Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scenes from... Noblesville, Indiana

We didn't stop in at Syd's or the Uptown Cafe but we adore their signage. We think Syd's looks like a place where Andy Capp would hang out:

Logan Street:

Some of the rooms at Logan Village Mall:

Nostalgic Noblesville art by Brad Cook:

The lovely room by Hortons of Tipton:

Looks like a must-do:

A display by Blue Moon Pottery:

The view of the sprawling Noblesville Antique Mall from the upstairs:

Some of the offerings at Linden Tree gifts:

We really appreciated the iced coffees at Noble Coffee & Tea (933 Logan St):

Downtown Noblesville really has everything going for it. It has the classic square around a gorgeous courthouse and a lot of cute shops all around the square (along with a coffeehouse and restaurants). We think it's really one of the most charming downtowns in the central Indiana area. We really love the Logan Village Mall. There are tons of rooms here covering a wide spectrum of styles; everything from primitive and shabby chic to sports memorabilia (at Casey's Dry Goods). There is also one of our favorite rooms, the one with the old timey candy. This is were you can pick up some all-day lollipops and slo-pokes along with nearly every other childhood favorite. There was another interesting room by Brad and Christine Cook with art work depicting classic Noblesville on cards and framed prints. There was also a room that seemed new since we were there last. It was by Hortons of Tipton and it smelled good and had beautiful things in it. There was a sign that they are having their First Annual French Flea Market on July 11th at their flagship store in Tipton. That sounds so intriguing that it looks like we'll be making our first visit to Tipton for it next month. There are so many nooks and crannies in the Logan Village Mall that you'll want to allow plenty of time for browsing. It's our favorite kind of antique mall where there are not only antiques but also original pieces of art (like the pretty pottery pieces from Blue Moon Pottery).

For a more traditional antique mall, don't miss the Noblesville Antique Mall at 20 N. 9th Street across from the courthouse. You'll need to allow plenty of time to browse here too because their is a huge main floor, a smaller upstairs, and a fairly sprawling basement.

One of our favorite shops for new items is Linden Tree Gifts. They have everything from home decor and jewelry to cards and purses. On our last visit, we admired the beautiful vases from Fringe Studio. We didn't get any pictures of the Fringe selection at Linden Tree Gifts but you can take a look at their beautiful glass pieces on Amazon (but then go buy them at Linden Tree).

There are many other shops and you can see a list of them on Downtown Noblesville's website.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jim Dandy- Noblesville, Indiana

Some of their classic ads:

Click the photos for larger images of the menu:

For you sugar cream pie fans, they have it here.

Day-glo selections from the salad/fruit bar:

The Wet Tenderloin:

Jim Dandy is so kitschy cute, how could we not stop in? We've passed this restaurant on Conner Street many times but we didn't make it in there until last week. Something about walking through the doors felt like we'd walked through a time machine and it reminded us of the kind of places our parents took us to in the 70s. This stands to reason since it has been here since 1964. Somehow, they've really managed to retain that feel and it was just nostalgic-rific to be there. Mr. WYA! had heard rumors of a "wet tenderloin" sandwich here so he knew what he was going to order. Mrs. WYA! was just hoping for a big chef salad but lucked out with a huge salad/fruit bar for $6.99. It had all the usual salad bar offerings along with sugar free chocolate pudding, several fruit options, cornbread muffins, and lime green Jell-o which was just perfect for this retro meal. We didn't have any but also noticed heartier options such as mashed potatoes, liver and onions, and fried chicken.

The "Wet Tenderloin" is a standard breaded tenderloin, served on a bun, and COVERED IN GRAVY! The tenderloin, completely hidden from view by the gravy, managed to retain that tenderloin crunch. The bun however, was obliterated by the gravy. Although the thought of gravy on a tenderloin is a little odd, the savory beefy gravy really worked on this sandwich. Caution: this is not a neat sandwich; if you pick it up, you will have gravy hands. We got the basket, which came with fries and coleslaw, but you can also get it with the salad bar.

2301 Conner St.
Noblesville, IN 46060

Jim Dandy Family on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nell Brinkley cartoons

Thanks to the USA Today Pop Candy blog, we just discovered cartoonist Nell Brinkley via the new book The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley Cartoons 1913-1940. There's a nice slide show on the Fantagraphics Books website but a better price at Amazon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For some reason, the ad in Nuvo for Ha Ha Tonka's upcoming show at Locals Only (June 27th) caught our attention. Listening to their recently released CD, Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South, we think they sound good. We won't be around this weekend but the show might be worth checking out if you like "foot stompin indie rock".

Summer Recipes... Black Bean and Corn Salad

This is one of our big favorite side dishes in the summer. We've enjoyed it even more this year since we are growing our own cilantro.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (we confess, sometimes we use the bottled stuff)
1 tsp each minced garlic and salt and pepper

3 cups raw or cooked fresh corn kernels
1 can (about 15 oz) black beans, rinsed
3 ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  1. Dressing: Mix oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a 2 1/2 quart serving bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients; toss gently to mix and coat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got what it takes to be The Food Network's Next Food Network Star? There's an open casting call in Chicago on July 12th.

We make no claims about Johnny's Park Inn because we didn't stop in; we just thought it had a cute exterior.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garfield Park- Indianapolis, IN

The view of the Garfield Park Conservatory from the Sunken Gardens:

Here's an interesting page about the history of the park and the pagoda.

MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts:

Plaque honoring Al Feeney, Mayor of Indianapolis from 1948-1950.

Statue of Henry Ware Lawton:

What is it with the squirrels at Garfield Park? They've got to be the most people friendly squirrels in the city. Several years ago, we had a little one get as close as a squirrel has ever gotten to us as we were sitting on a bench in the Sunken Gardens. The Heidelberger Papers has mentioned that they'll get up close and personal with you and that was the case when we were there over the weekend. Luckily, we had some leftover popcorn from our visit to the Ice House so the squirrels kept us pretty entertained while we fed them.

Garfield Park is just a wonder. It's like Indianapolis' version of New York City's Central Park. The Sunken Gardens are just gorgeous. The pool was buzzing with activity on the hot day as was the infinitely cool pagoda. Several years ago, we went to a performance of Long Day's Journey Into Night at the MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts. Check out the Bard at Garfield Park website- they performed Much Ado About Nothing this past weekend and, in September, will perform Twelfth Night which we might have to go see. It's FREE for goodness' sake. This park seems to have it all.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Ice House Restaurant- Indianapolis, IN

The heavy front door:

Click the image for a larger picture of the menu:
Pretty stained glass leading into the bar side:

The Giant Chef Salad:

The Giant Breaded Tenderloin:

We love independent restaurants but we don't love the unpredictability of their limited information on the Internet or their quirky hours. We haven't posted about a restaurant in awhile because we've run into a string of bad luck as far as places not being open when we thought that they were. The Ice House was actually our Plan B after finding out that Plan A was not open for Saturday lunch. We were intrigued by it because we had read that it was a former ice storage building that had been converted to a restaurant. We asked our exceptionally nice server about this and she said no, it has always been this restaurant and they just built the front door very heavy to seem like an ice storage building. Still, it was a cool space with high ceilings and unique decor. Once inside the heavy front door is a door on the right, for the family room, and a door straight ahead to go into the bar. The place mat menu showed your basic restaurant/bar food such as sandwiches, ribs, and burgers. Mrs. WYA! was happy to see the "Giant Chef Salad" on the menu and ordered that with turkey as her meat of choice. Mr. WYA! had to tackle the "Giant Breaded Tenderloin". There were several TVs to watch as we waited for our food and sipped our high caliber iced teas. There was also free popcorn to nibble on which was appreciated. You just help yourself to the bowls by the popcorn maker as much as you want. The salad was indeed giant and good with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The breaded tenderloin was not only the biggest tenderloin in diameter that we ever recall seeing, but also tasty.

We'd never heard of this place before the day we went but we thought it was a nice, casual place.

[sorry the pictures are a little dark- it was pretty dim in there and we didn't want to draw attention to ourselves by using the flash]

2352 S. West St.
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Ice House Restaurant and Pub on Urbanspoon