Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by Dustin Heller
“You come to a point in your life when you really don’t care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.”
Why in the world would I be quoting Evel Knievel, of all people, in a food column? It’s because Evel was perhaps the greatest daredevil of all time and this week’s spotlight is shining bright on a different type of daredevil that’s pretty amazing in its own right. Daredevil Brewing Co. has a production brewery and taproom right on the main drag in Speedway, but I’m here to tell you about their new eatery, Daredevil Hall at Ironworks Hotel Indy (2721 E. 86th St. Suite 180). Daredevil Hall sets out to pair their vast selection of craft beers with a menu of globally inspired food from none other than Executive Chef Neal Brown.
The Ironworks Hotel is quickly becoming a food destination not only for north siders, but for foodies all over the city. Daredevil Hall is a great spot for a beer and a good meal after work or even a great place to take the family. That’s right, the Hall is open to all ages–very important to us parents with little kids! They even offer a breakfast menu on the weekends.
From the outset, Daredevil had food pairings in mind when creating their ales and lagers; only the best quality ingredients would be good enough for the their beers and their food. They wanted the same care and attention to go into the food preparation that they were already putting into the brewing process. From social plates and salads to sandwiches and sausages, there is plenty to love about this menu. That leads to my favorite part of the column each week, the “can’t miss” list.
Brewery Cheese Burger: The competition is fierce on the burger scene in Indy these days and I’d like to think that I’m somewhat of a subject matter expert. I have eaten more cheeseburgers than I care to admit and this beauty from Daredevil definitely got my attention. Let’s start with the fact that it’s a double cheeseburger, two 5 oz. house patties grilled to perfection and covered with creamy American cheese. The patties are thin and juicy and packed with flavor. The burger gets a fitting trip through the garden and is then finished off with a delightful Louisiana-style remoulade sauce. Burger lovers, add this to your list!
Traditional Poutine: The famed Canadian dish composed of French fries, cheese curds and gravy has become en vogue in the States over the past decade or so. A dish that would seem simplistic on the surface can actually be difficult to execute properly. The key to a proper poutine has everything to do with the gravy–it shouldn’t make the fries soggy or the cheese curds melty. Daredevil’s poutine came out perfectly with just the right amount of gravy so as to not overwhelm or take away from the fries or cheese. For an exciting variation on your second trip, try the Colorado Style Poutine, which subs the gravy for Colorado Pork Green Chile. It’s win-win either way.
Midwest Fish Fry: I don’t know about you, but the words “Midwest Fish Fry” don’t necessarily evoke fond memories of great-tasting fish. Fish fries were a big part of my childhood growing up in Pittsboro, Indiana, and I can confidently say the fish I had as a child didn’t taste nearly as good as the fillets they’re serving up at Daredevil. This isn’t a cold, heavily-battered, spongy piece of fish. Instead, it’s a 12 oz. fillet with a crispy pilsner batter that has been fried to a perfect golden brown. Pair that with delicious French fries, cole slaw and herb tartar sauce for dipping, and you have the makings of what a Midwest Fish Fry should be.
Beer Steamed Mussels & Frites: We’ve already had a Canadian favorite on the list, so why not include the national dish of Belgium for good measure? Contrary to preconceptions, mussels are not gross and slimy. They’re actually quite delicious and chewy in texture. Daredevil offers three ways to have your mussels prepared, each based on one of their craft beers. I opted for the “Vacation Kolsch” prep, which included spicy sausage, fennel and tomato. They are then paired with the perfect companion: their delicious fries. As they say in Belgium, smakelijk! That translates to “tasty” in English.