For an extended interview with Ed, listen to this episode of the THE DRINK CULTURE Podcast:
Carlos: I see it just continuing to get better. I think fine dining will be coming back with more people willing to spend money on good food. The Indianapolis restaurant scene has been getting a ton of national love in recent years.
Ed: I think the media just slept on our dining scene for far too long. This city has some truly amazing people running exciting restaurants. We’re in the Midwest, you can leave downtown Indianapolis in a car and be on a farm in less than 20 minutes. That’s pretty exciting, particularly for those of us who work closely with our farmers.
Carlos: Our dining scene is good, but we’re not where we want to be yet. More restaurants like Beholder, Bluebeard, Love Handle, and Ukiyo are opening up and putting out great food. We need more independent restaurants doing great food that’s not just steak and potatoes.
Ed: More well-curated wine lists. I’m noticing more restaurants bringing sommeliers back into the fold. Wine’s been seen as this snobby, elitist thing for so long, and sure, it’s a deep rabbit hole for the truly obsessed. But for most of us, that’s not the case. We need some help. A good sommelier or wine director is always happy to introduce someone to a wine that makes dinner taste better or is as refreshing to drink on a hot patio day as any craft beer.
Ed: Indiana chefs have really hit their stride in the last decade, and our culinary scene has found its voice. We have an incredibly diverse range of restaurants around the city. Our Burmese population has grown exponentially in recent years, and the south side is now home to dozens of fantastic Burmese and Chin restaurants. Bloomington is home to the largest Tibetan population outside of Tibet. It makes it really exciting to travel around and find the restaurants off the beaten path.
Carlos: I’m someone who rolls with the punches. I enjoy combining flavors and ingredients that shouldn’t work together, but somehow they do. I don’t like to follow the “rules” of cooking. I cook quick and easy at home so I can spend more time with my #lildumplings (kids) and my wife.
Ed: I don’t get out too often. I still really love cooking at home if I’m not eating a meal prepared by one of our own chefs. That said, Love Handle's owners are some of my favorite people in Indianapolis. The biscuits and gravy are ridiculous. Honestly, I could drink that gravy. It’s so deep. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. My wife just recently discovered El Sabor Catracho, a Honduran place on the east side of town in a strip mall on Pendleton Pike. Everything is made to order, so be prepared to wait for a table and for your meal. I need a no-frills burger at least once a week, and Workingman’s Friend (pictured) has been doing it forever. You’d think it’d be impossible to fry those burgers so thin on the edges that they become lacy without turning the whole thing into a hockey puck. It’s an art. And Perillo’s Pizzeria is 100 percent worth the drive to North Salem. The owner is originally from Palermo. His dedication to properly made pizza is unmatched.
Carlos: I take out of town guests to Bluebeard and Love Handle for food. To me, that’s what Indy is about on a very high level. Meat-heavy dishes most Indy diners would be familiar with.
A. Carlos: Make sure to visit Fountain Square, go to any of our museums, and walk or ride the Cultural Trail.
Ed: Rent a bike and ride the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. I wish every city had one. You really get to see all the great neighborhoods in Indy and don’t have to worry about sharing the street with cars. Follow the trail from the zoo, through the university, down Massachusetts Avenue, through Fountain Square, right through the middle of downtown, and next to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Executive Director of Indianapolis City Market
Illustrator & Digital Artist
Co-Founder of Be Nimble Foundation
Restaurant Owner and Chef
Blogger, Tales & Turbans
Writer and Journalist
Influencer and Entrepreneur
Designer and Owner of Union Western Clothing
Deputy Mayor, City of Indianapolis
Owner of THE TRAP
HGVT's "Good Bones" and Two Chicks District Co.
Handpoke Tattoo Artist
Chapati and Shani's Secret Chicken
Local artist and gallery owner
Kennedy King Memorial Initiative
Artist and Designer
Hotel Broad Ripple
Growing Places Indy
Pediatrician and Entrepreneur
Owner of James Dant
Local Historian and Author
Phoenix Theatre Dance Company
Saxophonist and Restaurant Manager
Salumist and Owner of Turchetti's Salumeria
Barber Shop Owner and Barista
Realtor and Fashion Expert
Music Club Owner and Promoter
Vinyl Record Collage Artist
Food and Drink Purveyors
Ice Cream Innovators
Illustrator and Educator
Painter and Biking Enthusiast
Manager, RUCKUS Makerspace, and Executive Director, Latinas Welding Guild
Food Bloggers and Authors
Artist and Illustrator
Magician and Illusionist
Public School Principal
DJ and Founder, Rad Summer
Zoo Membership Director
T-Shirt Shop Owners
Owner, The Smoking Goose and Goose the Market
Co-Founder, Sun King Brewing
Writer and Exhibit Designer
IndyCar Driver and Team Owner
Owner, Indy Eleven soccer club
Former Colt Linebacker and Owner, Brackett Restaurant Group
Blogger, Seersucker + Saddles
Fine Artist and Musician
News Anchor, WTHR
Executive Director, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
Co-Founder of GangGang Culture
Executive Director, Pattern
Former WNBA Star, Indiana Fever
IndyCar Racer, Contestant on Dancing with the Stars
Chalk Artist and T-Shirt Shop Owner
Owner, The Gallery Pastry Shop
Founder of Felege Hiywot Center
Owner, Manayunk Calligraphy
Owner, Like the Lettuce: Fitness + Health Coach