Recently I spent a few days in (Naptown) Indianapolis. A colleague suggested I check out the ‘Kountry Kitchen’ Soul Food restaurant. Carl really likes the food there and was actually salivating while he was talking about it. lol Carl knows a thing or two about good food, So, I put it on my ‘Dine Indie’ priority list.
The restaurant is located just off of Downtown Indianapolis. It’s just an 8 minute cab ride from major Hotels and the Indianapolis Convention Center. If you plan to go, you may want to go for Breakfast, lunch or get there early for dinner. Their hours are Mon.-Sat, 7-7, Sun. 8-7. I decided to go there for lunch.
I must say, it did’t look like much from the outside but looks can be deceiving. Upon entering the restaurant the first thing I noticed was a huge Indianapolis Colts banner. Here I am, a huge ‘Chicago Bears’ fan; smack dab in the middle of ‘Colt’s Country’. I didn’t hold that against them, besides I was hungry enough to eat the banner. Watch the quick step down when you enter the front door.
Parking: The restaurant has a small parking lot in the rear. There is also ample street parking available.
Service: I was greeted as soon as I entered the restaurant. One of the servers said; Sir please sit wherever you like, so I did just that. Within two minutes my server was there to take my order. The overall service at kountry Kitchen was excellent. Not only was my server very good, I payed particular attention to the other servers as well. They were all good! I could tell instantly that good service is a big part of this restaurants philosophy.
Food: We ordered Fried Chicken, Whiting, Homemade Meatloaf, Mustard Greens, Dressing, Blackeye Peas, Yams, Sliced Tomatoes and Onions and for dessert; Peach Cobbler.
My Grandmother once told me:”You can always tell how good a cook is by tasting their Fried Chicken, it will tell you all you need to know”. This ageless culinary wisdom was true yesterday and continues to test time and inspect talent. Like the ‘Youngin’s say, ‘Pops that’s on (1 Huned) One Hundred’. Translation: (it’s very good). The Fried Chicken was on (1 Huned). It had just the right amount of seasoning; not too much, not too little. It was Crunchy outside, yet moist and tender inside. The Whiting had a nice crust which makes for a good crunch. It gets a passing grade.
The Homemade Meatloaf and Gravy is pure culinary bliss. One plate will make you Cuss at somebody. It get’s a Chef Emanuel ‘Word up’! The Mustard Greens have a bad habit of tasting good. The dressing has admirable flavor, but the body needs exercise. The Blackeye Peas are ‘Quite Nice on Rice’. The Yams are good, but they played Hooky in ‘Big Mama 301’ (bm301).
In case you don’t know; in ‘Authentic Soul Food Cooking’, the sliced tomatoes and onions are served as a condiment for greens, cabbage etc. They were excellent!
The Peach Cobbler is a ‘Thing of Beauty’. They really pushed the button on this dish. The flavor, texture, smell and color is perfect! It has the right balance of peaches, dough, juices and seasoning. It nails the Soul Food flavor profiles big-time. That’s not easy to do. If you’ve never had the ‘Real deal’, it’s next to impossible to understand where I’m coming from. This degree of success requires a very delicate balance of ingredients, skill and technique. Few in the Culinary World ever reach this altitude. It takes years of practice, patience, knowledge, experience and expertise to prepare peach cobbler like this. Mark my Word!
When preparing Peach Cobbler, it is crucial that the peaches maintain their integrity. They should give some resistance in Yo mouth when you chomp. The peaches should never be cooked into mush. You should be able to sink your teeth into the ‘Dang-gone Peaches’. If anyone in the World wants to taste ‘Authentic Peach Cobbler’, you need to burn rubber and get on over to The ‘Kountry Kitchen’. Their Peach Cobbler is Breakin’ Necks, Kickin’ A__and Takin’ Names. Now Run-Tell ‘Yo Mama’! Kountry Kitchens Peach Cobbler get’s a Chef Emanuel ‘DAMN BABY’!
Dollars & Cents: Kountry Kitchen, like most Soul Food restaurants are very affordable and are always a good bargain. Expect to drop $12-16 per forehead.
What a pleasant and rewarding dining experience. ‘Kountry Kitchen’ has great food, superior service and an atmosphere that reminds me of Food, Family, togetherness and brotherly love. They have it down to a science. The restaurant is owned by the Husband and Wife team of Issac & Cynthia Wilson. I had the pleasure of meeting Cynthia in the front kitchen of the restaurant. I was the tall guy from Chicago that commented on the Colts banner while I was getting an extra order of Peach Cobbler to go.
Here is one thing that I know for certain; there are many years of experience in that kitchen. This is what’s possible for Soul Food restaurants when you actually know what you’re doing! It’s what Real Soul Food is all about! Some other Soul Food restaurants need to take a page from Kountry Kitchen’s playbook.
Also, this is a popular restaurant for many from ‘Black Hollywood’ as well as many professional sports figures. While I was having lunch, I saw two Indianapolis Colts players sitting right across from me. The food was so good, they were both licking their fingers! lol Owe and did I forget to mention ‘The President of The United States’ has eaten there as well?
The next time your travels take you to Indianapolis, Indiana; do yourself and your mouth a favor and head on over to the ‘Kountry Kitchen’. Out of 5 and a possible, Kountry Kitchen in Indianapolis gets 4 1/2 Damn Yams and a Umph, Umph, Umph! lol