Bright Mexican Flavors in Broad Ripple
By Karen Kennedy
Being a rather delicate flower myself, I would not typically venture into a place with the word “saloon” in its name. But after hearing yet another person rave about the food here, I decided to throw delicacy to the wind and check it out.
I’m so very glad I did.
Broad Ripple’s Sangrita Saloon has a nearly perfect formula for the ideal neighborhood hangout. It’s charming, hip and cozy with friendly, knowledgeable servers and really affordable, really darn good food and drinks. And the tufted, crushed blue velvet booths are enough to make a city girl forever embrace the word “saloon.”
Absolutely start with the salsa platter, a generous assortment of house-made smoky red chipotle, salsa verde, dangerous habanera and creamy “Cowboy Caviar” (avocado, red peppers, corn and black-eyed peas) with plenty of chips. The Corn Fritters are another don’t-miss.
There’s a terrific selection of ala carte tacos ($3 to $4.) On a recent visit, we ordered one of each and then spent a lot of time debating which one was the best. Although the jury’s still out, the Mexican Coca-Cola braised pork belly and the cumin-laced smashed potato and queso blanco are calling me to return.
Reasonably priced Mains include a Lamb Torta and Pineapple Chipotle Shrimp Tostada. But you could make a meal from the “Supports”-- stellar side dishes with plenty to share for the table: Elotes, which is roasted corn on the cob with paprika mayo and cotija cheese, Jicama Slaw, Pinto Beans, Black Beans, House Pickled Carrots, rice with shallots, onion and poblano peppers, to name a few.
There are just a few desserts—both the Tres Leches cake and the dessert Empanadas are a tasty finish.
Or, you could drink your dessert, because the cocktails are creative and amazing. There’s a fantastic selection of tequilas and Mexican beers. Try the Manzanita; tequila with cinnamon, lime and muddled apples.
Sangrita Saloon has only been open since last June, but it’s on the radar of the Midtown foodies so it’s busy most nights. They don’t take reservations but they do have call-ahead seating and you can eat dinner at the bar.
834 E. 64th Street
Lunch and Dinner Tueday-Saturday, Sunday 12-6, closed Monday