Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sky City Cafe at the Eiteljorg Museum

I'm typically not a fan of museum cafeterias. I usually find the food to be boring and overpriced. Plus, the atmosphere often reminds me of my own high school cafeteria. (Dark, windowless rooms with little decor and unnatural lighting... sound like your high school?) There's just something about stark tables and feeding people sandwiches en masse that takes away from what's otherwise a fun, cultural experience.

So I'm happy to report that the Sky City Cafe at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis actually enhances a visit to the museum. Nearly all the food is inspired by the American Southwest region or Native American heritage.

The Food at Sky City Cafe

For example, the fruit salad you see above is topped with a prickly pear dressing. It's just sweet enough to heighten the flavors of the ripe fruit. And my Mohave Valley sandwich is a portabello mushroom, typed with queso fresco, and other yummy veggies.

In my pregnant stage, I don't usually order up a salad for lunch because it just isn't filling enough to keep me going all afternoon. But I have to admit I was jealous of this Oregon Trail Salad ordered by the guest sitting next to me (who was kind enough to let me photograph his lunch before he dug in). The chipotle grilled chicken looked so moist and was piled so high I'm sure it would fill up even the hungriest of guests.

A full menu is available here if you're mouth isn't already watering. There's also a kids menu that features some "safe" choices for the picky eaters, but also a few options with southwestern flair for those a little more adventurous.

The Atmosphere at Sky City Cafe

The atmosphere lives up to the delicious bites. On a nice day, my preference would be to sit outside on the terrace, which overlooks downtown Indy's beautiful Canal Walk. But the inside dining area is certainly an upgrade from the typical museum cafeteria, with warm colors and big windows that let in a lot of natural light.

If you're not planning a visit to the Eiteljorg (which you should reconsider!), you can dine at Sky City Cafe without paying admission to the museum. They'll also comp your parking. This makes the cafe a great choice for downtown workers looking for a little variety in their usual lunch options. It appeared many were rolling up their dress shirt sleeves and catching some sun while they dined when I visited in June.

More Information About the Eiteljorg

Earlier this week, I posted a daydream about my time at the Eiteljorg. Last week, I had a guest post at Midwest Guest about the more practical aspects of a visit to the Eiteljorg. You might also enjoy my friend Amy's post about the Sky City Cafe, at her Food Flights blog.

This post is a part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

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Disclosure: I was invited to tour the Eiteljorg Museum as part of a White River State Park press trip, which included my admission and lunch at Sky City Cafe. I was under no obligation to write about my time at the museum, and all opinions expressed are my own.