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Food & Drinks

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Food Trucks R Us

Last Friday, Indy’s food truck caravan circled up in the parking lot of the Murat Theatre for some Labor Day weekend curbside service. The sweltering blacktop and excruciating lines significantly raised the stock for Pop Cycle’s organic frozen treats and (guess the joke’s on us!) practically everything on the picture menu of a Summer Song ice cream truck. A portabella sandwich from the Fat Sammies window tempered the mushroom’s smoky flavors with a sweet marinara sauce. The queue stretched to infinity for the baby burgers at Keys Gourmet Catering’s Slider Station, and the employees of Byrne’s Grilled Pizza were perpetual-motion machines churning out thin-crust margarita pies. Diners sipped adorably packaged (though shamefully overpriced at $12 a bottle) Beanblossom Hard Ciders from Oliver Winery  while demonstrating their corn-holing prowess. But precious Mabel on the Move, the only food truck to take on the tin-can aesthetics of an Airstream trailer, won all of the style points.

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

Crisp, deep-fried Moroccan Eggs, like Scotch eggs but with an added layer of falafel, at Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757).  Good Morning Mama’s (1001 E. 54th St., 317-255-3800) corned beef hash—hash browns and shredded corned beef under eggs. The mixed-be

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Play It Again: A Review of Room Four

Rare is the restaurant under 500 square feet that garners much media buzz. An eatery that petite featuring burgers and tacos would strain to hit the gourmet radar. But when you are a chef who has racked up enough four-star reviews that you already have your own cutting-edge, postmodern “playground” where your culinary vision answers to no one, then just about any food you offer up, in any space, would draw a crowd.

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Bum Rap?

A chilling review by GQ’s Alan Richman proves it isn’t easy being a food critic.

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NEW IN TOWN: Comida Tipica Mexicana

The lineup is limited to tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tamales, and tortas, which meant we were able to eat almost everything the kitchen makes. Out came a pair of tamales moist to the point of corn pudding, and loaded with seasoned shreds of pork and chicken. We could not resist the squirt bottles of smoky red sauce and kicky tomatillo, though these tamales needed no further adornment. A pork torta was more modest with its fillings than we are used to (in other words, we were able to finish it without dialing 911), and a chicken burrito had more meat than filler. But the winning order, three soft beef tacos at $2 each, contained perfect, salty morsels of steak, cradled simply with chopped onions and cilantro inside double-layered corn tortillas that had touched the griddle just long enough to attain the gentlest crunch. Muy Bueno!

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

Thursday’s half-price martini night at Mesh on Mass (725 Massachusetts Ave., 317-955-9600). Always jammed. Good value. Brown-sugar oatmeal pancakes with blueberries at Rosie’s Place (68 N. 9th St., Noblesville, 317-770-3322).  The Take You Back PB&J at

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Come to Papa

Art Bouvier grew up in New Orleans, where almost everyone he knew owned a restaurant, and he was pretty sure that wasn’t the life he wanted. He even moved north, seeking a corporate career that would keep him safely out of the hospitality business. But eventually the cubicle lifestyle wore him down. Good for us. In 2007, Bouvier left his seven-year IT career at Eli Lilly to open his authentically Cajun Papa Roux on the east side. “At the time, everyone thought I was nuts,” says Bouvier. “Now I don’t look so nuts.”

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DIG-IN Dispatch

An estimated 5,000 foodies, locavores, beer heads, wine lovers, and summer festival buffs took advantage of a gorgeous August afternoon at White River State Park this Sunday for the second annual DIG-IN: A Taste of Indiana. Over 50 chefs, Hoosier farms, wineries, and breweries offered up samples of the tastiest products Indiana has to offer, with lines sometimes 50 deep for duck flatbreads, Wagyu burgers, wheat ales, Chambourcin wines, and coffee sodas—all proving that Indiana is much more than pork tenderloins and sugar cream pie.

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… And More DIG-IN Photos

Pork tacos from Restaurant Tallent, bread pudding from Keltie’s, and a killer meatloaf sandwich.

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Waste Not

Check out this story on how the JW Marriott plans to clean up during the Super Bowl.

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

Sweet potato waffles at Maxine’s Chicken & Waffles (132 N. East St., 317-423-3300). The Boston-Cream-style chocolate cake at Saffron Cafe (621 Fort Wayne Ave., 317-917-0131). Rhubarb Wine from Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville—swee

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Been There, Ate That, Got the T-Shirt

Know your audience.

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Indiana State Fair Food Diary

Sunday marked the end of the Fair’s 2011 run. We said our goodbyes until next year … which gives us roughly 365 days to work off the following.

Philly Steak Slider. A respectable $2 version of the $7 original, the four-bite snack featured remarkably tender slices of “prime rib,” with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese sauce.

Gyro. An annual must-eat. Tender lamb and beef inside pillowy pita, with onions, tomatoes, and addictively cream

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COMING SOON: Sonata Cafe

Designed by Brazilian architect Daniela Kohl of Kohl Interiors, Carmel’s two-story Sonata Cafe Bar and Art (31 E. Main St., Carmel) will feature large bay windows, an open-area bar and atrium, hardwood floors, and an open-air counter for window service to passersby on the street. Co-owned by Magdalena Segovia (who also owns the Magdalena Gallery and runs the Carmel Academy of the Arts), the restaurant with the Italian piazza-style atmosphere comes complete with live music from

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Chillin with Pop Cycle

The gourmet popsicle trend might finally be edging out the cupcake cafes and food trucks to get a toehold in Indianapolis. Nothing against fondant and street tacos, but you can’t get much more adorable than Pop Cycle, spotted pedaling “mostly organic” frozen treats on the Monon last week.

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