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August’s First Bite

A second slice of The Cake Bake Shop, the return of Barringer’s Tavern, and more.

Revisit — A New Layer
If you’ve ever nudged your way inside Broad Ripple’s wildly popular dollhouse bakery, The Cake Bake Shop, for a slice of Millionaire Cake, you knew it was just a matter of time before baker Gwendolyn Rogers expanded her pastry enterprise. With its stunning crystal chandeliers, inlaid marble-and-brass logo, and cream tile that blushes to pink in low light, Rogers’s second location (800 S. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, 317-257-2253)in the heart of Carmel City Center is a feat of design and planning. There’s a spacious patio with water-heated floors, a bar with velvet settees, and private dining rooms, plus new offerings like a chocolate fountain. For savory options, Rogers pegged chef-to-the-stars Kelley Milligan to execute a menu of old-school standards: trout amandine, steaks frites, and Rogers’ version of “gumbo ya ya” (no okra but plenty of Crystal hot sauce). Hot, freshly made beignets are also on the menu—one of Rogers’ longtime dreams that, now realized, will surely draw a whole new crowd.

Pinch Of Wisdom
“It takes a little more time, but if you roast your chicken pieces before frying them, you know the inside will be done. So then you can concentrate on getting that skin nice and crunchy.”— Lauren McDuffie, Indy-based blogger and author of Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest: Recipes and Stories Inspired by My
Appalachian Home

Barringer’s Tavern

Cheers — Back On Track
It was once a single-room saloon that refused to serve women. Built near the end of the trolley line out of downtown, it got a reputation for being the “Last Chance” for a drink or a bite to eat, a sign for which hung in the window for decades. Since late April, this Old Southside landmark has gained new life as a local haunt thanks to a group of investors from nearby Garfield Park. From a refreshing of the antique wooden bar to an old bronze sign from the legendary Claypool Hotel to investor Kevin Dolen’s own collection of vintage neon signs, Barringer’s Tavern (2535 S. Meridian St., 317-384-1027), which dates to 1879, now has a spacious second room with ample seating and plenty of throwback charm to go around. Though small, the menu features chili fries and gooey hot cheese balls, as well as smashed-flat tavern burgers and a light, crispy tenderloin that once made the place famous. Watch for the ghost of Al Capone, who purportedly took his tipple here now and then.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.