Irvington Eats – a Robin Archer Gastronomic Tour

So Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night comes out Friday, and it’s set in Irvington. I’ll let Robin tell you about Irvington:

Back in the nineteenth century, a town was plotted outside of Indianapolis, which of course has since swallowed it, and it was called Irvington, after Washington Irving. Yes, that Washington Irving, and because his most famous tale is perhaps “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the community seized on Halloween as its patron holiday.

Irvington’s Halloween Festival is now over a week long, the oldest and largest in the country, and it features not only the ghost tours and costume parades and seasonal film screenings you’d expect but also roller derby and scholarship competitions and anything else which sounds fun.

This was a really fun setting to use, because not only is Irvington generally bonkers about Halloween and the supernatural (in a good way!), which is great for an urban fantasy, but Irvington has some fabulous local eats where I could send Robin and Jimmy. I mention only two by name, because you can only name so many restaurants in a novella before it looks like paid placement (it was not), but you really ought to know about these two.

Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium

You may think the ice cream season should be winding down in October, but that’s not the case. I’ll give you the technical reasons first, and then the practical.

Technically speaking: Wyliepalooza’s ice cream is churned with three parts cream to one part air, compared to traditional ice cream which has two parts cream to one part air. That means it’s creamier and has more product for the same volume, more treat for your dollar. It’s also made only with rbGH-free cream from Wisconsin cows and pure cane sugar, so you can feel better about your cheat day.

Practically speaking? Zanzibar chocolate. No, seriously, this is good chocolate ice cream, dark as sin and rich as Croesus. And if somehow you don’t like that straight up, it’s the base for their Zoreo blend. You’re welcome.

Wyliepalooza also offers a wide variety of creative flavors. One of my favorite names is “Exhausted Parent,” a caramel base blended with mocha, bourbon, and chocolate chips.

Find Wyliepalooza at 5535 E Washington St in Irvington.

Jockamo Upper Crust PizzaJockamo Upper Crust Pizza

Don’t get me wrong, the pizza is amazing. The American standards (cheese, pepperoni, blah blah blah) are here, but there are a lot of creative options, too (the Shipwreck offers shrimp and Parmesan, the Cuban is the classic sandwich on a crust, the Bollywood spins masala, chicken, goat cheese, coconut and more). Think California Pizza Kitchen with a lot less franchise and a lot more family hands-on.

breadstick and Parmesan cheese dip

But what you really came for are the breadsticks — or more specifically, the Parmesan dipping sauce for the breadsticks. Calling it a “sauce” is stretching the word, because you could hold this dipping cup upside down until your arm got tired and it wouldn’t ease out. It’s a delicious creamy topping and you can totally justify it by getting a tasty Healthnut salad (diced broccoli, red onion, cucumber, pine nuts, and tomato tossed in a garlic dressing). They offer other dipping sauces, but really, what’s the point?

Jockamo sits at 5646 E Washington St in Irvington.

A portrait of Washington Irving.
A portrait of Washington Irving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re in the area, stop in and try a treat.  Tell them Robin Archer sent you.

Circles & Crossroads, a glowing jack o'lantern over a textured dark circle

And if you missed the announcement, the new Robin Archer story Orphan Heirs & Shades of Night goes on sale today, October 23. You can find it here.

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