If you haven’t been to Indianapolis, you should go just to eat. Since it’s shadowed by Chicago and the windy city’s culinary goodness, people sleep on Indianapolis despite it having Black food and drink creators churning out some of the tastiest food I’ve ever had. I think of Indy as Nubia and Chicago as Egypt. Two entities with similar cultures expressed and shared quite differently.
Some of our followers who are up on the Indy Black food scene wanted to make sure our Black Indy Foodie Tour made a stop at Public House. It wasn’t on our schedule, but we added it and am I glad we did because this awesome restaurant ended up being one of our top two Indy favorites.
Chef Sharmaine Cooper is an haute culinarian from top to bottom. A self-taught chef and cook, her journey began 2016 when she opened this quaint eatery after losing her job. She’d decided to pursue her career in food and drink by selling Elote corn, popularly known as Mexican street corn. This traditional classic is roasted over an open grill, then coated with salt, chili powder, butter, cotija cheese, lime juice, and mayonnaise or crema fresca. Chef’s corn deviates from the classic construction with her creative use of parmesan cheese, butter salt and other in-house secrets that make hers a tastier, unique and memorable flavor.
Our first entrée was a trio of the Elote corn, beginning with the Lamb Chop corn. Chef paired a sweet and savory sauce for the lamb with the buttery flavored corn dusted with parmesan cheese that totally understood the assignment by setting this entrée off. The lamb was tender, tasty, and belongs with the corn as you consume it.
Next up was the Cheddar Broccoli Pile Corn, an elaborate deconstructed loaded baked potato on corn. I’m here for all of this ingenious meatless combination. Think about it, buttery parmesan dusted corn kernels with seasoned broccoli, cheddar cheese, topped with sour cream are all wonderfully complementary and tasted amazing together.
The final installment of the trio was Lobster, the only one of the three that didn’t wow me but after I tasted the Salmon Nachos, all was forgiven. The SALMON NACHOS IS ONE OF THE BEST DISHES IN INDY! It contained everything we love about food. First glance, you may dismiss as a menu filler or by product entrée, and what a mistake that would be. The flavor contained within this dish is bold and memorable. Salmon shavings with pico de gallo, seasoned rice, broccoli, and the incomparable creamy, smooth Public House Sauce with its unforgettable, totally addicting flavor.
This sauce also served as the base and star of the show in their pasta selections. I had the seafood version with shrimp, salmon and lobster and for whatever reason, this lobster was AMAZING (unlike the lobster from the corn). Not sure what happened there, but I highly recommend the pasta with shrimp, salmon and lobster. You will not regret this.
Next, we had the huge honey hot chicken wings with their intense flavor and nice and sticky texture. Each wing was fried to a perfect juicy tenderness, and with a side of fries make for such a great combo.
Speaking of combos and chicken, do not sleep on that giant chicken sandwich. I loved everything about it, including the warm onion burger bun that takes your palate for a quick flavor trip only to return to the glazed fried chicken breast, which takes you for a sweet and savory ride and an unforgettable bite.
Chef Sharmaine is doing an amazing job creating unique, new, bold and innovative flavors and entrees. When you visit Indy to experience restaurants truly emblematic of Naptown’s food scene, this should be your first stop and the salmon nachos and seafood pasta should be your first dishes.
My next visit to Indy is in a couple weeks, and Public House will be one of my very first stops after leaving the airport. Go see for yourself by checking them out at 4002 Boulevard Pl, Indianapolis, IN 46208 or give them a call at (317) 772-3351.
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