Posts Tagged ‘Indianapolis’

Taqueria El Bohemio (I hope I spelled that correctio)

FrontUnless you’ve been out of town for a few years, you’ve no doubt seen a rise in the number of food trucks around Indy. They show up at city events and surrounding burbs, and the offerings are all over the map, from savory to sweet and various levels in-between. Although Taqueria El Bohemio isn’t a truck, it does have wheels, which should be close enough for anybody. Ok, it’s really a taco stand. Happy now? Anyway, I’d been passing it by for months, always heading for more established, er, establishments and  finally took the plunge a few days ago. It was a pleasant experience and, although  I only had the time and the appetite for a quick taco and Coke (a-cola), my short order hit on all cylinders and kept me rolling for the rest of the afternoon.

The menu features a nice little handful of yummies from which to choose, and as soon as I get a translator, I will try a few more treats in true Mexican style. Menu

For now, I’ll comment on what I tried — the chicken tacos and Mexican Coke. But wait, what the hell is a Mexican Coke? Let’s ask Wikipedia: “Mexican Coke, also called “Coca Cola de Mexico,” “Coke de Mexico,” or, informally, “MexiCoke,”[citation needed] is Coca-Cola that is made and bottled in Mexico[1] in a thick glass bottle. Although intended for consumption in Mexico, Mexican Coke has become popular in the United States because of a flavor that fans call “a lot more natural tasting.[1] The primary difference in flavor between Mexican Coke and the American Coca Cola recipe is that Mexican Coke is sweetened using cane sugar.” If you’re a Coke drinker from years ago, (and I mean several years ago), you may recognize the flavor. Next time you’re in the “hood”, try a MexiCoke instead and see how it stacks up against the corn-syrup version.

Chicken Taco close upAs for the tacos, check out the picture to your left and tell me that you won’t be tearing the house apart looking for your keys and wallet. (Say, have you seen my keys and wallet?) Oh, one warning: I don’t know what type of chilis they serve with the tacos, but I got a little lit-up after the first bite. It would serve you well to tread lightly around it or just remove it altogether if you don’t prefer the heat. Sauce n stuffBut then, what’s a taco without a few little extra flavor boosters? Well, it would still be awesome, but now it’s a taste explosion! A few radishes, cucumber slices, lime and a little salsa verde round out the whole scene, Daddy-o. Still not convinced? Well, go grab a few chums this Saturday and take a little road trip down East Washington way. Be sure and wear your work shirt to catch the drippings.

Taqueria El Bohemio- 4002 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN

KUNG FOOD MASTER RANK: ORANGE BELT WITH THREE STRIPES.

Siam Square

Now, as much as I’ve enjoyed Chinese food over the years, there comes a time when you’ve tasted all of the flavors to be had.  So the question remains that once you start to crave the essence of Asian food but you just can’t take another Lo Mein this or Kung Pow that, what naturally follows (or should) is Thai cuisine. The restaurant I make a bee-line to is Siam Square, located at 936 Virginia Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46203 :: 317-636-THAI (8424) :: info(@)siamsquareindy.comNOTE: For the sake of FULL disclosure, I am chummy with the owners of this establishment.

If you’re planning a colorful weekend  in Fountain Square to catch a burlesque show at the White Rabbit Cabaret, or a rockabilly band at Radio Radio, make it a real treat by starting the evening with authentic Thai food! Along those lines, you’ll see that Siam Square’s interior is a fitting backdrop for its menu. If you need to accommodate a larger party, they also have seating upstairs which offers a nice western view in the evenings. And, to make things easier on you after you’ve had a few beers, there’s a bathroom upstairs, too. Now go ahead and order another round for your mates. I’ll have the Sun King Wee Mack! Thanks.

Siam Square, Main Dining Room

Since you’re gonna be out late anyway, skip the crappy energy drink and get the Thai iced tea. If you’ve never had it before, the full, earthy, up-front flavor goes well beyond expectations. It features a dollop of sweetened condensed milk, (some prefer it floating on top, but most like it stirred in), which gives this drink a distinct Thai taste that sets the tone for the dishes to come. If  you’re feeling a little bit country or a little bit rock-n-roll, and in the mood for an appetizer,  try the Firecracker Shrimp (soy-marinated plump shrimps wrapped in a wonton blanket and deep-fried), or the Yum Veggie (fried tofu, tomatoes, lime juice, carrots, scallions, red onions and cilantro.) Although the Yum Veggie doesn’t sound too exciting on paper, the combination of sweet/sour/savory flavors is a taste explosion that you don’t want to miss.

Fried Catfish Filet With Yum Sauce

Now it’s time for your entree’ and aren’t you one lucky SOB? You ordered the fried catfish with your choice of sauces: Yum Sauce, Basil Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce, or Laotian Tomato Sauce.  And what’s this, you decided to get the Yum sauce?! Yep, it’s the same sauce that highlighted your veggie appetizer just a few minutes ago. Just to keep things interesting, to the right is an up-close and personal sneak-peak of the fish dish in question. I’m here to tell you that you’ve made the right choice. The fillet is large and uber crispy on the outside and moist and meaty on the inside. The crisp veggies are mostly onions, but since I like onions, that’s cool with me. As before, the yum sauce is delicious, and when you put the two together, it’s a combo that is tough to beat.

Siam Square Pad Thai

Say, what did your dinner guest order? A traditionalist, eh? Let me guess, the Pad Thai noodles?  And what’s wrong with that?  They know what they wanted and had the guts to order it. There’s no shame in that. Let’s break this dish down into its delicious parts. As it is described directly from the menu: This Thai classic roars to life with quick-fried rice noodles, egg, scallions and the crunch of bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. How can you not love it? Choose chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian or shrimp. I couldn’t have said it any better. I suppose you’ll want a picture now. ALAKAZAM, HUZZAH!!

I was even able to go into Kung Food stealth mode and duck in to the kitchen for a bit of recon. Preparation for the evening dinner rush was well underway and I’m sure that Iwas totally under foot but everyone was cool and no Thai hijinks ensued. The smells of Asian cooking are enough to make you want to grab the next flight and hook up with Anthony Bourdain for a whirlwind weekend. Just for fun, here are a couple pics from the kitchen.

A flurry of delicious activity. This could have been YOUR dish!

And before I forget to tell you, I paced myself through dinner and had just enough room for dessert. I don’t think that Asia is as big on dessert as us westerners, which means that the sweets they have perfected over the years are probably things that you haven’t had before.

What did I try? Well dig this, Cat. It was taro ice cream seated next to two sweet sticky rice patties. Yeah, it really happened. Sound interesting? It was. Neither item was overly sweet which is a nice departure from what I had expected. Eaten separately, each can stand alone (with perhaps a little sauce on the rice), but eating them together provides a slightly sweet / slightly salty (from the rice) combo that also has a hint of coconut. I’ve included a picture for your enjoyment.

Taro Ice Cream with Sweet Sticky Rice (and yes, purple is its natural color)

So, in short, you need to get this little treasure on your map, load up the in-laws and head to Siam Square for a little Asian atmosphere and some wonderful Thai cuisine.

 

Siam Square – 936 Virginia Avenue  Indianapolis, IN 46203 – 317-636-8424

KUNG FOOD MASTER RANK: BLUE BELT, WITH 1 STRIPE