It’s Time to Taste the New and Improved Indianapolis

The staff here at Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning takes pride in all the great things Indianapolis has to offer to both its residents and visitors. Downtown boasts White River State Park, home to the new JW Marriott Hotel, the newly re-opened NCAA Hall of Champions, interesting museums like the Eitljorg, the IMAX Theater at Indiana State Museum, and the “world-class” Indianapolis Zoo, as well as indoor and outdoor concert and sports venues like Victory Field, Conseco Fieldhouse, and Lucas Oil Stadium, each just a part of what makes Indy unique, and a great place to live or visit.

Culture, Yes! Cuisine…. We’re Getting There

Indianapolis also hosts outstanding live theatre productions, from Broadway touring companies to cutting edge independent plays. A good example of what makes Indianapolis unique is the 7th Annual IndyFringe Festival, which runs this year from August 19th through August 28th. 336 shows will be presented on seven stages around town, with a $10 maximum ticket price. (This week’s edition of Nuvo contains an excellent 32 page insert about IndyFringe, including descriptions and dates of this year’s shows. The free “alternative” newsweekly is available at dozens of restaurants and clubs around town.)

But let’s be honest with ourselves. Up until just a few years ago, Indy’s restaurants tended to be a little behind the culinary curve, with the Tenderloin Sandwich considered the height of Hoosier cuisine, as far as most of the rest of the country was concerned. But that reputation has started to change dramatically as downtown Indianapolis continues to grow as a tourist and convention destination, and improve its infrastructure in anticipation of the 2012 Super Bowl. And so does its restaurant scene.

Over the last five years or so, so many excellent restaurants have opened around town that, in our humble opinion, Indianapolis can now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any city in the country for its cuisine.  From the simple, like Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles and Good Morning Mama’s Cafe, to the sublime, like Hue Dine/Loft 36, R Bistro, and the Saffron Cafe, Indianapolis diners have never had it so good.

Celebrate Indy’s New Culinary Prowess, Taste the Future

Two upcoming events highlight the city’s blooming culinary scene, and provide great opportunities to sample some of the best food Indianapolis has to offer.

Eighth Annual Taste of Downtown – Saturday, August 6, 4 – 10 PM

This free street festival takes place on College Avenue between Ohio and New York. It will feature great food from some of your favorite local restaurants and award-winning wines from Easley Winery, the festival’s sponsor.

Live music will be provided on the concert stage by Toy Factory (4 PM,) Good Night Gracie (6 PM,) and The Tides (8 PM.) Free winery tours will be given from 4-8 PM, with tours in Spanish from 4-6 PM.

Devour Downtown Summer 2011 Begins Monday, August 8

Held twice a year, the summer edition of Devour Downtown 2011, which runs through August 21st, gives people an chance to eat at some of the best restaurants in town at a relatively affordable price. More than 45 downtown restaurants will offer special three-course dinner menus for just $30.00 per person. ( A few, like the popular Blue’s Club, The Slippery Noodle Inn, offer a 2 for $30.00 special.) Some, including the Capital Grille and Harry & Izzy’s, will also offer special Devour Downtown Lunch menus. Click for participating Indianapolis restaurants and their special Devour Downtown menus. (links open in new window)

Even the St. Elmo Steak House, arguably Indianapolis’ most famous restaurant, participates in Devour Downtown. Imagine, a world famous St. Elmo’s Shrimp Cocktail, rated the #1 Hottest Dish in the country by the Travel Channel and a Food Channel “Best (Spicy) Thing I Ever Ate”, (or a house salad, if you prefer… yawn,) plus a great Filet Mignon steak (or Grilled Salmon or Bourbon Chicken) with all the fixings AND dessert, all for just 30 bucks. Yum! This meal would normally set you back more than $50.00.

So come out to one of these tasty events in support of our city’s growing culinary scene, and to help “Keep Indianapolis Delicious!”