Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bub's Burgers

This past Friday we took ourselves out to visit a place new to us, Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream in Carmel, Indiana. It's located in the heart of downtown Carmel, right along the Monon Trail. When we arrived the place was already busy and we had a wait of about 25 minutes, (a bit longer than we'd usually put up with). Being as we wanted to try the new place we sat down and enjoyed the view of all the people passing by.
After our wait was up we were seated inside the restaurant and ordered our food. I wanted to try their 1/4 lb. elk burger and I split a large order of onion rings with the kids. My wife had the same. I also ordered sweet tea which turned out to be a mistake. The food arrived in a decent time and was served on tin pans. Every burger comes with lettuce, tomato and onion on the side and the bun is buttered and grilled. I like that. Condiments are on the table. If you want sides, those are extra.

My medium rare elk burger was good and cooked just as I had ordered it. Tasty, with a nice char grilled flavour from the flames. Definitely one of the better burgers I've had in a while. The onion rings were a tad greasy, but tasted pretty good. I'm not the biggest fan of beer battered anything, but these rings weren't shabby. The kids certainly liked them well enough. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for their sweet iced tea. Whoever made that was afraid of using too much sugar so they erred on the side of too little. Next time I'll either bring my own sugar or order something else. All in all it was a good experience where the food was concerned.

One drawback to the inside dining area is that it is quite noisy. Be prepared for that. It's difficult to talk with people at your table without raising your voice and is pretty hard to hear any responses. If you can get past that (or eat outside) you'll likely enjoy your meal, I did and we'll likely return at some point in the future.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

T-Balls Strikes Out

I love a good hot dog, so it was no surprise that I decided to take the kids out to visit T-Balls Hot Dogs in Noblesville for a hot dog dinner. I had heard a couple of folks say that their dogs were pretty good, so off we went. The kids got standard dogs with their usual condiments and fries. I decided to go with a chili cheese dog with onions to get a real feel for what T-Balls could do. I also chose a tamale from their appetiser menu and a sweet tea.
The dog did manage to tell me a great deal about T-Balls. It told me that they were very fond of food service canned goods and tasteless hot dogs. My chili cheese dog was unremarkable. A Vienna Beef hot dog that had been around for awhile. No snap and very little flavour. The chili was a non-remarkable canned hot dog chili with very little taste and no spice to speak of. The cheese...well, the cheese was a glob of canned cheese food product that covered the chili and added nothing to the experience but a mess.
I tried a few of the kids fries while I was at it and they were also unremarkable. Crunchy, but lacking much in the way of flavour. Typical frozen fries.
All in all I was really disappointed in T-Balls dogs and it is unlikely that we will return there. Too much of the experience rested on canned food service grade ingredients with no real quality in the equation. It's sad. I was expecting an experience at least as good as your standard cart dog and we received far less than that.

(Update: T-Balls is now out of business. Can't say I'm surprised.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saying Goodbye To The Last Cannery

Tomorrow is the last day for the people who work at the Stinson Seafood Plant in Maine. The last sardine cannery in the country is being shut down for good by their owners. No more will people see the venerable Beach Cliff's sardine can in their grocers aisles and, if they do, the sardines will be sourced from other countries. A sad day indeed. Myself, I like to indulge in a nice sardine snack, now and again. I have fond memories of sharing them with my grandfather. A tin of sardines and a handful of saltines was all we needed to make an impromptu lunch. These days I tend to gravitate more towards smoked herring, than sardines and I guess that's one of the problems. Americans appetites have changed over the decades. We've moved away from the sardine and moved towards tuna and, perhaps, herring and other fish and abandoned that old staple, the sardine.

I sure will miss those Beach Cliff sardines and will likely go out tomorrow and buy a small stock of them to tide me over till I find a suitable replacement. It won't be Chinese sardines, that's for sure. Hopefully, Canada and Morocco will pick up the slack. In the meantime, I'll keep all those folks in Maine in my thoughts as they see their livelihood and local industry go to the grave.