RESTAURANT: Jersey’s Café (Carmel, IN)
Featured on Food Network’s “Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives” Jersey’s Cafe boasts some large and charge dishes that rival those personalities the Garden State and its surrounding areas are known for. Specifically known for their steaks, hoagies, and rippers, this local hot spot north of Indianapolis has been getting rave reviews from New Jersey natives and Indiana locals alike.
SIGNATURE DISH: While not necessarily known for any one dish in particular, it is their large hoagie, cheesesteak and ripper creations that keep the folks coming back. From standard combinations to their unique take on Jewish type deli fare, their menu is quite expansive. I am not kidding when I say LARGE either, each of their sandwiches have so many toppings that it is hard to even open your mouth wide enough for a bite.
TASTE: Now we have mentioned in the past how much we LOVE a good sandwich, so a place that has literally 2 full pages of options was pretty exciting for the two of us. I also was coming off the really nasty norovirus , so after having not eaten much that whole week, my appetite was ready to tackle a huge sandwich. While both of us enjoyed what we ordered, I have to admit I wasn’t really blown away by any of the dishes that we tried. While the sandwiches we each got were for sure large and loaded with ingredients, they really weren’t huge on flavor, which was disappointing.
AMBIANCE: Located in a small shopping center right off the highway, I was a little bit disappointed with the overall appearance and décor. While not dirty or anything like that, it rather just didn’t have a whole lot going on aside from some generic posters along the wall. Not to sound harsh, given its reputation as being a “New Jersey Deli” I just was hoping for a little more wow factor is all, instead we got run of the mill shopping center feel.
SERVICE: The night we visited they happened to be a bit short staffed, however we didn’t have to wait extremely long to place our order or receive our food. However, that being said I would hardly call the service we received exceptional, but you might have a very different experience on your own visit.
PRICE: The average price of their dishes is roughly $10, so probably more than you would pay picking up a sandwich from your local deli, but given the amount of toppings that are piled on these puppies, I would say that their prices are definitely reasonable.
Something to keep in mind if you are going to be in the Indy area and want to stop in and check Jersey’s out, if you are trying to visit near any major holiday they will likely be closed. We tried stopping in 2 other times on our way home from Louisville or Nashville and unfortunately they were not open either of those times, so it just pays to call ahead.
We were happy when on our third try they were indeed open and we finally got to check out these spot, we just had possibly built it up a little too much in our head. While we did enjoy our sandwiches, we just didn’t feel like they really were anything out of the ordinary or even have that much flavor given all that they had going on. But as always we invite you to check out Jersey’s Café for yourself, but in our humble opinion they get 2 1/2 Little Piggies.
Well I do apologize for another long hiatus, but since it is still summer time, I wanted to share another hot spot for COOL TREATS. The Comfy Cow, a popular ice cream spot with three locations around Louisville, KY found its way into our hearts on one of our first visits to see my parents while they were living there. We have since been back two or three other times and suffice it to say this ice cream is legit and doesn’t need summer heat waves to enjoy it. If you are like me, you will find an excuse to have a scoop or two any day of the year! Looking back our first visit was actually during Thanksgiving, Kheri was only 2 months old and now she is about to turn 2, my how time flies!
RESTAURANT: THE COMFY COW (LOUISVILLE, KY)
Although only open since 2009, this local shop has been churning out unique and standard flavors alike, that their customers continue to rave about. Even better is the founders’ mentality “Ice Cream is our passion. We hope that every bite you take reflects the care and attention to detail we put into each and every small batch we produce. We continually look to source the absolute finest ingredients, locally whenever possible.” I mean to take the subject of ice cream that seriously, you know you are going to get a delicious product. Their popularity has continued to grow and with shows like Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food Nation” starting to pay attention, it is not hard to imagine this local shop being around for a very long time.
Well if I didn’t make it clear above, ice cream is the name of Comfy’ Cow’s game. They have other desserts that they feature, but people are truly flocking for their unique flavor creations as well as the good ol’ standby favorites. Adam in particular fell in love with their bourbon ball ice cream, a flavor we have never seen elsewhere and likely if we did probably would not have been executed as well as it is at the Comfy Cow.
Adam and I both have had a LOT of ice cream in our day, but this ranks up there with some of the best we’ve ever tried. There is something about its creamy texture, that whether you are enjoying a flavor you have never before experienced or their basic vanilla, you know you are in for a treat. As I mentioned above, in the 3 visits we have paid to the Comfy Cow, Adam has ordered the Bourbon Ball every time and has NEVER been disappointed. It is truly such a unique flavor and for someone with a love for bourbon like his, this is truly a special treat for him. I on the other hand have tried a lot of what you might dub standard flavors on each of our visits, but even so, I wasn’t lying when I said I LOVE ice cream, so I have a lot of comparisons, and this place has most of those others beat!
Not only is this place churning out some serious ice cream, but they also have a really cool space to enjoy your treat in. I was shocked at how large the location we visited was and while the front counter area feels like a old timey treat shop, as you walk back you will notice tons of little pockets of seating areas with all sorts of crazy décor to gander at. What is also nice about the size of the Comfy Cow is even on a busy night, you can still easily find a place to get tucked away and enjoy your family’s company without feeling like you are encroaching on anyone else’s conversation, rather it has a very “comfy” feeling to it, more of a retreat than a destination.
Although we only ordered at the counter and waited for our respective cones or dishes, every employee we have ever encountered has been very sweet, attentive, and willing to let us try a million flavors before settling upon just the right one.
This will sound silly, but since we have always gone with my parents, I’m not entirely sure how much their treats run, however I’m pretty sure it was very reasonable. In our 3 visits I have only ever ordered 1 scoop and it is always VERY generous in size and I believe around the $3.50 range if I had to venture a guess. So yes it is likely more expensive than the $.79 cone from McDonalds, but that little bit of upcharge is worth it when it comes to the flavor.
Overall we have always had a truly lovely experience when we have gone to the Comfy Cow and we must have enjoyed it that first time, or we wouldn’t have gone back every subsequent visit to Louisville. My parents have actually since moved to the lovely state of North Carolina, so unfortunately it was good we got our visits in while we could, we will just have to find a local ice cream spot their to see if it can rival the Comfy Cow’s place. And while yes over the course of our lifetime I am sure Adam and I can list plenty of other ice cream shops we have been to that have been equally as delicious, but the Comfy Cow truly became a yummy favorite in our books, so with that I scream, you scream, we all scream for…happily we give them 5 Little PIggies.
WE’RE BACK!!! Is anybody out there? After a long hiatus to allow us to do some food “research” and build up spots to talk about and work on raising our small family, Pop Culture Cuisine is back on the menu. We’re so excited! I’ll be the first to admit that I sort of let the blog start to die a slow death after the birth of Kherington, largely due in part to not wanting to be creative when I had any moment of down time, but I began to realize that the thought of giving it up completely was kind of sad. PCC is something we’ve always enjoyed…, a little scrapbook of our life and adventures, and while our travels have maybe become less frequent, that doesn’t mean we still don’t like to make trying out new restaurants we have heard about a priority when we are able to travel. Plus, now we have the ability to do PCC as a family and I’m looking forward to how Kheri enjoys these experiences. So here we go…
Given that warmer weather is FINALLY now upon us, my pregnant self (yes… #2 will be here in October) has been craving fruity things like you would not believe. Produce, lemonade, popsicles…, you name it, we have it currently on hand for whenever the mood strikes, which lately is all day every day! So what better spot to highlight and kick off the summer than this next fun dessert/sweet treat shop in Nashville, TN.
Restaurant: Las Paletas (Nashville, TN)
Featured on Food Network’s “Kid in a Candy Store” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” (where they beat Bobby) Las Paletas is a Mexican Ice Pop Shop with yummy flavors of popsicles both traditional and many others you have likely never seen or even thought of. They range in flavor from every type of fruit imaginable to even some more savory and even spicy options. It’s a great mid-day or after dinner treat and you will be hard pressed to want to only try one.
Popsicles or Ice Pops as they refer to them here IS the menu at this little shop. I really can’t remember if there is anything else…which wouldn’t matter, because pretty much everyone goes there for the ice pops. They’ve imagined all sorts of delicious and refreshing flavors and have no shortage of things to try. Even if popsicles aren’t your thing, I would still encourage you to give it a whirl. It’s just a light and refreshing treat and I can almost promise you they will have at least one flavor that sparks your interest.
I was extremely impressed with the flavor of each popsicle we tried; and while I stuck with the more standard fruity strawberry, I was blown away by every flavor I got a lick of, which I think was like 7 or 8 with all the people we had with us! J The pops are made with all natural ingredients and I was blown away by how rich the flavor was without needing a ton of syrups or fakey stuff. I even tried a friend’s pop that was a chocolate pop with some pepper flavor infused, and while it wasn’t my cup of tea, I was for sure impressed with its complexity and uniqueness.
Located on a not overly busy street in one of Nashville’s trendy urban neighborhoods, Las Paletas has found themselves a nice little location next to one of the city’s more popular high-end burger joints (which we will feature in the future). While there aren’t really places to sit down per se, it is fun to kind of mingle of the street outside the shop and just enjoy your treats in the warm air. Inside the shop, there isn’t much glitz and glam, but the large blackboard menu and simple set up add to the non-fussy vibe of what they are really all about…just yummy popsicles!
There were two young kids, probably in high school, who were working the evening we went last summer; and while all you really do is wait, order your flavor, pay, and go outside and enjoy…they were very patient as we read through all of the flavors and even went so far as to giving us more information on any that we asked about. It seemed like a genuinely fun and whimsical place to work.
At $2.50 a popsicle, you might argue they are overpriced. But, I don’t think so. Yes…they are seemingly more expensive than buying a whole box of bomb pops or whatever your fancy might be at the grocery store, they are 10 times more flavorful and filled with completely all natural ingredients. Couple that with the WIDE range of flavors they offer and I think they are worth every penny they charge, so much so it didn’t stop us each for getting 2 each .
Overall we had a wonderful time heading to Las Paletas with friends enjoying some good fun and conversation while enjoying some equally yummy sweet treats. And given my current pregnant state I wish I lived nearby, because Momma has a cravin’! Ya…I’d probably be stopping in every day, but in the meantime I will just wait to enjoy those frozen delights the next time we are in Nashville!
So Las Paletas gets us off to a good start this season with a very worthy 4 ½ ‘Little Piggies’…or ‘Cerdito Pequenos’ as I should maybe say.