Even with road closures, more time spent in traffic, and parking rates unusual for the Circle City, it is hard to find anyone complaining in Indianapolis. We are all excited and proud to be a Super City. Despite the spike in business and catering orders that restaurant owners were already seeing the two weeks before the Super Bowl, I was able to interview a few local business owners to hear the truth about how they are or are not doing things differently for the Super Bowl.
One major rumor is that restaurants are jacking up prices to gouge out of towners this weekend, but Monon Food Company in Broad Ripple and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company/Scotty’s Brewhouse assured me that they are not. The Scratch Truck food truck may have to cover additional expenses during the week leading up to the Super Bowl because they will be hiring additional staff and renting out extra space for all the food preparation that they need to do, which they anticipate being up to six times what they do during a normal week. While they may not be increasing prices, all the restaurants I spoke to assured me that they will be bringing in additional staff to ensure the best service possible.
Since Indianapolis is host to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indianapolis 500 – every year, which sells three times the tickets that the Super Bowl will, as well as other major racing events that bring in fans from around the world, we are no stranger to crowd management. However, all of the restaurant representatives agreed that the Super Bowl is different. Tim of the Monon Food Company explained that the “press experience around [Super Bowl XLVI] far exceeds other events, so there is more excitement and more spectators who are coming to town just to party,” even if they are not going to the big game on Sunday.
With more diners comes more special orders, allergies, and dietary restrictions. The Scratch Truck admits they may not be the food truck for those trying to lose weight, although they are a favorite of foodies. Their best seller is the Scratch Grill Cheese with muenster, Colby Jack, red wine braised short ribs, caramelized onions, and arugula served on toasted honey white bread. The representative from Thr3e Wise Men reminds us all to “always inform your server of any allergies or restrictions that you have” both for your safety and satisfaction.” Scotty’s Brewhouse recently introduced both a gluten-free menu and a menu with items containing 650 calories or less that can benefit those with allergies, restrictions, or weight loss goals.
Tim of the Monon Food Company is proud that nothing used in their kitchen comes from a can, nothing is deep fried, and everything is as fresh and healthy as possible. He reports that they work with a local, organic farmer to get as many of their ingredients as possible, and they also shop at Good Earth, another local organic supplier. He states that all their tacos are gluten-free, and even their wraps can be served on a corn tortilla when requested. He reports that he has lost 20 pounds since July on their “taco diet” and is in the best shape of his life at age 41. While not an official diet, Tim may have something with eating high-protein, wheat-free tacos with fresh vegetables as a regular part of his diet.
Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company is offering Lombardi’s Super Baltic Porter for Sunday’s big game. Monon Food Company suggests that you like them on Facebook to find out about daily specials. The Scratch Truck and Monon Food Company are clearly rooting for the Giants, so Patriots fans may want to visit Thr3e Wise Men and/or Scotty’s Brewhouse who will welcome both fan groups.
Beyond team loyalty, Thr3e Wise Men is a restaurant and brewing company that brews several beers in house. They also serve pizza and sandwiches. Their wings with MoFo sauce are famous, and if you are caught up in the carnival mood of the Super Bowl Village, you may be tempted by their house-made elephant ear for dessert. Monon Food Company is also known for their wide selection of local beers. Since the weather is supposed to be in the 50s all week in Indianapolis, they will have their deck open for those who would like to dine outdoors. You might also want to try their house smoked salmon. The Scratch Truck will be easily accessible to the Super Bowl Village parked on Monument Circle. I have yet to find a better burger. It may not help you achieve weight loss goals, but it is an appropriate portion size.
Indianapolis has several other excellent local restaurants. I truly hope that those visiting the Circle City avoid the national chains they can find any where and find out what we really have to offer. If you want sushi, try Bu Da Lounge. If you want craft cocktails, Libertine or the Ball and the Biscuit are excellent options. Perhaps the best dessert in Indianapolis is at Connoisseur. Foodies are told to visit Black Market or Recess. And don’t forget my 6 Best Health Restaurants in Indianapolis for Super Bowl Fans.
February 2nd, 2012