Fionn McCool’s

We didn’t feel like cooking and we wanted something casual (that seems to be the trend these days) so we decided to try one of the newer places that’s gone in along 116th St in Fishers over the past year. Christopher had a hankering for a beer, and I figured I could find something that wasn’t breaded or wrapped in a pork product, so we gave it a shot.

I was really pleased… Our waitress was very friendly and seemed willing to accommodate us, especially since David was in tow (of course).

Though we normally skip appetizers, the bacon-wrapped bananas sounded intriguing, and after the first bite, I added yet one more way I can tolerate bananas… wrapped in a pork product, it seems. The bites were served with an interesting fruit salsa and mango chutney. It’s certainly not your typical Irish pub fare, but it was worth it.

I opted for a salad for dinner (after the appetizers, it was a good thing) and ordered the spinach salad, sans red onion. The spinach was fresh and since I got dressing on the side, it wasn’t too overwhelming. Everything else (the egg, mushrooms, and bacon, called mashers) were just what I had been in the mood for, apparently.

I also had a cup of the vegetable beef soup, and while it was very good, what was even better ended up being the whole wheat Irish soda bread. I’ve made soda bread before, but this was nutty and delicious, and I loved it. Go figure.

Christopher went for the red pepper penne with chicken. He was assuming it was going to be spicy and was a little disappointed to find that it was more sweet than anything, but it was good enough. I’m sure he’ll order something diferent next time (Shepard’s pie, anyone), and I’m sure there will be a next time.

While we walked right in and sat down (it was a Thursday evening), I’ve heard that it gets packed on weekends. A good lineup of live musicians (usually Celtic music) is scheduled for Saturdays, and there are several drink specials during happy hour. Get off work, meet some friends, and enjoy. My only complaint was that there was smoking permitted (just in the bar) that wafted over to our table. Sigh. If only everywhere could be smoke-free…

Deano’s Vino

Alas, I had such high hopes and expectations for Deano’s Vino. We’d purchased wine, cheese, chocolate, and ground buffalo from them when it was still just a wine shop, and frequent newsletters and event postings made me eager to finally sample the food.

I was so totally disappointed, it just breaks my heart to give them one star, but I call it as I see it. However, if a simple lunch is going to take two hours (30 minutes to get my order taken, and the dining room was not busy at all), I should be able to enjoy it. I did not.

I ordered the bison burger, expecting something gourmet (or the least bit fancy). The patty was obviously mass-produced (it had the straight edges indicative of being flash-frozen and separated from other patties by a square of wax paper) and overcooked. And if Deano’s version of “served open-faced on Texas toast” means “grease soaking through half of a split-open Wonderbread hot dog bun”, then so be it, because that’s how it arrived. The pasta salad that accompanied the sad burger was nothing more than penne, chopped purple cabbage, and some flavorless olive oil. All for the bargain price of $8. I would have been more satisfied had I gone to Burger King, to be quite honest.

My dining companions were equally underwhelmed, I think, and we all spent the last 45 minutes of the meal looking nervously at our watches, knowing that we were all missing meetings and wasting time. Not only did the waiter (who was a little too nice) bring one friend the wrong order, he also gave $21 in change after another friend paid with a $20. That was the highlight of the meal.

Other reviews have made mention of the delicious food, but i’m not sure I’m willing to risk the time and the money to come back and give something else a try. So disappointing.

Sky City Cafe

Located inside the Eiteljorg Museum, I’d heard good things about this surprising museum restaurant.

I wanted something on the light side, so even though the Monday soup selection of chicken corn chowder sounded excellent (and the quesadilla and soups offerings change daily), I opted for the potato and white onion with epazote and red chile. It was a bit zesty, but not heavy at all… just what I was looking for. The accompanying cornbread was tasty, too (but then, I’m a sucker for corn and for bread, so what better combination?)

Again on the lighter side, I chose the Painted Desert Roasted Red Pepper salad, and was not expecting the salad to be as enormous as it was. I had asked them to go easy on the Monterey Jack cheese (since I’ve resigned myself back to Weight Watchers) and they obliged. The red pepper vineagrette dressing was not overwhelming, nor was there too much of it, and the lettuce was crisp and green (no iceberg here!).

This is definetly a cut above your average museum cafe. The menu begs a repeat visit, since it changes daily. The desserts on display would be worht the return trip alone! The atmosphere was bright and clean, the staff was friendly, and the food was flavorful, creative, and unique. Lucky for me it’s just a short walk across the river!

Mi Tierra

After seeing a write-up about this new bakery and restaurant in the Fishers local paper, we decided that refritos and something wrapped in a tortilla was in our future. Though there is an abundance of Mexican restaurants in Fishers, Mi Tierra takes it a step beyond and offers other central American (particularly Guatemalan) dishes.

Because they opened quite recently and the main dining room is still under contruction, we only got to order from an abbreviated menu. Both of us enjoyed our pupusas revueltas de chicarron, frijoles y queso (a masa-type pancake stuffed with pork, cheese, and beans). We also enjoyed broiled yucca root and fried pork meat, though the pork was very fatty and I ended up leaving half of it on my plate.

Chris also ordered a tamale guatemalteco (stuffed with pork and steamed in a plantain leaf), which ended up being the most flavorful of all our food. Guatemalan food by nature, apparently, is not nearly as spicy as the Tex-Mex we’re acustomed to, so it took some reminding that it’s not all going to taste like hot sauce.

Although it was a bit on the bland side (the rice and beans were pretty dull, too, and the leftovers will definitely get a sprinkling of chipotle), the food was good, quality homemade food. Plus, it was very inexpensive and you can order almost anything a la carte.

The owner assured us that the soon-to-be-expanded menu (along with the soon-to-be-expanded dining room) would boast many more features, including seafood. They also would begin serving breakfast, much to the luck of the thousands of people who pass by the bustling intersection of 116th and I‑69.

In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Mi Tierra also serves up freshly-baked breads and baked goods…one of the only shops in town to do so. Plus, everything in the bakery case is $.65! You simply cannot do better than that!

The warm and friendly service (I got to practice my Spanish) and the promise of a wider variety of foods is enough to convince us to give them another try in a few weeks. If you’re looking for something a bit beyond your typical Mexican fare, here’s your place.

Traders Point Farm

We found the website to this organic farm (you may have seen them selling milk, yogurt, and other diary products at local farmers markets or at some supermarkets) and discovered that, in addition to their own weekly organic farmers market (Fridays from 4–7pm), they also serve a totally organic/free-range dinner from 5–7pm.

After a harrowing drive out to Zionsville (which was neat, since after five years of living in Indy, neither one of us had ever really been to Zionsville), we found this quaint little country farm, just how you would picture it; gravel driveway, wooden barns, a pond (full of nature!) and chickens running all over the place.

Dinner was $15 (as it is every week), and this week’s menu offered chicken pot pie with huge chunks of tender chicken and big chunky vegetables. The buttery biscuit on top really made it the “pie”, but otherwise it was really more like delicious chicken stew, just like Mom used to defrost.

Accompanying the pot pie was arugula with a fresh beet salad, topped with organic goat cheese and a tangy balsamic dressing. We also had a wonderful eggplant and zucchini caponata on crostini. It was very hearty, even for a cold dab of topping. Wonderful!

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the meal was our beverage (included in the price). You could choose between water, or regular or chocolate milk. We both opted for chocolate (hey, we’re drinking whole milk anyway, why not splurge all the way?!), and it was just like dessert in a cup. Their milk is nonhomogenized (meaning the fat isn’t blended up) so it was rich and creamy and decadent, compared to the grocery-bought skim we’re used to, but still healthy in its own way.

The dinner is only served May through October, but word of mouth told us they offer a Saturday breakfast in the winter. We’ll have to check that out. It would be great if the farm would post their anticipated menu on the website (or maybe offer an advertized vegetarian dinner once or twice), but regardless of what is prepared, chances are it will be wholesome and delicious and worth fighting Friday afternoon traffic on the northwest side to get to.

Don’t forget to take a little walk out to the pond after dinner; frogs, a green heron and blue heron, a kingfisher, swallows, and all sorts of cool nature surrounded us as we gazed at cows on a hillside. it doesn’t get more peaceful (or pastoral 😉 than that.

Bertolini’s Authentic Trattoria

We had a free babysitter (thanks, Aunt Sara) and a prior engagement downtown, so we were going to make the most out of our evening out.

We arrived slightly after the dinner rush, but the dining room w s still bustling and the hostess never even officially greeted us before we were whisked to a crumb-covered table. Our waiter never offically greeted us, either, but rather haughtily waitied for us to place our drink order.

Like most restaurants these days, the portions were huge. I ordered the field greens salad and Chris went for the Ceasar, and we were presented with dinner plates heaping with leafy greens; it would have been enough for a (rather monotonous) meal, especially coupled with the loaf of bread the size of a basketball that was also brought to the table. The bread was topped with a glob of pesto the size of an ice cream scoop

Christopher chose the Fazzoletto, a glorified lasagna with lots of creamy cheese. It was tasty, but a little heavy. I ordered a special, grilled peppers with Italian sausage and grilled polenta. I could have used more polenta and a little less sausage (do we need two whole feet of sausage!), but it had just the right amout of heat and we had enough leftovers for another dinner.

Though the food was good, the ambience and the service was lacking. Were we expecting too much from a mall restaurant on a Saturday night? We were hoping to have a “special dinner” since the opportunity so rarely comes around anymore, and although we enjoyed the meal itself, the overall experience wasn’t really worth repeating again.

Adobo Grill

We wanted to take Jeff (in town from Italy) out for Mexican, and we’d seen some pretty glowing reviews of Adobo in recent papers. Plus, we knew there was outdoor dining, a plus if you’ve got a five-month-old in tow.

It was easy to get a nice seat on the deck, even for a Tuesday afternoon. We immediately ordered the guacamole (totally worth the $7.95 price tag) and were rewarded with big chunks of the prettiest green avocados we’d seen in a long time.

I opted for several appetizers, starting with the jicama and mango salad. It was a little heavy on the cucumbers and didn’t have quite enough jicama, but it was dressed well and was a good, light starter. I also chose the cazuela, a casserole of chorizo sausage and zucchini; tasty, but I’ve had it once and there were other menu items that I’ll try next time. So totally worth it, however, were the sopes surtidos. One came with chorizo, one with shredded chicken, but the best one (I could have had all three this way) was plantain with mole sauce…so delicious!

Christopher ordered the “poc-chuc”, a spice-rubbed pounded prok chop, and seemed to enjoy it very much. Again, the avocadoes that accompanied his dish were lovely. He also mentioned that it was very difficult to only order one Margarita Adobo, but way to go for some self control.

Jeff’s chicken adobo seemd to go over well, too, although he was skeptical about the sauteed chayote at first.

Adobo has a laid-back, casual atmosphere and seemed to cater to the after-work crowd as the evening drew on. We were there fairly early and there were several larger tables sitting outdoors. My one complaint is that they allow smoking outside, and we had to eat our dinner sitting under a Marlboro haze (made worse by the bouncing baby boy on my knee). Otherwise, we felt like our first venture out into public dining in a long time was a success, and we’ve found some new tasty Mexican to add to the list!