Sidebars: Super sandwich list misses the mark

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

SidebarsThe Indianapolis Star recently published a list of the top 46 sandwich places in the state of Indiana in anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl event in Indianapolis. After reviewing the list, I was not only disappointed but, quite frankly, a bit upset. Sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, the list was developed in part by the Super Bowl Host Committee and experts from Indianapolis Monthly magazine. I wondered about the extent of the research because of several notable absences. I’m taking a detour from the usual format of this column to stand on my soap box so those omitted from this list can rightly be heard.

While I’ve had many of the sandwiches on this list, I’ve not had most of them. I am sure some are quite good and that some on the list of 46 cannot hold a candle to some of the places listed below, which tells me not much time and/or genuine effort went into the merits of the list. Just because it boasts fresh fruit, can a peanut butter and jelly sandwich truly represent the best of what Indiana has to offer?

Of the listed 46, eight sandwiches were breaded pork tenderloins and one was a grilled pork tenderloin. Nothing represents the Hoosier State like a pork tenderloin sandwich, but did we really have to dedicate nearly 20 percent of the list to it? One of my first reviews was the tenderloin at the Gnaw Bone Café in Gnaw Bone, Ind. After a hiatus, the sandwich is now served at the Gnaw Mart, in the heart of Gnaw Bone, on State Route 46. I haven’t had all of the other eight on the list, but since the Gnaw Bone version was good enough to garner an article in Gourmet magazine (and by me!) that should probably be the one and only state representative in the tenderloin category.

Three of the 46 are pulled pork sandwiches. I’ve had them all and none hold a candle to the pulled pork sandwich at Circle City Soups located in the historic City Market in Indianapolis. You must try the pulled pork sandwich at Circle City Soups and the prosciutto and spinach sandwich at Café Olivia. Both outshine the pulled pork from Papa Roux, also in City Market and at the previously reviewed location near 10th Street and Post Road in Indianapolis. While the Papa Roux version is very good and on the list of Super 46 sandwiches, the other two surpass it. Some sandwiches are well-suited to make the list of 46. The Reuben at Shapiro’s is an Indiana staple, but some of my Jewish friends from New York were not as overly impressed as I am. I was pleased to see the Batali from Goose the Market on the list. It was voted a top sandwich nationwide by Bon Appétit magazine, so I would have hit the roof if this wasn’t on it. The Batali is truly one of Indiana’s finest.

Eight of the 46 are burgers, if you count the one veggie burger from Broad Ripple Brewpub. Burgers come in so many varieties and preferences making this is a tough category to judge as “best.” Burgers from Bub’s and Workingman’s Friend are deservingly on the list, but I can’t see how the Duane Purvis All-American Burger from West Lafayette’s Triple XXX (basically a burger with peanut butter) outshines those at the Capital Grille in downtown Indy or the burger at Shipley’s Tavern in Madison. While Triple XXX was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and positively reviewed by me, that doesn’t mean other places don’t deserve showcase recognition on a list like the Super 46 in its stead.

I could go on, but here’s a sampling of what I think deserves placement on the Super 46 list, Jenny’s opinion notwithstanding. I am sure I’ve omitted some:

• Hank’s Smoked Brisket, 3736 Martin Luther King Dr., Indianapolis (A must try.)

• Capital Grille, The Conrad Hotel, Indianapolis (This $16 cheeseburger is worth every penny, especially with the truffle oil fries. Plus, it’s much cheaper than a $40 steak and every bit as satisfying. I know it’s a franchise but it’s my column so I can break my own rules.)

• Shipley’s Tavern, 322 West St., Madison (Semantic battle sometimes with Indianapolis’ Slippery Noodle Inn as to which is the oldest bar in Indiana. The previously reviewed cheeseburger was among my first, and among my few, four-gavel ratings.)

• Circle City Soups, City Market, Indianapolis (Amazing pulled pork. Try the adjacent Circle City Sweets for nationally recognized and award-winning chocolates.)

• Café Olivia, City Market, Indianapolis (An immensely talented sandwich maker. The spinach and prosciutto is my favorite.)

• South of Chicago, Virginia and College Avenues, Indianapolis (authentic Italian beef, sausage and meatball sandwiches and outstanding pizza, too).

• The Black Market, 922 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis (The burger is 1/2 lamb and 1/2 beef and dressed with goat cheese. This is a seasonal menu so check availability.)

• Portillo’s, 555 East 81st St., Merrillville (While a franchise, it remains privately held. The Italian beef and hot dogs alone are worth the trip. Get some vacuum-sealed ribs to take home, they won’t disappoint.)

• Koney King, 4601 Broadway, Gary (since 1920 and the best coney dog EVER. The cheeseburgers are addictive.)

• King David Dogs, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis (an Indy original since 1941 literally puts Indiana’s stamp on hot dogs).

To see the Super 46 list, which pares down to one winner on Feb. 2, 2012, visit

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.


  • Thanks
    Great post and thank you for shout out to Circle City Soups and Sweets! One of Indys most hidden gems!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues