Walking into Poccadio, the new Moroccan Grill in Indianapolis, I immediately knew that I had encountered something wonderful. It’s that moment where my nose smells food that it doesn’t know, and all I want to do is taste every crazy smell until my stomach says “No more!”
That’s exactly what happened. Approaching the entrance timidly (as one does when they are in an unfamiliar place about to order unfamiliar food), I was greeted by a smiling face. I was asked if this was my first time, and when I said, “Yes” they immediately loaded a plate up with samples and allowed me to try everything until I was certain of what I wanted to order. “A great business model,” my stomach later confirmed.
Then, as I wrapped up eating my sandwich they gave me a “Poccadio” membership card that would give me a free meal after ten meals (or something similar). Now that I officially have inside connections there, all you need to tell them is that you know “Andrew” and they’ll give you some free samples and a membership card. I’m that awesome.
They finally did it guys. They made education fun. This is International Education Week, and in celebration, a number of events have been set up around campus, one of which I attended this evening. A sign-up was offered to anyone who wanted to go to India Palace, and I decided I would see if there was any space left.
When I went to check and it turned out there were a few spots left for free food, this was my initial reaction:
When I spend my time cooking for myself, a free meal now not only means that I don’t have to pay for it, but I also don’t have to prepare it or clean it up.
In all seriousness, I think that International Education is incredibly important. There are two directions that a society can take: they can either close themselves off or open up. Any experience internationally is a move outwards, opening are eyes to how many other types of people exist, and gives us the opportunity to hear new ideas, challenge our own, and grow as a person. Plus, who doesn’t love Mango Lassi?
Me and the Head Chef
Remember how I told you that I’d joined Sangam, the Indian Cultural Club on campus? Well, we finally did something. And can I just say, this culture ROCKS, as does its culinary tradition. Per my request, we agreed to meet up and take a stab at cooking Indian food. What I didn’t realize is that there would be a professional.
The entire clan came to my humble abode, as well as the mother of one of our members. With her came pots, pans, and enough food to feed 10 people (with enough leftovers for a week). She brought a curry (the secrets of which I still must unlock), the makings of a chick-pea soup, rice and cilantro, and yogurt–I didn’t get this last one, but it worked.
The big finish came when she busted out dough and the equipment necessary to make bread. Which we did! (See picture below). We had a number of botched attempts, but also some great ones. Overall it was a fantastic experience, and one that I hope can be repeated in the future. Unfortunately, this won’t be possible on my own, what with my spice rack being in the state that it is…nonexistent.
When my girlfriend came in from out of town, I knew that something special had to be done. We put our heads together and came up with a few passions that we share: pancakes, jazz, and traveling the world. Since we had already eaten pancakes, and traveling didn’t make sense during her visit to Indy, we settled on jazz.
On a Saturday evening we went online to make reservations at The Jazz Kitchen. The system was incredibly easy, and one of the first online reservations I’ve ever made. Impressive. We saw that the group Jared Thompson and Premium Blend, a fantastic group that played a few tunes I was familiar with and opened my ears to a number of new songs.
Then we ordered food. My goodness. We got the house specialty, a giant pan of Spanish paella. This was a real surf and turf, teaming with chicken, calamari, clams, sausage, and so much more. It felt like I was eating an ecosystem. A delicious, rice-y ecosystem.
The night was relaxing, the music was exciting and beautiful, and the food left us gasping for breath. In a good way. I give this restaurant seven trombones.
Note: must be 21 years to enter. Also there’s a cover charge. That’s where they get ya’.
Tagged: ambiance, Andrew Erlandson, atmosphere, band, delicious, dinner, entertainment, evening, food, Indianapolis, indy, jazz, jazzed, kitchen, paella, relaxed, suggest, suggestions, the
We arrived to Los Angeles and immediately I found myself swimming in a sweet river of foreign foods made familiar through constant and unbridled exposure.
Sushi is around every block. I ate it at every given opportunity. California rolls were the favorites (how could they not be?!). But I also tried some spicy tuna. The best moment was when I tasted handmade sushi, lovingly prepared by my aunt, a Japan native. Bliss. Pure bliss. From there I went on to drink Boba tea, a style of milk tea in which balls of tapioca are placed at the bottom. It becomes a game of trying to get the balance between sweet, creamy tea and sticky bursts of tapioca that fit perfectly in the wide straw.
Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl!
In Santa Monica I sampled Omusubi, essentially a ball of rice filled with assortments of meats and sauces wrapped in seaweed. Glorious. Because they did not quite fill up the appetites of a bunch of young males tired from a day of swimming in the icy Pacific, we then visited “Holy Guacamole,” a store that hits you first with a ludicrous mural depicting Michelangelo’s God reaching to man but with a Guacamole taco in hand, and then with the taco that makes the mural seem a little less out of whack.
And how could a trip out to the west coast be complete without a mention of the ever glorious In-N-Out Burger? A Double Double Animal Style with fries is all you really need to be happy. How do I describe the fries? Like they were fried. How do I respond to the claim that Five Guys is better than In-N-Out? With Laughter.
Butler’s pretty cool. I’d be lying if I said otherwise, and of course with any cool school, there come’s another important factor: Hogsmeade. If you’re like me and grew up with the character’s of Harry Potter, you probably accept the necessity of a place of fun and relaxation outside of the school grounds. And although you won’t find Butter Beer or Warlocks walking around you’re sure to find some interesting people there as well as drinks for those of age.
But for those under 21 a whole host of other options are available. Some of the best food in the city can be found in this area, and at affordable prices. Broad Ripple Bagel Deli, Yatz (A Cajun place), and Noodles and Company to name a few. What’s wonderful is how it’s an easy drive away. Bit of advice: make friends with someone who has a car. That’s saved my sanity on a number of occasions through the years.
I bought fresh basil! Thank you farmer's market, my pastas will be infinitely superior thanks to you.
A recent find for me was the Farmer’s Market that is ensconced away behind Broad Ripple High School. This marketplace brings the freshest products from the area to residents of Indianapolis. You will find a stand with the “Honey Guy” as I know him by. He owns a bee farm and sells, you guessed it, honey! Fresh produce abound, as do the finest dairy and meat products. Finally, I bring to you the best advice anyone can give you in regards to the Farmer’s Market: buy a crepe. But not just any crepe. The banana and Nutella crepe. Delicious is not your companion until you have tried it.
Takes place every Saturday from 8 AM-noon. Be prepared to wake up early.
Tagged: Andrew Erlandson, Broad, farmer, farmers, food, Hogsmeade, market, off campus, relax, relaxation, Ripple