Andrea’s View: Let me first start by saying how much I enjoy the Fountain Square neighborhood with its eclectic shops, great restaurants, and now the Cultural Trail. It’s cute, quaint, and highly walkable. If you haven’t been for a while, try to schedule a visit.
Now onto the food. Dave and I had a chance to check out a new restaurant, Rook, in the Fountain Square area for lunch just a few days ago. Rook just opened recently and it really is worth a try. The menu consists of five to six Vietnamese inspired sandwiches with chips made of pork or shrimp. I ordered the namesake Rook sandwich (all the sandwiches are named after birds). This is a ground chicken and pork roll sandwich. I didn’t know what pork roll was, and quite frankly, I still don’t. The chicken was mildly spiced and the pork roll looked like pork pate stuffed in a casing and sliced semi-thin. It was also very mildly seasoned and while the texture worked in this sandwich, I’m not sure I would’ve eaten the pork roll by itself. Dave kept calling it liver- I’m not sure that it was. Laying on top of these two very soft meats was a pickled carrot and daikon radish relish (say radish relish three times fast) and several sprigs of fresh cilantro. The sweet, salty, and crunchy texture of the relish was a nice contrast to the meats. Overall, a very good sandwich. I also ordered the shrimp crisps. I have no idea what these were or really how to describe them except that they were “shrimpy” and puffy. Just try them.
Anyway, if you do get over to Fountain Square and you get a little hungry walking around and browsing, meander over to Rook- the only thing missing from this lunch was a cold, crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Dave’s View: If there is an Alfred Hitchcock in spiritual form roaming the Earth and he got extremely hungry(because spiritual forms get hungry, they really do), he would be sitting in this restaurant eating his sandwich thinking, “If only I had this restaurant in 1963 with Tippi Hedren freaking out eating a sandwich. It would have made a great scene.” Carefully placed fake birds are located inside the very minimalistic surroundings of Rook restaurant in the Fountain Square area in Indianapolis. Rook is located in a fairly new building with an elongated dining area. You think there is more to the restaurant, but there’s not, it’s just that one room. Protruding out of the walls are electricity poles with black birds on them and they also serve for lighting the place. It’s a nice art form that probably most people won’t recognize because when they see the poles, they probably thinks it holds up the ceiling in the place, until they really look up, then they’ll get it. The restaurant cash registers have screens on the outside that flashes pictures of birds, so you can see the reason why I have “The Birds” movie in my head. Eclectic surroundings hopefully followed by eclectic food. So to the food we go:
The Raven sandwich is what I had. Sliced marinated steak with radishes, carrots, cilantro, and jalapenos served on a bun. What does it taste like? If you’ve had Bo Nuong Sa in a Vietnamese restaurant, minus the rice paper and placed it on a bun with jalapenos, that is the taste you will experience when you eat this sandwich. Now the only drawback of this sandwich was the bun. When you eat this massive sandwich, the bun has the tendency to break off after you bite it. So you have to reassemble the sandwich and maneuver your hands so it doesn’t fall apart when you eat it. So be patient and add some Sriracha sauce to keep it together. You’ll have your choice of 12 bottles that line the condiment wall inside the place, so don’t worry, there won’t be any shortage of Sriracha sauce any time soon.
The service here is calm, peaceful and relaxed. You could come in the place and relax and have a cheap $2.00 bottle of Jarritos Strawberry soda after walking around on a hot day in Fountain Square, but why? Explore, eat a different sandwich, get out of your rut, and give your taste buds some smack. You won’t regret it!
Food : 8.5 Ambiance: 9 Service: 9 Total: 26.5 out of 30
Note: I wish they had a Vietnamese Crow sandwich. I would eat that, really I would. It would give saying “Eating Crow” a new meaning???
$20-$30 without adult beverages. They do not serve adult beverages.