By Sara McAninch // Photography by Jana Jones
Adulting just got a whole lot more fun with these grown-up snack options
When you were a child, you burned energy rapidly throughout the day; snacks stoked the constantly burning furnace. As an adult, you might not burn through calories at such a dramatic pace, but there’s no denying that snacks are still fun. Whether you need a nighttime nosh or a between meals bite, these four southside dishes will satisfy your need to nibble.
Stone Creek Dining Co.
911 N. State Road 135, Greenwood
(317) 889-1200, stonecreekdining.com/greenwood
When you walk into Stone Creek Dining Co., you’re greeted by the smell of the restaurant’s house-made bread, which is served with every meal accompanied by sun-dried tomato dipping oil, also made in house. If you must munch, try the triple dip: Brussels sprouts au gratin, San Marzano tomato and goat cheese, and spicy quinoa hummus, served with grilled flatbread and crostini.
While you may have heard of the popular side dish potatoes au gratin, the Brussels sprouts version is just as delightful. Crispy roasted Brussels sprout leaves are combined with creamy and nutty Gruyere, cream cheese, sour cream, shallots and garlic, then heated in the oven and topped with fresh shredded Parmesan. According to Stone Creek general manager David Carpenter, the first thing you’re going to taste is the roasted sprouts; you’ll also get some smokiness in the flavor.
The perfect partner in this delicious triple dip is the San Marzano tomato and goat cheese. The Italian tomato has garlic and white wine added before it’s cooked down to a thicker consistency. Roasted fennel, red peppers, onions, celery and a little bit of crushed red pepper are added before the dip is warmed. The tart goat cheese crumbled on top “really sets that flavor profile off,” says Carpenter.
Rounding out the tempting trio is the spicy quinoa hummus. Fiber and protein rich garbanzo beans and quinoa are ground together with edamame, lime juice and chili garlic sauce, which “really adds a kick to the quinoa,” according to Carpenter.
While you’ll probably want to forgo formality and dig into these dips with your fingers, they’re served with eight pieces each of grilled naan flatbread and baguette-based crostini brushed with house-made herb butter and then toasted. You can savor this snack alone or share it with up to three more people.
Six-Cheese Pimiento with Bacon Mac and Cheese
1279 N. Emerson Ave., Greenwood, (317) 882-2300, newks.com
You want fresh food fast without sacrificing flavor, and your snacking options are no exception. At Newk’s Eatery, the Greenwood location of the regional chain, you get produce washed and chopped daily in-house and you won’t find a microwave on the premises.
While there are plenty of snack-worthy foods on the menu, the six-cheese pimiento with bacon mac and cheese is the perfect go-to. The five-cheese base consists of asiago, Vermont white cheddar, Parmesan, Ammerländer Swiss and yellow cheddar. The extra wow factor comes in the form of pimiento cheese, which “adds spice and different layers of flavor to the dish,” says Madison Newcomb, Newk’s marketing coordinator.
The dish requires aged and imported cheeses; before serving, the mac and cheese is topped with a cooked, crumbled bacon garnish that adds even more deliciousness to an already delectable dish.
“Besides the obvious — that adding bacon to anything just makes it that much better — the texture does contrast the creaminess of the mac, and the smoky flavor of the bacon pairs well with the smokiness of the pimiento cheese,” says Newcomb.
An entrée-size portion is 14 ounces, while a side is 7. If you have room for dessert after your savory snack, check out the dozen-layer cakes baked fresh in-house. Flavors include red velvet, iced lemon, chocolate, caramel and strawberry. There’s also a pairings menu, where you can get the five- or six-cheese pimiento with bacon mac and cheese with made to order sandwiches and salads, or a bowl of small-batch homemade soup.
Oaken Barrel Brewing Co.
Homemade Chips and Bacon Dip
50 Airport Parkway, Greenwood, (317) 887-2287, oakenbarrel.com
What happens when you combine crispy crumbled bacon with cream and cheddar cheeses, garlic and onion powder? You get the homemade bacon dip at Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. Bacon by itself is a delicious snack, but this one-of-a-kind chef creation is served warm with a generous helping of the restaurant’s house-made chips.
The chips, which are bought pre-sliced and fried to order, are salted and served in a 12-ounce casserole dish alongside the delectable dip. The combination goes well with any of the house-brewed beers.
“The saltiness and the bacon, it makes you crave beer,” says owner Keang Casey. If you’re not sure which beer to pair with your salty snack, Casey recommends the Gnaw Bone Pale Ale. This American style pale ale has a medium hop and complements the cheese while not overpowering the flavors.
The chip and dip combination started as a weekend appetizer special that was offered every eight to 12 weeks. It was so popular that Casey decided to add it to the daily menu. It can feed up to six people.
Although Oaken Barrel is known for its beer, the restaurant welcomes guests of all ages. There’s a brewhouse for the 21 and over crowd, a family dining area and the beer garden, so there are plenty of places for you to relax and get your snack on.
Liquid Nitrogen Popcorn
299 W. Main St., Greenwood, (317) 215-4164, reverygreenwood.com
At Revery the phrase “blowing smoke” isn’t an insult — not, that is, when you’re eating its liquid nitrogen popcorn. While seasoned popcorn is a free pre-meal treat, you can take your snacking experience to a new level for a small upcharge.
The liquid nitrogen popcorn is, truly, a frozen food. Popped fresh daily in-house and seasoned with flavors ranging from cheddar to bacon to pizza, the popped corn is tossed in food-grade liquid nitrogen and served within two to three minutes of being frozen. If eating frozen popcorn isn’t novelty enough, there’s also the fact that the cold allows you to blow smoke while you’re indulging.
The flavor and texture are different than your standard popped corn as well. “You get the flavor 100%. It almost tastes better when it’s frozen because it’s really, really crispy. It almost shatters in your mouth,” says chef and owner Mark Henrichs.
While there is an element of danger to handling liquid nitrogen, Revery’s staff takes the necessary precautions to ensure this unusual delight is safe to consume by strictly monitoring the freezing process and serving special portion sizes. By the time the popcorn gets to your table, the dangerous element of the nitrogen has evaporated, Henrichs says.
Revery offers a full menu in a rustic, casual environment that boasts no dress code required. If you’re craving a cocktail to go along with your snack, Barev is the back area of the restaurant featuring several types of bourbons and whiskies.