Indianapolis, IN

St. Elmo Steak House March 2012

Ah, St. Elmo - my favorite restaurant in downtown Indianapolis.  I had rare pleasure of being able to eat at St. Elmo on my actual birthday this year!  Normally we’re only in Indy in August, but this year we had an event in March as well.  My birthday conveniently fell on the day of the event we knew we’d be finished early with, so I was able to secure a reservation for us at St. Elmo.  On my birthday!  Super exciting! 

shrimpWorld Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

We both started out with the insane shrimp cocktail.  It’s insane because the cocktail sauce is horseradish with some red stuff.  It’s a delicious challenge.  I didn’t finish all of my shrimp, but Lance was happy to help. 

saladBLT Salad

Lance had his favorite BLT Salad, which I feel has changed since we first had it so many years ago.  Now it comes with a choice of dressing and no blue cheese.  This makes him happier, but I can never remember the dressing I liked best!  The bacon comes in the form of lovely, big pieces and the tomatoes were great for March. 

saladCaesar Salad

I’m glad I waited to get a Caesar at St. Elmo instead of at Harry and Izzy’s the night before!  Those anchovies are awesome!  This was a great salad, just what I hope every Caesar will be. 

soupNavy Bean Soup

Every entrée comes with the choice this soup or a cup of tomato juice.  Lance normally skips both and I do too, but this time I decided to try the soup due to the suggestion a friend had made to me at the event.  She told me that mixing the leftover horseradish sauce from the shrimp into the soup makes it rock.  I tried that, and she was right!  Great taste sensation that really helps to elevate the soup. 

filetBone-In Filet

Every restaurant we go has filet mignon, but they don’t all have bone-in filet.  Perfect as always.  Rare toward the bone, medium rare in the middle.  I love this stuff.  Mine came with mashed potatoes but I don’t think I ate more than a bite. 


I love asparagus.  I order it whenever I can these days.  I ate these like fries, with my fingers, dipped in the hollandaise sauce.  I’m so uncouth. 

filetBone-In Filet

Lance also got the bone-in filet and he felt his was a bit less than perfect – it was too rare near the bone for him so he’s going to try to remember to order medium next time instead of medium-rare.  His fries were better than the Harry and Izzy fries! 

pieSugar Cream/Hoosier Pie

We both got dessert to take back to the hotel since we were full at the restaurant.  Lance ordered his normal HUGE chocolate cake which you can see in previous reviews.  I decided to try something new and got this sugar cream pie.  The water described it as being sort of like the creamy part of crème brulee in a pie shell and that seems like a pretty accurate description.  It is more sugary than the crème brulees I’ve had, but it was delicious and I ate every bite.  I’m glad I tried something new this time! 

This was another great meal at St. Elmo and I’ll be sad when we can no longer take our yearly pilgrimages to Indianapolis.  The service was excellent, as always, and the experience was flawless.  I’m super excited for our next trip to St. Elmo which will be Art’s first visit!  Woo! 

Total price: Unknown. 

St. Elmo Steak House
127 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN. 46225

Phone: 317.635.0636

St. Elmo Steak House on Urbanspoon

Harry & Izzy's March 2012

Lance and I were in Indianapolis for an event in March and we decided to give Harry and Izzy’s a go for dinner since it was an easy walk from our venue.  I’m glad that we did, because the last time we ate there we were pretty rushed since our dinner was before our shift began.  This time, we had the option to be more leisurely. 

soupFrench Onion Soup

It was super chilly when we were in Indy this time, quite a change from our normal August trips!  I needed to warm up after the walk, so I started off with a bowl of French Onion soup.  I love a good bowl of the stuff and this did not disappoint.  It was rich and velvety with a nice crouton and cheese.  It was also hot so it fit the bill!

saladCaesar Salad

Lance ordered the Caesar and I don’t think I tried a bite!  He enjoyed it though and the dressing was nice. 

tunaSeared Tuna sesame seed crusted, with sushi rice & soy cilantro ginger sauce

I wasn’t super hungry, so I ordered the tuna from the appetizer menu for my entrée.  I’m glad I did since this turned out to be the perfect amount of food.  There is wasabi on this plate as well, but it’s hidden behind the sauce.  The sushi rice was lovely, the tuna was gorgeous, and I loved every bite.  The fish was a bit on the spicy side, but I managed!

chickenGrilled Chicken Breast with a side of bbq sauce

Lance ordered the grilled chicken and was expecting a smallish breast like the ones I make at home.  Instead, he got something twice the size!  It was delicious and moist, with great seasoning.  Lance felt the fries were undercooked so our server brought out a new plate of them.  Sadly, the new ones were the same so perhaps undercooking is just the way fries are prepared here?  Kudos to the service, though! 

Overall, the food was really tasty.  I loved my tuna and Lance’s chicken was lovely.  Our service wasn’t quite as awesome as it could have been, I had to steal Lance’s water when my glass was empty – not a good thing when you’re eating something a bit spicy!  We were also in a room with a number of very loud and raunchy parties.  But, the food was delicious.  I love Indianapolis. 

Total price: Unclear

Harry & Izzy’s
153 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis,IN 46225

Phone: 317.635.9594

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Weber Grill August 2011

Ah, Weber Grill.  We first went to Weber in 2009 with a crowd of people and a fixed menu.  We enjoyed it so much that we’ve been back every year since.  One of the great things about Weber, aside from the food which is just plain old GOOD, is the price.  It’s significantly more reasonably priced than the fancier places in town.  It is louder than the fancier places, but not in an obnoxious sort of way. 

breadOur meal started with delicious pretzel rolls and cheddar butter.  Sadly, I wasn’t feeling super hungry, since our dinner break was in the middle of a 14 hour shift, so I only ate a bit of one of the rolls.  They’re super yummy, though. 

saladLance and I both had the Caesar salad for starters.  The croutons are made from the aforementioned delicious pretzel bread and the dressing is great. 

chickenBeer Can Chicken Grill-Roasted Half Chicken, Weber’s Beer Can Chicken Seasoning, Fresh Herbs, Roasted Chicken Jus, Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I had a very hard time figuring out what to order, I was feeling picky or something.  The chicken was huge!  I ate about half of it and was stuffed.  It was also delicious, tender, and full of flavor.  I’m glad I tried it out. 

skirt steakTeriyaki Skirt Steak Grill Smoked Onions, Roasted Poblano & Sweet Peppers, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Lance ordered our long-time favorite, the skirt steak.  I wish more restaurants had skirt steaks, since it really is a fantastic cut of meat.  It’s so tender and full steaky flavor and I love it. 

We opted not to have dessert because we were both full and had to get back to work. 

This was yet another great meal at Weber - I wish I had been hungrier.  We’ll be going back next year, maybe even twice to save a bit of food money!  Next year I’m eyeing the BBQ Combos that are on the menu. 

Total price: Unknown

Weber Grill
10 N. Illinois Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reservations: 317.636.7600

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The Oceanaire Seafood Room August 2011

Oceanaire was one of the new restaurants I picked for GenCon 2011.  It’s almost sacrilege in my household to admit this, but I get tired of steakhouses.  For some reason Indy has quite a few of them and not many restaurants with other cuisines!  I picked Oceanaire since I thought it would be a nice change and a good place for Lance and I to celebrate our 5th GenCon together.  I admit that I was a little nervous to try a fish place in Indianapolis, Indiana, but I’m really glad we did try it out.  We were joined for this meal by our great friend Brian. 

The menu changes often and Lance was smart enough to grab me a printout on our way out since all three of us ordered daily specials.  Thanks, Lance!  None of us were particularly hungry, so we dove straight into the entrees, skipping appetizers even though there were tons of delicious ones on the menu.  I’d love to eat here again when I had a raging appetite. 

fishWhole Grilled Florida Pompano Charred Tomato Salsa, Tortillas & Lime
I had never had Pompano before, but it’s hard for me to pass up the very rare occasions when I get to order a whole fish.  I’m glad that I was trained in the eating of a whole fish many years ago so that I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself! 

The fish was extremely delicate and the whole entrée was the chef’s take on a fish taco.  Due to my appetite, I mainly just ate the fish but everything was grand.  I was surprised at how delicate the fish was, both in texture and flavor. 

scallopMaine Diver Scallops Manila Clams, Black Mussels, Tomatoes, Cheddar Grits & Roasted Pork Shank
Brian loves shellfish.  He’s a weirdo, it’s true.  He thought the scallops were great, no hint of sandiness in any of the shellfish, cooked to perfection.  The grits with pork were also great and the pork really dissolved into the grits. 

opahPan Roasted Pacific Opah Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Wild Rice, Indiana Corn, & Lemon Brown Butter
Lance, in my opinion, was the winner of the meal.  None of us had ever tried Opah before and it was great.  The texture was sort of similar to tuna, but the flavor was a bit sweet and just amazing.  If I ever see this fish on a menu again, I’ll order it without a second thought! 

cakeLance apparently had more of an appetite than the rest of us, or he just can’t pass up a good chocolate cake when he sees one.  This was one of those huge slices of chocolate cake and he enjoyed it immensely even though he couldn’t finish it!  I ordered chocolate mousse to go, but this was a mistake since I didn’t have time to eat it once I got back to work.  Oops. 

This was a great dining experience and I’d love to go back.  I might even get the chance sooner than August 2012 since it turns out there’s one in both Baltimore and Washington.  How nice!  Great food, great service, and just an enjoyable experience overall.  Apparently seafood in Indiana can be great thanks to Fedex!

Total price: Unknown

The Oceanaire Seafood Room
30 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reservations: 317.955.2277

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St. Elmo Steak House August 2011

We saved St. Elmo for Sunday since it was the best day for everyone’s schedules.  We went with our frequent dinnermate Brian and another friend, Nicholas.  It was Nicholas’s first visit to the great St. Elmo and we were looking forward to indoctrinating him.  We had a great table back in a little alcove of the restaurant so it was relatively quiet for our post-weekend chats and laughter.  There were also windows which make photography a bit easier.  Just want we wanted. 

breadThe bread here is awesome.  Nice, dark pumpernickel, onion loaves, and my personal favorite, the cheesy crispy things.  These cheesy crispy things are perfect for dipping in both the cocktail sauce and the navy bean soup.  And if you happen to ask for a basket of just cheesy things, they’re happy to comply.  Not that I did this.  Oh no…

shrimpI had a pleasant experience last year.  I found out that I liked shrimp after a lifetime of hating it.  (I OD’d on shrimp as a small child and then hated it forever.  Or until 2011.)  My first thought upon this revelation was “I guess I can get the shrimp cocktail at St. Elmos this year!”  And I did.  So did everyone else at the table.  It’s so perfect and horseradishy and I love the way it clears out the sinuses.  I did end up giving my last two (of five) shrimp to Brian since I still don’t like shrimp that much, but I’m glad I ordered it.  (The restaurant claims to be the largest restaurant purchaser of shrimp in the US.  All due to their only appetizer.)

capreseAfter my sad salad experience at Mo’s, I was craving a good Caprese.  Nicholas and I both ordered this and the tomatoes were perfect.  St. Elmo has never failed to give me a perfect tomato and they’ll always get props for that. 

saladLance ordered the BLT salad with Thousand Island.  Big chunks of bacon, tomatoes, and iceberg.  It seemed a bit light on the tomatoes, but Lance was happy and that’s the important thing.  Their Thousand Island is lovely. 

soupEach steak comes with the option of tomato juice or navy bean soup.  A few of us had the soup and a few of us opted out altogether.  I forget who did what but I think I had the soup which was nice.  I think I saved all of my appetite from the weekend for this meal. 

steakUm.  We all got the bone-in filet mignon.  Yes, it really is that good.  Lance got fries with his. 

Philly CheesesteaksBrian got mashed potatoes with his.  He also wanted to show off his glass of wine with his picture – no idea what type it is, but he seemed happy with it. 

asparagusBrian and I shared asparagus with hollandaise.  I love asparagus.  I loved this asparagus. 

cheesecakeSome shifting of chairs was done since Nicholas and I decided to share a slice of cheesecake.  Thank goodness I didn’t try to eat a piece on my own since that would have been a recipe for disaster.  It was creamy, rich, awesome. 

cakeAnd, of course, Lance had chocolate cake.  Which I didn’t get a picture of last year so here you go if you’ve been waiting.  It’s huge. 

As always, the service was fantastic and knowledgeable.  I’m glad St. Elmo is a GenCon tradition for us.  It’s a place I look forward to every year and I’m grateful that we’re able to go.  It was also neat to get to introduce a friend to the place; hopefully we turned him into a true believer. 

Total price: Unknown and I don’t want to think about it since there were FOUR of us. 

St. Elmo Steak House
127 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN. 46225

Reservations: 317.635.0636

St. Elmo Steak House on Urbanspoon

Mo’s: A Place for Steaks August 2011

A long, long time ago, in a city far, far away, Lance and I were in Indianapolis for our yearly pilgrimage to GenCon.  I have the “job” of picking the restaurants for our visit and I try to choose at least one new-to-us place every year.  Mo’s was one of our new restaurants this year.  (Indy has a lot of steakhouses.) 

The best thing about the restaurant, hands down, was the pianist.  He had his music on his iPad which I thought was nifty and, as we walked in, he started playing the Superman theme song.  The music for the evening spanned many geeky and popular songs.  I was thrilled.  I’ve never actually tipped a musician at a restaurant before, but I did at Mo’s! 

breadOur meal started off with a nice selection of breads and some fruity butter.  I think it was strawberry?  Pretzel bread and grainy bread and yummy bread. 

saladLance had a house salad which could have been a bit more crisp, but was still tasty. 

saladI, of course, had the Caprese salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Now we all know how I feel about tomatoes and I’m pretty picky about them.  I’ve had suboptimal tomatoes at restaurants before but, since it was in the middle of tomato season, I felt pretty safe.  I asked the waiter if the tomatoes were awesome and he assured me they were. 

They were not.  I was sad.  The middles weren’t very red and they were under-ripe.  Not the way I expect tomatoes to be in the middle of the season at a fancy restaurant. 

steakI can’t remember if this was a special or a standard menu item, but Lance and I both had the Kobe filet with a side of hollandaise.  The steaks were great, nicely red in the middle, grilled on the outside, very tasty.  The sauce was quite nice as well!

potatoWe had initially decided to get the roasted potatoes with bacon, onion, and mushrooms, but our waiter informed us that they weren’t very good at all.  So we went with the double baked potato instead.  It was huge and we ate maybe half of it between the two of us.  It was a potato fit for a crowd!  We both enjoyed it. 

dessertAnd then we had a surprise!  Our waiter brought us a complimentary cookie with ice cream for dessert.  It was a shallow bowl with a half-baked chocolate chip cookie in it and ice cream on top.  Delicious.  The cookie was warm and gooey, like a chocolate lava cookie.  It also came with a alcoholic chocolate sauce, but I can’t vouch for it since I avoid chocolate sauces which tend to have HFCS in them. 

Mo’s was an interesting experience.  The pianist was great, the steaks were nice, and that dessert, although not something I’d ever order myself, was great.  But the tomatoes were subpar and the waiter was, well, odd.  Once he learned my name he insisted on using it often and that was more than a little off-putting.  I don’t think we’ll be returning here during our future Indy trips, but I’m glad we gave it a go this time. 

Total price: Unknown.  Sorry. 

Mo’s: A Place for Steaks
47 S. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reservations: 317.624.0720 (You will need to call for reservations because the restaurant isn’t on Open Table.  Shocking.)

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Weber Grill August 2010

Still a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Lance and I ate at Weber Grill in Indianapolis and were joined by our great friend Brian.  Lance and I had gone to Weber the year before with a huge group of people for his company’s dinner and it left us eager to go back with a much smaller group in order to take advantage of the full menu.  Sadly this won’t be a super informative review simply because the memories are so old. 

Bread!  This sort of looks like pretzel bread and I seem to recall that it came with a number of seasoned butters.  I love bread. 

This looks like a Caesar salad.  I love those too.  But this one might have been Lance’s.

Teriyaki Skirt Steak - Grill Smoked Onions, Roasted Poblano & Sweet Peppers I knew I was going to order this before we even got to the restaurant because I’d been envious of it on people’s plates the years before.  It did not disappoint.  Skirt steak is a fantastic cut of meat and I enjoyed every bite.  It looks like it came with mashed potatoes as well. 

This looks like a filet mignon, so chances are it was Lance’s dinner.  He also got garlic mashed potatoes.  I seem to recall that he did some Prix Fix menu because we were there during restaurant week. 

Asian Sesame Chicken Salad - Marinated Chicken Breast, Nappa Cabbage, Snow Peas, Edamame, Oranges, Wontons, Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette Being a weirdo, Brian got a salad.  At a grill place.  Who does that?  He was kind enough to let me have a bite and, I must say, when we go back in 2011 I will be tempted to order this salad for myself because it was amazing.  Full of lots of amazing flavors that all worked very well together. 

And, of course, Lance got some amazing chocolate cake creation.  It was dense and moist and sort of like a bundt cake in texture.  Delicious!

Overall, Weber Grill is a great dining experience.  We enjoyed it so much last year that we’ll be going again this year! 

Total price: Unknown

Weber Grill
10 N. Illinois Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reservations: 317.636.7600

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Ruth's Chris August 2010

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Lance and I ate at Ruth’s Chris in Indianapolis.  We don’t do this every year, because we like to try other new places while in Indy, but we went in 2010.  I took pictures, I posted other restaurant reviews from that week, but I never got around to posting the review for Ruth’s Chris.  Aaaaah. 

This is some sort of salad with thousand island dressing.  Lance ate it. 

This is an awesome Caesar salad.  The plate was cold, the lettuce was crisp, and it even came with a few tomatoes.  I love tomatoes!

Lance had some sort of huge filet mignon.  If you’ve been following my restaurant review posts over the years, I’m sure you’re not shocked by this! 

We shared shoestring fries with some sort of herb.  I can never seem to remember what kind of herb it is, just that I love these whenever we’re at RC. 

Being in need of green after a day of GenCon, I ordered broccoli as well.  I was crispy and lovely. 

This is my standard order for RC.  It’s a tuna stack with some lumps of crab.  The tuna is beautifully seared and rare inside.  Of all the possible ways to have tuna, this is the best. 

We shared this chocolate mousse cheesecake creation.

Even working together we were unable to finish it.  The cake was super rich and we were so full! 

As always, the Ruth’s Chris dining experience is an excellent one.  We’re never disappointed, especially in Indy!

Total price: Unknown

Ruth’s Chris
45 S. Illinois Street
Circle Centre Mall
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Reservations: 317.633.1313

Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

St. Elmo Steak House August 2010

Ah, finally.  St. Elmo’s.  The meal I wait for all year.  St Elmo’s is one of those rare things to find – an independent steakhouse.  It has been operating at the same location since 1902 and has quite a history in Indianapolis.  If you’re really lucky you get to eat at the table in the wine cellar.  Lance has been going here at least once a GenCon for the past many years, I consider myself lucky to be included in his tradition. 

We had initially planned to have dinner just with one of our friends, Brian, however we ended up being joined by three other friends as well, Nate, Mike, and Sean.  Good times were had by all, although I wish we hadn’t been rushed due to our work schedule!  Six people dine much more slowly than two. 

Shrimp CocktailThe Shrimp Cocktail.  This is St. Elmo’s crowning glory.  You might think you’re getting normal, mild cocktail sauce, but this stuff is actually laden with fiery chopped horseradish.  If you need your sinuses cleared out, this is the stuff for you.  I don’t eat shrimp, but I always snag a bite or two of the sauce when Lance orders this because I love it.

BLT Salad

BLT Salad.  This salad comes with bleu cheese but I always ask them to hold it.  I suppose I could also ask them to hold the lettuce since I’ve never actually gotten around to eating it.  The tomatoes are gorgeous, ripe, summery thick slices topped with thick cut bacon and a great dressing that I’m always trying to replicate.  I think I’m always too busy enjoying the tomatoes to pay much attention to what’s in the dressing, though.  Lance and I both ordered this salad and they were both devoured.

Bone-In FiletAnd then there was steak.  The first two times I went to St. Elmo’s I ordered the lamb chops.  Then I discovered the Bone-In Filet and it’s been Bone-In Filet ever since.  Lance gets this one too.  Mine is shown with a side of mushrooms.  In traditional steak house style the sides are large enough to share with the whole table.  (This filet is 16 ounces, the angle of the photo makes it look smaller than it actually was.)

Steak 1And more steak.  The special of the night was a tomahawk steak which is essentially a huge, Frenched rib eye.  This picture is of Nate’s.  He ordered it with loaded French fries.

Steak 2Mike also got the tomahawk.  His came with a loaded baked potato.

Steak 3Sean’s tomahawk came with a baked potato as well and, since that’s the one I got to taste, I’ll say that it was delicious.  The meat had a nice, rich flavor yet was tender and juicy.  Definitely a winner.

Prime RibThis is Brian’s Bone-In Prime Rib.  It’s 32 ounces.  In his defense he did ask if there was a smaller cut, but his request was denied.  He managed to eat the whole thing while we watched with astonishment.  I also got a taste and it was phenomenal.  Some day I’d like to attempt prime rib at home.

AsparagusWe also ordered asparagus for the table which is one of those vegetables I love and rarely eat at home.  This was done perfectly and the hollandaise sauce was great.  I probably could have eaten the whole platter by myself but, sniff, I had to share.

And then Lance and I had to leave to work while Mike, Sean, and Nate watched Brian finish up his meat.  They were kind enough to deliver chocolate cake to us later, but sadly I neglected to take a picture of it. 

As always, St. Elmo’s delivers.  It’s one of my favorite places to eat in Indianapolis and I’ve already started looking forward to next year’s feast.  I’ve you’re in the Indy-area, and you love steak, take the time to visit this fantastic restaurant. 

Total price: Unclear

St. Elmo Steak House
127 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN. 46225

Reservations: 317.635.0636

St. Elmo Steak House on Urbanspoon

Harry and Izzy’s August 2010

Lance and I recently spent four days in Indianapolis, IN and were able to eat at some of the local restaurants while there.  We were both working the night shift at GenCon, so our meals were all early in order to finish in time for work.  The first restaurant I picked was Harry and Izzy’s which is run by the same people who own the fantastic St Elmo Steak House.

Sadly I forgot to take pictures of our salads.  I got the Tomato and Mozzarella Salad which was delicious.  The tomatoes were superbly in season and I wanted to lick up the dressing from the plate.  Lance ordered the Peppercorn Steak Salad and loved it.  The steak pieces were large enough to make the salad worthy of a full meal instead of just a starter course.

Lance ordered the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich for his meal.  We weren’t super hungry so sandwiches seemed like the way to go.  He was only able to eat about half of it, but thought it was delicious.  

PastramiI got the Hot Pastrami Sandwich served on rye toast with Swiss cheese and nice, spicy mustard.  I was also only able to eat about half of my sandwich, much to my dismay.

This was a great lunch-type meal and I wish that I’d been able to finish everything!  Our server was attentive and it was a nice dining experience to begin our Indianapolis weekend. 

Total price: Unclear

Harry & Izzy’s
153 S. Illinois St.
Indianapolis,IN 46225

Reservations: 317.635.9594

Harry & Izzy's on Urbanspoon