When Anass Sentissi, chef and owner of downtown Indy's Saffron Caf?, opened the doors to his new quick-eats spot in Broad Ripple, guests lined up to taste the bocadillos (sandwiches), salads, and other made-to-order Moroccan fare. Indianapolis Monthly described the eatery's decor of ruby-red walls and punched-tin lanterns as "oh-so-welcoming," urging guests to "stick with the chef's recommendations" to take full advantage of the build-it-yourself sandwich menu.
Sentissi, whose years of restaurant experience and secret family recipes earned his food a spot on Indy Style in 2010, helps guests navigate options such as shawarma and Moroccan tuna salad with radishes as they create sandwiches, salads, and platters. Harissa, a spicy red chili sauce, and charmoula, a zesty cilantro pesto, are some of the traditional sauces and dressings that give Poccadio's dishes their signature flavors, making for lunch options that are healthy, fast, and build vocabulary.
At The Coffee Brake Company, the wafting aromas of fresh coffee do not deceive: the staff freshly roasts beans onsite. They select local and artisan beans to blend into java drinks that can be served hot, cold, or by a dance crew from a nearby movie set.
The Post Road Recreation Center provides fun-seekers with a multifaceted diversionary depot full of family-friendly activities and eerie entertainment. Stumble through Slaughterhaus's more than 6,000 square feet of repellent real estate, and then enter the haunted woods for a shadowy game of high-tech tag sure to distract laser-loving poltergeists from their subdued cribbage tournaments. Full-throttled speed-wheeling for up to two hours can be spent cruising with unlimited 10-minute rides on an indoor slick track from behind the wheel of a Deuce Coupe kart, navigating the twists and turns of an outdoor street track in a Formula K racer, or (with VIP passes only) setting off a symphony of sonic booms on an outdoor fast track with the help of a pep-powered Fast Kart.
Where the air was once filled with the pounding of hammers and the smell of hot iron, the sizzle of burgers and the scent of maple syrup now reign. Cafe Audrey resides in a historic former blacksmith’s shop whose interior delivers just about what the quaint brick building promises: white-painted wooden chairs and tables, lamps that resemble old kerosene lanterns, and walls lined with vintage photographs. There, families start the day or take a lunch break with soul-food staples such as shrimp po' boys and plates of broaster chicken—named with a portmanteau of “broken” and “toaster”—dipped in crisp, fluffy batter. On the all-day breakfast menu, huevos rancheros and chicken quesadillas add a touch of spice to the morning.
The Post-Tribune highlighted Cafe Audrey as part of the resurgence of the Fort Ben area. Owner Tammy Cunningham didn’t land there by accident: “I wanted a local feel. I wanted to be a part of the community,” she told the paper, adding that the café has built a fan base of “a lot of great word-of-mouth customers” since its 2011 opening.
HotBox Pizza’s cooks adorn three varieties of hand-tossed dough canvases with six savory sauces, cheeses, and 26 toppings to create a menu of dine-in, takeout, and delivery pies. The signature HotBox combines double spicy pepperoni and banana peppers, and Big Al’s Fredo fights off pernicious poultry cravings with a combination of chicken, roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, and banana peppers. Aspiring pizza architects can blueprint their own pies by laying down traditional, thin, or multigrain foundations and selecting from six varieties of sauce-carpeting. Doughy disks simmer with mozzarella, ricotta, Wisconsin cheddar, or fontina cheeses to hold down up to four toppings such as pepperoni and artichoke hearts. Circle-eaters can also save room in their knapsacks or hollow shoe-heels for fresh salad and bundles of breadsticks that come with nacho-cheese, pizza, ranch, or garlic sauce, and wash down stubborn bites with refreshing slurps of soda.
Every day, the chefs at Cool River Pizza whip up a fresh batch of dough and bake it into pizzas, with gluten-free options available, topped with Real California Cheese and house-made sauce infused with more than seven herbs and spices. Freshly sliced vegetables and gourmet meats also crown specialty pies such as the Cool Ranch chicken, which plays hooky behind the oven to show off its ranch sauce and garlic chicken. To wash down the pies, pasta dishes, and salads, bartenders pour pints and pitchers of brews such as Coors Light, Sam Adams, and Blue Moon as diners watch sports games on large-screen TVs, play Wii on a 100-in. TV screen, hang out on the open patio, or live out fantasies of ancient gladiators' quiet evenings at home with a collection of board games.