-blueberry compote, lemon crumb cake, local mint

All courses will be paired with Indiana beer and wine options.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Brozinni Pizza - Revisit

We had an opportunity to stop at Brozinni the other day when we were heading to Brown County, and I was thrilled. I figured, it’s been awhile since I wrote about it and everyone is always asking me what my favorite pizza place is---and well, it’s this place, so I figured it was time for an update.

You have to start with an order of garlic knuckles ($2.50 for 4, $4.99 for 8). These are basically just pieces of the pizza dough twisted into a knot and then coated in super garlicky, super buttery sauce. I love these things. Things like this are the reason I know I could never give up bread. Their dough is so good on the pizza, and this is the perfect thing to start with. Plus, you have to have the leftover garlic butter to dip your pizza crust in. You have to get some for that reason alone.

Brozinni is New York style pizza—huge slices of thin crust. I always get the same thing, a slice of red onion and mushroom (they will make you anything you want by just putting toppings and some more cheese on a slice of cheese pizza). I can’t find the exact pricing of this, but it doesn’t really matter, because you will be happy to pay whatever. It’s around $4 a slice though, and they are enormous slices—they take up two paper plates. The crust is just the right combo of chewy and bendable and has a nice flavor—they use the right amount of sauce to crust ratio and they chop up the onions nice and small. It’s the perfect slice of pizza.

I also got the chance to try a couple bites of a whole pie—or at least one half of it. Hubby and the friends we were with ordered a pie with two flavors—I had a bite of the “34th Street,” which is a white pizza. I had my doubts about white sauce in a NY style place, but it was pretty darn tasty as well. They make a creamy white sauce and put it on the pizza with basil, lots of garlic and mozzarella. I am pretty sure I got some ricotta in there too, although it’s not listed as an ingredient on the menu. The crust is really what makes the pizza at Brozinni and this piece of pizza just proved that to me—even with completely different toppings, I still really enjoyed it. Can’t say I won’t go back to my usual on a return visit, but I would happily eat this one if I got to eat here more frequently.

This place is practically in Greenwood, so it’s a trek for us, but it’s worth it. If you have not been yet, you need to go. Then you’ll understand why I am always complaining about pizza in this town. It’s the best. I still welcome feedback on what YOUR favorite place is though so please leave me a comment and let me know!

Brozinni Pizza
8810 S. Emerson Ave
Indy IN 46237
317/865-0911

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jaggers

My daughter and I were up north running errands and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to try something new. As I often do, I took to twitter and asked for suggestions. A couple of you suggested Jaggers, which I had never even heard about! That alone made me want to try it. Plus, it’s a burger/chicken sandwich joint, so I knew my daughter would be happy.

It’s not quite fast food—you order at the front and then they bring your food out when it’s ready. It wasn’t very crowded when we were in there, but I think it’s fairly new. The staff was all very friendly as well. According to their website, they don’t freeze their meat at all, and they bake their buns every day.

I had the crispy chicken sandwich ($3.99). I went with the standard basic to start with to get a sense of what they do with a chicken sandwich—they have spicy versions, and versions with additional toppings. They also do a grilled chicken sandwich.  The basic sandwich comes with pickles and Jaggers sauce. The sauce is a combo of BBQ sauce, mayo and sour cream. The sandwich was quite tasty—the chicken was nice and tender and the coating really crispy. I liked the way the breast meat didn’t get all tough and hard to eat the way thick chicken breast sandwiches can be. I liked the pickles for some acid. I think the Jaggers sauce is a matter of taste—it’s a distinctive taste, a little on the sweet side with the BBQ sauce but with a little tang from the sour cream. I found with a little more mayo on there, I liked it.  I can’t say I was in love with the sauce though. The chicken itself is really tasty and the freshly made buns are really good—very soft and light.

My daughter had a cheeseburger ($4.99 for a single plus fries and a drink for an additional $2.99). Honestly, I may have liked the cheeseburger slightly more than the chicken sandwich—same yummy bun and very juicy beef that they ground in house. For a fast food-ish place, they do a lot of things in house, which I appreciate. They call the fries shoestring—I think they aren’t that thin, but they were tasty. They are lightly battered and were nice and crisp, even if I have my doubts that they are making those in house.

My daughter had a chocolate milkshake ($2.99)—it was fine, nothing that really made it stand out. The menu says they’re hand-dipped but it tasted pretty one-dimensional.

All in all, for a quick meal that’s not quite fast food, and extremely family friendly in Noblesville (and not a chain, or at least a very small one-looks like there are two), I think it’s a good option. I could see eating here fairly regularly with my kids for a quick lunch if it were in my neighborhood. Nothing mind-blowing, but all good quality. And I really enjoyed the buns.

Jaggers
14570 Mundy Drive
Noblesville IN
317/773-3085

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Road Trip:Chicago, IL--Yusho

Our last meal on our recent trip to Chicago was to Yusho—a place I’ve heard about for awhile. It was a Sunday night, and on Sundays they offer a special menu where you get a choice of several noodle bowls (or a burger), a (non-alcoholic) drink and the daily flavor of homemade soft serve for dessert for $25.

Of course, there were also snacks on the menu, and because we were with our friends who like to eat all the food, we ordered some of each of them. The fried chicken was delicious ($8) with a chili dipping sauce that was flavored with lime and green tea. Super crunchy pieces of chicken that were nicely seasoned and salted, but still pleasantly tender inside. Of course, since the pieces of chicken were good on their own, you couldn’t really go wrong with taking one of them and turning it into a fried chicken bun either ($6). They put the chicken in the soft bun and added Old Bay aioli and kimchee. Perfect mix of salty and briny with a bit of heat. I really enjoyed all the sauces that they use here. They were also offering a special pork belly bun that was also quite tasty, this time with a creamier sauce—these were more like the buns I have had in several other places—with a big hunk of soft pork belly with crisp edges.


We couldn’t pass up the “skin trio” ($8), which was chicken skin, pork skin, and salmon skin with a fermented black bean aioli. The pork and the chicken were really good—nice and savory and super crisp. None of us were as big a fan of the salmon skin though. For me, the fishy flavor isn’t a benefit. I really enjoyed the aioli though which had a slightly funky flavor—which especially with the chicken, you wanted as it didn’t have a ton of flavor on its own.

Just so everything we got wasn’t fried, we also got the pickle plate ($7), which was one of the better pickle plates I have had. It was a nice variation from the fried, rich items we were eating and we enjoyed the variety of things in there—we all commented on the daikon. The selection varies daily, but it was a nice balancing dish.

We were pleased with everything we had had thus far, and then hubby and I got our ramen and realized this was truly the reason for coming. We had the Kunko ramen, which includes porchetta, black and red miso, pickled garlic and mushroom, and truffle hijiki. For an extra $2, I added a slow poached egg (would there be any doubt I would do this?) This was the best ramen I have had to date. The broth had a depth of flavor beyond any I have had. It was rich, and salty and just downright delicious. I think it was the first time every single drop of broth was eaten. I also liked that they used a couple pieces of very tender porchetta—which is a type of roasted pork. I liked that it was so tender, it just sort of fell apart as you ate it, making it much easier to eat than some of the fattier pieces you often see in ramen. The egg was perfect (guessing they have this down to a science at this point). Hijiki is a kind of  sea vegetable—almost like a slightly denser seaweed. I loved the salt and brininess this added. I liked the nice pieces of mushroom as well. There were also fresh, crisp scallions and bean sprouts giving I just the right amount of crunch. Like I said, to date, the best bowl of ramen I have had.
The soft serve cone on this night was root beer flavor. My body doesn’t love dairy, so I only had a taste (I was also really full). It’s kind of a fun touch, but not something I personally would order if it didn’t come with the meal.


All in all, I look forward to going back to Yusho—they have 4-5 different flavors of ramen and I would like to try them all!

Yusho
2853 N. Kedzie
Chicago, IL  60618
773/904-8558
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