Monday, August 25, 2008

3 Sisters Café

Amy asked if there was anything in Broad Ripple that we should try, so we headed in that direction for a very late lunch this afternoon - and I actually managed to think of a place that we should try before we even got close to Broad Ripple. Before it hit me, we took a brief detour along Pendleton Pike, between Shadeland Avenue and Mitthoeffer Road, wondering if there might be something along that stretch of depressed neighborhood to tempt the palate; but the only thing that would have fit the bill was the Heidelberg Café, and I just wasn’t feeling the German thing today, so we kept moving. Between there and Post Road, we decided on Broad Ripple, so I figured I’d just shoot up Post to 56th Street and get to Broad Ripple that way. No such luck. Can’t turn north onto Post Road from Pendleton Pike due to construction. On to Mitthoeffer! There we were able to turn north and ran into 56th Street almost immediately, and from there to the eclectic hippie enclave of Broad Ripple with no problems.

The destination? 3 Sisters Café, at 6360 North Guilford Avenue - yet another of those places I have passed by many a time without visiting. We lifted the stroller up the two steps from the sidewalk to the porch of the old house that now contains this charming café and stepped through the front door, where we waited in the long entrance hall to be seated. Laminated copies of the menu were tacked to the wall, so we could ponder our choices while we waited (briefly) to be seated. I also noticed a little door at the end of the entrance hall, tucked into the space beneath the steps leading to the building’s second level, and I chuckled and pointed it out to Amy as I realized what I was looking at - the cupboard under the stairs!

We were then seated in what might have been one of the bedrooms when the place was being used a house, but which now contains a handful of tables with non-matching chairs, mostly made of wood and various other materials. A very large window to our left looked out onto the porch, where we might have chosen to sit had it been a bit less hot and humid outside. I was pleased immediately - it was creaky and comfortable and unpretentious, and portended an excellent late lunch (especially with advance knowledge of what might be ordered, thanks to the menus on the wall in the hallway).

The menu consists of an all-day breakfast section, plus sandwiches and salads, with an eye toward vegetarian and vegan offerings and healthy choices even for the carnivores. Daily specials are scrawled on a long horizontal chalkboard hanging on the wall in what I think was the main dining room, but which was visible from where I sat - meaning that I had to sit there and look at the daily omelette special, which contained spinach, mushrooms, mozzerella, parmesan, and oregano. Oh, snap. And yet...I chose to pass on that. Why? Something called the Green Grilled Turkey Sandwich ($8.75), featuring turkey, avocado, red onion, swiss cheese, and...pesto. Once more...oh, snap. Amy selected the Florentine omelette ($6.75), which consisted of three eggs wrapped around tomatoes, spinach, basil, mozzerella, and parmesan. She got a side of calico potatoes ($3.00) with that - roasted yellow and sweet potatoes with rosemary and one other herb that I can’t recall. Damned journalistic ineptitude. There’s an online menu, but methinks it’s a bit outdated, as the prices don’t match what we paid, the sandwich I ordered is nowhere to be found, and a number of things listed on the online menu were not on the menu at the restaurant today. We also ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ($3.50) for Jackson.

My grilled turkey sandwich came out perfectly grilled on marble rye bread, with thick slices of grilled turkey breast and a remarkable aroma of pesto as I took the first bite. It fell apart a bit as I made it disappear, but that pesto was there on every sloppy bite. Sandwiches come with a side, and I chose the homemade applesauce - the first bite of which actually made me recoil, it was that divorced from what I generally expect applesauce to taste like. It was very sweet and tasted almost as though it had been laced with rum, but I eventually got used to it, and it proved a solid counterpoint to the savory sandwich. Amy pronounced her omelette delicious, and the calico potatoes were excellent - perfectly cooked and nicely herbed, if perhaps a bit underseasoned.

Our server was very attentive and pleasant - and even took note of the fact that Jackson was being a cranky little turd. She brought his peanut butter and jelly sandwich out before our food was ready, so we could attempt to get Jackson fed and calmed first and not have to do that while our food got cold. A different person on the wait staff brought a second high chair when it turned out that the first one had a seat belt clasp that did not, in fact, clasp.

This may be my new favorite place to eat in Broad Ripple, even though there is also a Bazbeaux Pizza and a Dagwood’s sandwich shop. (I’ve always preferred the downtown Bazbeaux to the one in Broad Ripple, especially since the one in Broad Ripple moved into the old NUVO building. If you never got a chance to eat at Bazbeaux when it was in that house across the street, you missed out.) A second trip will be necessary to determine that for sure, but I’m fairly certain that my opinion on this one will hold up.

No comments: