Love Handle

Best Restaurant 2018 Winner

Love Handle

Patrons line up deep for enlightened offal sandwiches, protein-topped waffles, and other Old World–meets–New World grub at Mass Ave’s remake of Love Handle, which made its Indy debut in 2015 inside a former Subway sandwich shop on East 10th Street. Let’s assume that this young, craft beer–sipping customer base didn’t know they could harbor such deep-rooted cravings for beef tongue, sweetbreads, and jellied eggs until Chris and Ally Benedyk started sending out baskets of Buffalo chicken gizzards and popcorn with schmaltz. But if their pickled radishes are the gateway drug for a neo-grandpa food group, they don’t come off as characters in a Portlandia bit. If anything, the Benedyks downplay the ironic preciousness of this cheery 80-seat dining room done up in a retro peach-and-avocado color scheme. A daily chalkboard menu that might include a whole fried catfish plated with greens or one of the roasted pork-belly sliders that garnered a loyal following the minute the couple moved here from Milwaukee, home of the original Love Handle. In this, their third location, the Benedyks have added a fryer and a chicken rotisserie to their arsenal and rolled out their biggest menu yet. One thing that hasn’t changed is Love Handle’s division of labor, with Chris focusing on the savory items while Ally churns out guerilla-style desserts like a dense, not-too-sweet cheesecake fortified with goat cheese to remind everyone that nothing here is ordinary.

A Friday fish fry that begins at 4 p.m., featuring sides like slaw and cheddar biscuits and movies projected on the wall.

“The biscuits and gravy tend to sell out pretty early on the weekends.” — Ally Benedyk, co-owner

877 Massachusetts Ave., 317-384-1102