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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Granite City offers casual dining

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Granite City Food & Brewery has been at its location on 96th Street near North Meridan (U.S. 31) for a couple of years now. It’s one of those places you say to yourself “I need to try it.”

Well, a couple of old friends came to town the other day and we decided to give the restaurant a try. What a delightful casual dining spot we discovered and promptly wondered why we had not tried it earlier.

Granite City is part of a chain that has 26 stores in 11 states. The chain began in St. Cloud, Minn., in mid-1999. Each of the restaurants has an in-house brewery. The company says on its website that its handcrafted beers are moderately priced and offer unique styles and flavors not typically produced by major breweries.

Its wide-ranging menu has just about everything a diner would expect in a casual dining restaurant. And the prices are reasonable and the portions large, unless you order from the small plates section of the menu.

Ordering from the small plate section means the portions are a bit smaller than regular ones and are more friendly for calorie counters.

Here’s a sampling of our foursome: The two women ordered the same entrée from the small plate section of the menu – simply grilled salmon, a fillet of Atlantic salmon charbroiled with wild rice pilaf and fresh sautéed asparagus. It was deemed delicious and just the right amount of food for $14.09 per plate.

Another diner in our group also ordered from the small plate section. He chose Italian scallops with jalapeno succotash and roasted pepper coulis for $10.99 along with a cup of seafood chowder at $3.39. It was called an unusual pairing of tastes, but very tasty.

And I ordered a grilled Asian chicken salad made of pineapple marinated chicken breast tossed with lettuce, cilantro, cabbage, carrots, green onions, cucumbers, red peppers, crispy wonton strips and a fresh sesame lime dressing and finished with a Szechwan peanut sauce. It definitely was the healthy choice of the evening and was priced at $10.99. But I started with a cup of the chowder, which was not low on the calories, but tasted great.

For those with more robust appetites, you can select from the signature entrees such as surf and turf, which features honey rosemary beef fillet paired with two teriyaki jumbo shrimp skewers with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh broccoli for $24.19.

If you like old style food, try the homestyle meatloaf served open faced on ciabatta bread with bourbon onion sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and crispy onion strings for $14.69.

There are also many choices of pastas, sandwiches, dinner salads and soups.

Let’s not forget the kids. A special menu for youngsters 12 and under features seven child-favorites. And it includes a beverage and carrots with ranch dressing served while they wait for their main meal.

If you’re a devotee of beer, you might want to try some of these made on site:

• Northern Light Lager

• Brother Benedict’s Bock

• Broad Axe Stout

You can “grab a growler”: take two liters of your favorite specialty brew home or to a party anytime.

Granite City Food & Brewery

Address: 150 W. 96th St. Indianapolis

Phone: (317) 218-7185

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to midnight Friday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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