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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. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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