Next Mass Ave? Speedway loads up on food + drinkSRC Member
Forget the days when you bypassed Speedway’s Main Street during the month of May. Cool new places to eat and drink populate the avenue and more are coming soon. You’ll be visiting these spots even when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is quiet.
1. Rolling in the Dough
Pasta, cookies, scones, pizza, bread and pie. If it has to do with dough, this is the place to find it. All of it is made fresh, whether spaghetti to accompany meatballs in the cozy cafe or grab-and-go dough from the market to take home and use for your own culinary creations.
Liz’s pick: Chipotle spaghetti. A little smoke, a little heat, especially nice with Cajun-spiced shrimp.
Amy’s pick: No frills. Spaghetti and marinara.
2. Dawson’s on Main
1464 W. Main St., (317) 247-7000, dawsonsonmain.com
Doors opened in 2006, but the place feels like an old standard. The stylish yet comfortable dining room reflects the menu. Steaks and seafood are hot tickets, but pasta, pot roast and old-fashioned meatloaf are options, too. Find salads and sandwiches at lunch.
Liz’s pick: The Friday and Saturday prime rib special. The 12-ounce cut costs $18.99. Pay $21.99 for the 14-ounce king cut.
Amy’s pick: Half-priced bottles of wine on Tuesday or half-priced martinis on Thursday. The Main Street martini seems fitting — Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum, Melon Schnapps, blue curacao and pineapple juice.
3. Barbecue and Bourbon
1414 W. Main St., (317) 241-6940, barbecueandbourbon.com
All wood all the time. Hickory, oak and cherry fill the cooker out back. Ribs, wings, brisket, sausage, pulled pork, pulled beef — the list is long. Meat cooked Memphis-style (meaning no sauce) lands on everything from nachos to sandwiches to platters complete with two sides. Three sauces on the table range from mild to pow!
Liz’s pick: Smoked and then deep-fried whole wings. Just-right smoke, crispy skin and a mere $1 each on Wednesday. These are my new favorite wings in Indy.
Amy’s pick: Whatever you want. Seriously. They have 61 bourbons, but co-owner David Huff told me that if they don’t have it, just ask and they’ll get it. “We have some bottles in here that only one person drinks.” He prefers Angel’s Envy or Blanton’s.
4. Lino’s Coffee and Italian Food Experience
A true Italian coffee shop experience. It has to be. Lino’s is next door to the Italian Dallara Car Factory, and Italians are notoriously fussy about their coffee. They like more than just espresso. The menu defines and pictures each coffee drink, and the baristas are happy to help you pronounce names like “ciocchino.” Pizza, panini, pasta, Italian meat and cheese platters, gelato and cannoli are on the menu.
Liz’s pick: The Parma sandwich, mainly because that’s what Mario Andretti ordered when he ate here. Prosciutto, parmigiano-reggiano, lettuce and tomato fill crisp chewy Italian bread.
Amy’s pick: Morocco in the morning. Back on Friday for the tap takeover of local breweries — I’ll likely find something I haven’t tried before.
5. Foyt Wine Vault (opening soon)
They don’t depend on the family name, A.J. Foyt IV told me. He’s right. These wines are good. Different product lines means there are options for everyone — and for every price point. Nibbles include select cheeses from Tulip Tree Creamery, meats from Smoking Goose and of course, chocolate from The Best Chocolate in Town. Not snooty here, ask the servers to help you with pairings.
Liz’s pick: I am going halfies with Amy on the 2010 No. 77 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. Mighty but smooth. Maybe I can talk her into a case.
Amy’s pick: Money is no object? Hello 2010 No. 77 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. At more than $80 a bottle, this is a special occasion red, but it’s worth it. It won the Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition two years in a row.
6. Daredevil Brewery (opening June 17)
The Shelbyville production brewery is moving its operations to a 10,000-square-foot space on 2 acres. This time, they are adding a tasting room. Once open, stop in for a 4-pack, a growler, or the newest craft beer trend — a crowler, a monster 32-ounce can filled on the spot.
Liz’s pick: Vacation Kolsch. After a hot day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this crisp refresher is perfect. I like it with a little sprinkle of salt.
Amy’s pick: The original — and semi-finalist in the Star’s Malt Madness beer bracket tournament — I’ll take the Lift Off IPA. The West Coast style IPA is hoppy with a bit of sweetness.
7. 1911 Grill (coming May 2016)
1067 W. Main St., @1911Grill
Named for the year of the inaugural Indy 500, 1911’s some 300 seats will overlook two kart tracks, one for fun and one for serious drivers. Think neighborhood grill and family dining with an American menu, plus a few Irish, Italian and Mexican touches. Nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter and IndyCar Series veteran Sarah Fisher and her husband, Andy O’Gara, are behind the project.
Liz’s pick: I’m a kart nut, so looking forward to some friendly competition against Amy — and her buying the beer and burgers when I win.
Amy’s pick: Actually when I whip by Liz in my kart, she’ll be buying me an O’Gara’s Pub favorite, a twist on a Screwdriver. Normally just vodka and orange juice, theirs adds a splash of Sprite and grenadine.
8. Charlie Browns Pancake & Steak House
1038 W. Main St., (317) 243-2502, www.facebook.com
An old-school diner awash in IndyCar memorabilia. See IndyCar drivers in photos on the walls and sitting in booths and chairs. Just about all of them visit at some point but don’t ask for autographs while they’re eating their bacon and eggs. House rules require drivers be left to enjoy meals in peace.
Liz’s pick: Pancakes, of course. Malt in the flour gently sweetens the fluffy disks topped with plenty of butter.
Amy’s pick: Sign me up for those pancakes.
Dish out your favorite flavor — or two or three or more. Load on the toppings. Add a generous squeeze of caramel, chocolate or marshmallow sauce — better yet, hot fudge — and then head to the scale, the frozen yogurt scale that is. You pay by the ounce here, and it’s OK to go big. Someone’s sundae once weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds. Need a pick-me-up after? No problem. Hit the full-service coffee bar.
Liz’s pick: Pistachio frozen yogurt with hot fudge and a shot of espresso poured over it all.
Amy’s pick: I’m a sucker for peanut butter. I’m a minimalist when it comes to toppings — just some sprinkles or M&Ms.
10. Big Woods Brewing (coming spring 2016)
10th and Main Streets, @BWSpeedway
Big Woods is known for its Quaff ON! craft brews including the porter-like Busted Knuckle and easy-drinking Six Foot Blonde. The restaurant’s pulled pork nachos are famous, too. Huge timbers will mark the entryway. A 10,000-square-foot beer garden is also planned.
Liz’s pick: Pulled pork on anything. A smoky accent and mild pepper spice puts the tender pork’s flavor forward.
Amy’s pick: The Yellow Dwarf Dry Hopped American Wheat is my favorite. At 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), it’s light enough to sip on all day, but flavorful enough to keep my taste buds awake.
Follow Amy Haneline on Twitter and Instagram @amybhaneline and Facebook. Call her at (317) 444-6281. Follow Liz Biro on Twitter @lizbiro, Instagram @lizbirodish and Facebook. Call her at (317) 444-6264.