This week I went to the Eagle, a new restaurant on Mass Ave that replaced the beloved Front Page. While I was not a regular at Front Page, it was a landmark of sorts and I had even gone there with Denver once. That said, the Eagle has a completely different vibe. It reminds me of somewhere you would eat in Nashville, which is not a bad thing.
The seating is communal, so there is a chance you might be seated next to someone you don’t know at a high top table for eight. I love this and some of my favorite restaurants that I’ve visited while traveling had communal seating. I enjoy talking to my neighbor and seeing what they ordered, but there is a fine line when you get a chatty Cathy in the next seat. We went at lunch and there were plenty of open seats, so this was not a concern. I did see a group of ladies pass us with looks of horror as they hoped and prayed that their server didn’t put them near anyone. It also reminded me of Yardbird, which my friend Kanester took me to in Miami for fried chicken.
The ambiance is country/hipster. There is a giant eagle painted on the wall and while the beer list is decent, I wouldn’t want to go on a first date because I was covered with fried chicken. I had no shame and you just have to go for it. I did recommend to the server that they invest in some wet wipes for after you have polished off your meal and she said many people have asked. The chicken is served with honey and if your hands are not stuck to the table, you did not get the full experience. I ordered the 1/4 pound fried chicken (you can choose white or dark meat) with a small kale salad, which was the perfect size.
While I fully embrace my inner hipster yogi, I am not a big fan of kale. It can often be bitter, so you have to balance it with something sweet. The server told me the kale salad was the most popular, so I went with it and was so glad I did. The raisins are soaked in BOURBON, the cornbread croutons were sweet and crunchy, the granny smith apple slices added some tartness, and the sharp white cheddar cheese with a cider vinaigrette made for the perfect side dish for the fried chicken. I will be re-creating this at home and here’s a recipe for a salad dressing to cut the bitterness of the kale.
If I go back for dinner, I will definitely add a nitro milk stout to accompany the meal. I also tried my lunch companion’s mac and cheese, which was a little spicy, but not as spicy as the mac and cheese at Mimi’s Meatballs. The chicken was really moist and the skin was perfectly cooked and crispy. I am guessing they use buttermilk because it was some of the best fried chicken I have ever had!
The staff was friendly and quick to act when a glass of water toppled over on our table. I made sure to save my chicken and my phone (priorities!). The prices were not bad, but a lot of the sides are family style, so expect to take home leftovers. I ate all of mine, but we had to take half the mac and cheese home. My 1/4 pound chicken was $6 and the small salad was $5.
This post is also a great excuse to make crockpot mac and cheese. You can find the recipe here and I’ve made it several times for dinner parties and carry-in lunches at work.
WATERCOLOR CALLIGRAPHY WITH KIM
The weather this past weekend was amazing! One of my friends has two paddle boards and asked if I’d like to go adventuring on the canal on Saturday. Sixty degree weather in February meant that there was no way I would not go. Paddle boarding on the canal might be illegal, but I googled and didn’t find anything that said I would be spending the day at the Marion County Police Department filling out paperwork, so why not? Then we rode bikes around the canal and zoo loop, then to Mass Ave for beers at Bru Burger. In my opinion, it was the perfect day and it almost made me forget about crazy Indiana weather.
On Sunday, I took my friend Kim’s watercolor calligraphy class. I have taken her traditional ink and pen class, but I enjoyed the creativity and freedom that comes with using watercolor. She is an incredible teacher and I am lucky to call her my friend. The letter J is my favorite letter to write, so we call it ‘j’s for days.’ My friend LP attended too and it was a fun, creative afternoon.
It reminds me of sitting in the basement as a little kid with my art supplies scattered all over the floor and the kidney shaped table my mom bought from her school. Kim’s class is a little less chaotic than my early days as an aspiring artist. Also, I no longer accidentally glue myself to the carpet. This time I only left with blue hands from the watercolor smudging. You can learn more about Kim’s classes here (shameless plug) and you’re guaranteed a good time.
The Speak Easy
A card I mailed this week and I love the message