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Misadventures at Cadillac Ranch July 16, 2017

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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Ebony and I went to the Cadillac Ranch at Mall of America. We LOVED it. Good music videos to watch, an extensive menu of delicious food, and a wild mechanical bull to ride! We heard there was a Cadillac Ranch here in Indy and got excited. We made plans to go on July 14.

That said, our trip downtown to Cadillac Ranch did not go well. Black Expo was in town, so when we were on 10th street, traffic was stopped. We had cars blocking intersections on the way there. When we got there, we apparently had to get carded, which they do after 7:00. And the menu was NOT what it said it was online. It was supposed to be the smaller version of the extensive menu. We had all of 10 options.

Worst of all, the bull was BROKEN. They wouldn’t get it fixed until 10:00, and we both had other separate plans after dinner- Ebony wanted to play with her niece and I was headed to the south side for the last half of game night. Ebony was NOT happy! At least we got like seven free coupons each.

I mean, at least I got to see Ebony, and I hadn’t seen her in a month, so that was nice. But I swear, next time we’ll just eat at Yard House and then walk down to Cadillac Ranch to ride the bull!

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Giving Ram a try July 9, 2017

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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After my dad picked me up from Popcon, we decided to go out to dinner. We had just done Yard House, also in the area, the night before, so my dad wanted something new. We tried Harry & Izzy’s and then Mikado, in that order, but both places were so pricey that the cheapest entree was barely under $20. We were walking back from Mikado when we passed by Ram. We decided to go in there and check out the menu. Lighting was a little on the dark side, but it was still light enough to see. The hostess, a young blonde girl who was very lively and sweet, happily gave us a menu.

Granted, there were a few entrees from $20-30, but it was nice to see most of the entrees were from $11-20, and there were plenty at the cheaper end for me to make a selection. We sat down, and it was a good eight minutes before we got any service. Our waitress, Clarisa, finally arrived, and got our drink orders. I was pleased to see that they had root beer there. A lot of restaurants carry Pepsi products, but root beer never seems to be among the choices. And to give credit where credit was due, once Clarisa found us, we never had to worry about anything.

She filled our orders correctly, gave us refills promptly, and cleared all empty plates quickly. She was great! I forget the exact name for what I had, but it was a burger with lettuce, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, and bacon on it. The only modification I made was to remove a tomato. While it wasn’t the best burger I ever had, it was very juicy and not too burnt. My food was also surprisingly filling. I have to admit, I was disappointed at first when I saw the size of my entree, but then I ended up getting just the right amount of full: not too starving and not too stuffed. There were several other entrees worth trying, like sirloin, salmon, fried chicken, and steak sandwiches, so I think a return trip is in order. With good service, fair pricing, decent portion sizes, and tasty food, Ram is a place I would recommend. I give it 7.5/10.

Louie’s Wine & Dive September 18, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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louies-1

I had a nice time with Jenn at Louie’s Wine & Dive on Mass Ave today. Mass Ave is an area I rarely frequent, but Jenn frequents it quite often. However, she’d never tried the place. Luckily, parking on Mass Ave is free on Sundays. Jenn was also nice enough to call ahead to make sure it was an “all ages” place, and it was! I got there at 9:35 and we sat outside, which was nice because for the moment, we were the only ones there. Jenn also said it was noisy inside, and it was quiet outside. The ideal setting for breakfast. Our server was nice and attentive, and the menu was quite simple. I chose to get an omelette with ham, macaroni, and cheese on the inside with potatoes as a side dish. The only modification I made was to remove the tomatoes from the omelette. It was delicious, to say the least. Everything tasted fully cooked, fresh, juicy, warm (but not burning), and the portion size was filling! It was probably the best omelette I’d ever had. The potatoes were a bit salty, but that aside, they tasted creamy, rich, and chewy! I’d recommend their breakfast menu and I’d like to try it again sometime.

Firing up the Weber Grill November 20, 2014

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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Weber Grill (7) - Copy Weber Grill, located at the heart of Indy at 10 North Illinois Street, is right across from Circle Centre Mall. They advertise an open-flame, classic barbecue. I have had their barbecued half chicken with baked potato and it is wonderfully delicious, every bite bursting with sweet, charcoal flavor. This place is very much on the expensive side. The barbecued half chicken, for example, is $17. Therefore, I would only go to this place once a year or to celebrate a special occasion. The interior is very fancy, carpeted, wooden, brown, and dark, and the restaurant boasts a formal atmosphere. The restrooms even have high-definition television sets. One benefit of Weber Grill’s location across from the mall is that it has easy access from the Artsgarden; no one need venture outside in the winter months if they’re parked in Circle Centre’s garage. The staff here is polite and attentive, but as this restaurant is the only one in town and a common dining hotspot for hotel visitors, be prepared to make reservations and place your order as soon as possible. I find this restaurant to be near capacity more often than not. However, if you aren’t deterred by downtown traffic, a populated dining room, and a higher price tag, then I would suggest investigating Weber Grill. It is the best barbecue I have found currently available in Indianapolis. 

Lunch at One South January 22, 2014

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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So I went with my dad for lunch at One South today after my job fair. The job fair was a bust, partially because a lot of companies declined attendance due to 13-degree weather, but also because the 13 companies there were either seeking positions for which I wasn’t qualified or salespeople. Anyway, after that ended, my dad parked at Circle Centre’s Sun Garage and we went to eat lunch at One South restaurant at the Hyatt. I printed a $25 gift certificate for the place, and because they’re only open from 6 a.m. – 2 p.m., we’ve never used it. DSCF0755 I went in there and it looked like a cross between Miyagi’s (another restaurant I had a $25 gift certificate to, located at 96th & Keystone and serving Chinese food) and the Apple Store. Service was prompt, courteous, and professional. When I asked our waiter how much drinks cost, he said they were $3 apiece or included with the $12 pasta bar. Since the $12 salad bar was the cheapest thing on the menu, my dad and I went for that. The waitresses brought us bread and butter as we walked up there. I saw fruit on the shelves by the pasta bar, and for the first time ever, it wasn’t decoration- it was real. I grabbed a banana and an orange. On the pasta bar, there was green beans, bread pudding, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, pasta that smelled like pizza, vegetable soup, and some other dish I couldn’t quite identify. All this looked fancy, but nothing really jumped out at me, aside from the fruit. Then I walked to the right and saw a chef with a grill. He was very nice and when I asked him what this was, he politely and fully explained that this was a place where you could create your own custom pasta, choosing your own meats, vegetables, sauces, noodles, and toppings. I chose bowtie noodles with spinach, peas, turkey, chicken, and shrimp dipped in marinara sauce. And yes, it was every bit as delicious as it sounds. I got my plate, covered with another plate to hold the steam in, and went back to our table to tell my dad all about it. He was intrigued enough to get up and order his own plate.
DSCF0756 Throughout all this, our waiter promptly and frequently removed plates and refilled drinks. To make the gift certificate I had work, we had to order $35 worth of food, and we were $11 short, so we decided to order an Angus Burger to go. What surprised me is the little glass bottles of ketchup, mustard, and horseradish sauce the server included. How fancy! I had to wash my hands of all the sticky orange remains, and once I located the bathrooms hidden behind the pillar next to our table, I noticed they were as fancy as the rest of the restaurant. We tipped our server $9 after he quickly gave us a to-go box for the bread and butter we never got around to eating. That “build-your-own-pasta” grill is an amazing feature; I would definitely enjoy returning to One South for another lunch sometime.

Hot Chelle Rae concert setlist August 31, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown.
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I saw Hot Chelle Rae at White River State Park on August 30, 2013. They played from 7:17-7:58. It was a short show with only 10 songs, but they sound as good live as they do on the CD, which is reassuring. It’s evidence they have real talent! Anyway, the songs were, from start to finish:

1. Whatever
2. I Like It Like That
3. Downtown Girl
4. Radio
5. Crazy (New Song)
6. Why Don’t You Love Me (solo version)
7. Honestly
8. (cover mash-up of “Too Close” and “We Found Love”)
9. Hung Up
10. Tonight Tonight

I’m kinda disappointed they didn’t play my two favorites, Forever Unstoppable and Keep You With Me. I got full recordings of Crazy, Why Don’t You Love Me, and Hung Up.

Oh, and then Carly Rae Jepsen played from 8:32-9:22. I don’t listen to a lot of her songs, but at least she played the two I do listen to: This Kiss and Good Time (featuring one of her bandmates in place of Owl City). I got full recordings of both songs.

Yankee Candle products March 16, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown, north, south.
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10.1.07YankeeCandleNewportMallbyLuigiNovi Here in Indy, Yankee Candle has stores in Castleton Square Mall, Circle Centre Mall, and Greenwood Park Mall. In November, I went in there because Circle Centre gave me a coupon. While the scents were intriguing, I found that most of their candle sizes were too expensive for me. The one size that wasn’t was the $2 votive wrapped in plastic. Unfortunately, when I opened the candles, the scent was gone. It was like the scent was in the wrapper plastic, not the candle wax. Therefore, I’m not really pleased with candles from Yankee Candle. However, I went back there in December and found something of theirs I DID like: car air fresheners! The little vent sticks they sell for $5 are a bit expensive, but they last far longer than those I get at auto stores for $3! Auto stores’ air fresheners last maybe a week. It’s been a month and Yankee Candle’s air fresheners are STILL going strong! So maybe I will go back to Yankee Candle when I need new car air fresheners. I just won’t buy the candles.

Didn’t like H&M February 9, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown, north.
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H&M(T)

H&M is a type of clothing store a few of my friends shop at. Here in Indy, there’s small one downtown at Circle Centre and a big one north at Castleton Square. One of my friends told me that H&M’s prices were comparable to Old Navy and Aeropostale. To her credit, she was right about that. However, I visited the Circle Centre H&M on August 27 and the Castleton Square H&M on October 1. I didn’t like it. The prices were right, but the styles were off. It looked like something a well-to-do married couple in their late 20s would wear to a golf outing. Another of my friends says their style is “European,” which seems like an adequate description. I just know that it’s too formal for me. I prefer places much, MUCH more casual.

My 10 favorite restaurants- February 2013 edition February 1, 2013

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown, east, north, south.
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The more I read IBJ, the more I realize that I don’t like “fine dining establishments”; I prefer casual, cheap restaurants- usually buffets! Here are my top 10 favorite restaurants in descending order.

1. Sapporo
82nd Street in Castleton
NORTH side
$$$

2. Super China Buffet
71st & Keystone
NORTH side
$

3. Ponderosa
Emerson & Thompson
SOUTH side
$$

4. Greek’s Pizzeria
Emerson & Stop 11
SOUTH side
$$

5. Teppanyaki
9701 E. Washington St.
EAST side
$

6. Ryan’s Steakhouse
655 N. Shadeland Ave.
EAST side
$$

7. Perkins
82nd & Allisonville
NORTH side
$$

8. Red Lobster
82nd Street & Center Run Drive- Castleton
NORTH side
$$

9. Weber Grill
10 N. Illinois Street
DOWNTOWN
$$$

10. Golden Corral
7910 N. Shadeland Ave.
NORTH side
$$

Of note:

*I know Sapporo and Weber Grill can be kinda pricey, and so can Red Lobster. They each have signature dishes that “WOW” me when most fancy places don’t.

*Honorable mention to Happy Garden (56th & Emerson; NORTH side) and Old Country Buffet (4200 S. East Street; SOUTH side), who both closed in 2012. You will be missed.

*The final tally is EAST: 2, SOUTH: 2, NORTH: 5, and DOWNTOWN: 1. West side, you lose. You got nothing!

My 10 favorite restaurants September 18, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in downtown, east, north, south.
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I don’t really like to cook for myself, so when I have the time, money, and opportunity, I go out to eat. Here are my 10 favorite places to eat in Indy!

(No offense, west side, but none of your restaurants made my list.)

1. Happy Garden (North side) $$

2. Sapporo (North side) $$$

3. Super China Buffet (North side) $

4. Ponderosa (South side) $$

5. Greek’s Pizzeria (South side) $$

6.Teppanyaki (East side) $

7.Ryan’s Steakhouse (East side) $$

8.Perkins (North side) $$

9.Red Lobster (North side)$$$

10.Weber Grill (downtown) $$$