On Friday, my fellow Warmachiners and I made what is becoming an annual tradition of eating lunch at the Ram. It's hard to beat a place that has menu items (and Beer!) named after characters in the Iron Kingdoms. They even make a special brew each year in honor of the con, and this year is was Primal Porter. The service is excellent (some of them even dress the part) and the ambiance is fantastic, as gaming banners are hanging everywhere, albeit some of them are showing their age, painfully. Yet somehow I seem to be underwhelmed by the experience.
I can't remember what I had eaten last year, or the name of the beer, but I remember being a little disappointed that the food and drink didn't stand out any more than it did. As far as taste went, it was just average, or even a little less than average. And whatever beer I tried last year had a bit of an odd aftertaste (I know it was a red lager, but I can't remember what they had named it). This year I did try the Primal Porter that they debuted, and it was pretty good. I like a dark beer, and this one was fairly smooth. (I should mention that I brew my own, and have become rather particular, and judgmental, about what I drink).
This year I tried one of their blackened cajun variety of burgers (I should have taken notes, because the name of it was amusing when I read it on the menu, but it escapes me now). I like spicy, robust food, and this was anything but. Completely bland. I've never had meat that I just couldn't taste. And even though I can't remember the name of it, this is two years that blandness has reigned. I'm not quite ready to say "no more" to what might be a trend, but it does seem to be an unfortunate coinicidence for them. Two strikes to say the least.
Am I suggesting you not go? Certainly not. You need to make your own opinion. The service is fantastic, and atmosphere is great... except that any number of places downtown Indianapolis are stepping up their "game" and I am willing to bet their food is better (like Champions across from the convention center. They have wonderful Scottish eggs, for example, and their food left quite an impression on me several years after the fact, even if they haven't reinvented their menu for the con).
By the way, I didn't pick up a tee shirt this year. I like the Trolls as a faction, and have even considered collecting an army of them. But sometimes the Troll artwork leaves me scratching my head.
From the Desk: Weekend Roundup #43
2 hours ago