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Summer Crush: Rook’s Halo Halo

Now that Rook (501 Virginia Ave., 737-2293, has moved up the street to more spacious digs and a bigger kitchen, chef Carlos Salazar has the elbow room and the staff to put out such summertime refreshers as this Technicolor version of the Filipino treat halo halo, which translates to “mix mix” in English. The dessert delivers on the name: Unexpected savory elements such as purple yam ice cream and sweet red beans get paired with silky flan, coconut agar gel, black plantains, and the crunch of puffed wild rice and Fruity Pebbles atop iced lemongrass milk. Yum yum!

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.