The Loading Dock at the Stutz When I found rumaki in a little strip-mall Asian restaurant on the Westside several years ago, I was sure I’d never again digest a deadlier appetizer. One makes rumaki by wrapping chicken livers in bacon (water chestnuts are optional) then dropping them in the deep fryer. -Scott’s Scottish Eggs provide just about every taste sensation Andy Capp ever dreamed of.- But the Loading Dock, located on Senate Avenue in the Stutz Building downtown, cooks up something that trumps even rumaki. Scottish eggs. This little bar, built in the loading dock area of the former car factory, calls the dish Scott’s Scottish Eggs because a guy named Scott first told the owners about it. Scots, including Scott, apparently like their boiled eggs wrapped in spicy sausage that’s pounded flat and breaded. Then, of course, deep fried.
The result is a tennis-ball-sized, protein-and-cholesterol juggernaut. Dipped in brown mustard and washed down with a Bass draft, Scott’s Scottish Eggs provide just about every taste sensation Andy Capp ever dreamed of while sitting on a bar stool waiting for his mean wife to come grab him by the neck and drag him home.
Unlike Andy Capp from the Sunday comics, I have a nice wife who even came with me to the bar. She’s not much for rumaki or Scottish eggs or anything else deep-fried to a delicious golden brown. So I was a little worried about bringing her to a bar for dinner. My concerns vanished as soon as we passed through the narrow-but-neat bar area, found a table in the back and picked up our menus. The Loading Dock packs in 100 customers or more every day for lunch as the only place to eat in this art studio and office complex that takes up a city block. This is really a restaurant that only poses as a bar at night.
Knowing that customers will be returning frequently, a variety of daily specials — like homemade turkey and noodles or a Shanghai beef wrap — change from week to week. Those specials, which run from $6 to $8, usually don’t make it to the evening because the booming lunch crowd finishes them off. No problem. The regular menu offers all kinds of healthy, low-grease options.
After working my way through the two Scottish eggs ($4.29) and helping with my wife’s Southwest egg rolls ($4.99), my main course was a grilled grouper sandwich. She opted (people are always opting in these food reviews aren’t they?) for the grilled chicken Caesar salad ($5.99). The sandwich was no Filet O’ Fish, as three small and flavorful pieces of grilled grouper filled a round deli bun. The homemade tartar sauce — maybe a bit too powerful with its sweet relish — was best applied lightly. Served with steak fries for $1.09 extra, this sandwich would have been plenty for me, even without the appetizers. The eggs, all kidding aside, are a fun thing to try. But they make for a pretty heavy start — think breakfast at the Peppy Grill in a big pill.
The egg rolls were tasty. They’re filled, along with black beans and corn, with the same spicy sausage that surrounds the eggs. My wife enjoyed her salad, reporting that the dressing was sweet for a Caesar, which she liked, and lacking the tangy, almost fishy aftertaste the dressing can sometimes leave lingering. She said the chicken tasted fresh. Grilled, it was complimented by fresh mushrooms, red onions, pepperoncini, tomatoes and served with a side of grilled garlic bread. This, too, she said, would have been enough without an appetizer.
We didn’t ask about dessert, although I later found out that homemade treats are available daily. Instead we opted for Bass ale for dessert. The waitress, a friendly woman with spiky blonde hair (she works at a beauty salon in the Stutz by day), paid close attention and made us feel welcome without hovering too much. The rest of the Loading Dock’s dozen or so patrons were equally friendly, greeting us as we came in and chatting while they listened to Dr. John roll from the great sound system or watched the Pacers on the big-screen TV in the corner. One of the Loading Dock’s owners, Tom Schmitt, celebrated Fat Tuesday and ventured over to our table to joke around and thank us for stopping in. His warmth sets the tone for this place — a fun destination for mingling with friendly, artistic people and, most importantly, for clogging your arteries with deep-fried eggs.
The Loading Dock 1045 N. Senate 637-2680
Monday-Friday, 7-8 (kitchen hours, bar open later) Thursday, 7-9 Friday, 7-10 Opening on Saturdays in spring Food: 3 stars
Atmosphere: 3 stars
Service: 4 stars