Huse Culinary
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July 9, 2012

Huse Culinary Feature

The world’s most famous auto race, the Indy 500, was first held in 1911 – when St. Elmo Steakhouse was already nine years old, making it the oldest of the city’s beloved traditions. In the past 110 years, virtually every famous race car driver, athlete and celebrity who has visited Indy has dined here, along with state and city politicos (and even AC/DC’s Angus Young), and most of their photos cover the walls of this huge downtown eatery from floor to ceiling. Just before the last Superbowl, winning Giants quarterback Eli Manning fueled up here for victory, along with celebs in town for the game, ranging from John Travolta to Jessica Simpson. St. Elmo is a classic masculine steakhouse with big cuts of aged red meat and lots of dark wood and brass, but it has some unique traditions. Every entree is served with a starter choice of Navy Bean Soup or a glass of tomato juice – and the current owners no longer know why. “It’s just always been that way – soup or tomato juice,” said Craig Huse, whose family took over in 1986. The tomato juice is local Indiana Red Gold brand, and one of the signatures is the greatest possible use of local Midwestern products such as Indiana’s Millers Amish Chickens, local duck, aqua-farmed regional seafood, Indiana cheeses and a wide variety of produce. The single most famous menu item is the very spicy shrimp cocktail, with fresh Missouri horseradish (Shown). While most steakhouses at this level serve a la carte, all entrees here also come with choice of sides, making St. Elmo surprisingly affordable for its class. – FORBES

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