It's a walk (half mile), but http://www.barcelonatapas.com/indianapolis/ is pretty good. Has a lunch buffet M-F/11-2 that makes it quick and affordable. We went last year on Thursday during a lull in our scheduling.
If you like sushi indymikado.com is right next to the convention center.
And last year we just walked in, with no wait at Harry & Izzy's. It was a fine meal, if a bit pricey. I plan to go back.
If you are willing to walk to Mass ave, meshrestaurants.com (1.5 miles). I quite enjoyed my meal there. Mass ave has a bunch of interesting places, any one of them might make a nice sit down Wednesday night get together with friends.
As far as the tamale place, go nachos. It makes a nice place to stop for lunch on Wednesday before heading into downtown (they have south side and west side locations). Quick, no fuss. Two people can share a large nacho for 9 bucks so you can make it affordable if you desire. I wouldn't tell you to make a special trip, but it beats the hell out of taco bell or McDonald's if you are driving in hungry.
What about Fogo de Chao
I'm a bit divided on Fogo. It is good, but not the best example of a Brazilian steak house I've been to. It is PACKED on Wednesday night, so that can make conversation hard. You are going to spend at least 45 bucks a person, but it is in easy walking distance and has tasty all you can eat meat.
In the end, I think Indy has better nice dinning options.
We've done Fogo the last several years for a late Wednesday lunch (about 2 p.m.). Their lunch prices are considerably cheaper for the same menu/service, so that can make sense as an option.
That said, after last year, we probably won't be back. It wasn't bad, by any stretch, but neither the food nor the service was at the level we were used to. Probably not indicative of an overall decline in quality, but that was our experience. We're seeking elsewhere for our "fancy" meal this year.
as far as recommendations, we make it a point to go to the old Spaghetti Factory (get the broccoli--seriously!), and Yard House was amazing last year. There's a PF Chang's at the mall, but that's a little more widely accessible. Buca di Beppo is good for a group. i mostly ate at the food trucks and Yard House last year, honestly.
If people are willing to take a bit of a trip (not easy, I know), there's stuff all around that's worth going to. I grew up in Indiana (not in Indianapolis, though), so I'm a Pizza King (www.ringtheking.com) fan. And as long as I'm in Indy, I plan to take a trip out to the nearest one, which is an astonishing 15-some miles away. For me, that's worth it. But I'm less shilling that one chain and more saying that there's stuff outside of walking distance that's pretty good too. I'm sure some of the Indy residents can say what's good in Broad Ripple, for example, and that's definitely a car trip away.
There will be people who think that's too far. But there are people who think the circle center mall is too far and always eat in the ICC food courts. I'm still calling six blocks walkable in general. Not going to lowest common denominator the concept of walking distance when driving will still take you more time :)
That said, those friends tend not to go to many cons.
Anyway, different yardsticks for different people. The non-athletic folks I know would definitely not mind the wait for the car and parking. Whereas I admit, I'd be chafing at the thought that I could've walked somewhere in the time it'd take to park.
Yeech, I just thought of something: I hope nobody took my first post as a slam on the average Gen Con'ers physical shape! :(
QUESTION: With the con expanding into the Stadium, will they have their food concession stands open? Two years ago, my nephew and I took a break on Saturday night to see the Colts play the Giants in the pre-season opener. The individual pizzas were rather decent to stadium food and priced okay. The $4 sodas were ... well, $4 sodas in a stadium.
I'm with you, I'll walk from the Garden District to Faubourg Marigny for a good po-boy when I'm in NOLA, and that's what, about a mile and a half at least. I try not to use my own metric when calling something 'walking distance' though, cause then I get rolling eyes.
At the risk of running the line of a "sit down" restaurant, there is a great place called The Educated Sandwich just two blocks from the Convention Center. They do a simple breakfast and lunch. We love it for breakfast -- good food, good people and reasonable prices. One of the best things is you can call ahead and they will have your food ready for you.
The bummer is they are only open on Thursday and Friday.
A friend took me to Shapiro's last year, which I couldn't recommend enough. It is a cafeteria-style deli, with pastrami, deviled eggs, cream pies...really tasty if you like that sort of thing. It is not too far, but in the wrong direction (a few blocks south of the icc) so it seems outside of the con crowds, for better and worse. Pretty cheap, too.
Ok, something I just thought of (all the Indianapolis 500 news just brought it to mind): Indiana pork tenderloin sandwiches.
Yeah, someone's written a blog on the singular topic of tenderloin sandwiches in Indiana. I mention it here because of course the restaurants listed are all sit-downs... although you'd have to comb the blog to find entries specific to Indianapolis (the blogger travels, so many entries are outside the city).
What's the big deal about tenderloins? Well, a lot of Hoosiers consider it a state sandwich. I even argue this with an online acquaintance who's from Iowa; he tells me I'm wrong (the argument is that Iowa pork tenderloins are somehow superior), then we trade good natured insults for a few minutes until we land on another topic). But regardless of what other corn fed states claim, many Hoosiers luvs them their pork tenderloin sandwiches. Anyway, more options there, with a lot of them not being places that come to mind immediately when thinking of recommendations to out of state visitors.
I love regular places that I know what I'm getting; so I always do BW3s.
It's 4 blocks away as well, so it's always dead.
Last year I ate at the Yard House two days in a row because I loved the lobster noodles so much. Other than that I do food trucks or wander the streets until something looks good!
Ruth Chris is great, as is the Bar Menu at McCormick's and Schmicks in the Hilton
Does anyone know if Ruth Chris is doing their GenCon slider lunch again?
Found it in the article. Not walking distance.