Rock Cola 50s Cafe
5730 Brookville Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46219
We’ve certainly spent a fair amount of time maligning the Super 46 Sandwich competition that was put on this year by the state visitor’s bureau. As you may have read in a magazine or on this blog, a bratwurst won the “sandwich” competition and frankly, we all know that is absurd. I/we have had a lot of the sandwiches that were in the contest, but I wanted to do a review of a sandwich that I had never had, so that led me to a part of town where I have literally never been and to the Rock Cola 50s Cafe for the second place finisher of the Super 46 contest. In my mind, this was technically the winner of the contest since it was an actual sandwich.
This is a small joint with a 50s design motif and everything is made on a flat top grill right in front of everyone. There’s probably only about 8-10 tables along with a counter to sit at and this place could accommodate at most 35 people on a good day. To continue the 50s design motif, they walls are filled with 50s trinkets and signs everywhere. My favorites were the nuclear fallout shelter sign, the old Coke machine and the Bic pen distribution machine. All in all, this was a 50s diner to a “T” (think the Happy Days diner). My friend and I sat at the counter, so we got to see everything made right in front of us.
What I Got: Mile High Club Sandwich with fries/drink combo; $5.99 + $2.99 = $8.98.
I hope my superior iPhone photography skills can do this sandwich justice, because it was huge. I didn’t have my measuring tape out, but from top to bottom, this thing was every bit of at least five inches tall. The menu says that you need to unhinge your jaw to eat this one and they certainly were not lying. It was piled high with turkey, honey-baked ham, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, American cheese and hickory smoked bacon. All of this was stacked on three healthy sized pieces of Texas toast. Basically, this was everything a Club Sandwich is supposed to be with the added bonus of the fact that it was HUGE. The funniest/most amusing part about it is that this sandwich, along with all others at Rock Cola, is stabbed through the heart with a huge steak knife in order to hold them together and/or allow you to slice them.
I’ll be the first to admit that when eating a typical Club Sandwich, I’m not really expecting a lot because it’s a hard sandwich to screw up. It’s meat, veggies, bread and cheese and that’s it. It’s pretty simple…except that some places screw simple things up. Happily, Rock Cola 50s Cafe did not do that and this was honestly one of, if not the best, Club Sandwiches that I’ve ever had. There’s nothing overtly special about the ingredients and they taste as you’d expect them to, but they all mesh together perfectly (keep in mind, I ate this in the middle of February, yet the veggies were still “fresh”) and create what I would classify as a hell of a sandwich. The best part about this is that while it is huge, I didn’t really feel weighed down or bloated after eating it. Not sure if that says I have a ridiculous appetite (I do) or that this sandwich is made so perfectly that it takes you to some sort of utopia where you don’t feel sick after eating a monster amount of food, but it’s a utopia that I’d like to visit often.
The fries were just standard, good tasting crinkle cut fries that were deep fried in oil that is probably older than I am. I’m not making fun of that because that’s how you get “flavor” into oil and it adds even more nostalgic feel to this place.
Would I Buy It Again? Absolutely, no question about it. This was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. To say something like that about something as simple as a Club Sandwich just proves how good it was. I just wish this place was closer to my house and more convenient for me to get to because as I sat at the counter watching everything get cooked, I saw about five to six different menu items that looked so good that I wanted to eat my hand.
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this place and it’s going on the recommended list because it’s all I’ve been able to think about for the last 24 hours. It’s a dive and it’s got simple ingredients with a fairly simple menu, but they do it so unbelievably well. Hopefully with the publicity they have gotten from the contest, this place will be around for a long time to come because this is the kind of small diner that every city should be proud to have and obviously is since it has (at the time of this writing) a 100% approval rating on Urbanspoon.