I went to Indianapolis to see my sister recently and I feel like all we did was eat. Edit, no, really, all we did was eat, do food related stuff or go thrift store shopping, all of which I love. Travel,food and deals? Those are three of my favorite things and it’s even more enjoyable when the company you keep enjoys the same things. Indianapolis isn’t a tourist detination but I’ve always had a great time there plus I get to kill two birds with one stone by visiting them and checking out new-to-me places.
First things first, I had to get my regular fixes–sushi at Tian Fu.
This place completely wowed me with their service and specials. We got there just in time before their happy hour special ended with 50% off all rolls! The 007 and green dragon roll were perfect in their own ways, full if flavor and not too much sauce. The were 8 pieces to each roll and it was so good I almost went back for lunch the next day, which would have been the smart thing to do instead of grabbing lunch at Sawasdee Thai.
After reading stellar reviews, I stopped by for a late lunch and it was packed-always a good sign! Service was quick and their lunch specials are wallet friendly (around $7 for pad thai plus two sides) but their pad thai was pretty forgettable. Even writing this right now I’m trying to remember it and all that comes to mind are two things 1) even though I ordered it spicy, I had to pour Sriracha on it to liven up the flavor and 2) the noodles they used seemed more like a thin spaghetti noodle rather than glass noodles. I wondered if I missed something with my experience or if they were just having an off day since there were so many great reviews but alas, I guess I will never know. I chuckled when I walked out because I saw a picture of Peyton Manning with the owners and can only he has found some better pad thai in Denver!
I also had a reunion with The Kolache Factory, a place near and dear to my heart.
Oh sweet kolaches! The Kolache Factory in Denver closed last year which is a tragedy because kolaches are a gift from the gods. They’re basically buns filled with sweet or savory fillings, like cherries, apple, sausage and gravy, bbq pork, etc. I usually opt for the more savory options and this time was no different, I got the bbq pork, sausage and cheddar and steak and cheddar (hey, I had to get my fix while there!) She also had a Buy Three, Get Three free coupon so that made it even better….what can I say, frugalness runs in the family
After a deal of successful thrift shopping, we stopped by South of Chicago Pizza. $8.99 for AYCE deep dish pizza, salad and sausage and peppers? Count me in! When my sister told me about this place I was perplexed by the idea of AYCE deep dish pizza. I’ve been to other places with the option of regular pizza but never deep dish, so I was geeked. We got there and it was pretty empty for a Tuesday afternoon and rightfully so, who wants to eat that much at lunch then run the risk of falling asleep at their desk? They had a nice salad bar and it was stocked but I didn’t want to be an amateur and load up on the salad bar and not get my moneys worth in pizza.
Ok, so if you’re wearing pants that are snug you really can’t go TOO crazy with the pizza. The slices are huge and I killed a slice of the pepperoni and sausage, both were terrific and filling but my only complaint was that the sauce lacked flavor. For my veggies out there, they did have a vegetarian option so that’s thoughtful of them. It was definitely redemption for being so close to Chicago without being able to visit this time around!
And even though we now have one, a trip to Trader Joe’s because you never know what treasures you may find there!
I couldn’t go the entire trip without cooking so I tried out something new to me after seeing this recipe for chopped salad on Pinterest
Makes 8 servings
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2 cups broccoli slaw
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 bag edamame, shelled and thawed
1 cup light poppyseed dressing
1 can mandarin oranges (12 oz).
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 block dry ramen noodles (no seasoning)
This has a lot of ingredients but it’s worth it, trust me! I usually don’t buy pre-packaged veggies like broccoli slaw or matchstick carrots but chose to do so this time since I didn’t want to waste time chopping my life away. I combined all the ingredients in a huge bowl and let sit for four hours. It was perfect by the time I took it out, just enough dressing to soften the cabbage and slaw but not so much to make the salad soggy.
This made eight huge servings and was a much welcomed break in between eating out the entire time. I had it for dinner the first night I made it and even took some to the airport for dinner when it was time to go home (I always travel with chopsticks, you never know when they might prove themselves to be useful) I will definitely make this again, especially with the warmer temps heading our way.
Even though I love going to Indy to see my sister and nieces, I was ready to get back to Denver into pants that fit comfortably.