GIordanos

Indy Mojo had a chance to get an exclusive sneak preview of Giordano’s before their Grand Opening on February 3rd. For those of you that don’t know – Giordano’s is what some might claim as Chicago’s best pizza, alongside Gino’s and Lou Manati’s.

The recipe comes from a family tradition that goes back 200 years when Mama Giordano use to bake her sons an “Italian Easter Pie”. When the boys grew up they made their way to Chicago and opened their own pizza business using their mother’s double-crusted, cheese stuffed Easter Pie recipe. Since 1974, this Easter Pie has become known as staple of Chicago-style pizza. And for the first time in over 40 years, they have opened new locations out of Chicago and in to Indianapolis’s own backyard.

This small restaurant is located right next to Harry and Izzy’s at 4110 E. 82nd St. While waiting to be seated they have a viewing window of the kitchen where the pizzas are being tossed, sauced, and cooked to perfection. Hidden away to the left is the bar area with six 42 inch TV’s, 10 beers on draft and a full bar. It’s what I like to call “The Adult Area.” To the right is normal seating, and in the back of the restaurant there will be patio seating with a full view of the lake to enjoy once Spring arrives.

bar area

By: Erin Gobble (Bar area)

Fair warning: this pizza does have a wait time of 45 minutes, but don’t be discouraged as there are plenty of appetizers to hold you over.

I tried “The Best” Ripe Tomato Bruschetta, which came out quicker than expected and I dove right in: crisp, toasted bread with a fresh slice of mozzarella and a heaping pile of tomatoes with a hint of basil. It was more than enough to appease my appetite until the pizza was delivered.

bruschetta

By: Erin Gobble (Bruschetta)

Upon arrival, my mouth started to water with anticipation. The gooey, cheesy goodness – known as the “Chicago Classic” – was stuffed with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. The crust was sweet and the slice almost melted in my mouth. With eyes bigger than my stomach, I tried to muster down a second piece because my taste buds wanted more, but I had to box up the reminder of my slices.

stuffed pizza

By: Erin Gobble (stuffed pizza)

For those who are in for small portions stop by Giordanos for $10 weekday lunch special where they offer a choice a personal pizza, side salad, and a drink. They also offer Carry out and deliver within a four mile radius of their location. There has been talk of another restaurant opening up in downtown Indianapolis if all goes well for the 82nd street location. Bring your appetite and head on in to Giordano’s you won’t be disappointed.

Still got the munchies? Check out our quest to find Indy’s best tenderloin here.

New York has their thin-crust pizza. Texas has their BBQ. Chicago prides itself on a different, but equally tasty, pizza pie.

Different parts of the country have different foods they are known for. In Indiana, the pork tenderloin reigns supreme. Just about anywhere serving food in the Hoosier state has an option – from the small, local joints to the more established upscale, and you can’t forget the state fair either.

As with any dish, there are many variations on the theme. In this, a special two-part inaugural edition of Mojo Munchies, we are going to be exploring just a few of the best choices across the city. Ignore the Food Network and any other “expert” that has only tried the thin, dry excuses for tenderloin you’ll find at the “classic” spots; these tenderloins are the real deal.

Fellow foodie and new Indy Mojo contributing writer Erin Gobble and I visited four different establishments from different areas of the city. (Throughout the article Erin’s words will be featured in red, like so.) In this first part we are going to the Tie Dye Grill on the east side and Big Daddy’s on the near south side.

Big Daddy’s Bar & Grill – 2536 South Meridian St.

If you are looking for a thin, fear-inducing tenderloin this is it. This is what I consider the mama bear of tenderloins. It is thin but not too thin. The size is impressive, but you don’t loose out on the taste of the pork or the juiciness that makes for a good tenderloin.

Tenderloin for Two

Tenderloin for Two

We ordered the tenderloin for two. It comes with a separate plate and bun so you can garnish your meal how you choose. Prepare yourself because this sandwich is meant for two – the tenderloin comes out the size of a flat basketball, but still maintains some thickness. Even now my mouth is watering thinking about the cornflake crust seasoned to perfection with a slight pitch of heat. The sandwich crunches as you bite down, and as always my eyes were bigger than my stomach, but my taste buds left me wanting more. Perfection.

Add a slice of cheese if you want.

Add a slice of cheese if you want.

If you go on your own the Tenderloin comes in at 8.99 and includes kettle chips. The tenderloin for two that we ordered adds two dollars; however, between the chips and the sandwich itself, two people will most likely still be taking food home with them. The atmosphere is your basic sports bar; prepare yourself to be packed in if you go during any Colts or Notre Dame game. Outside of those high-traffic scenarios, you can normally get a table pretty easy and the food comes quick.

Big Daddy's

Big Daddy’s

Tie Dye Grill – 1311 N. Shadeland Ave.

The next restaurant holds a special place in my heart. I trace my love of cooking and exploring food back to the year I spent employed here with a good portion of that time as a line cook. Have you ever known someone that works at a restaurant but would never eat there? This is not the case at Tie Dye Grill; they have become an east side institution and the reason for that is their attention to the quality of their food.

Driving up to this restaurant, I didn’t know what to expect, but I soon realized I was in for a real treat. The restaurant is decked out with a 60’s theme, the staff are dressed in tie-dye and the food is served in red baskets that gives the feel of an old soda shop. First up: the fries, covered in bacon, scallions, cheese, and Shayne Salt. Next up: the main attraction: the tenderloin. As it arrives at the table, you can tell it is grilled to perfection. The tenderloin is normally only a Tuesday special, but we were able to pull some strings to get one on a Saturday, which is why it was grilled instead of my preferred breaded version. After the first bite, I didn’t mind it being grilled; the bold flavor of the well-seasoned tenderloin was satisfying. Shayne Salt is the right kind of flavor and I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on that secret. Shayne Salt is the special seasoning that the Tie Dye uses on many of their dishes, the seasoning is a secret of Tie Dye owner Shayne Dye.

The Tie Dye Tenderloin grilled to perfection.

The Tie Dye Tenderloin grilled to perfection.

As mentioned above the tenderloin is normally just a Tuesday special at TDG, as can be imagined Tuesdays end up being an extremely busy day. The Tie Dye Tenderloin is everything I think a tenderloin should be. They don’t abuse their meat and beat it thin. However you want it prepared it comes out juicy, flavorful and with just enough hanging over the bun to scare small children. If you are hankering for this masterpiece, make sure you plan ahead; they have been known to sell out. At $7.95 for just the sandwich the price is comparable to Big Daddy’s, but it’s worth a couple extra bucks to throw in for the fries as well.

Tie Dye Grill

Tie Dye Grill

With that, we conclude the first part of our Tenderloin Excursion, but be sure to check out part two coming up soon. If you have a favorite tenderloin spot, leave us a note in the comments!

Also be on the look out for more foodie goodies as the Mojo Munchies are just getting started! Stay hungry, Indy.