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November First Bite

Cheers — History On Tap

Having lived for more than 120 years as a drugstore, landmark jazz venue, and, until 1995, storied watering hole Mustang Sally’s, the storefront Alec Hill and partner Hilary Powers plan to bring to life this fall as Mayfair Taproom was more than just a piece of real estate. Like most addresses along East 10th Street, it oozed with history. That’s the true draw of this full-service spot with local taps and a menu with such creations as Sloppy Sheps, Hill’s twist on the classic Sloppy Joe, piled with traditional shepherd’s pie filling and topped with fries. Pair one with a hand-pulled pint of Extra Special Bitter from Broad Ripple Brewpub, Hill’s parents’ bar, where he started making pizzas at age 14. Browse the lending library in the back hallway with the old rickrack molding from Mustang Sally’s and wood columns from the Milano Inn. And bring the kids along for a fun menu featuring sushi-style peanut-butter-and-jelly roll-ups. 2032 E. 10th St., 317-419-2393

Pinch of Wisdom — Stéphanie Laparre, Toulouse native and Owner/Baker at Le Vie en Rose, Bloomington’s hot new pastry shop and café

“Making macarons at home isn’t so difficult if you control the moisture and air. Pipe them very regularly, tap the tray three times on the counter, and use a pin to pop any air bubbles in the batter. Then bake until they’re dry to the finger.”

Revisit — Nostalgia al Dente

In uncertain times, it’s comforting to report that two things remain unchanged: dinner entrées at The Old Spaghetti Factory still come with soup or salad and spumoni ice cream, and the trolley car is the toughest seat in the house to get. It was that way when I waited tables at The Old Spaghetti Factory downtown as a college student, and remained so when I took my own children to check out the new location in Carmel (No. 44 for the Oregon-based chain). The dark wood, the cushy seats, the antique lighting—it’s all there. Along with the endless loaves of French bread with butter, diners eat up the house white clam sauce (which has inspired loads of copycat recipes you can find online), and the signature spaghetti with brown butter and Mizithra cheese, a Greek variety made from pleasantly tangy sheep’s milk. Some things have changed since Gus and Sally Dussin opened their first OSF in Portland, like gluten-free goods. But The Old Spaghetti Factory pretty much parties like it’s 1969, filling up with people who want a seat on the trolley and a steady stream of carbs after the ball game and marching-band practice. May it ever be thus. 918 S. Rangeline Rd., Carmel, 317-708-9669

and

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.
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