His Place is a quintessential soul food restaurant on the east side that serves chicken and waffles, ribs, and other non-low-fat offerings. I got a groupon for His Place after seeing fried perch on the menu because perch is one of my favorite fish and nearly impossible to find in this area. I was intrigued by the idea of spaghetti as a side dish and by the dessert offering of sweet potato cheesecake. I was not disappointed.
The worst thing about His Place is how difficult it is to visit. They are open six days a week but the hours are literally different 5 of those 6 days. But since you need to fast at least 6 hours before visiting to make ample stomach room for the goodies, planning ahead isn’t really such a big deal. It also is in an older building that smells a bit funky inside in the way older buildings do. Again, totally worth it.
I obviously opted for the fried perch, which came with two sides. I chose bourbon creamed corn and the spaghetti, which I admit isn’t the most natural combination, but how do you turn down those options? I was very pleased with the fish. Many places in Indianapolis have a beer-battered fish, which I find a bit soggy and puffy. This fry batter was more substantial and crunchy and reminded me of the fish fries up north, if a bit thicker. I got four filets, which I thought was pretty generous for $10. The spaghetti was standard spaghetti, which actually was a really interesting side to fried food.
As tasty as the fish and spaghetti were, I wouldn’t order either again because next time I go back I am ordering a quart of the bourbon creamed corn for dinner. I couldn’t pinpoint what made the corn so delicious, but it was pure bliss. Slightly sweet, slightly creamy, slightly peppery, the envy of everyone at the table. Seriously, you have to try this stuff.
Abby ordered fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing. She was impressed by the juicy meat and nice crispy fry batter of the chicken. It’s hard to mess up mashed potatoes and gravy, and His Place certainly did not.
Phil got ribs, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes with gravy. I enjoy ribs in theory, but unless the meat falls off into my mouth, they just seem like so much work. Happily, these ribs and my laziness were a perfect match. Their combination of dry rub and just a touch of barbecue sauce on the side is exactly what I look for in a rib, and I will probably order these myself next time I visit. (with the quart of creamed corn, of course.) The macaroni and cheese wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, a bit on the overcooked side, but still a perfect accoutrement to ribs.
After that huge meal, I loosened by sweatpants and was all geared up for a piece of the sweet potato cheesecake! My heart was fairly broken when they didn’t have any available and I consoled myself by ordering banana pudding.
The problem with eating a really delicious meal at a new restaurant is that it’s very difficult to try something else the next time you visit. I still want to try the sweet potato cheesecake, but now that I know how good this banana pudding is, I don’t think I can not order it again. It was the most wonderful creamy consistency, like maybe there was whipped cream mixed into the banana pudding? And then there were layers of bananas and vanilla wafers and I just was so so happy. See the little Nilla wafer crumbs on top? Like a hug in a dish.
In summary, I loved His Place. The price was right, about $10 an entree which included sides, and $3.50 for very generously sized desserts. Our server was extremely friendly, our food was extremely delicious. Run away winners were the creamed corn and banana pudding, but everything was flavorful and well-cooked. It’s not a fancy culinary destination, but it is feel-good food at it’s most satisfying and I will be back. As soon as I have my cholesterol checked.