Shoefly Public House122 E 22nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46202
Sean’s brother and domestic partner were in town. With their flight arriving at 10 PM and them being on west coast time, we were looking for a place that was 1) open, 2) had great food and 3) had a good selection of beer. Not too many kitchens are open past 10:30 so we were happy to find at least one place that was.
Outfitted in what seemed to be a business building, and with no lights (working) on the street, this place was hard to find without the GPS. The inside is big, with a long bar, with seating, in the center. There are brick walls added a nice touch. Upon entering, guests are to seat themselves. The music selection was also fantastic, playing old-school hipster type songs (The Roots, Air, and a No Diggity remix). The food is all local and there are many selections of local beers too. Certainly a neighborhood gem! And the name? Well, we were curious too. It comes from flies hanging around desserts (because of their sweetness) and people saying “shoo fly!”
To start things off we ordered Duck Wings ($6 for 3/$9 for 5). They come in several different flavors (zesty orange, hickory dijon, chimichurri, and garlic Parmesan), and we settled on the garlic Parmasan. The wings are all dark meat and are somewhere in size between a chicken drumstick and a chicken drumette. The wings had a crispy exterior and the sauce was subtle, which was probably intentional since garlic is a very powerful flavor. The wings are plated over some arugula coated in olive oil.
Recommendation: Duck Wings are the new chicken wings. Get with the times and order some of these. We are sure the other flavors would be good as well.
They were out of the pretzel nuggets and cheese, made locally at Pat’s Philly Pretzels, so we opted for the Pretzel Flatbread (also made at Pat’s) with Charred tomato, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Syrup ($8). The flatbread is about eight inches and is cut into four pieces. The pretzel flatbread, although hard to taste the pretzel flavor, added a great crunch and was roughly the thickness of two Pretzel Crisps—the thin pretzel chips. The goat cheese, as you can see, was plentiful. The charred tomato paired very well with the cheese. The balsamic syrup we guess was trying to add some sweetness, but it too was hard to taste (even on its own). This dish could be either an appetizer to share, of if one is not that hungry it could serve as an entrée.
Recommendation: This was tasty and there were several other flatbread options that looked good as well.
We also ordered the Escarole Salad ($4 sm/$8 lg). You can also get all the salads in a wrap for $7. The salad comes with potato, beet, butternut, smoked Gouda and a pomegranate vinaigrette. We decided to add Salmon to the salad for an extra $5. The salmon was really fishy. The toppings were few and far between, but all tasted good and went well together. The vinaigrette was also good.
Recommendation: A decent salad, but certainly not the best. Better off not ordering a salad (unless vegetarian), as there are better dishes, and would not recommend adding the salmon.
Since it was cold out, the Vegan Chili and Chedar ($4 cup/$7 bowl) was a must. It came topped with scallions and a sweet corn cake. The chili by itself was delicious and had a great black bean flavor. The sweet corn cake made the chili phenomenal. It was light yet packed with tons of corn flavor. It also helped keep everyone warm.
Recommendation: Definitely worth ordering, and one of our favorite bites of the night, although there were many.
Sean’s brother ordered the fish and chips—the Bier battered Walleye ($11 for 2 pieces/$16 for 4) with potato fries and tartar sauce. One word to describe this dish—WOW! All of us agreed this was the best fish and chips we have had! The fish was so light and the batter was thick and crispy. To achieve this crispyness without overcooking the fish is hard to do. The fries were good, but overshadowed by the fish. The fish didn’t even need any tartar sauce (just a squeeze of lemon), which was just okay anyways. It wasn’t that tart.
Recommendation: The best fish and chips. One of the best bites we have had in Indy. A must! Worth coming here just for this dish.
Sean ordered the Griddled Capocollo Di Dorman ($8) with boursin mac & cheese on sourdough bread. When we have leftover mac & cheese, Sean will sometimes make a sandwich with it and use it as the cheese, as was the case here. Their mac & cheese was pretty lack luster—there just wasn’t much flavor, except a slight garlic taste. The Capocollo was fantastic, presumably because it was from Smoking Goose?? It was very thick and had some great heat to it that kept in your mouth for a few second. The sourdough bread was soft and airy and did not overpower the rest of the ingredients. The menu says it comes with a side, which had to be the pickled veggies shown in the top of the picture. While the pickled veggies were great, they were not sufficient to be a side. The veggies were carrots, radishes, celery, pickles, and onions. The pickling was spicy, similar to kimchi.
Recommendation: Worth getting, but don’t be impressed by the mac & cheese.
I ended up ordering the Bison Short Rib ($22) with sage and goat cheese polenta and a mushroom ragout. We were told by our waitress that this dish started out as a special, but so many people asked for it they kept it on the menu. With that knowledge and the fact that both Sean and I LOVE short rib, and we were both really excited to order this. We ended up disappointed in this dish. Since the rib was from a bison, it was more gamey (chewy) than the usual beef ribs. The polenta was good, and the ragout went well the the gameyness of the rib. This dish also was the most expensive dish on the menu.
Recommendation: Maybe our expectations were too high, but we did not like this dish.
We started off with the Brownie Batter Wontons ($5) with a cinnamon anglaise. This dessert was amazing. The wontons provided great texture and contrast to the soft (and warm) brownie batter. The cinnamon anglaise added a little cinnamon flavor. There are three wontons per order.
Recommendation: A must. Be sure to order enough so everyone can have one wonton.
We then ordered the Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Bread Pudding ($7). The texture was very dense for being a bread pudding. The pretzel flavor was hard to find (again), so maybe it just added a little saltyness to the dish.
Recommendation: Not your typical bread pudding, but still very good.
This place had many great dishes, or parts of dishes, with only a few misses. This place could easily be a 4.5 or 5, but was not this time. With it being only a couple of minutes from downtown, this place would be great for happy hours. Farm-to-fork food at a moderate price; we will definitely be back!
Location: Northeast (SoBro)
Cuisine: American (New), Pub, Farm-to-Fork
Dress Code: Casual