Best of Indy: Dishes You've Never Tried

We order pizza at a pizzeria. We don’t take fettuccine Alfredo seriously anymore. We … dine out with too many rules. Break them and you’ll discover some new favorite noshes, like these.

Dish: Nemo Roll

Restaurant: Wild Ginger, 8235 E. 116th St., Fishers,
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,
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
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;
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,
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,
Reason 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,
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.