Hoaglin To Go Cafe & Marketplace

I truly wanted to like Hoaglin To Go Cafe & Marketplace. We had sampled some of their offerings previously at an Indianapolis Originals event and were blown away. Their sun-dried tomato and pesto torte is something they should well be proud of, and the chocolate cherry bread pudding is way better than my own! Naturally, I was looking forward to trying more of what they had to offer.

The restaurant is bright and colorful, and quite conscious of its trendiness. A large deli case shows off baked specialties, salads, and other edible concoctions. I ordered one of each of the day’s specials to take with me: one vegetable lasagna and one portabella stacker.

A dime bought me eight minutes at the parking meter, but that time expired nearly three times over while the bustling staff tended to tables. In fairness, I did come in at five minutes to noon on a Friday, but it was quite surprising that assembling two boxed lunches could take twenty minutes, especially with no place to sit while I waited.

Each lunch came with a “field green salad,” which was nothing more than a pile of iceberg lettuce, a few slices of cucumber and roma tomato, and mostly-oil-on-the-side. The vegetable lasagna was rich, savory, and cheesy. Its flavor was shaded more by mushrooms than other vegetables, and the parmesan shavings topped off the lasagna brick with a satisfying saltiness.

The portabella stack was tasty enough, but rather insultingly small, considering the 3‑inch-diameter mushroom accompanied by the same measly “field green” salad. This is a silly $8.50 lunch special. Not quite vulgar, but close. It had some cheese on it or whatever, but did I mention that it cost $8.50?

Dessert was a treat, but the key lime pie unfortunately did not make up for disappointment of the preceding lunch. Again, we have tasted excellent samples of Hoaglin’s other offerings, and we will give it another try - but not carry-out next time - maybe brunch is a better match for us. And it will have to wait until this credit card bill clears, freeing me from having to look at this Hoaglin’s receipt.