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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.