Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bazbeaux Pizza

Okay, okay, okay, so for all of you big Bazbeaux pizza fans, we finally gave it a try. And the long and the short of it is...we are not converts.

It was a cold Sunday evening and we were in the mood for pizza. The Broad Ripple location worked best for us and we were immediately impressed with the fun, eclectic atmosphere. It seemed to be a welcoming joint for families, college kids, dates, and the like. We saw the garlic bread had been advertised as "award winning" so Ozzy had to sample. Um, a hoagie, toasted with a minuscule amount of garlic butter. Not award winning. Please tell us the periodical that gave it said award.

Fred decided to start with a spinach salad with the creamy basil dressing. That was really something! We ordered the large, to share. It certainly had some awesome ingredients...bacon, mushrooms, egg, kalamata olives, mozzarella cheese blend, and some red onion, which we delicately removed. The house made dressing was excellent and paired very nicely with the fresh spinach. It was the highlight of the meal.

Then, came the big disappointment. We decided to go for a half and half. Half the Bazbeaux Special(basil, sundried tomato and garlic) and half eggplant and goat cheese. One thing we commend them on is their excellent array of fresh topping choices, but the yummy stops there.

Fred & Libby were both underwhelmed by the crust. It was the thin-crust, white flour variety. We noted before ordering that they offered both hand-tossed & thin crust with both white & wheat options. Upon ordering, we were not given an option to choose, therefore assumed that the "special" came on a particular crust. Too bad it was lifeless; like a cracker with less taste. It had no personality and did nothing for all of those fresh ingredients.

Fred has since wondered if this could possibly have been the original recipe that gave Bazbeaux its start. It seems more likely that through either under-training, neglect, or cost-cutting what was once a pizza crust has now degenerated to a cracker-esque flour concoction. This theory would be given greater weight if, in fact, the garlic bread HAS, in the past, been a true award winner. Libby concurs.

Furthering the disappointment, The Bazbeaux Special had a funk going on. Libby wasn't sure if it was the basil or the garlic, but something was off. On the other hand, the eggplant and goat cheese was an excellent combo, if only the crust could have stood up to it instead of detracting. Just a damn shame.

Fred found the sauce good, had some zest, a thin sauce, not too chunky and it paired well with the toppings. The bottom line, Bazbeaux is the epitome of a "toppings" pizza place. Excellent ingredients, top quality and an amazing array, but if you were to order a straight up pepperoni pizza, would they have a leg to stand on?

Wrap Up
Price-$-$$, Good price. An entree salad for $6.50, not bad at all.
Atmosphere-***, Fun, inviting atmosphere that makes you want to stay awhile.
Service-***, Standard waitstaff service, fast order time to table service. Was it an oversight that the crust options were not presented while ordering?
Fred - C, It's sad when the starter salad was the best portion of the meal at a well-known pizza joint.
Libby - C-, So disappointed with the pizza, but the salad was a pleasant surprise.
Ozzy -B, He ate the garlic bread without complaint and it was a kid friendly environment.

Bazbeaux Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 19, 2009


Although the FLO has been dining at Yats for years, we had not attended in some time and thought we should review our own branch in Greenwood that opened about a year ago. As with all of the Yats eateries, it has the same eclectic take on a sit-down soul food place...some booth seating with simple chairs and tables, a counter for ordering take-out or sit down and the fabulous chalk board menu. There is something so inviting about those steamy windows in the cruel winter chill. The daily specials stay fairly consistent with occasional variances, but Yats has the forethought to include their daily menus for each location online.

On this particular occasion, Libby went with the Chili Cheese Etoufee(a staple on any Yats visit) and the B&B(a lovely combination of sweet corn and black beans that likens to a dessert.) Fred went with the Chili Cheese Etoufee and the White Chicken Chili. Ozzy suffices on the accompanying white rice and garlic toast.
Simply put, each dish is well thought out, consistently prepared, and just plain yummy! Over the last several years, we have tried everything and have never been disappointed. Fred has an unnatural love for the Cajun Power, a garlic based hot sauce that adds a real punch to the already smooth, easy flavors of each dish.
And you can't beat the price!
If you are from the Indy area, you already know about Yats. It is an Indy tradition with three locations in Indy proper, the Greenwood locale, one in West Lafayette and a new addition in Chicago! Look out, windy city, get ready to feel the fever!
Wrap Up
Price-$, Cheap, good eats.
Atmosphere-**, If we were reviewing the broadripple or mass ave locations, we'd say a ***, but the all too familiar strip mall locale in Greenwood doesn't have the same kind of personality.
Service-****, There isn't table service, but the staff are always curteous and as fast as any fast food establishment could be.
Fred - A-, I only wish they had something totally new from time to time.
Libby - A, I always know what I want when I go and it's always what I expect!
Ozzy -B+, Rice and buttery garlic toast? Duh.

Yats on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Famous Dave's BBQ

While FLO doesn't usually review (or even admit to patronizing) national chain restaurants, we decided to give Famous Dave's a try due to the dearth of good BBQ on the south side. Don't believe us? Our first attempt last month was actually rebuffed by the hordes of other diners. Hour+ waits don't really sit well in the land of Oz.

In order to beat the mad dinner rush, FLO decided to skip lunch on Sunday and gorge on a 4 o'clock "Linner" instead. This allowed for a hunger befitting the feast to come!

After our waiter explained Dave's 5 BBQ sauces, with a mini-serving of fries for tasting, he recommended that we each try a combo meal in order for us to sample a variety of different meats and sides to share around the table. Not a bad idea, sir! While Ozzy would not be dissuaded from the mac 'n cheese, both Fred and Libby took the bait.

Wow. Dave must really like his side-dishes... Each combo comes with 1/2 an ear of corn, the most amazing cornbread muffin FLO has ever tasted and then your choice of another 2 sides!

Fred chose St. Louis ribs and rib-tips for his two meats, along with a horseraddish coleslaw and a spicy mac 'n cheese for his sides. Libby opted for the spicy catfish fingers and beef brisket with Wilbur beans and green beans. Even Ozzy's mac 'n cheese came with a side. Knowing that Ozzy wouldn't mind, we ordered him the Drunkin' Apples as an extra side.

Fred's ribs were excellent. While the meat is not falling off the bone, they were easily the first entree to disappear. The rib tips, while not for everyone due to their high fat & gristle content, were Fred's favorite. And wow did they give you a huge portion of them. Definitely great bang for your buck and a good way to test out all the sauces. His grown-up mac 'n cheese was also a hit with a little corn and jalapeno thrown in.

Libby's catfish was tasty, but although it came with two special dipping sauces to compliment the 5 other sauces already on the table, we never did find the perfect compliment. Her brisket was perhaps the one disappointment on any of the 3 plates. While the flavor was good, it was dry and could use a bit more flavor. . . but still good after a doucing with Dave's Texas Pit sauce.

The beer selection wasn't bad either. Both of us opting for a very refreshing tall 312 Ale.


Wrap Up
-$$-$$$$, Price depends on your taste.
-** 1/2, Why do chains always LOOK like chains?!?
Service-****, Excellent. Even if he was shilling for the more expensive options, we were all ears!
- B+, Good stuff. No real standouts other than the amazing corn bread, but everything was darned tasty.
- B+, Fred's entree was my favorite. The ribs, spicy mac 'n cheese, coleslaw, amazing muffin and Ozzy's drunken apples were all mighty good. Not a bad option when it's your only option.
-B+, He certainly put away a bunch of mac 'n cheese then he stole Libby's muffin!!

Famous Dave's BBQ on Urbanspoon