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Tamika Catchings @catchin24 Takes Ownership of Tea’s Me Cafe @gsymedia

April 7, 2017 1 comment
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Tamika Catchings is the new owner of the Tea’s Me Cafe in Indianapolis, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2017, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor
AroundIndy.com, LLC

Two words: Star Struck.

That’s what happened to me when I visited Tea’s Me Cafe this week at 140 East 22nd Street in Indianapolis, Indiana — to find the cafe’s new hands-on owner Tamika Catchings working behind the counter!

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With Tamika Catchings! I’m 6’1″ and she’s wearing flats!

It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to meet and be photographed with one of the greatest athletes of our generation! Or to have a 10-time WNBA All-Star and 4-time US Olympian serve me a cup of tea!

I’m star struck, pure and simple. Yes, I have a degree in journalism. Yes, I know I am supposed to be objective. But she swept me off my feet with her charm, grace and friendly personality — which is pretty much the opposite of her relentless, ruthless style of play on court. What a nice lovely young lady (I can say that since I have two daughters who are older)!

teas-me-cafe-05-tamika-catchingsI’ve driven by the building a hundred times, but I never noticed this beautiful little cafe, because from the outside the building kind of looks like an office building. Inside you’ll find this lovely tea room, formerly owned by Wayne Ashford, with gorgeous wood finishings and tasteful decorations, and a delightful selection of teas, sandwiches, soups, desserts, a breakfast menu, and more.

Ashford, I’m told, was set to close the cafe after a ten-year run when one of his regular long-standing customers — Catchings — decided to purchase the cafe and keep it open! I consider it a great little find on the Indy restaurant scene, and I’m sorry I didn’t discover it earlier.

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WTHR Channel 13’s Rich Nye having a cup of tea at Tea’s Me Indy — served by Tamika Catchings.

This week’s media event had TV and print media in attendance (see photo above), and somehow I got an invitation. For them it was “old hat” to do another interview with Tamika. For me it was a rare and extraordinary thrill! Thank you so much to Geffrey S. Yabes from GSY Media for including me on the media list! Also, many thanks to Manager Joi DeFrantz and Head Chef Fred Correll for the excellent hospitality and cordiality!

The cafe will host an Open House on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Tamika will speak at 11 am and again at 1 pm. Hope you can make it!

Tea’s Me Cafe is open Mon-Sat, 7 AM to 3 PM. Stop by and check it out. Maybe Tamika will serve your tea, too!

Gumbo Cookoff @indycm, Feb. 28, 2017

February 2, 2017 2 comments
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U-Relish is one of the participating contestants in the Gumbo Cookoff.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

By Joe Perin
Indianapolis City Market

INDIANAPOLIS (February 1, 2017) – The Indianapolis City Market is gathering some of the area’s best chefs to help Hoosiers through the end of winter with a family-friendly gumbo cook-off. Ten local chefs will enter their best gumbo recipe to help celebrate Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday: Feb. 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

A 4-ounce sample of each of the 10 gumbo recipes, as well as a slice of French bread with each sample, will be included in the price of every ticket. Traditional French bread will be provided by City Market merchant Circle City Boulangerie. Attendees will also vote for their favorite recipe using green, yellow, and purple Mardi Gras beads. Water, craft beer, and wine will be available for purchase in the Tomlinson Tap Room.

Participating restaurants and chefs include:

The Meridian Restaurant and Bar | Alan Smith

Libertine Liquor Bar | Matt Stum

Rook | Carlos Salazar

Kountry Kitchen Soul Food Place | Cynthia Wilson

Pogue’s Run Grocer | Alan Walker

Love Handle | Chris Benedyk

Twenty Tap | Shannon Baugher

U-Relish Farms | Cara Dafforn

Three Carrots | Ian Phillips

Circle City Soups | Angela Osborn

WHAT: Market Gras Gumbo Cook-Off (All Ages)
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
TICKETS: marketgras2017.brownpapertickets.com (Ages 5 & Under: FREE, Ages 6-17: $10, Adults: $20)

Primanti Bros. Opens May 18 in Noblesville

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Primanti Bros. Pastrami Sandwich.
Photo provided by the restaurant and used with written permission.

Press Release
Primanti Bros. Restaurant

  • Primanti Bros. Restaurant Opening with FREE SANDWICHES in Noblesville
  • First 100 Customers in New Location to Get Free Primanti’s for One Year

Primanti Brothers restaurant is celebrating the opening of its 33rd location by giving away free sandwiches for a year to the first 100 customers through the door at its newest restaurant – and its furthest west.

The new restaurant, located at 13871 Cabela Parkway, Noblesville, IN, will open on
May 18, 2016.

Hungry fans can join in an opening celebration tailgate beginning at 5:00 AM on
Wednesday, May 18. Doors will open to the first 100 tailgaters around noon. After that,
Primanti Bros. will close for a few hours and open to the public by late-afternoon.

“It was only a matter of time before we took Primanti Bros. on the road,” said David
Head, Primanti Bros. CEO. “We could not be more excited to begin to grow in the
Indianapolis region with our first restaurant in Noblesville. And for those fans
willing to join us for our opening tailgate – we’ve got a great day planned.”

Early tailgaters can expect samples of Primanti’s food, beverages, games and a
parking-lot DJ. In addition to being one of the first customers through the door,
tailgaters also become lifetime members of the Noblesville 100 Club – an honor that
means a year’s supply of free sandwiches at Primanti’s newest location.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Head. “We’ve got big, two-handed
sandwiches like you’ve never seen before, a full menu of burgers, pizza and wings
and a stocked bar with some of the best specials around. Honestly, it’s about good,
simple food and a great time.”

Since 1933, Primanti Bros. has been a dining institution in Pittsburgh. The “Almost
Famous” Primanti Bros. sandwich is built between two slices of crusty – yet soft –
Italian bread. It’s piled high with a choice of grilled meat, an optional egg,
secret recipe coleslaw, fresh-cut fries and two tomato slices. Unlike the
restaurant’s original location, the Primanti Bros. in Noblesville will open as a
full-service restaurant with a large bar, many televisions and an in-door/outdoor
patio.

About Primanti Brothers

In 1933, Joe Primanti opened a lunch cart in Pittsburgh’s Strip District selling
sandwiches to the hungry truckers who were coming and going at all times of the
night. Encouraged by sales and positive feedback, Joe expanded to a small storefront
where he was joined by his brothers Dick and Stanley and their nephew John DePriter.
And that’s how the very first Primanti Bros. location was born – Primanti Bros.
currently has 31 locations, all dedicated to that early notion that folks deserve
great food, with no pretense, for a good price.

Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field, July 11, 2015

June 30, 2015 Leave a comment
Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field

Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field. Image provided by the event organizers and used with written permission.

By Sam Schaible
On behalf of the Bacon and Beer Classic

Bacon and beer — what combination could be better? Taste all the deliciousness for yourself at the Bacon and Beer Classic. Held on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, this event brings together over 75 of the best local breweries and restaurants for an unforgettable mix of food and fun.

Cannonball Productions brings the Bacon and Beer Classic (www.baconandbeerclassic.com) to Victory Field, for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink tasting experience.

Guests can choose to attend the Brunch session (1 to 4 p.m), or the Dinner session (7 to 10 p.m.). VIP guests will have 1-hour early admission (12p.m. and 6p.m. respectively), entrance to the VIP area on the warning track and dugouts, samples of exclusive craft beer on the field, and more.

In between all-inclusive craft beer samples from local breweries and bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, guests can dance to music and bring out their inner kid by playing interactive games (think inflatable bungee run and cornhole).

Hosted in major and minor league baseball stadiums on non-game day Saturdays across America, the Bacon and Beer Classic national tour visited New York City, Seattle and the Bay Area earlier this year and has grown exponentially to include more than 10 destinations nationwide in 2015.

“Indianapolis is a hot spot for craft beer and is the unofficial ‘pork state’, so we’re very excited to tap into the market with the first Midwest Bacon and Beer Classic!” says Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and Bacon and Beer Classic.

The all-star line up of breweries and restaurants participating grows each day. Over 50 local brewers including Bier Brewery, Fountain Square Brewing Co., People’s Brewing and Quaff On Brewing are all signed up to serve at least two of their most coveted craft selections.

Chefs from 30 expected restaurants are challenged to bring their most inventive and delicious bacon-inspired dishes to the plate. Local restaurants including Shoefly Public House, The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Fermenti Artisan, The Pint Room and The District Tap will be dishing out their best bacon-themed dishes. The combination of refreshing craft beer and delectable bacon is sure to please all palettes!

The Bacon and Beer Classic also brings in an all-star lineup at each event to judge all the sips and tastes, and award winners in select categories. This year’s judges include Indianapolis Star food and beverage reporters Liz Biro and Amy Haneline; founder of the blog and website Eat.Drink.Indy, Jolene Ketzenberger; and Certified Cicerone Bob Mack; Jennifer Rubenstein, editor, and Rachel Russell, writer, at Edible Indy, among others.

The Bacon and Beer Classic is always an all-inclusive event! General Admission tickets are $49. Fans may choose to purchase the VIP Experience ticket for $89. All tickets include a souvenir Bacon and Beer Classic branded glass to take home.

Designated driver tickets are available at a cost of $29 for unlimited bacon. Indy’s Bacon and Beer Classic welcomes families and children with unlimited bacon tickets for kids 5-20 for $19.

Cannonball Productions partners with neighborhood vendors and organizations to give the event that local hometown feel. This year they have partnered with the Indianapolis chapter of the American Cancer Society.

For up-to-date information on the event, please visit: http://www.baconandbeerclassic.com/

Direct link to tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/indianapolis-bacon-and-beer-cla…

Facebook: facebook.com/bandbclassic

Twitter: @bandbclassic

Instagram: bandbclassic

Hashtag: ‪#‎bandbclassic‬

Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana, May 15 to June 8, 2015

May 16, 2015 1 comment
Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana

Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism

Pizza Wars, a bracket-style contest to crown the best pizza in Porter County, Indiana, kicked off on Friday, May 15, 2015.

The Epic Eight, identified as having the best pizza in the county through social media mentions and surveys, will battle head-to-head until a winner is crowned.

Porter County’s Epic Eight are:

  1. AJ’s Pizza, Chesterton
  2. Duneland Pizza, Chesterton
  3. Gelsosomo’s, Portage
  4. Greek’s, Valparaiso
  5. Rolling Stonebaker, Beverly Shores
  6. Shoe’s, Valparaiso
  7. Tomato Bar, Valparaiso
  8. Tony’s Place, Valparaiso

People can visit http://indianadunes.com/wars to vote in the first round. The winner of each pairing will advance to a round of four on May 28, with the final round of two kicking off on June 4.

The winning restaurant will be announced June 8, and will compete against pizza from six other Northern Indiana counties starting June 12 to pick a Northern Indiana champion.

“The goals of Pizza Wars are to remind people that they don’t have to go to Chicago to get fantastic pizza, and to guide visitors and residents to local favorites so they can decide for themselves what is their favorite pizza,” said Angela Pasyk, niche market director for Indiana Dunes Tourism.

“We had hundreds of votes cast to determine our Top 8, so they all had numerous nominations and loyal customers who insist they are the best, so it’ll be fun to see how this plays out.”

Pizza Wars, an initiative of Indiana Dunes Tourism and the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission, is designed to highlight the fact that this is a pizza-lover’s paradise.

The eight restaurants competing against each other will have tourism-produced posters at their businesses and are encouraged to use social media and be creative in getting diners and voters to come their way.

“Pizza Wars not only allows people to participate in the battle for the best local pizza, but it should also encourage non-locals to try some Porter County deep dish, stuffed, or thin crust goodness,” Pasyk said.

She said Pizza Wars is the second of the food wars series, with Octave Grill in Chesterton being crowned Burger Wars winner last year. She anticipates a new food war taking place each year.

The Pizza Wars winner will receive a banner and a plaque. In addition, Indiana Dunes Tourism will purchase $150 in gift cards from their restaurant and $100 in gift cards from the runner up’s restaurant to give away to people who vote during Pizza Wars.

Visit http://indianadunes.com/warshttp://facebook.com/IndianaDunesTourism, or @indianadunes on Twitter for opportunities to win the prizes.