After a morning of learning about motivational interviewing and practicing the technique with a vibrant, open-hearted woman, I walked a mile in crappy flats to a restaurant whose online menu I’d been oogling since I got to Indy. The place is Milktooth. The meal was: a tall glass of housemade cashew-hazelnut milk, a bowl of local popcorn grits topped with poached egg, bacon and scallions and a sourdough chocolate croissant. Swoon. I wanted to order everything. on. the. menu. Dear Milktooth, please open a second location in Milwaukee. Riverwest would love to have you and you’d really fit right in.
Running late after lunch, I rented a bike to get back to the conference more speedily, enjoying the wind in my hair all the way. I finished off the last few bites of my croissant with the complementary (and really not too bad) hotel coffee and listened to more fascinating talks from incredibly accomplished women.
Then it was dinner time. I headed out with 11 other RDs and RDs-to-be for a meal shared while learning about one another, talking about life and laughing at ourselves. This relaxed atmosphere was much needed after a long day of thinking hard about the future of my career and my role in this wide world of child nutrition. For supper I ate Thai Curry Swai at Tavern on South. The flaky white fish was perfectly cooked, tender and bathed in a creamy red coconut curry broth, topped with sweet, sautéed red pepper slices and a sprig of alfalfa sprouts with a side of grilled yet still crisp bok choy. No bite left behind.
After dinner, I decided to sneak in another ride on a rental bike (I paid for a 24 hour pass) and tooled around the city taking it all in as the sun set between the tall, silent buildings. Downtown Indy has an amazing system of wide, separated bike and walking lanes and user-friendly paths that make getting around the city a breeze and much safer than the in-road bike lanes I’m used to back home. I noticed a lot of bikers (fixies apparently are not yet OVER here in Indy) on my excursion as well as so many folks walking the canal and surrounding trails. The tunnels I passed through on my way in and out of downtown even had motion-sensing lights to shine the way through darker area as I rode. So great! I imagine these kinds of enhancements to a city make it so much more appealing for inhabitants to get out and get moving.
On my ride, I stumbled upon the one bar Brandon and I stopped at during an overnight in Indy we spent a couple years back on our way home from Nashville, TN. A guy walking by saw me taking a picture and asked if I was going inside. I explained the story and he told me the place has gotten a lot of reviews lately as “Indy’s best dive bar” in local media so now there are a lot of “hipsters” hanging around there. Well, I guess that bar is "over."
To cap off the eve I stopped for a gelato at Café Nonna, whose walls were covered with black and white photos of proud, smiling Italian ladies, from girls to grandmothers in aprons, wedding dresses and Sunday best. I ordered half salted caramel, half pistachio and enjoyed the creamy blend slowly, letting it melt just enough, while sitting at a table outside, channeling my inner Elizabeth Gilbert.
After another bout of cycle-exploring, I turned in for the night, eager to share my experiences here with you. There are so many more places I want to see and restaurants I want to eat at here in Indianapolis, I hope to come back for a weekend with my travel partner sometime this summer. Have you ever been to Indianapolis? What are your favorite things about the city?