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Return to the Hibachi Bar July 2, 2017

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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So I went back to the Hibachi Bar in Broad Ripple for dinner with my dad on June 30. (Don’t worry: despite the name, it’s not an actual bar. I don’t do those.) Broad Ripple being the area that it is, all the storefronts are right up to the street with parking behind. It was difficult to find parking. Eventually we just parked in an old office building closed for the weekend. We got in there around 7:25 and there was a bit of a wait. The odd thing was that there was enough table space to sit everyone waiting, but we weren’t seated for 20 minutes simply because it took the staff that long to clean off the table we wanted. Once that was taken care of, we were seated. It took the chef a while to arrive, but in the interim, the staff was very friendly and attentive. They got us drinks, salad, and soup, and they correctly took our orders. I ordered a chicken and shrimp combo while my dad ordered a scallop and shrimp combo. My dad and I started talking to this nice couple, Pat and Christine, who moved all over the country before settling in the Lawrence area of Indy. And to think, they nearly ate at Cheesecake Factory that night! (Just my opinion, but I prefer the Hibachi Bar.) Those two got Japanese sodas. The sodas looked interesting both in concept and design. Pieces of the cap popped off and fell into the drink! When the chef arrived, he offered us the chance to have zucchini tossed into our mouths. Amazingly, I caught it, and so did two other people at the table! The chef was very fun and engaging, though I have to admit he didn’t put on as showy a show as other hibachi restaurants do. Also, I had to personally request ginger sauce from the chef, whereas it automatically comes at other places. The food was pretty good, though. It was honestly just a little bit below food from Sapporo or Tomo in terms of taste. However, the price difference made it much more worth it! Fried rice was included with the entree. The full price for two would have been $40, as compared to Sapporo and Tomo’s $60. Note that I said FULL price- Pat and Christine told us about a Groupon discount with that app. My dad downloaded it and got us $30 off, so we only paid $10. Total steal! Overall, Hibachi Bar has some pretty good food, though it wasn’t quite as good as other hibachi restaurants and the service was a little slower. But at prices like these, I don’t mind!

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Broad Ripple Fresh Thyme has Grand Opening March 31, 2017

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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I found out a few weeks back that the Broad Ripple Fresh Thyme would be opening March 30. Eve works there, so she kept me in the loop and told me I should go there to check it out. Parking was easier than expected, as the whole first floor of the garage is exclusive to Fresh Thyme customers. The layout was somewhat reversed of every other Fresh Thyme I’d been to, so I got lost at first. Luckily, the staff is very cheerful, friendly, and helpful, so I had them point me in the direction of what I needed. Unlike other Fresh Thyme stores, this one had a smoothie bar, hot bar, and chippery. Naturally, I had to check out all those features! First, I checked out the hot bar. The food was $8 per pound, so I may not do the hot bar a lot. One day I may treat myself to it. It had corn, mashed potatoes, chicken, broccoli, and all sorts of other delicious comfort food! It smelled really good, too. Next was the smoothie bar, which is also part of a coffee station that also serves Hubbard & Cravens coffee. I don’t do coffee, so that particular feature won’t do me good, but I know other people will like it! I got two smoothies while I was there at their new smoothie bar! One was good! The other…not so much! The “Blondie” smoothie had apple juice, banana, and strawberry. It was good. The “Da Blues” smoothie had apple juice, banana, and blueberry. It wasn’t quite as good. Next stop was the chippery. The staff there were so helpful. If I wanted to sample a chip that they didn’t have out, then they’d open a bag for me to taste one! Their sweet potato chips were a bit bland and not very sweet, but their sweet barbecue and their sour cream and onion chips were great, so I got both of those. Also, because it was Grand Opening day, I got a free reusable bag and a whole bunch of samples- bread, cheese, salami, sushi, even a hot dog! I wish the samples were an everyday thing, but I know it was just for the grand opening. The hot dog was especially good. The lady running the booth was very interactive and energetic. I donated $1 to the art center, as she was asking for donations in exchange for hot dogs. I also got $5 rotisserie chickens and a bunch of strawberries! I also checked out the patio, which was open because the Grand Opening day was warm and sunny. The sales may vary from week to week, although not as much on Thursday, which is their “double ad day,” when the previous and the next week’s ads are both valid. The Broad Ripple Fresh Thyme has enough interesting things to warrant a return visit, I’d go back there again just for the smoothies!

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!

Naked Tchopstix September 18, 2016

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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I went to Naked Tchopstix in Broad Ripple with Ebony on Saturday night. Both of us had wanted to try that place for a while. I went there once in 2005, and I was still not eating meat on Lent Fridays at the time, so I’d wanted to try something with meat in it. We were seated immediately, as only two people are a better accommodation than a group. They serve Pepsi products, so I got to have root beer! The waitress took a minute to arrive, but she was prompt after that. I decided to have miso soup as an appetizer and then I had a noodle dish with chicken and vegetables as an entree. Ebony had a rice dish with beef for her entree, though it went by a name I can’t pronounce or remember. Our waitress was sweet, outgoing, prompt, polite, and soft-spoken. Naked Tchopstix gets an A- for service. The food was fairly nice. The miso soup wasn’t bad, though I think the ones at Sapporo and Formosa are more flavorful. I also liked the noodle dish, and it was surprisingly sweet. Portion size was also satisfying, though I wish it had more chicken. I ate it all, though. It was very succulent, flavorful, rich, moist, warm, and delicious, with a lingering pleasant aftertaste. Honestly, while it was nice, Yard House has a similar dish that, while not as sweet, features more of a balance of meat and vegetables to noodles and rice. The entree at Naked Tchopstix went a bit heavy on the noodles and rice compared to the meat and vegetables, though it was still tasty. The place is a bit on the high side, so I wouldn’t go here frequently, but I’d recommend it and go back again. As an added bonus, they’re open until midnight on Saturdays, so Naked Tchopstix is good for late night eats.

Welcome to MCL East November 3, 2015

Posted by Kenny Norman in east.
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MCL East (1)

MCL East (2) So, in my quest to find a new MCL to replace the one in Broad Ripple that closed, I tried out the MCL at 10th & Arlington tonight. It was alright, but I’m still looking for a new MCL to replace Broad Ripple. So far, Township Line is in the lead and Castleton is disqualified! I know I said management at the Township Line MCL fell short quite a bit a few months back. At least the manager at the 10th & Arlington MCL was polite and attentive enough to let us combine coupons: buy one entree get one 50% off, AND get a free dessert with a purchased meal! Now THAT is some good management. Unfortunately, as with the Castleton MCL, their portion sizes were too small and I walked away still a little hungry, but at least I didn’t have to pay full price for it! I also noticed the 10th & Arlington MCL was not only smaller, but the layout was the mirror image of the one in Broad Ripple. They were probably both older stores. One of the houses I’m working on is in the area, so I may come back to the 10th & Arlington MCL for lunch sometime! I still have to try the Speedway, Carmel, Avon, and South Side MCLs though.

Broad Ripple Greek’s closed…AGAIN July 20, 2015

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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I last went to the Broad Ripple Greek’s Pizzeria on June 17 to eat in for dinner. They were closing early without telling anyone and when we came in, they pretty much said they were only doing takeout- no eat-in or delivery. told us we could eat our pizza outside and get refills for as long as they were open. That worried me. Sure enough, when I went back a month later to take some friends there for dinner, they were closed. The “Greek’s Pizzeria” sign was gone and a “for lease” sign took its place. I get the feeling Greek’s just cannot survive in Broad Ripple, no matter how hard they try. I remember they had their first location off 64th street from summer 2009 to March 30, 2011, and then they finally came back to Broad Ripple just down the street at Guilford & Westfield in the former Ben & Jerry’s in the summer of 2012. They had a good three-year run there. I went back home and noticed that the Broad Ripple location was off their website, and their Facebook page was deleted. Greek’s still has locations in Carmel, Zionsville, Noblesville, Fishers, and the South Side of Indy, but none of those are close to me and Broad Ripple was. I’m going to miss that place. Instagram Pics, 5th Wave (108)

So long, Broad Ripple MCL… May 20, 2015

Posted by Kenny Norman in news, north.
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According to IBJ.com, the Broad Ripple MCL apparently closed on Sunday! This was only two days after we were last there, like when the east side Ryan’s closed! This sucks- almost every time I find a halfway close place to eat, it shuts down!!!!

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