Anyone who says Indy lacks iconic architecture has forgotten about The Pyramids. Zip up Michigan Road, pop up to the top of one of these slinky sentinels, and you can see beyond downtown on a clear day. Designed by the firm Roche-Dinkeloo & Associates in the late 1960s, and nestled near a hidden 25-acre lake, The Pyramids must be the most romantic office park in the world.
The 'Mids are home to the Art Institute of Indianapolis which includes an International Culinary School. Students training to be chefs, servers and caterers are ready to practice their craft on you at Eleven at The Pyramids, a cosmopolitan café at the top (eleventh floor) of Pyramid 2.
Some colleagues and I ventured to Eleven one Friday lunch hour. Much like going to the dental or beauty school to offer up your teeth and hair as practice fodder, eating at Eleven had a dry-run feel, resulting in a longish wait. But rookie kinks aside, the food was largely pleasing.
Our basket of chewy focaccia won raves. My cup of vegan butternut squash soup came with a sprinkling of paprika and a flourish of sour cream that subtly upped the ante. The Fall Harvest Salad won out for its bright beets and carrots punctuated with cubes of flashy fried goat cheese. The gluten intolerant among us requested and received un-fried goat cheese chunks... that were still frozen (oops).
My entrée, salmon and vegetables, was a clean dish with expertly julienned veggies and salmon atop a few phyllo sheets. Aileen's seafood etoufee was a thick, dark shrimp-laden sauce served over orzo pasta rather than rice for a change. Carol's chicken crepe (mushrooms, peppers and chicken wrapped in a whole wheat crepe with a velvety French sauce) had overlarge, undercooked pepper slices, but scored points for its heartiness.
Two members of our party requested gluten-free, vegetarian entrees — causing momentary confusion for our waiter, although we had called ahead. All was righted when two made-to-order dishes of rice and pesto-roasted veggies emerged. Our meal ended with coffee, or hot, citrusy cider.
Overall, a peerless dining atmosphere and fully acceptable food. All entrees with drink and soup or salad are $15 at Eleven; desserts are extra.
(Slideshow) Eleven @ the Pyramids
Our reviewer stopped in Eleven at the Pyramids to play guinea pig to the students of Indianapolis' International Culinary School.