Let’s Eat: Indianola, Miss Carousel & Vinny’s

The Concept

Agricole Hospitality, the folks who brought us concepts such as Coltivare and Eight Row Flint, are at it again.  They’ve added 3 new concepts to their group, all located side by side in super trendy EaDo (East Downtown) and walking distance from the Astros and Dynamo home stadiums.  Indianola offers eclectic American fare. Miss Carousel is a sexy innovative cocktail bar. Pizza joint, Vinny’s, serves up slices or whole pies along with wine and beer.

The Look and Vibe

Miss Carousel has an attractive backlit bar and plenty of inviting seating areas sprinkled throughout the cavernous 5,000 square foot space making it seem more intimate.  The wood floor, brick wall, two-sided fireplace, and art installations all create eye candy.

Miss Carousel
Miss Carousel

Indianola looks like a mash-up of a 1980’s fern bar and a simple diner.  Faux greenery hangs from the ceiling beams and the preponderance of beige on the booth seating creates a plain but soothing color palate.  The booths have super comfy cushions but the seats are placed so low that even if you’re 6 feet tall, which we are, you end up with the table at upper chest height.  The kitchen is open to the dining room with counter seats for about 8 patrons.   The industrial lighting and high wood-beamed ceilings add some interest.  Maybe this minimalist approach to décor is purposeful, appropriately directing one’s focus on the food.

Indianola
Indianola

Vinny’s, located on the building’s corner, is a well-lit pizzeria where you can watch the rectangular pies being made in the open kitchen.

Vinny's Pizza
Vinny’s Pizza

The Food

We started with the Indianola sourdough bread served with cultured butter and sea salt.  Our server said the bread maker had worked hard to perfect the recipe and it showed.  

We then shared slow-cooked pork ribs and charred carrots; I would definitely go back for the carrots and their smear of green goddess.  

Who orders chicken when dining out for dinner?  Two in our party of four did after hearing our waiter rave about the wood-grilled half chicken (succulent inside, crispy and appropriately seasoned outside) with accompanying mini-skillet of Spanish rice.

The ancho rubbed hanger steak with roasted poblano sauce and the rainbow trout rounded out our choices.  Grilled broccolini (weirdly metallic) and beets (divine) with coconut, lime, and cashew were our sides.  A strawberry pot pie and 4 spoons culminated our meal.

The Beverages

Miss Carousel’s menu is fun, with cocktails grouped together by such headings as “Spiritous”, “Refreshing, Bitter Italian” and “Collins, Swizzles & High Balls”.  We opted for a margarita and a vodka soda with “fat ice” because I had to know what fat ice was plus sometimes I prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them.  Bar snacks, sweets, wine, and beer are also on offer.

Indianola too offered signature cocktails and a nice selection of wine by the glass or bottle. We opted for a Sancerre and an Argentinian Malbec.

Tips:

  •  Park in the East Village lot across the street.  Mention you are dining at Indianola and pay $5 rather than $10.
  •  The Indianola noise level is energetic.  Ask for a table along the perimeter if you wish to be able to carry on a conversation.
  •  A private dining room, attached to Miss Carousel, is available for functions.
  •  Indianola offers outside dining, but I’d hold off on that until the road construction is complete.
Indianola

Indianola:

Hours:

BREAKFAST | MONDAY-FRIDAY, 7AM-11AM (COMING SOON)

LUNCH | MONDAY-FRIDAY, 11AM-4PM 

DINNER | SUNDAY, 4PM-9PM, MONDAY-THURSDAY, 4PM-10PM, FRIDAY-SATURDAY, 4PM-11PM

BRUNCH | SATURDAY-SUNDAY, 10AM-3PM

Address:

1201 Saint Emanuel

Phone:

832-582-7202

Miss Carousel:

Hours:

SUNDAY-THURSDAY 4PM-MIDNIGHT

FRIDAY-SATURDAY 4PM-2AM

Happy Hour:

MONDAY-FRIDAY 4-6PM, ALL DAY WEDNESDAY

Address:

1201 Saint Emanuel

Phone:

832-582-7330

Vinny’s:

Hours:

SUNDAY-THURSDAY, 11AM-MIDNIGHT

FRIDAY-SATURDAY, 11AM-3AM

Address:

1201 Saint Emanuel

Phone:

713-750-9433

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