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ThinkGeek’s soft opening November 10, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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I went to the “soft opening” of ThinkGeek at Castleton Square tonight before tomorrow’s grand opening! The place is a nice little area devoted to the kind of things you’d see at Comic-Con or Popcon. Besides the Power Rangers and Marvel heroes sections I’d seek out, they also had Harry Potter, Zelda, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, and Star Wars. I know there’s more, but I wasn’t paying attention beyond the two sections I like. It was a neat place, like Hot Topic without the music section…yet they offered items I never saw at Hot Topic or FYE. Oh, and they are a division of GameStop, so those reward cards work there, too. I recommend the place. They have a neat selection of novelties and collectibles. I got a Green Ranger hat and Blue Ranger socks tonight. I also got a photo with the giant Iron Man statue while holding the Captain America shield!

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Going to Golden Corral West November 8, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in west.
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On November 7, I went to the west side Golden Corral. I hadn’t been there since May of 2008, and it was after a particularly annoying experience of drunken Indy 500-goers shouting at us because our car was overheating. Anyway, with the north side Golden Corral closed two months ago, I decided to check out the other two in Indy to see which one I would go to now. As I approached the west side Golden Corral at 38th & High School Road, the lights on the sign were out and I didn’t see any cars in the parking lot. Upon closer inspection, the sign was just shut off and there were a few cars in the lot close to the entrance. It wasn’t very busy there. The east side Golden Corral I went to last Monday night had five times the attendance. And when I first walked in, the first thing I find out is that the west side Golden Corral didn’t have root beer. Ironically, they did on my last visit in 2008, while the east side Golden Corral didn’t have root beer on my last visit in 2006 but they do now. The nice cashier informs me “no root beer,” and at first, I thought that meant they were just out. She said it three times before I figured out she meant they don’t have it, and I said “Damn!” quite bluntly, but not loudly. Another thing I noticed: the Golden Corral in Castleton was decorated and had dessert and a private section on the left, and salad and bathrooms on the right. The east side location had the same layout, but was not decorated. The west side location was just as decorated as the Castleton location was, but the layout was a mirror image, and as a result, I was constantly getting lost. Several of the employees from Castleton transferred to the east side location, and, as I suspected, none were at the west side location. That makes sense, seeing how Washington & Mitthoeffer is closer to Castleton than 38th & High School is. The service was VERY good at the west side location. The clientele was quiet and kept to themselves, though they made sure the wait staff got tipped. Two guys were about to leave when they didn’t realize they had any cash, and they went over to the cashier and waited five minutes to get some so they could leave a tip. Our waiter was upbeat, prompt, and polite. We rarely had to ask him for refills, and we even tipped him an extra dollar. The food was almost as good as the food at the east side location. It tasted like it had been sitting out just a little bit longer, but it wasn’t obvious or gross like that. I mean, I had five plates when I usually have three, so it was nothing for me to worry about and the chicken, broccoli, shrimp, turkey, and potatoes I had were delicious. I also noticed, oddly enough, that the east side location had no booths, while Castleton and the west side locations did. Strange. I worry about the west side location because there weren’t many people in there during my visit. Ultimately though, I’d choose the east side location over the west side. I like booths and colorful walls, but I like root beer, a familiar layout, and fresher food more, plus the employees at the east side formerly from Castleton know me.

Spotting Sakura November 7, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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After Covered Bridges, Ebony and I needed somewhere to eat. With our beloved Perkins, our usual after-Covered Bridges dinner spot, destroyed, we opted for Sakura off 71st & Keystone. I drive by this place literally every week and wonder what it’s like in there. When we got there, we had to park at the closed vet’s office next door due to insufficient parking. We got inside to find out that it wasn’t too crowded and we were seated immediately. I had a teriyaki chicken entree for $12. I really thought it would be a lot more expensive than it was, and I’m glad it wasn’t. Thankfully, they didn’t skimp on the portions. I almost had to resort to a to-go box, which Ebony actually used. The chicken also came with rice and vegetables, all of which were wonderfully tasty. The flavors were interesting. I have a hard time describing just what they added to their teriyaki sauce to make it unique, but it works. I feel like I got a good value for the money. The wait staff wasn’t the friendliest, but they WERE rather prompt and checked back frequently for drink refills and plate removal. I recommend this place and I hope to go back again. As I said, I drive by this place literally every week and therefore, I should be able to go back sometime soon.

Scotty’s Dawghouse gives close dining options November 3, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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Since the Broad Ripple MCL and the Broad Ripple Greek’s both closed last year (and Boogie Burger gave me food poisoning), I’ve had a hard time finding good restaurants close to my house. Thankfully, as part of Butler’s new parking garage, they installed their own version of Scotty’s Brewhouse in the garage, named Scotty’s Dawghouse after the Butler Bulldogs. I highly recommend this place. The wait staff, comprised almost entirely of Butler students, gives great service. They’re happy, prompt, and helpful. I never had to wait more than five minutes to place an order or get soda refills. Their burgers are also very good- not as good as Red Robin, but close. The beef is thick, juicy, and tasty, and the fries with them aren’t half bad either. The menu has several options beyond burgers, and they offer upgraded beef options, but I’m happy with the simple stuff. I also had teriyaki chicken wings off their appetizer menu, which came only a few minutes before the meals came, so I didn’t even have to rely on the appetizer to tide me over before the main course! To end things, I had the nutella marshmallow milkshake. And yes, it’s as rich, sugary, creamy, and delicious as it sounds. It’s only available for a limited time, so I don’t know if it’s still there, but if it is, then get it immediately. Prices are a bit on the high side, but I consider it worth it. And it’s nice to have decent restaurants I like between downtown and Broad Ripple again.

Hibachi Bar Now Open! November 3, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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I went to Hibachi Bar and Grill in Broad Ripple on October 19. The new restaurant occupied the space formerly occupied by La Jolla, a Mexican restaurant. Admittedly, I’m biased- going from Mexican to Japanese is about the biggest possible upgrade for me! And to add icing to the cake, the restaurant owners were giving their customers all 15% off without coupon in honor of their grand opening! We didn’t wait to be seated, and we were seated at our own table. I got the hibachi chicken and shrimp combo for $22, which was the full price before discount. Without the discount, this place is on par with others of its kind like Sapporo, Tomo, Benihana, Kazan, Fujiyama, Fuji, and Kumo. The staff was friendly and helpful, though I question whether our waitress spoke fluent English, as she struggled to understand our drink order. The chef was very fun though, and he cooked our food as specified. It tasted pretty good, though it wasn’t quite as good as Sapporo or Tomo. The chicken and the shrimp were succulent, flavorful, and plentiful, and they left a pleasant lingering aftertaste. All in all, we were in and out in under an hour. That’s the fastest hibachi service I’ve ever had!