"Community Bites

Tune in to Too Many Cooks on WICR, 88.7 FM at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30, when Patti & Gary welcome Our guest will be Jeff Gahimer, co-owner of the Barking Dog Cafe, located in the Indianapolis City Market. Known for his clam chowder and classic lobster and shrimp rolls, Jeff will share some ideas for a great Labor Day gathering.

Restaurant Notes

L’Explorateur is sponsoring a second Harvest Dinner to support the Broad Ripple Farmers’ Market, Monday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. The dinner will include three courses paired with wine. Cost for the dinner is $65 per person. L’Explorateur is located at 6523 North Ferguson Street. Reservations are nearly full, so call 726-6906 to get your seat.

Make your reservations now for the “Clambake on the Roof,” hosted by The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Sunday, Sept. 17, 4 to 8 p.m. The end of summer event will take place on the 12th Floor Roof Garden at 30 S. Meridian. Proceeds will benefit United Way of Central Indiana. Guests will sample a fabulous menu of lobster, chicken, clams and mussels with sausage, corn on the cob and cole slaw prepared by Oceanaire Executive Chef Ryan T. Nelson. The cost of the dinner, which includes wine, beer, tax and gratuity, is $100 per person. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling Sheryl Parks at 317-955-2277.

Readers’ Recommendations

Mike Heneghan has been out trying local spots again. This time he writes in to recommend a local coffee shop cum sandwich and salad café. Heneghan writes, I strolled into Vic’s Coffee Café (627 North East Street, 951-0335) after playing noon ball at the Athenaeum yesterday. My favorite dish there has an inane name: the Et tu, Brute ($7.00). Unless you haven’t taken sophomore English lit, you don’t need to look at the ingredients of romaine, croutons, and cheese to know this is a Caesar salad. Vic’s jazzes theirs up more than most places by adding red onion, olives, tomatoes and asiago cheese rather than the more typical, plasticized, prepackaged parmesan. As a guy who always “subs Caesar salad for dinner salad,” I count myself a near expert on this restaurant staple. Vic’s version is definitely above average. It’s large enough you can make a meal of it, and I’ve never once had to ask for extra dressing. Other named specialties at Vic’s include the gangster-friendly Goombad, an Italian panini topped with pizza sauce, and another Brutus-themed salad, though not Caesar’s killer here. This time it’s the Olive Oyle-saving, Brutus-beating Popeye, which is a spinach leaf salad with mandarin oranges, almonds, and feta cheese (both for $7.00). Wanting to avoid the usual soda, I heeded the friendly staffer’s suggestion of a Stewart’s Soda, specifically the Orange N’ Cream flavor. This is not your typical orange soda. It tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. No thirst quenching ability whatsoever, but wow. You want to order two. I finished off the meal with a slice of the cinnamon bundt cake ($1.50), made by the owner. Generally, I’m not for catchy names for dishes, but at Vic’s I happily slurped down my ice cream drink and munched away on my murderous salad.

Have a favorite restaurant, a favorite dish, or a favorite waiter/waitress you’d like to rave about? Send your recommendation to Terry Kirts at tkirts@nuvo.net, and we’ll make sure to let Indianapolis diners know about the great things happening around the Indy food scene every week.

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