Early last week I posted about how we were getting ready for our first house guests: my cousin Braden and his girlfriend Sabrina.
Braden and Sabrina rented a car and drove down to Indy after spending several days visiting Chicago. They arrived on Wednesday evening, so I decided to do a relaxing barbecue dinner. I had grabbed some steak filets from Kroger as well as some vegetable kabobs. Braden and Sabrina brought something very important with them from Canada: a bottle of Hy’s seasoning salt. There is no seasoning salt quite like it, and we’ve been out of it for several months now. Since we moved into the house we’ve been barbecuing a fair amount because we haven’t been able to barbecue is so long. Plus, barbecue is easy and tasty. It’s even tastier when you season your meat and veggies with Hy’s. I also made my favorite cheesy mashed baked potatoes and a salad. It was seriously delicious, if I do say so myself. What made it even better was that we set up a table on the lanai and are out there. The weather just keeps getting nicer and nicer so we haven’t taken the table down yet. I have a feeling that we’ll keep using it all season long – or at least until we get a more permanent option!
Unfortunately Dave had a big meeting in Cincinnati on Thursday morning, so he had to be up really early. The rest of us slept in and took it easy. When we get up, I took Braden and Sabrina to one of my favorite brunch places – Cafe Patachou. I’ve loved Patachou since my college days, and we are really lucky to have one at Clay Terrace, which is not too far from our new house. Patachou is an amazing local restaurant that uses a lot of locally sourced foods and makes everything from scratch. You know a place is good when you have to wait for a table on Thursday afternoons. Patachou is no secret in Indianapolis – it’s a really popular place, and everyone who comes into town needs to give it a try. No matter what you order you can’t go wrong, but my personal favorite is the soup and salad combo with the tomato artichoke soup and balsamic vinaigrette on a house salad. I had never ordered dessert there before but Sabrina ordered the brownie and I had a bite – it was seriously delicious.
After brunch we walked around Clay Terrace. I ended up shopping more than Braden and Sabrina. We went into Moochie & Co, a pet store, and I bought a new dog bed for Katie. Since we moved, her doggie bed has been up in our bedroom, and we only really had a blanket for her to lay on while we were on the main level cooking dinner, washing dishes, cleaning, and all of that good stuff. To say the least, she hasn’t been too impressed with having to lay on the hard floor. I was looking at all the different fabric choices they had for the dog beds, and they actually had my favorite pattern in the size I would have wanted in stock – so voila, Katie got a new dog bed! I also bought her one of the big treats they sell, and she pretty much devoured it when I gave it to her on Saturday.
After checking out Clay Terrace we headed across the street to Barnes & Noble, because it doesn’t exist in Canada and is pretty much the greatest bookstore chain ever. We’ve got McNally Robinson, which is good, but it’s not Barnes & Noble. At the last minute I ended up buying “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple. I’ve heard such good things about it and I figured it probably had a decent wait list at the library, so what the heck. I figured I would save it for when I was recovering from surgery….but then I picked it up on Saturday….and finished reading it on Saturday…..so there went that idea out the window!
After Barnes & Noble we decided to head home to see if Dave was back from his day trip to Cincinnati, but on the way home we stopped at Fresh Market to pick up some more food for dinner. Fresh Market is another luxury store not available in Canada…and I don’t know how I would survive without it because it’s pretty much my favorite shopping experience ever. We already had some steak kabobs with veggies at home, so I picked up a couple more. We also grabbed some garlic bread, baked potato salad, and some Izzys (Sabrina spotted them, and I assured her they were delicious…another American must-have product). We still had salad from the night before, and I had an onion at home that I grilled up as well. Thankfully no one had a problem eating red meat several nights in a row!
Dave ended up getting home right after we did, so we spent the rest of the afternoon / evening just hanging out together and watching the NFL draft.
I wanted to start Friday off with a big breakfast before heading out to show Braden and Sabrina around Carmel and Indy. My dad has made me blueberry crepes for as long as I can remember, and they’re my favorite breakfast food on the face of the earth. I haven’t really been able to make them myself since I moved away from home because I haven’t had a gas stove (and apparently they don’t cook too well on an electric stove). Now that I have the gas rangetop…..CREPES GALORE! It took just a little bit before I had them down almost perfect. I’m still missing something from my dad’s recipe, and I think it’s orange bitters or something crazy like that. Anyway – I found them to be pretty delicious and filling.
Because we only had a day to really show Braden and Sabrina the town, they primarily got a “drive-by” tour. They’ll have to come stay for a full week next time so we can really give them the full Indy experience and take them to more amazing Indy restaurants (my favorite of which can be found in this post). We started by showing them around the Carmel Arts & Design District, and we did actually get our and walk around a bit. It was a really gorgeous day for walking, and you could smell some amazing burgers being cooked up at Scotty’s Brewhouse and Bub’s. Fun fact: Dave and I met and had our first date at the restaurant that is now a Scotty’s Brewhouse….it used to be a Detour American Grille. After exploring downtown Carmel, I drove everyone down to my alma mater, Butler University, for a little drive through campus (which is gorgeous, if I do say so myself). They got to see all the dorms where I lived and the buildings I studied in for 6 years of my life. Then we headed downtown. Of course I pointed out all the monuments on the way there, and Sabrina got to see the building where we had our wedding reception. (Braden was at our wedding, but unfortunately Sabrina wasn’t able to make it, so this was her first visit to Indy!). We had dinner reservations for 6:45pm, but we were down there early, so we decided to start out by having cocktails at 1933 Lounge, the bar above the famous St. Elmo Steakhouse with a prohibition era theme. It was nice and quiet up there – I just love the atmosphere! You may remember that we ended my bachelorette party at the 1933 Lounge as well. Dave and Braden both had The Signature “Elmo Cola” and Sabrina and I both had sangrias (red for me, white for her). Afterwards we headed right next door for our reservation at Harry & Izzy’s, the sister restaurant of St. Elmo. Sabrina really wanted to try the famous St. Elmo shrimp cocktail, which is served at both St. Elmo and Harry & Izzy’s, and I don’t think it disappointed – it’s famous for a reason!
On Saturday morning we had to say goodbye to Braden and Sabrina. They drove back to Chicago so they could check out the NFL draft festivities then catch their flight back to Winnipeg. It was so great to have them, and we hope to see them again soon!
Until later, Ashlen