Review: The Local Eatery and PubAuthor: Indy Food Geek | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Westfield, IN
The Local Eatery and Pub
14655 North Gray Road
Westfield, Indiana 46062
Since moving to Westfield earlier this year, The Local Eatery and Pub has at the top of my review wishlist. The “slow food” concept isn’t a new thing by any means, but there are very few places that can claim to use local ingredients in the chain-heavy northern suburbs. The Local proudly displays the names of the farms that are currently supplying their kitchen. The dining room is a welcoming mix of “cheery feminine” meets “vintage industrial.” The atmosphere is a little bit more upscale than the prices would suggest, but it wasn’t too stuffy for a casual dinner.
What I Got: The Local “Cheesesteak” with fries; $10.00.
I already knew that I wanted to try The Local’s spin on a cheesesteak even before taking my seat. Braised beef tongue, fig mostarda, caramelized onions and swiss cheese – sounds fun right?! Upon entering the restaurant, I was greeted by a former chef colleague of mine (who now works at The Local!) and he highly recommended that I try the beef tongue. My order was now cast in stone…
I’m not really sure if tongue would be considered “Offal,” but I’m not ashamed to admit that my Midwestern palette is almost entirely unaccustomed to anything veering from the carnivorous norm. Thankfully, this braised beef tongue tastes surprisingly familiar. Imagine a really beefy, almost gamey pot roast and you’d be pretty close. My only gripe, however, is that several of the pieces in my sandwich appeared…well, I’ll use the word “anatomical” for lack of a better descriptor. Most of the meat was braised and shredded, but a few chunks were very recognizable… tastebuds and all. At no point did the texture cause a problem; it was always tender. I just could’ve stood to have the pieces cut up a little more to disguise their source. The fig mostarda was like a chunky fig compote with a little mustard kick. The caramelized onions continued the sweet theme, but the swiss leveled everything out. This was a very unique combination of ingredients for a sandwich that tasted as familiar as any steak sandwich I’ve had before. I chose fries for my side and could easily rank them as some of the best I’ve had in Indianapolis.
The rest of the meal was great. I chose an excellent Sun King beer that arrived in a Ball jar. My wife had the pulled pork sandwich and seemed to really enjoy it. The slaw was vinegar-based and very crunchy, which provided a nice counterpoint to the tender pork. Her tater-tots we clearly from a bag, but they seemed better than I remember from my elementary school days. We rarely partake of dessert when we dine out, but the dessert chalkboard got the best of us. We tried the goat cheese cheesecake and the flourless chocolate torte. Both desserts were excellent, but I took a liking to the “farmy tang” present in cheesecake. The chocolate torte was very cold and probably would’ve been better served closer to room temperature. It took on the consistency of cold fudge with a crust… I cleared both plates so I can’t really complain.
Would I Buy it Again? Yes, definitely. I must admit, I am more likely to overlook imperfections at a place like this. I love the concept of stressing local produce and seasonal goodness. I love it so much that I would probably forgive mistakes or minor issues just to avoid eating at a mass-produced chain restaurant. I was extremely happy with my meal at The Local and I’m willing to bet that you will enjoy it too, but I might also have a bit of a bias. I’ve officially given you a fair warning.
-Indy Food Geek