Sidebars: Despite detour, lunch did not disappoint

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Sometimes you have to go with Plan B. On a muggy afternoon, Jenny and I arrived at our target location, Napolese at 49th and Pennsylvania in Indianapolis. I wanted to write a comparative piece to my last Neapolitan pizza review, Pizzology in Carmel. The problem is Napolese does not offer a lunch option. So, remembering a hot tip from Chris Moyer at Segway of Indiana, we changed course and went to the Monon Food Co. in Broad Ripple. We were both glad we did.

We arrived to find a lively restaurant mixed with ample outdoor seating and indoor seating options. Nearly at capacity, we were seated inside upon my request as humid, outdoor dining did not appeal to me in my courtroom attire. The hostess sweetly apologized up-front for the barrage of servers streaming by as she informed us that this day was their first day of table, as opposed to counter, service. I wouldn’t have noticed anything out of the ordinary. It looked like well-choreographed confusion to me, the way a popular restaurant should be.

Jenny ordered water and I opted for iced tea. She also ordered some chicken mini rolls off the starter menu. These were three open-faced Kaiser-style rolls coated with shredded barbecue chicken and melted cheddar cheese. A hearty portion large enough for an entrée was satisfying but a little heavy as a starter. Nevertheless, we managed with the rest of our meal quite nicely.

We also ordered a Greek salad and our server offered to split it into two bowls for us. This portion size was perfect and the salad was quite refreshing. Fresh greens, olives, feta cheese, red onions and roasted red peppers all combined with a side of homemade vinaigrette got us in the mood for our entrees, despite it being our second course.

We chatted about the office, clients and such. I mentioned how my afternoon appointment cancelled thereby giving me an open afternoon. Jenny likewise had an open day and we noticed an adjoining table enjoying a bottle of wine. Feeling duty-bound to give our audience a complete review, we scanned the beer and wine menu. Jenny ordered a glass of Chardonnay and I followed with a can of locally brewed Sun King Cream Ale. Given our entrée selections, this was a remarkably sound idea.

Jenny dined on the rotisserie chicken dinner. This was a slow-cooked half chicken with barbecue sauce on the side. It came with a tasty corn muffin and a choice of steak fries, green beans, Cole slaw or Jenny’s selection of mac and cheese. She found the breast portion a bit dry but overall the dish certainly was not lacking in flavor. Seasoned with tasty herbs, she found it a worthy companion to her Chardonnay.

I chose the fish tacos. Packed with tilapia, chipotle mayo, shredded cabbage, guacamole and salsa, this was a delicious entrée that was only more enjoyable with the accompanying Sun King beer. Oddly, the tortilla shells stood out as almost the best part of the dish. They were hearty but not too large and sturdy enough to hold the concoction inside. If there is a way to daintily eat tacos, these tortillas could make it possible. Just ask Jenny, I certainly wasn’t dainty with this lunch.

While this place is nowhere near a courthouse, it is somewhere worth visiting. The menu has a wide variety, including a vegetarian section. The microbrew selection was impressive and the prices were a downright bargain. My fish taco dish was priced at $7.49. I’ve paid more than that at a chain restaurant for something of half the quality. On this day, Plan B worked. Pay Monon Food Co. a visit at 6420 Cornell Ave., Indianapolis; 317-722-0176;•


Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.