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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.


Go Ape September 21, 2016

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Ebony and I went to Go Ape, an outdoor treetop obstacle course with ziplines, last Saturday. We had to book our spots in advance online and it cost $58. We almost didn’t go because it was forecast to rain a lot that day. Thankfully, the rain let up by 1:00 and the rest of the day was 83 and sunny, although Go Ape would let us reschedule in case of rain. Ebony met me at my house at 3:00 and we made it to Eagle Creek park, where Go Ape is located, by 3:40. I had Ebony pay the $5 entry fee so she didn’t have to chip in for gas. We had to fill out some paperwork and sign some releases, which made me a bit nervous. The lady at the desk offered to take all the stuff from my pockets, such as my wallet, phone, camera, and keys, and hold it. I liked having that option because I was worried that stuff would fall out while ziplining. Instructors got our harnesses on, which felt surprisingly not uncomfortable. By that, I don’t mean they were comfortable, just that I was surprised at the lack of discomfort. We met some other people in our group, including one middle eastern lady named Monica who ran right up to us and started talking to us. I like that. Another guy, who I think was her husband, was with her. Another middle eastern guy named Ryan was there with his dad. Monica looked a little older than we did while Ryan looked a little younger. During training, Ryan was our guinea pig! We got a little delayed because a group of six guys (five of whom looked to be our age) showed up at the last minute and were added to our group because our group was the last one of the day. We trained for a good 15 minutes about how to transfer from cable to cable and to ALWAYS stay attached. For this to work, and for people to stay alive, they REALLY have to put their total faith in their equipment, which isn’t a problem as long as you stay attached. After you do that on the training line a few times, it becomes second nature. You attach a green hook on the rope to the green hook on your belt as you climb up a ladder. You then attach a red hook and a blue hook on your harness to a red hook on the rope. THEN you climb the ladder. After that, you transfer the red hook to the red cable and then you transfer the blue hook to the cable. Next, you disconnect the green hook on the rope from the green hook on your belt. You walk over to the steel cable and you place the blue pulley on, then you transfer the blue hook from the red cable to under the pulley. Then, you transfer the red hook to the red cable and place the red hook above the pulley. At that point, you’re safe to zipline or run across treetops. It will involve EITHER a pulley OR a green hook- not both. It sounds like a long explanation, but it becomes second nature after training a few times. As an added bonus, you could do the two training ziplines at no cost because you could get a full refund up until you entered the ladder for the first zipline- that was the point of no return where no refunds would be given. We went on five ziplines, though I thought there were six, each of which took three or four obstacles to get to. Each zipline began with climbing a ladder surrounded by a fence with a lock and a code. I had frequent trouble opening the door despite entering the correct code. Some of the obstacles had an “easy path” or a “hard path” to take to the next step. I always chose the easy path, and as a result, I finished second out of our group. On the obstacle course, we had to walk across several literal tightropes, some rickety bridges, and some planks. Some of them I found genuinely difficult, while others I found easy and was mystified by others’ complaining. At one point, I had to ‘climb’ a net laterally to get from one point to another. That wasn’t that bad. I even went on a mock zipline with a rope below the cable to get to the real zipline! The final zipline almost nearly went over the water and the view was breathtaking, to say the least. In fact, this was probably the most breathtaking experience I’ve had all year. And keep in mind I spent two weeks last February in Florida with Disneyworld and a cruise. Go Ape wins! I find it totally worth the $58 we spent. I only wish I had brought gloves because holding onto the ropes, cables, and lines irritated my hands after a point. Granted, I was grasping very hard, and the irritation was minor, but I think gloves would have helped. Also, we came in for some rough landings. The ziplines do not slow toward the end; you come in full force in a pile of mulch. Most people land hard on their butt and it hurts, but at least they get little mulch on them. I tumbled and rolled to disperse the impact like I was taught in karate, which worked, but I had mulch ALL OVER. Thankfully, I had clothes to change into at the marina afterward, but that’s when I learned that I should just bring clothes I don’t mind getting dirty next time. And yes, Ebony and I have concluded we’re doing this again in the spring. Plus, the people at the front desk said we can get a free t-shirt on our next visit!

Review: Iron Sheet Royal Grill February 24, 2014

Posted by Kenny Norman in west.
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Iron Sheet Royal Grill (3) - Copy

On Sunday, February 23, I went to Iron Sheet Royal Grill at 4873 West 38th Street, home to what was once WTT Buffet, and before that, Old Country Buffet. The place has done an extensive remodel; only the location of the bathrooms and the tile behind the buffet even hint at its lineage.

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Anyway, I didn’t have time to get a fruit plate because I had to be at work by 12:30, but I had a good meal- four plates. The first plate of buffet food consisted of traditional Chinese buffet fare- fried rice, chicken on a stick, chicken with broccoli, sweet & sour chicken, and bourbon chicken. The first buffet plate I got felt cold and stale, yet the second buffet plate I got felt hotter and tastier.

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There were two grills- one “hibachi” and one “Mongolian.” Each one was OK, not great. It was like the hibachi grill from Teppanyaki broken into two with ingredients split and sent to each one. Oh, and you can have limes on your grill. That part was nice. Also, when I was getting food at the grills, the manager, dressed in a suit so he’s hard to miss, explained to me what each of the sauces were because they were in the middle of removing and refilling the bowls.
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The restaurant certainly spared no expense with décor, but I wish they had Wonton Soup. Coupons are fairly easy to come by at Coupons4Indy.com, and lunch is under $6 and dinner is under $9 with coupon. All in all, while I’ve had better (totally looking at you, Teppanyaki East), it’s not bad, and I’d go here again…if I were already on the west side.

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Target vs. Wal-Mart, October 2012 edition November 3, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in east, miscellaneous, north, south, west.
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While I really, REALLY like Target more than Wal-Mart, I prefer to shop at Wal-Mart ’cause every time, Wal-Mart’s prices are cheaper for what I’m looking for. People say that Target is cheaper than Wal-Mart and I give them my “WTF?” face, usually reserved for Lady Gaga’s music videos. I ask them what they mean and they can’t really elaborate. People also tell me that Target has higher quality items than Wal-Mart, which I can see in theory, but again I put on my “WTF?” face, ’cause I can’t really understand how the same size, same name-brand item can be higher quality at one store over another. But I was curious to see if I was right, so I did some price hunting for products I usually buy at Wal-Mart and Target.

I found that Wal-Mart was cheaper or the same as Target in every case except the Irish Spring 8-pack of soap, and some items sold at Wal-Mart aren’t even stocked at Target. One of my friends who works at the Nora Target tells me that each Target prices differently, which is a valid point. There are six Targets in Indianapolis- 3 North, 1 East, 1 West, and 1 South. However, after further investigation, I find that the Glendale, Nora, Castleton, West 38th Street, and Washington Square Mall Targets are ALL more expensive than my close Keystone Wal-Mart. (I’ve never been to the South Side Target at the deadly Emerson & Southport.) It’s a shame, really. I like the atmosphere, order, people, cleanliness, service, stock, classiness, and design of any Target FAR more than any Wal-Mart and really would rather shop at Target. I just wish they’d lower their prices.

No K-Marts north of Washington Street August 19, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in east, north, south, west.
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Well, the ONLY K-Mart north of Washington Street in Indianapolis closed on May 10 (approximately), 2012. This was the K-Mart off 38th street and Pendleton Pike. Sears and K-Mart had to file for bankruptcy, leading to closures of the least successful branches. That particular K-Mart was targeted due to lagging electronics sales, but the other 4 K-Marts and all 3 Sears (even the one at Washington Square) came out OK. The Sears are at Washington Square Mall, Castleton Square Mall, and Greenwood Park Mall. The other 4 K-Marts are on West Washington Street by the airport, East Washington Street by I-465, Madison & Troy by U of I, and Emerson & Thompson by Ponderosa. But those are all on or south of Washington Street, which both explains why most north siders don’t know K-Mart still exists in Indy and also why I only go to K-Mart after work!

Teppanyaki review June 18, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in east, west.
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There’s a new place in Indy to get some delicious food at a cheap price! Well…a couple of places, actually. It’s called “Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet.” There’s one on the west side of Indy on 38th street, and there’s one on the east side of Indy on Washington street. The one on the west side is half a former Best Buy (they moved to 46th & Lafayette Road) and the one on the east side is half a former Frank’s Nursery & Crafts (they closed). I HIGHLY recommend this place. This buffet has a salad table, a fruit & dessert table, an ice cream table, and five more tables of food! Mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, hibachi rice, white rice, fried rice, seafood (east only), BBQ chicken, prime rib, chicken with beef, chicken with broccoli, chicken on a stick, sweet and sour chicken, thai chicken, bananas in strawberry glaze, mandarin oranges, regular oranges, peaches, pineapples, strawberries, and cheesecake…yes, cheesecake. At a buffet! They also have a hibachi grill where you can pick out meats and vegetables to be grilled according to your preference, and at NO extra cost. And the place is VERY clean, organized, classy, and beautiful to look at. The former properties are remodeled extensively. You feel like you’re at a $30-40 restaurant. And the best part? Dinner is only $10 and lunch is only $7 for all of this! It’s just about too good to be true. And sometimes, three plates of regular food and a fruit and dessert plate doesn’t even fill me up.


Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet West
5390 West 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46254
(317) 293-1600






Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet East
9701 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229
(317) 897-6884






Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Incredible Pizza Company at Lafayette Square Mall: now closed March 25, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, west.
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THIS is disappointing. The Incredible Pizza Company at Lafayette Square closed last Monday. Now I have no reason to go back to that area! http://www.incrediblepizza.com/home/locations/indiana/lafayette-square-mall (Update: the link is dead as of fall 2012. The image it showed is below.)

There are two Wal-Mart stores unlike the others. March 6, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in east, north, south, west.
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Indianapolis has a LOT of Wal-Mart stores, 96th & Hague, 71st & Keystone, 86th & Michigan, 46th & Lafayette, East Washington Street, Southport & US-31, Emerson & Victory Drive, Emerson & County Line, and Pendleton Pike. Wal-Mart stores vary, but most of them are similar. I find the 71st & Keystone, 86th & Michigan, 96th & Hague, and Southport & US-31 locations to be huge. I have never been inside the East Washington Street or Pendleton Pike locations. But the last two, 46th & Lafayette and Emerson & Victory Drive, are the most unlike the others. They are very small compared to the others. It’s hard to navigate where you’re going, the items are not neatly stocked and placed on shelves, and their stock is more limited, so you don’t always find what you need. I try to only go to these two stores IF I’m in the area and IF I’m trying to find a common item; these two are still Wal-Marts and can be very useful, of course, but no way are they a destination stop.


Incredible Pizza Company overview November 27, 2011

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So tonight I went with two of my friends to Incredible Pizza Company at Lafayette Square Mall. It was originally opened as XScape in March 2009, but closed in March 2010 when a boy was injured and it was discovered that they had no ride permits. I later reopened the following August as Incredible Pizza Company, which isIndianapolis’ second location, after the Southside one that opened August 2009. Anyway, we got there at 6:23 and waited 10 minutes at the front desk. It was $10 for the buffet, and we all had coupons that gave us a free $5 game card with buffet purchase. We had to wait for 10 minutes because the cashier not only did not recognize the coupon, she also did not know how to load money onto a game card. So after her manager came out and sorted things, we checked out the place. There were many arcade games, laser tag, mini-bowling, a mini-ride Theatre, go-karts, air hockey, miniature golf, kiddie rides, and, of course, the all-you-can-eat buffet. After looking all around, we decided to play Skee Ball first. Good as can be expected, but some machines only had 2 balls while others had 10. Then we played air hockey, which went off without a hitch. The table was very slick! Afterward, I tried the miniature bowling game. It successfully replicated the scale of the game without sacrificing anything. I consider it good practice for actual bowling. Then, we checked out the mini-ride theatre, where Ebony and I got to experience a simulated roller coaster thanks to HD screens and moving seats. I definitely consider the theatre the best part. The only downside was that since the person operating the theatre was also operating another ride, so we had to wait in line for the theatre. Luckily, it wasn’t a long wait. The staff overall seemed overworked and understaffed, and not very alive and engaging. After the theatre came mini-golf, and that was as good as can be expected. It’s really MINI-mini-golf, as it only had 9 holes instead of the usual 18. We all felt hungry after that, so we helped ourselves to the buffet. The selection was between medium-small and average, the taste was average, and half the sodas were tonic water and needed their syrup changed, but we didn’t mind much, since it was all-you-can-eat. I like their choice of movie. We watched “Finding Nemo.” I then went to wash my hands and was pleasantly surprised at how clean and shiny the restroom was. I like that a LOT! We then wanted to go to the photo booth, but sadly, it was out of order. We finished our time there with more skee ball and air hockey. The place has a good selection of arcade games that function well. I’d say that the place needs more staff and could be a bit more attentive to food & drinks, but overall, this place is a pretty decent value and one of the only INDOOR family fun places to go to in Indy! (Others include Greatimes, Dave & Buster’s, and thePostRoadRecreationCenter.) It’s not super awesome, but check it out- there are certainly parts to be enjoyed!

Rockville Road October 9, 2011

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This weekend I’ll be driving west on Rockville Road through Avon. It’s more up and coming than the ‘traditional’ west side Indy shopping center that is West 38th street, so hopefully I’ll have an analysis of Rockville Road up next week.