Going to Extremes

It’s looking like a busy week for local diners who have $30 to spend, with dueling restaurant weeks showcasing the two compass ends of Indianapolis. Savor the Southside and Northside Nights both run through September 18. Each promotional event features either $30 three-course, multiple-choice menus, or a two-for-$30 couple’s meal.

The north-side contingent might pull us uptown for that addictive wedge salad with Dana blue cheese, pears, and walnuts at Peterson’s (7690 E. 96th St., Fishers, 317-598-8863), the elaborate cedar-plank salmon at Eddie Merlot’s (3645 E 96th St., 317-846-8303), or sausage pizza (with gelato for dessert, please) at Pizzology (13190 Hazel Dell Pkwy., Carmel, 317-844-2550). The two-for-$30 offerings at Snooty Fox (1435 E. 86th St., 317-257-6033) provide a good excuse to check out the post-makeover decor at the Nora haunt, especially when Shepherd’s Pie is among the offerings. At the end of a road trip to LA Cafe (4 S. Main St., Whitestown, 317-769-7503), adventure diners are rewarded with entree choices such as a 6-ounce filet and Parmesan-encrusted pork loin. But what sounds most worthy of the mileage is the lineup of desserts: molten chocolate lava cake, white chocolate bread pudding, and wild berry pie.
Meanwhile down south, Hal’s Fabulous Vegas Bar & Grille (1133 N. State Road 135, Greenwood, 317-888-3427) is dealing in Sin City Salad and Chicken Sinatra. But Pipers Cafe & Grand Manor (2130 W. Southport Rd., 317-888-7667) hits the jackpot with a prolific $30 menu that includes seven entree choices (mmmm hand-cut Swiss Steak in red-wine beef stock, and braised beef brisket with mashed potatoes and pan gravy). That Tea Room classic, the Pecan Ball, makes an appearance at dessert, along with Bourbon bread pudding, banana praline pie, and a four-layer double chocolate sour cream cake. At the other extreme, La Trattoria Italian Cuisine & Steaks (201 N. Madison Ave., Greenwood, 317-859-0487) keeps things simple, offering but one entree choice: its famed 8-ounce filet, always a good choice, no matter what week it is.