There has been a Lord Ashley’s Pub & Eatery in Indianapolis for as long as I have lived here. The original, located in Cherry Tree Plaza, closed down a few years ago. The one in Oaklandon; however, is still open and has been operating for nearly 20 years under a different owner from that of the original.
Ambiance is a bit like a 1970′s steakhouse with dark colors, wood paneling, and low lights, which make for a very dark atmosphere. In my opinion the place could use a bit of a face lift. I don’t think the decor has changed since my last visit over ten years ago.
The only people on staff during our visit were the owner/manager and a waitress. The place wasn’t very busy but the service was still a bit slow and I tend to be pretty tolerant of slow service. There were essentially three sets of customers while we were there and one was finishing up. It took a while to get drinks refilled and for the food to arrive once we made our order.
The bathroom, though worn, was very clean. It was dark in the restaurant but it was easy to tell the carpet was well beyond its usable lifespan and should be replaced. Otherwise the place was tolerably clean and the tables were cleared and cleaned fairly promptly after the customers left.
The food was kind of a mixed bag here. We ordered Rotisserie Chicken Wings as an appetizer. Jeff ordered the Lord Ashley’s Famous Burger with homemade potato chips and, feeling like eating a bit light, I ordered the Taco Salad.
The Rotisserie Chicken Wings had very crispy skin which is great but fell flat on the seasoning. Still, combined with the wonderfully chunky blue cheese dressing I say it is a winner. The blue cheese dressing is made in-house and is probably the chunkiest dressing I have ever tasted.
Lord Ashley’s Famous Burger was pretty good. It was a half-pounder loaded with sautéed onions, bacon, American and Swiss cheese, and flavored with some kind of Cajun spices. I thought it was a touch over-cooked but otherwise quite tasty. The homemade potato chips were great. They were fresh, crisp, and also had the Cajun seasoning. I couldn’t stop eating them!
The major disappointment of the day was the Taco Salad. Where to start? First the corn chips were stale. In a restaurant this is unforgivable. Second, their special chili tasted to me like Wolf brand, canned chili. Third, what little taco meat there was in the salad was presented as a little cold meatball. It wasn’t even properly heated. The serving looked generous but was seriously lacking in anything substantial that you normally find in a taco salad. I cannot recommend this dish in anyway, unless you want to walk away hungry. The thing I found unforgivable was the condition of the corn chips. Never, ever, serve stale food to a customer. It makes them wonder what else they were served that was less than fresh and it was this faux pas that weighed most heavily in the rating this restaurant received.
The Juicy Bits
I cannot really recommend this restaurant. I’m not even sure I am willing to go back to give them a second chance. Like I said earlier, the worst thing a restaurant can do is serve something that is less than fresh to a customer. Once detected, it makes the customers question everything they’ve eaten that evening. I even wondered if that could have been why the burger was overcooked.
In summary: I wouldn’t bother.
Lord Ashley’s Pub & Eatery
11730 Pendleton Pike
Indianapolis, IN 46236
Tel: (317) 826-7860
Hours: Monday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. – Midnight), Friday (11:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.), Saturday (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.), Sunday (9:30 a.m. – Midnight)