Sunday, August 31, 2008

The picture of these lobster fritters in our inbox made us salivate this morning. Here's the recipe from Zabar's.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Orleans (and the whole Gulf Coast) is at the forefront of our minds as Gustav nears. If you have time tonight, take yourself out for a fabulous meal at Zydeco's and 10% of the gross sales will go to Katrina relief. Mojo Gumbo will be playing live from 7PM-10PM.
Sure, Labor Day Weekend is about grilling and getting together with family and friends but, it is also about marathons on TV.

Today is Katharine Hepburn day and tomorrow is Spencer Tracy day on TCM.

On Labor Day, Soapnet is getting you ready for the new 90210 with a marathon of the old one.

TV Land adds some levity with I Love Lucy on Labor Day from 8AM-2PM then Scrubs takes over from 4PM-11PM.

Over on the Sci-Fi Channel, Star Trek: The Next Generation begins at 8AM on Labor Day and continues until 11PM.

Sunday on AMC, a Mad Men marathon starts at 5PM (this might be the best show on TV that you are not watching).

There's a whole lot of CSI over on Spike on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

On TNT, Labor Day brings a Closer marathon from 9AM-10PM.

On The Discovery Channel you can watch Dirty Jobs from 9AM-10PM. (Dang-we were hoping for a Cash Cab marathon.)

TBS brings us a Tyler Perry House of Payne marathon on Monday from 10AM-8PM.

Anthony Bourdain does a lot of traveling and a lot of eating during the Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations marathon on The Travel Channel Monday starting at 9AM.

If you're in a retro mood, head over to FX for a That '70s Show marathon beginning at 7AM on Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Was anyone else amazed at the cool clothes some of the designers made out of car parts on Project Runway?
Looking to kill time as the minutes slowly tick towards the long holiday weekend?

You can make your own church sign. (hours of fun)

Upload your photo and see what you would look like in different eras.

Read books for free online.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Don't forget Oktoberfest this weekend and next weekend. It's at the Indiana State Fairgrounds this year so you can take the fair train!!

Maxine's Chicken and Waffles

FINALLY, after years of watching (and drooling during) shows on the Food Network profiling places in L.A. and Harlem that serve chicken and waffles, Indianapolis has its own. We eagerly headed to Maxine's Chicken and Waffles at 132 N. East Street on a late weekday afternoon. We read that it was attached to a gas station so we assumed that it would be a very casual, no menus, walk up to the counter, pick up your own order kind of place. We assumed wrong. Once inside, you'll quickly forget that it is attached to a gas station and you'll soak up the nice atmosphere. There are tables and booths and a huge fountain in the middle with TVs suspended at the top of it. A very welcoming hostess sat us down in a booth and we perused the menu. There are plenty of choices here if, by chance, you or your dining companions don't want to try chicken and waffles. You can click the photos of the menu for a larger image to see the other options. We ordered the regular sweet tea and the D&K tea (a blend of sweetened iced tea and lemonade). We ordered the Chicken and Waffles and the Turkey BBQ sandwich. The sandwich came with a side and when we chose the Fried Corn Bread, the server kindly informed us that it would come with our order anyway in case we wanted to try something else (Our server was wonderful. She is actually the service manager and she did a great job). So, we went with the grits just because they aren't something that we see on Indiana menus everyday.

Our drinks came and the Fried Corn Bread, which can aptly be called little disks straight from heaven, came. They were golden brown, crunchy, and delicious. They are delicious on their own but they come with a couple of packets of easy-to-spread whipped butter if you are feeling indulgent. Further endearing herself to us, our server told us that we could have as many of them as we wanted. We took her up on that as we emptied the first plate and she brought out more. Then, out came our Fried Green Tomatoes. They surrounded a bowl of "Southern Sauce" which is a horsey-Dijon sauce that is the perfect compliment for the lightly breaded tomatoes.

We had just polished those off when the entrees came to us. The Chicken and Waffles plate is impressive with 3 entire wings on top of a huge, thick waffle. In the center of the mammoth waffle, was a semi-melted dollop of peach butter. The peach flavor was very subtle providing a nice hint of peach in every bite, but it never intruded on the dish. Syrup is brought out on the side, but taste everything before you pour it on, you may find the waffle/peach butter combo doesn't need it. The chicken wings were lightly breaded and fried, but were not greasy. We can't tell you why the combo of fried chicken and waffles works, but it comes together both in texture and taste. The contrast of fried and sweet is a match made in epicurean heaven. Consider it brunch, only you get the breakfast and lunch items at the same time. The portion was so generous, we had to bring a wing home for later.

The Turkey BBQ sandwich was equally wonderful. The sauce was really thick and had a little kick to it but not an uncomfortable amount of heat. 1/2 of it came home with us because it was so packed with turkey.

Just to get a taste, we ordered the cobbler to take a few bites of and then bring home. The menu says "seasonal cobbler" and we were served a peach one. There are just no words. If you were lucky enough to have a Mom who made peach cobbler, this is what it probably tasted like (don't tell, but it might be even better). If you didn't have a Mom who made you this, order Maxine's and make up for lost time. The peaches and pastry revel in the thick, sweet, warm fruit filling.

The bottom line is this: we strongly encourage everyone to try Maxine's. We know other people might have different markers for when they think their city is a worthy culinary destination but, for us, having our own independent chicken and waffle place is a huge feather in Indianapolis' cap.

There is a parking lot just beyond the front door of Maxine's off of N. East Street. Carry-out is available. On their menus and on their sign it says "A taste of love in every bite". We actually believe that and we tasted it. Thanks Maxine's for a memorable dining experience.

Maxine's Chicken and Waffles
132 N. East St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Tel: 317-423-3300
7AM-8PM Mon-Thur; 7AM-12:30AM Fri & Sat; 8AM-6PM Sun

Maxine's Chicken and Waffles on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

If Gossip Girl is one of your guilty pleasures, check out this 90 second first season recap followed by the first few minutes of the second season premiere which airs on September 1st on the CW.

The Indiana Theatre- Terre Haute, IN

It's no secret that we love old movies and we love old movie theatres. The Indiana Theatre in Terre Haute is especially close to Mr. WYA's heart because he spent many a childhood afternoon there. Built in 1922, we are so grateful that it is still standing and looking so good. Isn't the facade impressive at the corner of Ohio St. and 6th? When you walk in you are in the "rotunda" with a soaring ceiling (3rd picture from top) and the Spanish Baroque style envelops you. Walk through another set of doors and you are in the gorgeous lobby with 38 hand carved sculptures on the ceiling. It is an absolute stunner. The style continues in the auditorium, which can accommodate movies and live shows, too. The Indiana is an absolute jewel that you really should go see. Thanks to everyone involved in keeping this theatre going and thanks for letting us come through before showtime and snap these pictures.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Alpacas at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice

Around Christmastime last year, we read in Nuvo that the White Violet Center on the campus of St. Mary-of-the-Woods has an adopt an alpaca program. For $100, you get a photo of your alpaca and visitation rights. We've blogged about this before but, this past weekend, we went for our second visit to see "our" alpaca. The bucolic grounds are so peaceful at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. There are 3 separate areas for the alpacas; one for Moms and babies, one for girls, and one for boys. We visited all of them because they are all so darn cute. We found out that "our" alpaca is participating in the Indiana Alpaca Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in October (we are so proud). We are so glad that we found out so we can go see him there. Visit the alpacas if you get a chance or, better yet, participate in the adoption program. We're not sure if the price is still the same, but it really is the perfect gift; you get all of the fun without having to do any of the caretaking.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just a few of more pictures of St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute.
Oh happy day, Brugge Brasserie beers are available in bottles (and even a handy variety pack).

Sunday Brunch at St. Mary-of-the-Woods

Oh my. When our imaginations conjure up the ideal brunch buffet, this is pretty much it. We were quite unprepared for the enormous selection of food on our first trip to the brunch at St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute, IN. We walked into the huge, beautiful O'Shaughnessy dining room and saw row after row of selections. There was a row with the salad and fruit options and a couple of rows with hot options such as baked pasta, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, roast beef, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, fluffy biscuits, sausage gravy, and quiche. There was a Belgian Waffle station and an ice cream sundae station. Taking its rightful place in the middle of the glorious dining room was the amazing long table of breads and desserts. There were sweet rolls, delicious banana bread, cakes, pies, cheesecake, a brownie creation- it just went on and on (to our delight). There is an entire wall of beverage choices that you can help yourselves to and the friendly servers will come pour coffee for you if you like. The most staggering thing about this brunch? The price for adults is $12.50!!! That's right, all of this variety-as much as you want-only $12.50. This brunch would easily cost twice that here in Indy. So, you might spend a little on gas to get to St. Mary of-the-Woods, but it is so worth it to enjoy this bargain of a brunch in their beautiful surroundings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Scenes from... Feast of Lanterns

We were downtown for an event last night so we swung by Spades Park to see the Feast of Lanterns after reading about it for years. Not very familiar with the area, we twisted and turned through the streets, unsure where we were, until we saw the beautiful sight of all of these papers lanterns suspended throughout the park. They were absolutely gorgeous- definitely more spectacular than we imagined. We found parking on a side street and walked through the park to gawk at the lanterns, listen to good music, and browse at some cool art. We are so glad that we've finally seen this tradition. We love a sense of history about a place so we love that this website has some newspaper clippings from as far back as 1923 documenting the Feast of Lanterns. The pictures don't really do the lanterns justice so be sure to go to the Feast of Lanterns next year and see them for yourself.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

If your eye shadow was a human, would it be old enough to enroll in kindergarten? Would your mascara be a toddler? It's hard to keep track of the age of make-up but not good to keep using it beyond when you should. Here is a great article from Good Housekeeping outlining how long you should keep various cosmetic products and why. They also recommend these fabulous stickers from Timestrips that help monitor the elapsed time that your cosmetic has been opened.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't forget, the Allure Magazine Free Stuff continues until the end of the month. There are giveaways every hour during weekday afternoons (and today at 4PM there is a killer pair of shoes up for grabs).
It looks like the Seinfeld Campus Tour will be making a stop in Indy on September 10th. This huge bus will have a mini-museum with show props and costumes, bins of Seinfeld foods such as Twix and Black and White Cookies, and a "Scene It? Lounge" with 2 TVs where you can sample the DVD game debuting nationwide this fall. The times and exact location are still to come but mark your calendars now otherwise, "No Tour For You!"
Have just a favorite episode or 2 of a TV show that you'd like to own without purchasing the whole season or need to replace a disc that was lost or damaged from a set? Check out where you can buy single discs from sets for cheap (as long as you don't mind not having the packaging). They also sell discounted CDs.
There are diverse options for the penultimate weekend of August. For food, sidewalk sales, a walk/run, cornhole tournament, and music; head to the Bears of Blue River Festival in Shelbyville, IN. There's a FREE Indian dance performance at Pike Performing Arts on Saturday. The Feast of Lanterns is on Saturday in the adorable Cottage Home neighborhood. There's a Weekend with the Zombies at Key Cinemas (and a showing of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? on Sat. and Sun.).Whew!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good news for Steve & Barry fans.
While we are having a Fort Wayne theme day, someone mentioned Terry Ratliff's name to us the other day and we were reminded of how much we love this guy's art.

A shout-out for the exceptionally good service at the Southgate Coney Express in Fort Wayne. A very sweet employee took care of the coney dog fix that Mr. WYA! needed to drive back to Indy.

Saigon Restaurant- Fort Wayne, IN

Ever since we posted about Indianapolis' Saigon restaurant, we have been getting inquiries about the restaurant in Fort Wayne with the same name. We felt that it was our duty to go check it out this past weekend. It's hard to believe that people needed info on the place because it seemed like everyone was there on Sunday. The parking lot was packed and the place was bustling. We grabbed a recently vacated table and perused the extensive menu. They say that they have American, Chinese, and Vietnamese food here but, just in case you bring someone not into Chinese or Vietnamese food, the only American food that we saw on their menu was breakfast. While they have traditional egg rolls on the appetizer menu, we were grateful to see the healthier "Goi Cuon" or spring rolls of seasoned pork, shrimp and vegetables wrapped in rice paper (not deep fried). They were delicious and came with a nice peanut sauce. For our entrees, we chose the Pho do Bien (seafood pho) and the Bun Rau Xao (vegetable bun). Pho and Bun are 2 of the most distinctive Vietnamese dishes. Pho is a clear beef broth with noodles, and whatever meat variation you choose. You can click the picture of the menu for a larger image to see that Saigon offers everything from eye round steak to tripe.

The Bun dish is vermicelli noodles topped with your choice of meat and vegetables. We chose just the vegetable variation and were treated to a huge bowl of broccoli, cauliflower, water chestnuts, and lettuce with a very generous amount of noodles.

The Pho came in a huge bowl filled with rice noodles. The broth was fragrant with the herbs and seasonings. The seafood consisted of shrimp, crab meat and squid. The soup was delicious and filling.

Coffee fans, be sure to order a Vietnamese coffee (we prefer it with condensed milk but you can have it without). Super strong coffee with the sweetness of the milk is amazing hot or cold and, here, it is served with the traditional Vietnamese filter (pictured here).

We were amazed at the low prices. You will be completely satiated here for not a lot of money but be sure to bring cash. The sign at the register says "cash only". What a great spot in this older neighborhood on the near south side of Ft. Wayne. It felt like the Fort Wayne UN in there with multiple languages being spoken and everyone being brought together by good food.

Saigon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Got Olympic fever? Check out the Dog Olympics at Pierson Bark Park on Saturday, August 23rd.

Eagle Creek Park- Indianapolis

Does it get any better than a late summer day spent leisurely at Eagle Creek Park? We don't think so. Finding ourselves with a rare weekday free, we headed to the west side to find some zen at Eagle Creek. We haven't been canoeing in well over a decade so we decided it was time to do it again. We parked at the Marina and signed up to rent a canoe for $10/hour. We headed out and quickly realized what good upper body exercise paddling is. As we tried to get in sync with our paddling, we were thrilled with all of the wildlife that we saw. We've never seen so many herons (we think that is what they are, you'll correct us if we are wrong). They are so gorgeous and we even saw some baby ones. We managed to paddle for almost 2 hours and then found a picnic table to enjoy some much needed sustenance. On our way from the Marina parking lot to the hiking path, a fellow park visitor had to point out a deer right in the parking lot just a few feet away from us. As you can tell from the photos, he was a bit of a ham. We then headed through the woods (getting lost as we always do here) for a long hike. The chorus of locusts and even more deer sightings made for a perfect walk in the woods. It's only $5/car to get into the park and it is so wonderful; we are feeling pretty jealous of the west-siders.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whippy Dip- Monroeville, In

As summer draws to a close, we end the 2008 ice cream shop series in Monroeville at the Whippy Dip. With a name like that, we just couldn't resist heading north to try the place. You can drive thru or go inside to order. There are picnic tables outside to eat and a few tables inside too. A group of us ordered the banana split, small Hot Fudge Sundae, and a small blueberry cheesecake frozen yogurt. There were high marks all around with enthusiastic agreement that this is a very worthy stop for those needing a tasty ice cream fix. We especially appreciated that they offered frozen yogurt (and we almost wonder if we can find away to get here again before they close in September for the Butter Pecan yogurt). They have other foods too ranging from Coney Dogs to Breaded Tenderloins (click menu for larger image). They are open 11A-9P Mon-Thurs, 11A-10P Fri and Sat, and 3P-9P on Sunday.

209 E. South St.
Monroeville, IN 46773

Whippy Dip on Urbanspoon