On this inaugural post, I’ll attempt to bring you up to speed on what you might be reading about in future posts. I’ve been frequenting locally owned restaurants since I’ve lived here in Indianapolis. Some were good and others were………..less so. I usually give a restaurant at least two chances, since we can’t expect a place to kick ass 100% of the time. We all have our off-days and businesses are no exception.

But first, a brief history of (my) time. I’m a local foodie and a geek, of sorts. I’ve lived in Indiana all of my life and have most recently been a resident of Indianapolis for the last 15 years or so. (This number is wholly inaccurate, as there are several years that I have opted to forget). I chose food as an interest and hobby at a tender yet crispy age, but  never made it my profession.  Although I tend to avoid chain restaurants, you may read here that (through huge fault of my own) I’ve been to the odd one or two. I prefer the personal touch of the local cafe’, cantina, taverna, etc. that you can’t seem to find at the chain joints. This personal touch has allowed me to connect with restaurant owners and their staff. NOTE: Given the fact that I am chummy with some restaurant owners, my outlook may be biased.

Another important item to note is that you likely won’t see me comment on menu selections that contain beef or pork (chicken is slowly making its way out the door too.) I’ll be mainly sticking to seafood  and vegetarian menu items. Oh, you say that I’m a hypocrite for eating seafood? Well, you’re spot-on, however, I’d rather do a little bit of something, than a whole lot of nothing. If it helps, I’ll be enlisting the help of guest bloggers to fill in the meaty, toothsome gaps.

Other things I’ll be discussing, to a lesser degree, are, local entertainment,  local roller derby, local craft beers, local scooting hijinks and other unrelated local issues of interest (can you see a pattern emerging here?) In other words, it’s all about frequenting the businesses of our friends and neighbors to help build our local community and as a result, ourselves. Seriously, doesn’t Wal-Mart have enough of your money already?

One last bit of business to address, mainly, the “ranking” system. In the spirit of this blog title, I’ll be using colored belt designations as they relate to my opinion of the joint in question. The designation “with stripe” just means that I thought the ranking deserved more emphasis but fell short of the next full belt. Sort of like the plus sign from your grade school report card (A+, B+, C+ etc.).  A total of four stripes are possible before you get to the next highest rank, with no stripes. Now these rankings are just guidelines, don’t get too wrapped up in it.  Dig?

White belt– Dude, you’ve got no business being here. You shouldn’t be buying it and they shouldn’t be selling it. The dining area is filthy and there’s no reason to think that the kitchen is any better. Oh, and please don’t venture into the bathroom. Hold it until you get to a White Castle (but don’t eat there either) Ya think the stock has been properly rotated? I wonder what the “chef” recommends? Who cares! I recommend that you get the hell out of there!

Yellow belt– Most likely, this is a new venture for a young business owner. The staff is unpolished, the dishes offer little flavor and were thrown together with no thought for appearance. Cleanliness is at a minimum and the decor somewhat shabby. The staff go about their jobs with little enthusiasm. If you’re the adventurous type, try it out but don’t expect nirvana. Give em’ a little more time to get it together; you may be surprised!

Orange belt– Slightly better than the aforementioned but still not ready for your regular, steady patronage.  The dishes leave plenty of room for improvement but they get the job done. Cleanliness is acceptable and the decor forgettable. The staff gets your food and not much else.Ya may want to give it a shot, just for fun but go alone, so you don’t get blamed for a lackluster evening. Check back every now and again, they’ll come around.

Green belt-  The food items are a mixed bag of exciting and just tasty enough to hold your interest.  There are a few items that outshine the others but on the whole, it’s just a bit above average, with a nice surprise every now and then. Cleanliness is decent but the decor could use a hand. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Bring a chum this time, to make sure it isn’t a little better than you first thought. They may discover something that you missed!

Blue Belt- Now here’s a restaurant with promise. The offerings are competent, tasty and the portions are such that you’ll leave satisfied but not stuffed to the point of discomfort. The staff  is chummy and know what they’re doing although your glass of water may stay empty for a few minutes (but who cares about water, as long as this doesn’t happen to your beer glass!) Cleanliness is on par with your own kitchen and a trip to the W.C. doesn’t induce the fear of cooties.

Purple belt– It’s likely that this place has been around for a few years or at least acts like it. The menu is solid, even a little eclectic. Cleanliness is even better than your own kitchen and the decor was thought out and designed to engage patrons. The staff is comfortable, if not a little cheeky with regulars and patient with newbies. This may be a good  place for a first date. You’ll get credit for the experience and you may even get lucky and …………. score a kiss! Ka-CHING!!

Brown belt– Here’s where you may want to check to see that you’re properly dressed before you start to butter the bread! Why? Just look around, dude. Those paintings aren’t paper prints. THEY”RE PAINTINGS! The place is spotless and the staff can likely memorize the food orders for you and your 3 guests. They can even recite the ingredients in your orders and how they’re prepared. The ingredients and dishes are of high quality and are displayed in a manner befitting their caliber. It’s art on a plate, alright. Although the portion sizes may not match the higher price tags, the flavor and quality make up for it.  Even better, I bet they have employees standing around the bathroom, dispensing paper towels and home-spun wisdom.

Black Belt !!

BLACK BELT !! – Yep, you guessed it. There’s no way in hell that you’ll be able to absorb all of the awesomeness that IS this restaurant. Most of the dishes are arranged into architectural masterpieces whose exotic flavor complexities leave you swooning with anticipation of the next fork full.  The staff are all college educated and likely better than you at sports. Chances are, you won’t find a joint this good without first enduring a 12 hour car ride or a 6 hour flight. I’m not prepared to do either. Enjoy!

Now that you know what you’re in for,  it’s  time to jump in and get down with some KUNG FOOD, INDY!

10 responses to this post.

  1. Cool blog, LB. If you need a review on a red meat offering, or an opinion on the local craft beer, as an augmentation to your fine rants, let me know. RG


  2. Posted by Nikki on January 17, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Welcome to the interwebs!!!


  3. Posted by The fat guy on January 17, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    That Kung Food shxx don’t work on the Fat Guy!


  4. Looks great Rob….


  5. Posted by gbjj on January 18, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Very nice!


    • Howdy Goshen BJJ. Thanks for checking out the site. Was it the Kung or the Food that held you attention? Meh, no matter.

      As it turns out, I take BJJ down in Greenwood, IN, under James Clingerman. I’m sure you’ve met him before. Perhaps we’ll see you down there some day.

      Peace through Jiu Jitsu.


  6. Posted by sadie green on January 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Makes me almost wish i lived in Indy!


    • Hey Sadie,

      Thanks much for stopping by. I hope you liked my ramblings. I’ll try to keep things interesting and fun, even if Indianapolis isn’t.


  7. Posted by Peter Wims on January 23, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Rob. Very impressive!! I have read everything on here and it’s very informative and interesting. Regarding bringing someone on to comment on carnivorous pursuits, all I can say is ‘can I help you with that, Eddie, please?’


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