Ale Emporium8617 Allisonville Rd Indianapolis, IN 46250
We were in the area and looking for a place to watch the Colts game and try some wings. Someone had recommended Ale Emporium to us, so we figured we would give it a shot. It’s located in a strip mall and the windows are all heavily, so it’s hard to immediately locate the entrance. Since it was game day it was packed as expected, so service was a little slow, but on par for how crowded it was.
We started with Pretzel Crusted Pickles ($7.00)—Sliced dill pickles breaded, deep-fried and served with your choice of their special mustard sauce or buttermilk dressing. We got both sauces and were charged for the second sauce. The pretzel breading made for a thicker crust than ordinary fried pickles, which we both really enjoyed. The outside was perfectly crispy and the pickles themselves never got soggy. The pickles were also cut thick and the serving size was generous. Both sauces were very good, the mustard being a mild Grey Poupon-esque type of sauce.
Recommendation: These pickles make for a great appetizer to share, although you may not want to.
I ordered the Cheesy Bacon Skins ($8.99)—six potato skins topped with Cheddar and Jack cheese, and bacon bits with a side of sour cream. You can add chili and onions for $1.50 extra, but we did not. The skins were quite large and had plenty of cheese and bacon, but were missing some onion flavor like chives or scallions. We took half of these home and they reheated just fine.
Recommendation: Any carb lover would be happy with these skins. Add in some bacon and cheese? Sign me up.
I also ordered Homemade Chili (Cup $3.79 – Bowl $4.99)— which was good, but not vegetarian- friendly. It is a beef chili and comes with Cheddar Jack cheese and onions for no charge, if you ask for them. The chili was good and not too greasy as many tend to be. It had good flavor, but I would have liked a little more spice. I would order it again.
Recommendation: It is as hearty as the menu’s description claims. Perfect for a winter game day.
Sean ordered the Small Buffalo Wings ($11.99)—Two pounds of jumbo wings served with carrots, celery and bleu cheese dressing. Two pounds of wings turns out to be only 12 wings. He got his wings “herman” style. The menu doesn’t explain, but the herman, hermanaki, or hermaican ($0.75 extra) are their “special” wings. All three of these are grilled after being fried. The herman is supposed to be hot, so we chose this option. The hermanaki flavor (the restaurant’s claim to fame) is similar to teriyaki and the hermaican is their take on Carribean jerk flavor. The
herman wings had a great grill flavor, but come without any sauce (or seasoning), therefore, they were pretty plain. Who doesn’t want to get their fingers dirty when eating wings? Sean ordered a side of three mile island sauce ($0.50 extra) to dip his wings in for flavor. The sauce was spicy and clearly had a lot of black pepper added. The bleu cheese actually had cheese chunks in it, which most places fail to have. Sean would not recommend the herman wings by themselves, but he managed to save them by adding a sauce. All in all, 12 wings ran $13.24, which was not worth it at all. Maybe we misordered by not getting the hermanaki wings. Wings are meant to be spicy and covered in sauce. These had neither going for them.
Recommendation: If you are getting wings, do not get them herman style.
If you are looking for bar food, this place has some pretty good options. On game days there are many tvs, so finding your team won’t be hard to do. They are known for their hermanaki wings and Chicago style pizza, neither of which we had. If these are even better than the food we had, this place is a good neighborhood gem.
Location: Northeast (Castleton)
Cuisine: Pizza, Pub, Sandwich
Dress Code: Casual