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Dish: Nemo Roll
Restaurant: Wild Ginger, 8235 E. 116th St., Fishers, wildginger116.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because it requires diving off-menu. Why You Should: While scallops with super-white tuna and salmon layered on top isn’t an unusual combo, the playful garnish of sweet wasabi dotted with wasabi salmon roe is a big upgrade over typical eel sauce.
Dish: Brown-Butter Penne
Restaurant: Pizzology, 13190 Hazel Dell Pkwy., Carmel, 317-844-2550, pizzologyindy.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because the restaurant isn’t called Pastology.Why You Should: Brown-butter dishes are sadly scarce, and the simple, nutty, sage-infused dressing becomes the garden’s worth of veggies (roasted squash, rapini greens) and fennel sausage.
Dish: Indiana State Fair Brownie
Restaurant: Duos Mobile food truck. Schedule at duosindy.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because you can only carry so much.Why You Should: It’s a cakey version of an Andes mint: a luscious fudge brownie under a thick layer of minty cream under a patch of gooey ganache. You’ll need a fork.
Dish: Unnamed Neapolitan Sandwiches
Restaurant: Napolese Pizzeria: 114 E. 49th St., 317-925-0765; 30 S. Meridian St., 317-635-0765; The Fashion Mall, 317-705-0765; napolesepizzeria.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because how does one order an anonymous sandwich?Why You Should: Each of these monsters feels more like a bright, robust farmhouse salad politely objecting to the focaccia’s boundaries. Point to the first one on the menu, with the sausage and roasted red pepper.
Dish: Saffron Fettuccine Alfredo
Restaurant: Saffron Cafe, 621 Fort Wayne Ave., 317-917-0131, saffroncafeindy.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because you stopped eating Alfredo pastas in the '90s.Why You Should: The garlic, basil, and addictive saffron-infused cream in chef Anass Sentissi's Moroccan-inspired version will restore your faith that this Italian classic can inspire wows instead of eyerolls.
Dish: Spinach Salad
Restaurant: The Rathskeller, 401 E. Michigan St., 317-636-0396, rathskeller.comReason You've Never Ordered It: Because who has ever heard of a German salad without potatoes.Why You Should: Topped with bacon, hardboiled eggs, and sliced mushrooms, this generous, more-than-a-meal salad hearkens to a bygone era of elegant presentation, right down to the silver sauce boat of tangy, sweet, hot bacon dressing.
Dish: Memphis BBQ Melt
Restaurant: Bru Burger, 410 Massachusetts Ave., 317-635-4278, bruonmass.com.Reason You've Never Ordered It: Because you haven't worked your way through all 17 innovative burgers yet.Why You Should: This smoky sandwich stacked with slow-cooked pork, white cheddar, crispy onion rings, and coleslaw easily packs as much flavor as the hotspot’s sirloin-brisket-and-chuck patties.More Best of Indy picks here.
This article appeared in the December 2013 issue.
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