Fresh ingredients and creative combinations at Napolese (Written For

26 08 2010

“One of Indianapolis’ most recently opened pizzerias is the artisanal-style pizza joint Napolese, which is owned and operated by the same, brilliant minds that brought you Café Patachou.

Having heard great reviews and word-of-mouth, it seemed like the obvious first stop on my long and delicious pizzeria journey throughout the Circle City…” Click Here Entire Article


The Patron Saint of Delicious

25 02 2010

Upon entering the dimly lit and bustling tavern, I immediately encountered the strangest thing: mobs of citizens,  businessmen, big wigs and your everyday Joe cheerfully partaking in their delicious cocktails, telling jokes, carrying on and…crying. 

Crying?  Something was off. These folks looked happy, nay, exuberant, yet tears were flowing like Long Island Iced Teas at an open bar.

A plastic device began to erupt, signaling to me that it was my time to see what all of the fuss was about.

 Surrounded by walls of beautifully aged wood and joyous folks, I took my seat and began to dive in to the list of cuisine that lay before me.

Upon my lady friend’s ordering, my journey into cuisine legend began. 

The bow-tied waiter placed before me a shining, immaculate cauldron filled with six, enormous decapod crustaceans bathing in their own version of the Red Sea. 

Without a word, I tossed one in to my mouth and a stream of tears, none like I have ever seen, began to pour.

This was it.  The legend.  The St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail.  The feeling of your sinuses clearing in an instant and the jolt that shoots through your entire body is almost indescribable.

 Like a painful sore in your mouth that you just can’t leave alone, I went back for more.

In the fewest words possible, this shrimp cocktail is amazing.  Everyone has seen it on TV, read and heard about it, but there is nothing like experiencing it in person.  The shrimp are amazing, huge and tender while the flaming sauce is spicy and delicious.  Imagine taking a bite off of a horseradish root marinated in wasabi and then chasing it with the finest shrimp around.  It shocks you, but  only  for a few seconds, and then you crave more.

Whenever I am downtown and have a few bucks to spare- I grab this delight.  If you live in Indianapolis and normally need a cup of coffee to keep you going, try the cocktail instead.  It will surely jumpstart your day. 

It’s the true working man’s meal.

So those who’ve tried it, what was your experience? Those who haven’t, shoot me a message and I will gladly accompany you so you can experience this wonder yourself.

Cajun, Creole, Carazy.

20 07 2009

s-YATS-largeThe stage was set. It was Taste Casting round two and  The Trendy Minds crew rounded up another rag-tag group of aspiring foodies to feast at Yats on College Ave. in Indy.  As a substitute for my failed UStream attempt, WISHTV was there to document our adventure. 

This is my take on the event.



The Food

Yats is the kind of food you find yourself sneaking bites of a couple minutes after telling yourself you are completely full. The kind of food you put in a to-go box, but manages to escape its little styrofoam prison before you even get home.  It’s loosen your belt, hibernate in your easy chair for over an hour good. yat

This cajun-creole joint is full of soul, and it’s sauteed, cooked, stewed, and etouffee-d into every single morsel. From the chili cheese etouffee with crawfish to the vegan white chili with tofu, the cuisine gives an essence of food cooked with the love of a mother, and the precision of a surgeon.

Every plate comes with the perfect sidekick:  seasoned, buttery bread.  

Let’s just say the crusty, buttery bread is to the meal as the Pips are to Gladys Knight.

The Joint

Yats wouldn’t be Yats if it weren’t housed in such a funky little place. With spices, hot sauces, beads, and musical instruments lining the walls you know you’re in for a treat as soon as you walk in.

There’s a couple of hippies running the front counter. They’re hilarious.

In a faux French accent, one of the guys told me his favorite thing about Yats was his coworker, who was awkwardly standing next to him.  He waved and said hello.

The Guy

joe v

Joe Vuskovich, owner of Yats

Joe is Yats. His place, his bayou inspired food. He’s a Louisiana expat, and you can tell from the way he prepares the food, to the way the place is decorated.

He wears these huge, goggle-like glasses with Mr. Magoo lenses that only look cool on a guy like Joe. You can tell he loves what he does and cares about the people who enjoy his stuff. It shows every time he hand delivers a meal to a waiting customer. 

He’s good at what he does, and he is passionate, humble and cool while doing it.

The Take

If you can go to Yats, go.

It’s relatively inexpensive, and you get tons of food.

I’ve lived down the street from Yats for the past four years, so I have had my fair share- probably the whole (rotating) menu.  Simply put, it’s all good.  Get the half and half chili cheese etouffee with crawfish and the italiano, if they’re serving it, and extra bread.

ADVICE: Save at least one piece of bread soaking in whatever you got until the end of the meal.  You will thank me.

I have been to Louisiana a couple times over the years, and can safely say it’s one of my favorite places in the states. Anyone who has gone knows there is a particular feeling you get from walking the streets of the french quarter, grabbing a po-boy and jambalaya, and listening to the sounds of Big Easy Jazz. 

It seems as though Joe has bottled this very feeling, and injected it into Yats.