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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.


Chef Mike’s Charcoal Grill review June 6, 2012

Posted by Kenny Norman in north.
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Last Christmas, I got some e-mail coupons to the restaurants of my choice. I could choose 4 out of 200, and one of those was Chef Mike’s Charcoal Grill. I picked it because it was “American” and I found few “Chinese” or “Japanese” places. It was far northwest, off West 71st Street and I-465, somewhat close to Traders Point. I have now been there three times, and the third time was WITHOUT A COUPON. It’s THAT good.

Most places, like O’Charley’s, Friday’s, Chili’s, and Applebee’s, have buttered and grilled bread with greasy meat when it comes to Cheeseburgers. Not so with Chef Mike’s; therefore, I can actually eat their cheeseburgers! This is probably a reault of the charcoal grilling. And they are DELICIOUS…one of a few places in Indy where I actually want a cheeseburger! All condiments and toppings are placed on the side and although they usually don’t ask how well you want your burger done, it comes out medium well. There are few places that aren’t buffets and aren’t expensive that I can honestly say make me feel full. (Perkins and Greek’s Pizzeria are two places that come to mind.)

In addition to their wide variety of burgers, Chef Mike’s also has pizza, barbecue, chicken wings, salads, fries, soups, steak, and fish. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all American. From what I can gather on Google, Chef Mike’s opened in the summer of 2009 following the closure of a less than successful pub in fall 2008. Chef Mike’s also has special events and daily special entrees, though I’ve never been to or had any. What I HAVE had is the pizza, and while not as good as Greek’s, I have to say it puts most restaurants’ pizza, including Olive Garden to shame with its easily chewable crust, rich cheese, and sweet pizza sauce.

Orders take a bit longer to come out, probably due to the style of grilling. So I wouldn’t recommend this place if you want to eat the minute you walk in the door, but if you don’t mind 15-20 minutes for an order to go through, then it is well worth it and very rich, delicious, and filling. Again, I thank the charcoal grill. And the wait staff is friendly, attentive, and courteous…and somehow, they have eyes and ears everywhere. I once whispered that I wanted a drink and the waitress immediately walked across the restaurant to bring me one.

All in all, if you’re looking for a moderately-priced, non-buffet, American restaurant that excels at grilling, check this place out. The only thing I should warn you about is that you’ll need to go turn left on Woodland Drive (also called Commerce Drive due south of West 71st street) and then turn left past the McDonald’s but before the hotel. The drive is somewhat hidden.

Chef Mike’s Charcoal Grill
7102 Woodland Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46278
(317) 295-9490