/ On The Road
On The Road — By Jenni Ingersoll on March 22, 2010 at 6:48 am
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Brackets Narrowing, Excitement Advancing for NCAA Men’s Final Four

As the teams remaining in the brackets for the NCAA Basketball tournament are narrowing, the excitement in downtown Indianapolis is swelling.  The city that is known to host large sporting events is thrilled to be welcoming the NCAA Men’s Final Four to Lucas Oil Stadium, April 2-5.

A previous post mentioned the great activities that would surround the tournament.  But as one knows, a lot of activities can leave you hungry and while there is food available at many of the venues,  here are some additional  suggestions where to dine in Indy.

Several downtown restaurants have been designated to be the host for each of the Final Four teams, making these a great place to meet with alumni, fans and friends:

There are many restaurants in the Downtown Indianapolis area including several steakhouses like  Morton’s,  Ruth Chris, and Capital Grill but,  for a true Indianapolis tradition, you must visit  St. Elmos.  Rich with history and a favorite among businessmen, politicians and sport personalities, this is a not to be missed spot.

St. Elmos (map) has been a landmark since 1902 when it was originally a tavern.  In 1947 an unlikely pair, Harry Roth and Isadore Rosen, turned the restaurant into the famed steak house.  My father was a business acquaintance of the two, and I would love to hear his tales of business meetings with these colorful gentlemen held in the dining room.

Though there have been a few changes over the years, one thing remains the same, the shrimp cocktail with house made sauce.  To say it is spicy is an understatement and it is indeed, world famous for its fresh ground horseradish.  You don’t have to take my word for it, it was recently voted by the Travel Channel as one of the Top 5 Spiciest Foods in the World .

Often when large sporting events are occurring in town, it is difficult to find even elbow room at St. Elmos.  An excellent alternative might be the sister establishment just down the street, Harry & Izzy’s (map).  A larger, more casual spot, it also serves the famous shrimp cocktail and Colts fans can pay homage here, as Peyton Manning is one of the investors.

While you are visiting historical places, you might want to stop at  The Slippery Noodle Inn (map), Indianapolis’ oldest bar established in 1850.  Another spot where visiting celebrities like to gather, the menu is mostly pub fare at this late night establishment.  The Noodle is known for its live blues music, a fact you might want to keep in mind if your team looses.

Fans of the movie Hoosiers, might want to venture out a bit to the  neighborhood of Broad Ripple to hit Plump’s Last Shot (map).  Owned by, the hero and star shooter for the historic Milan, IN basketball team on which the movie was based, Bobby Plump.  This watering-hole is actually in an old house in a residential neighborhood, and proudly displays items relating to Bobby’s glory days.

Basketball fans, with so many establishments ready and eager to serve you — Welcome to Indianapolis!

Photo Selection: flickr

8 places are mentioned in this post!
  1. St. Elmo Steak House has been a landmark in downtown Indianapolis since
  2. Harry & Izzy's is an independent, upscale American Grill located in the
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