Detour: An American Opening Night

Situated just a few doors down from the (thanks to Man vs. Food) nationally known Bub’s in Carmel, Detour: An American Grille is a brand new potential hotspot.

In all honesty, I was wary of Detour to begin because of the fact that it’s run by the same people that brought you Sensu. Though I’ve never been there, I’m told can be a little “upscale” (read: snotty). However, as it’s just a few blocks from my apartment, and with an invite from Mojo’s own Jen and Smitty, we decided it sounded like a good place to go after Saturday’s roller derby bout.

There were six of us in the group and, at about 1030p, we had no trouble getting a table for all of us. There is a definite upscale look but with a sports bar vibe. Lots of flatscreens everywhere and, as soon as we sat down, I was pleased to see the NHL playoffs on one of the screens. Our server was a really attentive kid (I’m old, everyone’s a kid) who introduced himself as “Nate, Nathan, Nathaniel, whatever”. The service was excellent, with our food being brought to us by what looked, essentially, like a conga line of servers people bringing us our meals.

This, of course, brings us to the food itself.

Between the six of us, we covered a pretty decent representation of the menu. Here’s where I have to throw out a little bit of a warning. You may experience some mild sticker shock when looking at the menu. I was a little wary of paying $13 for a plate of nachos with grilled chicken on it. This melted away when I actually saw what I’d ordered.

To say the kitchen is generous with its portions is like saying a drowning victim has moist skin. It’s technically accurate but doesn’t really express the situation properly. My order, the Under Construction, was a six-inch tall (easily) pile of multi-colored tortilla chips made in-house and covered with jalapeños, three types of cheese, corn, black beans, and chicken.

That was just from the appetizer menu.

Looking around the table, it looked very similar. Huge burgers, big portions of portabella ravioli, a massive club sandwich, overstuffed quesadillas. Everyone definitely left well-fed.

If you click the website link up above, you’ll also see mention of the “Triple Bypass”. This is a two-and-a-half foot long Italian Beef sandwich. You get that and one side dish down in 45 minutes and you get your picture on the wall as well as your name and time recorded on the last page of the menu. The manager, a really nice guy named Nick, came by and showed us a photo of the one person that tried. This thing is no joke.

Detour has daily drink specials and a fairly sizable beer menu that has a couple of local brews (Sun King and Barley Island stood out) in addition to imports and the standard domestic fare.

Manager Nick also clued us in to something else that’s very cool about this establishment; a free underground 400-space parking garage. This garage is accessible from 1st Ave NW along the east side of the building. This is very important since the building is in a residential neighborhood and the residents were very upset about the parking situation and have threatened to have cars towed.

Opening weekend hiccups (and Carmel stereotype) notwithstanding, Detour is the type of joint I really like going. Great food in a relaxed atmosphere, it would be an excellent place to go any night of the week. I’m definitely looking forward to bringing more people to check it out as soon as possible.