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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; www.mononfood.com.•

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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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