Another excellent trip back to the land of Hoosier. Those of you who read often know that going home for the race is a time honored tradition for me and missing it would be about the worst possible thing on the planet. Fortune was shining on me again this year and Meena and I went back for a couple days of Midwestern wonder, enlightenment and race cars.
And the food was pretty darn good, too.
We started things off on Thursday with a trip to Oakley's Bistro for lunch with the grandmothers. Meena and I both tried their tarts ... a bit of puffed pastry with various toppings and a small salad. I had salmon ... she had shrimp. Meena also started with a bit of their wild mushroom soup with truffled cream. The tarts were lovely but the soup may have been the winner. I felt like we could have used slightly more topping to balance out the dryness of the pastry. It was still delicious. Really delicious. Just sayin' is all.
Thursday night we had what was probably one of the best meals of the trip - BBQ chicken and mayo + mustard marinated asparagus on the grill. Perfection. It gets no more Indiana in the summer than that wonderful combo.
Friday afternoon we were treated to a bunch of deliciousness courtesy of Grant and Sara. Our most pregnant friends were kind enough to get us heaping portions of BBQ from a little spot in Westfield in addition to Sara's spicy cheese dip, cherries, salsa, chips, cole slaw and a terrific tomato salad. Man ... we're lucky to have friends like these.
Friday night was beef tenderloin, salad and mashed potatoes. Mom and Dad took care of the beef and the salad, the Amish of Indiana took care of the potatoes.
The beef tenderloin carried over into lunch the next day and that was just another lovely development in our weekend love affair with food. Some toasted asiago bagel and thinly sliced beef? That's lunch.
Saturday night we had a bit of a party and the grill was once again fired up to feed a small army. Dad made BBQ pork chops for the whole crew to go along with an Asian coleslaw and a handful of other delicious stuff Mom prepared to accompany. At this point you may think we would have had our fill of grilled meat but let me assure you this was very much not the case. We came to Indiana to eat from the grill and eat from the grill we did.
Sunday was, of course, the race. I drank beers liberally and devoured sandwiches with gusto. There's nothing quite like the race and there are few things more enjoyable than eating and drinking massive quantities of grub while it's all happening.
Sunday night we hit the Guggys for a post-race party filled with yellow birds, brats and a bit of scotch. And some slaw and some other stuff. Did I mention there were yellow birds and scotch? Anyway, Anne and John delivered another wonderful evening for massive crew.
Monday morning was our final breakfast and Dad once again delivered with some omelettes made to order. I had some pork, peppers and pepper jack cheese. Perfect.
Our final stop on the Indiana food circuit was the OG Jewish Deli in the Indianapolis metro area - Shapiro's. Meena hadn't ever been and it's just one of those places everyone who visits should try to hit at least once. But if you go once, there's probably a good chance you'll want to make a second visit at some point. It's just good food!
Meena had some beef brisket on a roll with mustard and mayo. I had peppered beef on rye with mustard. Man. I miss it already. I know Katz's is like ... the place. But for my money, it's Shapiro's every time.
So ... yeah. Sorry, long description. But it was a great trip and I wanted to try and get it mostly mapped out. Needless to say, we both miss home already. We've been back less than 24 hours and it's already a bit of a bummer. We miss it! But we had a great time and we're already looking forward to Thanksgiving!