28 October 2011


Bistronomic is Chef Martial Noguier's foray into bistronomy. The One Sixtyblue and Pump Room alum whips up flavorful fare at reasonable rates in a stylish setting.

French food is notoriously vegetarian unfriendly. Bistronomic's menu does not have a ton of options for vegetarians. However, the kitchen was more than accommodating when given advance notice of dietary restrictions.

The menu is tailor made for turophiles with cheese flights and warm cheese plates. The flights are split into local (less than 300 miles away from Wisconsin and Indiana dairies) and more-than-300-mile selections.

Diners order small, medium and large plates, an experience that is akin to a tapas bistro. Sharing orders allows you to try a variety of different dishes.

Bistronomic features a grilled cheese sandwich du jour. The Bohemian Blue grilled cheese was made with a Roquefort-style sheep milk blue cheese from Wisconsin, a brighly sharp yet refreshingly clean blue cheese with an intensely rich finish that lingered on the palate. It was not a traditional grilled cheese, but it was truly an elevated take on a humble classic.

The kitchen was also able to prepare a vegetarian version of the parmesan tarragon gnocchi. The pillowy pasta picked up the fresh flavor of the green herbs and the delicate umami of the cheese.

The truffle soup was a revelation of nuanced flavor. It builds mushroom aromas from a creamy base. The flavor never stops. This would be delightful in cold weather (hint hint).

Desserts are also fantastic at Bistronomic. The chocolate and hazelnut mousse candy bars were crispy yet melted in your mouth. It is like a Nutella candy bar with a crispy praline layer served in a subtle orange sauce.

The wine list is heavy on selections from the classic French appellations with some cool options by-the-glass. Service is capable and attentive without being intrusive.

Even though the menu is light on vegetarian options, the talent on display at the restaurant is an excellent experience for vegetarian diners. Noguier is a talent producing great food at a fair price, a hallmark of bistronomy that shines through at his aptly named Bistronomic.

Bistronomic on Urbanspoon

26 October 2011

3 Sisters Cafe

The 3 Sisters Cafe is an Indianapolis staple. Located in a converted home in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, 3 Sisters is an internationally themed diner with tons of choices for vegetarian diners.

The restaurant decor feels like what you would expect to see at your cool hippie aunt's house. It has a comortable vibe, and service is exceptionally friendly and capable.

The place isn't just popular in Indianapolis. It carries the Guy Fieri seal of approval as it was featured as on the Food Network program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

The menu features breakfast fare, diner items and Mediterranean dishes. All vegetarian and vegan items are marked.

There are a variety of vegetarian starters at 3 Sisters. The Fab Five Pu Pu platter allows diners to sample different items without committing to only one choice (warning: this dish is best shared by a few diners as it is generously portioned).

The platter comes with hummus, creamy gorgonzola spread, tomato concasse, pesto and cranberry-grain pilaf. It is served with pita and toasted bread as well as feta, kalamata olives and lemon wedges.Although each dish is delicious on its own, many of the items also combine into tasty hybrid dips that pick up the best flavors from each individual part.

There are many meatless sandwiches on the menu at 3 Sisters, including house-made veggie burgers, grilled cheese and pita wraps. Sandwiches are served with soup, potato salad, fruit salad or a house salad.

The King of Siam is a different take on the classic Mediterranean veggie pita. Soft, thick pita bread is stuffed with hummus, spinach, lentil pilaf, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion and kalamata olives. It is brightly colored and very filling.

The dessert case at 3 Sisters is stocked full of fresh baked pastries, pies and cakes. It can sometimes be tough to save room for dessert since the portions here are so huge.

3 Sisters Cafe on Urbanspoon

18 October 2011

Broad Ripple Brewpub

The Broad Ripple Brewpub is located in Indianapolis' artsy Broad Ripple neighborhood. In addition to brew pub-original beers crafted by Yorkshire transplant John Hill, Broad Ripple Brewpub has a variety of vegetarian and vegan dining options.

On the way to Chicago, I ate in Indianapolis a couple of times. The Broad Ripple neighborhood was instantly attractive to me. It is most comparable to Columbus' Short North and Clintonville. Like these two neighborhoods, Broad Ripple is very vegetarian friendly. The artistic bent of the Short North is seen in Broad Ripple's galleries, upscale retailers and craft shops. Its design is similar to Clintonville, a city neighborhood with a vaguely suburban feel.

Broad Ripple Brewpub fits right into its neighborhood. The dining rooms are wood-accented with dark lighting. There is a large patio in front of the restaurant.

The menu at BRB is heavily adorned with V's, which denote vegetarian dining options. Orders can be prepared vegan upon request.

There is a pub grub penchant from a kitchen that has a heavily British flair. The menu offers sandwiches, pizzas and deep fried everything.

The fried veggie basket is a collection of potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. While the veggies are flavorful, the batter is fried to a dark color that masks the identity of the vegetables until their identity is revealed by biting them. The ranch dip gives the beets a bright, fresh taste.

The onion and potato pasty is a flaky delight. A cheese sauce is incorporated with sauteed onions and soft potato cubes. It was served with a side of steamed veggies and circle cut roasted potatoes.

The mushroom veggie burger was soft and loaded with 'shroom flavor. It is served with a choice of side dishes. Interestingly, this is one of two veggie burgers on the menu.

Seasonal desserts included popsicles in flavors like mixed fruit, ginger and black cherry. Specials at the Broad Ripple Brewpub that change regularly.

Broad Ripple Brew Pub on Urbanspoon

17 October 2011


Fans of fresh cut fries should flock to Tatoheads, my new favorite Columbus food cart.

The concept is simple: order potato or sweet potato fries, add seasoning to them and choose a house-made condiment. There is also a limited smattering of lunch items and fully-dressed fries (e.g. veggie chili cheese fries) that rotate on a regular basis.

Seasoning options include Chicago deep dish pizza, onion dill ranch, za'atar, cajun, herbs de Provence and parmesan peppercorn. Sauces include the original sauce, truffle aioli, curry aioli and red pepper cilantro ketchup.

The curry spice and curry aioli create a spicy explosion of rich flavors. The cilantro ketchup is bright and fresh. The original sauce is a mildly spicy ranch dip. All fries are made with Himalayan sea salt.

The veggie chili cheese fries are a meal in themselves. The chili has pinto and kidney beans, corn, tomatoes and cilantro. It must be eaten with a fork.

As a vegetarian, I find it easiest to treat Tatoheads as a side dish combined with a main component from another truck or restaurant.

Tatoheads is a fixture at the Pearl Alley market. Regular Facebook and Twitter updates plus food cart apps and Foursquare make Tatoheads as easy to find in the physical world as it is in the social network.

Tatohead's Food Truck on Urbanspoon