This groupon is redeemable for ne loaf of bread, one bag of granola, and 5 bagels at the Scholar’s Inn Bakery tent at the Broad Ripple farmer’s market. It’s a steal.
The food truck phenomenon hit large cities some time ago. The streets of ultra-trendy Brooklyn, NY and Portland, OR are no strangers to food mobiles. What was once a low cost quick meal solution to workers on-the-go has become a gourmet expression of novelty foods. These quirky and delicious creations are now on the rise in popularity even here in Indianapolis.
There are over a dozen foodtruck vendors out prowling our streets every day serving unique, portable, tasty treats. Food offerings range from the very traditional pizza (i.e. @TheNYSLice) to the insanely original indian food truck (i.e. @SpiceboxIndy). Indianapolis is also home to a comfort food truck (@scratchtruck), a mexican-indian food hybrid truck (@tacolassi), a korean bbq truck (@seoulgrillindy), and SO MANY MORE. But no matter what truck you go to, you are promised to support local business and eat piping hot goodness for a reasonable price.
Now, I am sure you are wondering (just as I was) “how can I eat at ALL of the trucks?!?!”
For the most part they mosey around the downtown area catering to those business professionals looking for a quick bite on their lunch, however food trucks are tricky and can pop up ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME! In order to catch the food truck you desire we suggest following their individual twitter, our twitter, and/or @indyfoodtruck, which gives the latest updates on each trucks location.
If you aren’t an avid tweeter or you just can’t spare a moment, you are still in luck. The trucks occasionally find a common venue, such as Broad Ripple Park or Monument Circle to gather round for a truck convention, aptly called a #clustertruck.
If you need more convincing, just see what treasures we were able to devour at the most recent Broad Ripple #Clustertruck.
June is National Soul Food Month! We want to take this opportunity to explore some of the fine soul food Indianapolis has to offer. This is going to be an exciting month for us!
Soul Food month was started by the founding President ofthe Culinary Historians of Chicago,Dr. Bruce Kraig who said, “National Soul Food Month is a new opportunity to emphasize the culinary contributions of peoples from the African Diaspora. Our organization is educational, focusing on the study of the history of food and drink in human culture. We’ve hosted symposia and programs focusing on the contributions of African-Americans, National Soul Food Month is a continuation of those programs.”
Let’s celebrate and appreciate the culture together!
Early every Saturday morning, the Broad Ripple High School parking lot is home to one of Indy’s few farmer’s markets. By 8 A.M. these vendors have set up their tents, hauled and priced their foods, and are ready to greet customers with a smile. The variety of goods sold change weekly and seasonally, but each week local farmers and artisan food vendors offer up the fruits of their labor to a ready and eager crowd.
If you’ve never been to a farmer’s market the idea is simple. Local foods, mostly organic, are sold in a common city space by the people who actually make, grow, and raise the foods for sale. It is different from a grocery store, in that you will not be able to make a list and find everything you desire at the market because tomatoes may not be in season and eggs may have already sold out. On the other hand, you get the benefits of a market that is more than an economic exchange. Shopping at the farmer’s market empowers both the customer and small vendors by restoring history, education, and community to the act of eating!
As Jennifer Robinson suggests in “The Farmer’s Market Book,” the Broad Ripple farmer’s market is more than just a place to shop. It is a place to understand and redevelop a community. The socializing and relationship building that happens weekly begins with a common love, interest, and need for food, but the market is able to transcend food and has become a shared space for an active and engaged community.
Indianapolis can benefit from these sorts of open public spaces. Even for us who are advocates of this city as a great place to work and a wonderful place to live, it is obvious that there are not enough outlets for people to come together with enough regularity to start meaningful, and engaging discussions.
I challenge you to go to a farmer’s market with an open mind and a genuine curiosity. I guarantee that if you engage someone else, you will learn something, have fun, and find something delicious to try!
May, better known as National Burger Month, is winding down. So it seemed appropriate to us to go check out the newest and shiniest burger joint that Indianapolis has to offer: Bru Burger Bar.
Some Indy food critics are down on Bru as being too uppity, too expensive, or lacking distinction, but we think it is juuuuust right.
For our first time down at Bru, we really wanted to try everything! The restaurant offers a few classic burgers for the more conservative burger go-er, and ten chef’s specialty burgers, which is where the real fun comes in. The burgers range from a provençal, loaded with goat cheese, aioli, red onion jam, and mushrooms to pacific rim which is topped with shrimp, bacon, and pineapple. These burgers are a sight to see.
After much deliberation and inner turmoil, we chose the Bourbon burger, pictured above, and the turkey burger accompanied with a side of fries with homemade ketchup. I’m not an expert, but I’m also no burger novice. The first bite into my Bru Burger were incredible. The flavors were incredible and intricate, but most importantly they complimented the high quality beef. All beef and chicken served at Bru comes from Indiana farmlands, and you can taste it.
The beer list here is not as extensive as I’d hoped, but they do offer about 15 varieties of beers on draft, not to mention some additional bottles. With that selection everyone is bound to find a suitable accompaniment to their burger (or fish/chicken/salad) selection.
My meal, fabulous as it was, did end up costing about $15 for a specialty burger, a side of fries, and soft drink. Although it’s more than I would spend at Five Guys or Bub’s, the food is better quality and the atmosphere is incomparable. Bru has successfully transformed the Burger into an upscale dining experience.
To learn more about Bru visit their website: http://www.bruonmass.com/
Save the world; eat local.
Michael Pollan is a leading thinker on the issue of food. He is a national activist for sustainable foods and the author of multiple books on the subject. Agriculture is still a leading industry in our great state of Indiana. We should continue to make an effort to keep it that way.
The Indy Channel cites changes in the way Indianapolis eats.
What does it really mean to be organic?
There is a huge trend towards incorporating organic foods into the menu, but undoubtedly always buying organic means always spending more money at the grocery. For penny pinchers, it can be hard to see the value in purchasing what appears to be the same food for more money. Why pay $2.99/lb for organic tomatoes when the regular tomatoes are $1.29/lb??!?! Really, the price hike is astonishing at first. But the important thing to remember is that the tomatoes are not the same.
So what does organic REALLY mean?
For Crop Farms Organic Means:
• 3 years with no application of prohibited materials (no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides,
or GMOs) prior to harvest of the first certified organic crop;
• Implementation of an Organic System Plan, with proactive fertility systems;
conservation measures; environmentally sound manure, weed, disease, and pest
management practices; and soil building crop rotation systems;
• Use of natural inputs and/or approved synthetic substances on the National List;
• No use of prohibited substances while certified;
• No use of genetically engineered organisms, (GMOs) defined in the rule as ”excluded
• No sewage sludge or irradiation;
• Use of organic seeds, when commercially available;
• Use of organic seedlings for annual crops;
• Restrictions on use of raw manure and compost;
• Maintenance of buffer zones, depending on risk of contamination; and
• No residues of prohibited substances exceeding 5% of the EPA tolerance.
For Livestock Operations Organic Means:
• Implementation of an Organic Livestock Plan;
• Mandatory outdoor access, when seasonally appropriate;
• Access to pasture for ruminants (a ruminant is a cud-chewing mammal like cattle or bison);
• No antibiotics, growth hormones, slaughter byproducts, or GMOs;
• 100% organic feed and approved feed supplements;
• Sound animal husbandry and preventative health care;
• Organic management from last third of gestation or 2nd day after hatching; and
• No rotating animals between organic and non-organic management.
These standards are set by the USDA, and any farm or corporation claiming to sell an organic product must prove that their product meets these conditions before entering the market. Now having a wide pasteur for cows to roam or ensuring that there is appropriate management on the farm may not seem like pressing issues, but ensuring that crops aren’t mixed with sewage and that livestock is not pumped with hormones means you aren’t ingesting sewage and hormones!
The switch to organic isn’t easy or cheap, but the health benefits, and in my opinion the flavors of fresh produce and meats, are worth the time, effort, and money!
The USDA regulations listed above can be found here: http://agr.wa.gov/foodanimal/organic/Certificate/2006/OrganicRequirementsSimplified.pdf
Welcome to Indianapolis!
The country has been blindsided, seemingly overnight, by an incredible food movement. People are starting to consider and reconsider what they are putting in their mouths. This blog, which will hopefully turn into an online magazine in the coming weeks, is meant to inform Indianapolis foodies on food issues locally and nationally. We will have all the fun stuff like restaurant reviews and recipes, but we will also share food news and things we think you should know.