4907 North College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46205
Recess has received very few mentions on this blog because quite simply, I have yet to go. There was a lot of anticipation around the opening and I usually try to make opening night, however they have been open for 5+ months and I have yet to pass through the doors.
The menu changes daily and the average price is around $40-$50 for a already established three-to-four course meal. On Monday nights, they have special events that stray slightly off course from their fine dinning roots. For instance, Mexican night, Picnic, etc.
When I heard they were having a fast food night, I had to give it a try. After all, I thought that it was somewhat of a reflection of this blog, some fast food and some fine dinning. The premise was to take signature dishes form fast food places and put the Recess spin on them. For instance, McRib = BBQ Pork Belly. Get it? Cute.
What I Ate: Long John Silver’s. Fried fish and Hush Puppies; $10. I also ordred a to go order of KFC fried chicken, biscuit, cole slaw and mashed potatoes and gravy; $10.
Let me first explain my expectations:
1. This food would be better than the fast food counterpart.
2. The food should be in the top 20% of similar dishes that I have had.
3. For $10, there would be generally enough to eat for a light meal.
I love fish and chips and will admit that I hit up LJS about two-to-three times a year to get my fix outside of normal orders at restaurants. This version was two small pieces of fish and two hush puppies. I found the hush puppies to be dry and bland. The fish was moist, however the breading didn’t stick to the fish and it fell off all in one piece. This is usually from not drying out the fish before frying it and I can’t imagine that they skipped this part, however the proof is in the pudding here.
The KFC dish was equally disappointing. When I think of KFC, I think of a bucket of chicken, pulling out the leg Fred Flintstone style and having a bite. Recess’ interpretation is that KFC is known for chicken fingers. I was confused by this. There were two chicken fingers that were laid on top of the mashed potatoes and gravy which made them soggy. I like the flavor of the breading, but couldn’t get over the gloopy mess that was in front of me. The cole slaw was super acidic and I didn’t care for it. The biscuit was dry and there wasn’t enough gravy there to sop it up with the biscuit.
They tossed in a dessert for everyone that was there, which was a little “DQ” ice cream sundae. Ice cream with chocolate sauce, butterscotch and nuts. This was the best thing of the meal, however it melted in three seconds. You would think that they would keep the ice cream dish cold, but I thinked they grabbed mine straight from the dishwasher station because my bowl was warm, and of course the ice cream was going to melt. Fail.
Service also had their issues. I ordered my meal thinking that one order would be enough food and I was wrong. The same server explained the evening and let them know that you should order two-to-three items if you would like a full meal. That would’ve been nice to know. Also, I specifically asked for my KFC order to be separated (so those chicken tenders didn’t suffer the same fate) and when I got home and opened the box, they didn’t accommodate my request.
Would I Buy It Again? I am torn here. I enjoy their creativity and what they are doing, but this meal was a catastrophe from top to bottom.
Then again, what if a fast food place tried fine dining, I am sure that would suck too.
Poor service lead to inaccurate expectations of the evening and I would’ve probably preferred the fast food version of what they made. I will try Recess again on a normal night to prove my initial impression right or wrong.
To be fair, they are critically acclaimed and worth a try so you can formulate you own opinion, here are some more favorable reviews: