"Neighborhood-handy, locally-produced food
To goose means to poke in the rump. Goose the Market, Indy’s newest gourmet neighborhood food mecca, is poised to impel Indy toward a culture of neighborhood-handy, locally-produced food. Goose also implies a kind of slow food, Old World sensibility.
Never has slow food been convenient for so many. Goose’s 25th St. & Delaware Fall Creek Place locale is an easy pit stop for anyone cruising on Meridian or the Monon. By your third visit to Goose, owners Mollie and Christopher Eley are likely to greet you by name as you browse for a bottle of meaty wine, a hunk of artisan cheese, or basketful of Indiana apples en route to a dinner party or picnic, or back to home.
The cold case of drinks catches the eye first. Here are Coca-Colas in the nostalgic hourglass bottles for a buck, along with half gallons of cider from Tuttle’s Orchard in Greenfield ($4.25), Trader’s Point Creamery milk and yogurt ($3.89-$5.80), and assorted root beers. Goose is sure to become known as a respite for thirsty dogwalkers; Chris and Mollie will even provide a hitching post for your pooch while you wet your whistle.
Destined for gelato
Goose isn’t a full service café, but it is a place to grab an extraordinary sandwich and cup of soup. My leek, potato and shiitake mushroom soup ($2.95) was thick, filling and a gorgeous khaki color, if a little salty. Joe went for the Batali sandwich, a modestly-sized but intensely flavored stack of cured meats, hard cheese, and hot peppers on crusty bread. Another bright deli offering was chilled butternut squash, rife with pepper, roasted garlic cloves and pumpkin seeds ($4.14 for a half pound). Tip: Look for the foie gras peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Saturdays.
Bloomington-based Bakehouse supplies the muffins, croissants and breads, which go well with the fine cheeses, such as Manchego Reserva 12-month aged sheep’s milk cheese ($20 per lb.) or Cahill’s Irish Whiskey cheese ($15.50 per lb.), among others depending on what day you stop in.
Speaking of dairy: for a long time we’ve lamented the lack of walkable ice cream destinations in Indianapolis. Now everybody on the near Northside, at least, can take a hike or ride to Goose and then reward themselves with ice cream. Intriguing choices included roasted pistachio and cinnamon cappuccino gelato, as well as an avocado lime sorbet ice cream ($2.50). A roasted marshmallow ice cream tasted like a cloud of a s’mores laden with vanilla. While the gelato texture was more gooey than satiny, the flavor pyrotechnics prevailed.
The meat counter is the pièce de résistance at Goose the Market. Indiana’s own Fischer Farms, Guntrop Farms, and Viking Lamb provide (respectively) the beef, free range chickens, wild turkeys, duck, pastured pork, and lamb. Chef Chris wears his meat passion, especially for pork, on his sleeve. A quote from the market’s website reads: “We are packed full of sexy charcuterie [smoked, salted, cured meats] in the Old World Style.”
As a former chef at Tru in Chicago, and Bistro 936 and CHOPS here in Indy, Chris offers gourmet shortcuts like house-made spice rubs to go with your fresh American kobe, or “goose burgers” pre-mixed with onions and herbs ($5.50 per lb.). These flavorful burgers are made for an easy dinner treat later that week. This is slow food sped up a bit. Yet it’s also a question of proportion. Good things come in small quantities at Goose for maximum freshness.
My husband could not resist another temptation: lamb jerky. Softer and less salty than the gas station variety, it comes in human and dog versions (each $2). Fresh jerky is an example of the “Marco Polo” factor at Goose. It’s as if an explorer plundered the best foodage in Indiana. Farmers market faithfuls will recognize Hickory Works shagbark syrup, Brown County barbeque sauce, Laney Family honey — all an arm’s length away at Goose.
The wine cellar at Goose is probably deserving of its own NUVO article. With all bottles under $25, you could spend hours deciding between Steltzer Claret and A-Z Pinot Blanc. Beers and ales are equally boutique (example: Bison Organic Gingerbread Ale). Also available are dry goods you won’t find at Kroger such as canned fire roasted red peppers, canned wild snails, and black peppercorns in bulk. This is to say that Goose the Market should be on your radar as holiday shopping destination. Several on my list will dig the Vosges chocolate bar flavored with applewood smoked bacon ($6.75).
The place itself has the feeling of a tight new shoe — spartan but not yet lived-in. Appetite-inducing yellow walls, good lighting, cubbyholes with cooking magazines, a blues sound track, and a community-oriented corkboard remove any shred of hoity-toity-ness you might presume about a gourmet food shop. And for anyone deterred by the prices at Goose the Market, not to worry. Good local food is worth more than it costs in terms of pleasure recollected.
Terry Kirts contributed to this article.
Goose the Market
2503 N. Delaware St.
Tues. – Fri. 10 am – 8 pm
Sat. 10 am – 6 pm
Sun. 10 am – 2 pm
Food: Five stars
Atmosphere: Four stars
Service: Five stars