Chris and Ally Benedyk are already on a rough streak of breaking hearts. Their restaurant was a huge hit in Milwaukee long before they began renovations on their 10th and Post sandwich shop, and its closing was mourned by city residents and food editors of many local publications.
Well na-na-na-na-nah, Milwaukee, because we're getting our prodigal son back, and he's bringing his signature brand of high-end flavors in brown-bag approachability to the Pogue's Run neighborhood. "When we left, I think we always knew we'd come back to Indianapolis." Even during the three-year flourish of Love Handle on the Great Land's east side, Benedyk was importing meat from Goose the Market. It's also where he once worked, and where he learned the craft of curing meats.
Chris's restaurant and food mirror each other as well. He's going to start off with a simple smoker out back and offering whatever he can churn out between that and a contact griddle. Both Chris and Ally have spent the last few months prepping the shop and building up buzz by selling sandwiches out of the Milktooth parking lot during Mixture.
They more or less recycled the interior from their original shop, wall color included, and decided to go with what definitely wasn't broke for their service model: One counter, one cold case, and a bunch of chairs. Behind the counter, Benedyk has set up a refrigerator in which he can hang his own charcuterie — a staple at his original flagship — and a small, simple kitchen.
Here's a sample of what to expect, from a review in the Journal-Sentinel about a sandwich called the Wachs: "chunks of bologna flecked with black truffle that had been fried and topped with Taleggio, the Italian washed-rind cheese, melting and gooey and funky, and pink, pickled radishes for sharpness and crunch to cut like a knife through that abundant umami and richness. Man, that was a great sandwich."
The name, says Benedyk, is a tribute to life's two greatest pleasures: the love he shares with his wife and the sublime pleasure of eating too many sandwiches. And if there's any food worth packing on the lovehandles for, it's these bad boys.
Love Handle opens next month. We'll keep you updated on exactly when they open their doors, and what will be on the menu.
Profile: Love Handle
Where: 2829 E. 10th St.