Cali Goes Indy: Memorial Day Weekend at the Indy 500

Cali Goes Indy: Memorial Day Weekend at the Indy 500


Save a horse, ride an Indy car


"Fried chicken, Beer, and Cash..."


is what the Indianan relayed to me as the only necessities for the Indy 500. I agree, and managed to at some point during the event, obtain all three of the core necessities: Fried chicken breast from a zip-lock bag, never ending Stroh's & PBR, and major cash winnings for choosing Kanaan during the racer drawing.





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It was a different kind of way for a Californian to spend the long Memorial Day weekend, yet it seemed appropriate and very 'Merican to be in the Midwestern South drinking beer and betting on race cars, as opposed to following Tiesto around the Vegas clubs and taking shots from the bottle with the gals. (Missed my girls though!) 

Being from the Midwest and having a massive extended family residing in Louisville, Kentucky, I am no stranger to the down home, Southern Comfort ways of the Midwestern South-- and one of their ways, is their finger-lickin' good food.  Indianapolis certainly did not disappoint.


Day 1: A Steak 'n Shake Oreo milkshake. Naturally.

Night 1: We hit trendy "Black Market" on "Mass Ave" for some foodie finds. We went for two of their specials of the evening that combined Mediterranean and American flavors, however it was the dessert that was the highlight of the evening -- "Salted Caramel Brickle."  Think saltine crackers, covered in layers of bourbon caramel and chocolate. Paired with cream cheese ice cream, this dish was ridiculously wonderful and dream worthy. We also tried the rhubarb rice pudding with orange anglaise and strawberry jam cookies, which was both refreshing and comforting, and tasted like something coming straight from grannies kitchen.


I was only able to manage capturing a picture of this dish since I was too focused on getting the last bites of the Brickle-- Serious dish crush.

Thank you Black Market for finding a home for a homeless pantry item.

Saltine Crackers have never looked so good.

Wine: Terra Valentine, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon Link: 

Day 2: Come Indy 500 race day and like any Midwestern celebration, you begin with a brewski. Stroh's and PBR to be exact. (Stroh's is a surprisingly enjoyable beer all things considered...)Bike Ride

With an 8 mile bike ride to the track, (Cali girl is happy!), the group managed three brewski pit stops, each resulting with a more lively and "swervy" bike ride to the race.


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Once at the track, it's brewski time again. Along with some fab people watching. However, it was during our last pre-race beer that I came across the Indy 500 staple: Cold Fried Chicken, in zip-lock bags. Sadly I'm told it's not homemade, I inquired, but any seasoned Indy 500 veteran has this with them if they are doing it right. Once I managed to get my hands on a piece after staring down a few beer-battered men fixated on their deep fry, I paired it with some Twizzlers and a fresh Stroh's, and it felt like a winning moment.

Soon thereafter, our 4th pick Mr. Tony Kanaan #11, finished in 1st.

Winning moment #2.

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Night 2: The evening after the race, we managed to find ourselves at an upscale Italian eatery, "Napolese." A beautiful place with an adjoining wine bar consisting of cozy looking booths and a fireplace.  Their specialty, artisan pizzas coupled with an extensive Italian wine list.

Being a deep dish fan, I was pleased with their array of options and the creativity of ingredients.My top dishes consisted of the baked capriole goat cheese and tomato sauce appetizer that was served with warm, pita-like sliced bread brushed lightly with olive oil and seasonings, and the "Hey lady" pizza which consisted of charred sirloin, roasted asparagus, charred spring onions and Gorgonzola cheese.

Another highlight, they offer gluten free crust, which will help ease the stomach ache at least until you hit their gelato shop next door.


*Photo Cred: UrbanDaddy
Night 2 Late Evening:
Best told via storytelling
Group walks in to house gathering, Cali girl who is on vaca from her vegan diet, bee-lines it to the kitchen knowing there are homemade dishes, and immediately spy's the three-layer (maybe five-layer) bean dip. She asks the southern sweetie host in mid-bite to relay it's contents, hearing the first few ingredients is enough to cause a  mild panic attack; but the gluttonous (and humorous) show of blondie downing the bean dip... with fritos, continued.
Guilt free until Tuesday.
Overall, Indianapolis has an exciting up-and-coming foodie scene, in addition to their already known for mom 'n pop shops. With beautiful landscapes, "North Shore Chicago like" architecture,  scrumptious food and lovely people, the city and it's burbs exude a modest attitude and laid back lifestyle that is desirable as it is charming. If it wasn't for my personal LA (Westside) or Chicago-only living destination, I could easily see myself there.

Lessons learned

Saltine crackers are useful, fried chicken isn't any better in zip-lock bags or paired with Twizzlers, PBR label hats are never a good idea, and homemade bean dip is always incredible.

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