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Toni10

Indianapolis Restaurant: Reviews & Recommendations

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Our car broke down on the outskirts of Indy a few weeks ago and while we waited for the very nice mechanic to figure out what was wrong and fix it, we looked around at the strip malls where we were stranded for some place to hang out and maybe eat.  Amidst the Starbucks and Wendys and Carl's Jrs et al we found a local BBQ joint, G.T. South's.  Yelp reviews were decent and the place looked good so we tried it.  Can't say it was the BEST BBQ we've ever had, but it was definitely tasty and solid and if we were in the area again, we'd go there.  We all had the ribs, which were succulent and meaty, with two choices of sauces on the side.  The mild sauce was too sweet and ketchupy for us, but we all really liked the hot sauce, which was zippy and zingy, with some solid burn without being incendiary.  Good!  The sides were good, as well -- excellent collards and just right southern green beans.  And this place understands sweet tea.

 

G.T. South's was our silver lining!  

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Yes. For the last 10 years or so, IMO.

 

I swing by GtM fairly regularly. I've posted many times on another thread about stuff I get there.

 

Indy and the surrounding area has also developed a wide-ranging and fairly extensive gathering of "ethnic" food and restaurants in the Mid-West. Here's a website that contains a listing (probably incomplete) of types of restaurants and where "ethnic" has the broad meaning that the word should properly have.

 

 

Thanks for the link to the website.  I'll book mark it, and see what I might visit next time I'm in Indy visiting family.

 

I see you had the "Pig and Fig" from GtM. My wife commented it was more like eating chocolate, than meat, it was so luscious. There's a place about 35 miles from where I live that regularly sells their mortadella, and that has become a must purchase.

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Our car broke down on the outskirts of Indy a few weeks ago and while we waited for the very nice mechanic to figure out what was wrong and fix it, we looked around at the strip malls where we were stranded for some place to hang out and maybe eat.  Amidst the Starbucks and Wendys and Carl's Jrs et al we found a local BBQ joint, G.T. South's.  Yelp reviews were decent and the place looked good so we tried it.  Can't say it was the BEST BBQ we've ever had, but it was definitely tasty and solid and if we were in the area again, we'd go there.  We all had the ribs, which were succulent and meaty, with two choices of sauces on the side.  The mild sauce was too sweet and ketchupy for us, but we all really liked the hot sauce, which was zippy and zingy, with some solid burn without being incendiary.  Good!  The sides were good, as well -- excellent collards and just right southern green beans.  And this place understands sweet tea.

 

G.T. South's was our silver lining!  

 

I take it you mean the G.T. South's on 71st Street, and you must have broken down on Binford Blvd. That's not the "outskirts" of Indy, BTW. You were actually SE of the Castleton area (on E 86th St) and south of the E 96th St food and commercial area.. (I believe caroled also lives in the area) Fishers and Noblesville, still to come northwards of you, are considered to be in the "Indy metro area".  :smile:  :wink:

 

(Indy follows the "grid" layout of streets northwards from the center, where streets/blocks are numbered by 1/10 mile increments from the central origin, which is held to be Meridian & Washington, I believe. So 71st Street is technically 7.1 miles from the central point at its intersection with Meridian, the main central North-South street, and so on.)

 

G.T. South is considered one of the decent/good rib places in town, yes. Next door to G.T. South is a decent though not exceptional Vietnamese place (Long Thanh). I have not eaten at G.G.'s Bar & Grill (at the other end from G.T.South). Diagonally across from G.T. South on the north side of 71st will be an opening-any-day-now ramen place (Ramen Ray) which the owners say will concentrate on Sapporo-style ramen. The Krogers supermarket you must have also seen is one of the better western-type supermarkets around. On the other side of Binford in the immediate area are several eateries and what-not too, including George's Neighborhood Grill which gets a fair bit of love locally but which I find (personally speaking) to be just a reasonable pub-food type place. (The #1 China Buffet is definitely not a "good Chinese food" place :-) )  Nearby too, if you swing by next time, is a decent Mexican place, La Hacienda (one of the several locations of this restaurant) 

 

The reason why there is a fair build-up of eating & shopping places/strip malls and banks, pharmacies, laundries, service shops etc in that immediate area (71st & Binford) is because the surrounding area has a lot of apartment complexes as well as the usual houses. In addition, the corporate headquarters of Mays Chemical is also just down a bit off of 71st St from where you were at G.T. South.


Edited by huiray (log)
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Lunch at Saigon Restaurant. I had not been there in a while.

Gỏi cuốn (soft spring rolls):

DSCN6463-65_C_1ka_800.jpg

Could have done with more shrimp but otherwise OK. Plenty of pork. Nice rice noodles, maybe more greenery would be good but the overall texture and mouthfeel was springy but yieldingly springy as it should be. Decent peanut-based dip, not earth-shattering. ;-)

Tôm hỏa tiễn ("Rocket Shrimp"):

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Just as good as I remember it. Crisp and tasty covering, moist shrimp, with the crisp tails a fillip. Nicely savory, nicely shrimpy. Dip was fine, the usual diluted nuoc mam with a hint of chilli plus stuff, but nothing exceptional there.

Bún bò Huế (Hue style noodle soup):

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Needed to be spicier. I think they've tamed their rendition down if memory serves me right. Decent noodles with texture/chew, OK beef slices, broth has reasonable beefy flavor with tangy/savory/umami taste but did need more chilli and pungency.

Side-plate add-ons were cabbage, mung bean sprouts, mint, lime, jalapeño chile.

Years ago Saigon used to be in a strip mall¶¶ just immediately north of 30th Street on the east side of Lafayette Rd, when they also had an accompanying market/grocery linked together at the front entrance lobby (and in the back of house). I think they were better then - but time moves on, and nostalgic reminiscences are subject to the law of diminishing returns. I also used to get heaps of rau húng quế (a.k.a. Thai basil) from them, years ago, when it was relatively harder to find than nowadays. I'd get it from them by the pound, after asking nicely. At that time they got it in from Texas (air-flown in) even in winter, as they naturally needed it to supply the restaurant right next door where their phở was one of the better ones around.

¶¶Guatelinda is still there.


Edited by Smithy Member request (log)

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I forgot to mention previously and thought this would be useful for visitors – with regards to:

 

 

(Indy follows the "grid" layout of streets northwards from the center, where streets/blocks are numbered by 1/10 mile increments from the central origin, which is held to be Meridian & Washington, I believe. So 71st Street is technically 7.1 miles from the central point at its intersection with Meridian, the main central North-South street, and so on.)

 

 

This is the reason why the major East-West commercial corridor on the north side of Indy flip-flops in name between "82nd Street" and "86th Street" even though it runs continuously all the way across from east to west. It depends on where on the "grid" one is when the street takes a "dip" or a "bop" along its path.  It is also the reason why there are streets running east-west with completely disconnected sections, but with the same name (44th Street is just one example, amongst MANY), when they do not otherwise have "named names" – because they are roughly on the grid at 4.4 miles north from the center point, using that example I cited, for instance.  The dividing line between East and West is also Meridian St (a.k.a. Route 31), the main North-South road that runs right down to Monument Circle downtown.

 

The grid system is not used SOUTH of Washington St (AFAIK), and the roads/streets/etc are all "named" streets/avenues.


Edited by huiray (log)

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Dropped by John's Famous Stew today for one of the better pork tenderloins in town. Dithered over getting some of that stew, wanted it on the tenderloin (i.e. a "Supreme") but with the bread and all the fixin's, but somehow I confused the waitress. Should have just asked for a separate small order of the stew. In the event, I asked for chicken wings as well but that got "lost in translation" and I got a bowl of butter beans instead (???) Eh, I accepted it - it made an interesting accompaniment to the rest of the meal. :-) Later on the waitress (Southern accent) and I (probably indeterminate accent :-) ) had a good-natured chit-chat and laugh about the whole thing.

 

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Plus a Sam Adams.

 

I broke the tenderloin in half, put one-half between the buns & fixin's and ate that; then chomped on the other half of the tenderloin while dipping it into either ketchup (Gold's) or mayo.  :wink:  Good tenderloin, decent thickness,** juicy, crunchy tasty breading.

 

Here's a previous post of mine on eG when I had a tenderloin-and-stew meal at the place, which also has a shot of the interior.

 

Location on Google maps.

 

** Some places pound the loin piece too thin.

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Thanks for the link to the website.  I'll book mark it, and see what I might visit next time I'm in Indy visiting family.

 

I see you had the "Pig and Fig" from GtM. My wife commented it was more like eating chocolate, than meat, it was so luscious. There's a place about 35 miles from where I live that regularly sells their mortadella, and that has become a must purchase.

 

It just occurred to me that you may or may not be aware that that mortadella you like, if not clearly an imported one, but is loosely "Goose the Market's" mortadella, would most likely have been made by Smoking Goose - which is the "sister shop" of GtM and where their in-house stuff is made. I don't know where you live but here's the map of customers (including retail shops) that either use or carry Smoking Goose products. But perhaps you are fully aware of this, and you are indeed referring to the place "35 miles from you" as carrying Smoking Goose mortadella.


Edited by huiray (log)

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I take it you mean the G.T. South's on 71st Street, and you must have broken down on Binford Blvd. That's not the "outskirts" of Indy, BTW. You were actually SE of the Castleton area (on E 86th St) and south of the E 96th St food and commercial area.. (I believe caroled also lives in the area) Fishers and Noblesville, still to come northwards of you, are considered to be in the "Indy metro area".  :smile:  :wink:. On the other side of Binford in the immediate area are several eateries and what-not too, including George's Neighborhood Grill which gets a fair bit of love locally but which I find (personally speaking) to be just a reasonable pub-food type place. (The #1 China Buffet is definitely not a "good Chinese food" place :-) )  Nearby too, if you swing by next time, is a decent Mexican place, La Hacienda (one of the several locations of this restaurant) 

 

The reason why there is a fair build-up of eating & shopping places/strip malls and banks, pharmacies, laundries, service shops etc in that immediate area (71st & Binford) is because the surrounding area has a lot of apartment complexes as well as the usual houses. In addition, the corporate headquarters of Mays Chemical is also just down a bit off of 71st St from where you were at G.T. South.

Yes, Binford.  Wherever we were, we were grateful to the garage folks, who did a quick and great job and to G.T. South's for the food.     We saw George's Grill and the Chinese joint, but decided on BBQ, glad we did.  

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Dropped by John's Famous Stew today for one of the better pork tenderloins in town. Dithered over getting some of that stew, wanted it on the tenderloin (i.e. a "Supreme") but with the bread and all the fixin's, but somehow I confused the waitress. Should have just asked for a separate small order of the stew. In the event, I asked for chicken wings as well but that got "lost in translation" and I got a bowl of butter beans instead (???) Eh, I accepted it - it made an interesting accompaniment to the rest of the meal. :-) Later on the waitress (Southern accent) and I (probably indeterminate accent :-) ) had a good-natured chit-chat and laugh about the whole thing.

 

attachicon.gifDSCN6491a_600.jpg

attachicon.gifDSCN6494a_800.jpg

 

Plus a Sam Adams.

 

I broke the tenderloin in half, put one-half between the buns & fixin's and ate that; then chomped on the other half of the tenderloin while dipping it into either ketchup (Gold's) or mayo.  :wink:  Good tenderloin, decent thickness,** juicy, crunchy tasty breading.

 

Here's a previous post of mine on eG when I had a tenderloin-and-stew meal at the place, which also has a shot of the interior.

 

Location on Google maps.

 

** Some places pound the loin piece too thin.

 

Tenderloin of what?  It looks like a big ol' fish fillet to me.  :)

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Pork.  :-)  I mentioned it at the start of the post. ;-)

 

Indiana pork tenderloin.

 

 

Ah.  And I see it is a "thing" -- sounds better than chicken fried steak (although I happen to like chicken fried steak).  Seems like something to look for if we're ever back that way again.  

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Ah.  And I see it is a "thing" -- sounds better than chicken fried steak (although I happen to like chicken fried steak).  Seems like something to look for if we're ever back that way again.  

 

Heh. Yes, it is.

 

Did you take a look at the video linked to in the Wikipedia article? Just in case you did not, here it is (and for others interested):

 

 

Here's a blog for you and others reading this post and who might be looking for more up-to-date info on Indiana Pork Tenderloin sandwiches:

https://breadedtenderloin.wordpress.com/

 

Here are a couple other places I've posted about here on eG where I had a nice Indiana Pork Tenderloin sandwich with fixin's:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/146914-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2014/page-5?p=1961172#entry1961172 (at the Pawn Shop Pub) (Good stuff. Their onion rings are also noteworthy.)

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/150922-dinner-2015-part-2/page-17?p=2016650#entry2016650 (at the 86th Street Pub) (Good stuff also.)

I like the Pawn Shop Pub, I've eaten there at various times. I've also had pork tenderloins at other places, of course; I've just not posted about them here.

 

BTW, you could have got pork tenderloin sandwiches at G.G.'s bar & Grill, the place at the other end of the short strip mall where G.T. South (where you went to) was. I have not had theirs (yet) but some folks appear to like the ones there.

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Today at Keystone Sports Review. Local institution. See here also.

 

Breaded pork tenderloin with fixin's and fries.

Half-order of hot wings.

Sam Adams 'Octoberfest'.

 

DSCN6550a_800.jpg

 

The pork tenderloin was GOOD. Fairly thick but tender, juicy, crusty tasty breading. Bun OK. Fries pretty decent.

Wings tender & succulent. But dressing a tad vinegary/sharp, a little too much tabasco maybe; for my taste, needed some sweetness for balance. Ranch dressing.

 

Location on Google maps.

 

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B's Po Boy in Fountain Square today.

 

Half a fried shrimp po boy and half a fried oyster po boy. "Market price" for both.

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With hot sauces from the bottles on the table, no pic taken.

 

Beignets with chocolate sauce.

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Pic of the place.

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Water to drink. It was not a cheap meal. With tip it was $31. "Market prices" for the shrimp & oyster indeed! :shock:  Tasty enough overall, the shrimp were crunchy, though the taste of the oysters hardly came through. Not a meal I'm in a hurry to have again, largely because of the cost for this sort of food.

 

Location on Google maps.


Edited by lesliec Corrected link at member's request (log)
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Dim sum at Szechwan Garden in Indianapolis.

 

I had not been back here in a long while. The last meal I ate here was underwhelming in the extreme, and ever since then I had given it a pass. Still, that was years ago and I had not, in fact, had their dim sum before either; and it seems that in the last couple of years or so lots of folks including Chinese folks go there for the dim sum at least.

 

So...what I had today:

Country-style dumplings (鮮蝦粉果)

Chicken feet in special sauce (好味蒸鳳爪)

Stuffed bean curd skin with pork & shrimp (竹卷)

Beef short ribs with pepper sauce (黑椒牛仔骨)

Beef (omasum) tripe with ginger & onion (七彩牛柏)

Deep fried taro puffs (蜂巢荔蓉芋角)

Po-lei & dried chrysanthemum flowers tea

 

DSCN6697a_800.jpg

 

Personally, I thought it was mostly decent but certainly not top-level. The country-style dumpling (rice flour) wrappers could have been far thinner. The taro puffs were tasty but were sort-of soggy and oily :-( .  The short ribs were nice and the best of the five. The tripe was #2.

Eh, edible.

 

p.s. Some of the names in Chinese above are, um, not exactly what the English is. ;-) 

 

Pic of the place inside immediately next to my table...

DSCN6698a_600.jpg

 

Pic of the outside...

DSCN6699a_600.jpg

 

Location on Google maps.

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huiray-

 

How were the chicken feet? I am a big fan of this dish, my nephew and I always get it when we see it on a menu.

Also, can you recommend a place in Indy that has really good Dim Sum?


Edited by Naftal (log)

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huiray-

 

How were the chicken feet? I am a big fan of this dish, my nephew and I always get it when we see it on a menu.

Also, can you recommend a place in Indy that has really good Dim Sum?

 

Naftal, the chicken feet were fine, actually. Quite decent.

As far as I know there isn't an excellent place for dim-sum in Indy. Reasonable, yes, for Indianapolis, where really good restaurant Chinese food is hard to find.** Personally I think I still prefer the dim sum at Lucky Lou overall - but then there aren't exactly many places for dim sum in Indy. I reported on this other place further up this topic/thread, from more than 2 years ago, although I have eaten there various times recently and mentioned it (no pics) a few months back (scroll down) here on eG too.

 

ETA: An additional snippet about my dim sum lunch at Szechwan Garden – I was offered a tired-looking plate of oyster sauce kai-lan and I asked if they had some fresh stuff. "Sure", the waitress said...then after a while she circled back to me and offered me that same plate, looking even more sorry by now. I passed. I didn't feel encouraged to ask if they even had any other fresh vegetables that I might order.

 

** And I have in mind "Chinese" food, not "American-(nominally)Chinese" food - which can be found in very fresh renditions, including in places like P.F. Chang's.


Edited by huiray (log)

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Breakfast at Love Handle, newly opened in Indy by a returning Hoosier & his wife.  

Very nice meal.

 

What I had...

 

Smoked beef tongue, head cheese egg yolk & toast.

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Scrumptious, a really nice combo. The still-gooey-inside egg yolk was encased in nicely savory head cheese in individual teeny pots and were served slightly cool. This contrasted well with the warm grilled slices of beef tongue. Matched with toast w/ a slightly sweetish coating (?syrup?) plus the butter. The tongue was very nice - soft and almost buttery on the inside while the outer layer retained a nice textured but tender chomp. Got a big chunk of tongue afterwards which came home with me. :-) I learned that the tongue was just corned then smoked - but they did it very well, I think.

 

Whey-fed tesa, with tiny cubes of pickled beet & slices of pickled turnip; accompanied by toast points & an aoili.

DSCN6856a_800.jpg

Another yum.

Tesa is similar to prosciutto but is made from pig belly rather than the hind (or ham).

 

I also had some of their stewed greens in a sour-ish broth with some toasted pork belly chunks & pickled jalapeño slices in it as well.

DSCN6859a_800.jpg

 

Oh, plus a mug of coffee. :-) 

 

Location on Google maps.


Edited by huiray (log)
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Lunch at Taste of Havana today.

 

Enchilado de Camarones "platter", over rice. Fried sweet plantain slices on top. Toasted bread alongside. (Friday special)

DSCN6880a_800.jpg

Crunchy & fresh shrimp, perfectly cooked. Sauce OK, wouldn't hurt to be slightly spicier. Rice in the typical slightly "al dente" style.

 

Guava pastelito; and a Cafecito (Cuban espresso shot).

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Not too sweet, fruit filling does taste of guava; pastry decently flaky. Coffee quite enjoyable, good coffee kick; already slightly sweetened as is customary with Cuban coffee.

 

Sign besides the cashier counter.

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Shot of the outside.

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Location on Google maps.

 

I've reported before on a Cubano and meat pastelitos I've had from them – here and here (scroll down).

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Thank you huiray!  I just moved to Indy and am still learning my way around...will be following with interest and hope to have some reports to contribute soon :)

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You're welcome, mssurgeon81. I shall look forwards to your posts in due course!

 

You might take a peek, if so so inclined, at the "grocery shopping" thread which also shows a lot of stuff I get from here and there in Indy, which might be of use to you as you have just come here.  :-)

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Southern Fried Chicken at Mississippi Belle today.

 

I had the "dinner" sizing/portion – 3 pieces chicken, 4 sides; comes w/ 2 pcs hot water corn bread, unlimited refills but in that case no carry-out of leftovers.  I opted for all dark meat, collard greens with extra pot likker, cabbage, mac n cheese, green beans.  Plus a half-and-half iced tea (i.e. half sweet tea, half unsweetened tea) Had a 2nd serving of 1 pc chicken and more hot water corn bread. I was as happy as a pig in mud.

 

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This place is considered a local gem by many.  Very good pan-fried chicken, nicely seasoned lightly-floured crunchy skin, always juicy (I've had breast pieces before, have come here numerous times). Marvelous hot water corn bread.** Satisfying sides.

 

** But I've never had good tomato slices here. :-(

 

Pic of the place.

DSCN7212a_600.jpg

 

Location on Google Maps.

Some other commentary.

 

Oh, note to those who might think of checking it out - CASH ONLY.


Edited by huiray (log)

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Lunch at Ichiban Noodles today.

 

I had not been back for quite a while, but I used to go there frequently. Nothing extraordinary about the food but the stuff there is pretty decent and satisfactory. Good value too, and they seem to have held the line fairly well since the last time I was there. Same owner and staff, all a little older of course. But aren't we all getting older. It was gratifying that they recognized me at once when I walked in.

 

What I had today - a mixture of favorites from before, all simple stuff, never mind concepts of "balanced and paired" dishes according to traditional Japanese notions. :-D

 

A big bowl of miso soup to start with, gratis. The server remembered my penchant for large bowls of it too. :-)

DSCN7272a_600.jpg

 

Tempura appetizer plate (shrimp, zucchini slice, sweet potato slice, green beans), plus the dipping shoyu; Seaweed salad in a tangy ponzu sauce (there are cucumber batons at the bottom); A mug of hot green tea.

DSCN7274aC_800.jpg

 

I skipped getting some agedashidofu.  :-( 

 

Zaru soba. Dressed w/ nori. Dipping tsuyu, "fake" wasabi, scallions.  The soba was well prepared, as always.

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(Folks unfamiliar with eating zaru soba please feel free to ask about it)

 

Small selection of nigirizushi – salmon, tuna, yellow tail, eel.

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Yum. Burp.

 

Pic of one of the interior dining rooms, taken from my table.

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Pic of the place from outside.

DSCN7280a_600.jpg

 

Location on Google maps.


Edited by huiray (log)
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That looks like good food, huiray.  The exterior doesn't give a clue as to how beautiful the interior is, does it?

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