Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Farm-to-table eatery opens in Irvington

In mid-September, I did a post about a visit I'd made to a delightful farm-to-table restaurant in Greenfield called The Mug. Very shortly after that post went live, I learned that a second The Mug eatery would open soon much closer to home, in the Irvington neighborhood on the Eastside of Indianapolis.

And indeed, it turns out The Mug-Irvington opened at 118 S. Audubon Road on Sept. 30, and a few days after that, next door at 120 S. Audubon, a modest, organic market operated by The Mug's partner business, Tyner Pond Farm, opened, too. I stopped and visit both operations in Irvington on Monday, and was as pleased with the food in the eatery and very pleased for Irvington that it has a market with meats and organic products as an option.

The photo leading off the post shows both the exterior of The Mug in Irvington and its outdoor dining area. There also is dining space inside (tables and countertop) -- and a good amount more than what is available indoors at the Greenfield eatery, where most diners eat outdoors or in their cars or take food home.

If you are familiar with the Wildwood Market in Fountain Square in Indianapolis, you'll find the Tyner Pond Market in Irvington is similar. The main difference is that Tyner Pond produces its own meats; Wildwood gets its hormone- and antibiotic-free meats from other sources, including the Smoking Goose.

Also, Tyner Pond will deliver free -- to a large segment of the Indianapolis area -- meat orders purchased online. I'm a huge fan of Tyner Pond's smoked pork chops; they are thick, the way I like 'em. I've cooked on the grill a couple times now.

If you review my post in September, you'll see that not only did I visit the Greenfield eatery, but I also stopped at Tyner Pond farm operation southeast of Greenfield. Tyner Pond prides itself on raising hormone- and antibiotic free animals for its meats and stocks its stores with fresh, organic products.

Interestingly, on the southern end of this modest business center on the west side of Audubon (it's just a few blocks south of Washington Street), is a third business, the Hummingbird Cafe, 130 S. Audubon, which offers an assortment of vegetarian and other sandwiches, salads and soups among other edibles and drinkables (it is closed Sundays).

On May, 25, 2008, while I did a walking stroll through Irvington, I photographed the facade of what is now the Hummingbird Cafe (right). Back then, the sign on the building was Irvington Cafe. I wasn't sure then that the Irvington Cafe was in operation. However, it was a Sunday, and perhaps it closed on Sundays, like the Hummingbird is now. Inexplicably, I didn't photograph the whole shopping area, so I don't know what else was there at the time.

Photo geek stuff: All photos were taken with an iPhone 6s Plus except the 2008 photo of the Irvington Cafe, which I shot with a Canon 300D (original digital Rebel) equipped with a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.

As always, to view a larger, sharper image in this post, click on the image. This is particularly important if you access the blog while using a mobile device.

Above: Seats at a counter seating area inside The Mug in Irvington. This counter faces outside toward the outdoor diners. 

Above: I enjoyed a Three Floyds IPA craft brew on tap. The Mug also had an IPA from Irvington's own Black Acre Brewery. 

The Hummingbird Cafe (above) is next door to Tyner Pond Market (below), which is next door to The Mug.

A view of the ordering counter from my seat (above) and a look at a corner of the interior dining area (below). In the photo above, you can see a modest counter-top seating area available at the far left end. 

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