» Chef Craig Baker, owner of The Local Eatery & Pub and Bent Rail Brewery, has repurposed his old Plow & Anchor space as a quick-turnaround taco joint. According to The Indianapolis Star, The Taco Shop (43 E. 9th St., 317-964-0538) will make 400 tacos every weekday starting at 11 a.m., and close when they sell out. Chef Evan Slusher oversees a kitchen that makes the tortillas in house from scratch, filling them with slow-cooked meats, and offering a variety of daily specials, from tamales to pozole. Baker and his business partner, Derek Means, closed Plow & Anchor in January, pointing to a shortage of parking spaces nearby for the drop in business.
» Jonathan Brooks, chef/owner of brunch favorite Milktooth (534 Virginia Ave., 317-986-5131) and the forthcoming dinner spot Beholder, is bringing Canadian chef Kyle Paton to Indianapolis for a collaborative dinner on June 21. Paton, owner of The Black Lodge pop-up and Strangeways Sweets confectionary in Ontario, will partner with Brooks for a 10-course tasting menu with beverage pairings. Even if you can’t snag a seat to the dinner, you can pre-order Paton’s creative bon bons and pick them up at Milktooth. We’ve got our eyes on his Twin Peaks–inspired confections, including the Agent Cooper ganache set (doughnut, black coffee, cherry pie) and Laura Palmer caramel set (bacon and maple, anise, and Douglas fir). Tickets for the dinner are $200.
» Heads up, seasonal eaters: late spring means soft-shell crab is popping up on local menus. Soft-shell crabs are regular crabs that are molting, or shedding their hard outer shell as they get bigger. Soft-shells are caught in the crucial few hours before the shells start to harden again, and chefs love putting them front and center in spring dishes. Vida served soft-shell crab eggs benedict with kimchi hollandaise on Mother’s Day, and Black Market featured soft-shell tempura in a hot-and-sour chicken broth with tamarind, chile, and ramp brine. You’ll likely run into us lunching on an old-school soft-shell crab sandwich at Caplinger’s Fresh Catch for the next three to four weeks, before the soft-shells disappear until next year.
» The Old Spaghetti Factory is adding a second Indy-area location. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Portland-based chain is headed for Carmel in the space formerly occupied by Shapiro’s Delicatessen (918 S. Rangeline Rd.), and shooting for a summer 2018 opening. The building has been vacant since Shapiro’s closed in June of 2013.
» Mark your calendars for June 2, when The Patachou Foundation kicks off its third year of First Fridays on the Farm at Public Greens (900 E. 64th St., 317-964-0865). The monthly event features a three-course meal with produce from the on-site farm, plus beer, wine, and seasonal cocktails. Attendees also get a tour of the property with farmer and beekeeper Kate Franzman. The intimate dinners on the deck are limited to the first 40 ticket buyers, so plan early if you want to grab your spot. (Additional dates include July 7, August 4, and September 1.) Tickets are $100 and benefit the Patachou Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving food-insecure children in Indianapolis.
» Completely Nuts and Candy Company is now open at City Market. Owner Linda Dunbar founded the company in Greencastle in 2014, expanded to Crawfordsville in 2015, and finally landed downtown this spring. All truffles, creams, caramels, and turtles are handmade in the Greencastle and Crawfordsville shops, and delivered daily to City Market.