#Indianapolis — Long before places like Bluebeard, Pure Eatery and Santorini’s Greek Kitchen made Fountain Square the dining destination it is today, there was the Peppy Grill. I had my first taste of the Peppy in 2006. We were pulling an all-nighter at our Fountain Square office, working to get a big project finished. Somewhere around 9:00pm, we decided we needed food to keep going, so my boss ran over to the Peppy — it was one of the few places nearby open on a Sunday night.
Open 24 hours a day, a the Peppy Grill is a diner that might be described as a dive or a greasy spoon. The building is old, yes. The sparse furnishings — booths and tables without a lot of additional decorations — are a little dated. The kitchen shares space with the dining area, divided by a half-wall.
But I’ve found the diner to be clean and without the grease-in-the-air-settling-on-your-skin that you might expect. To keep up with the times, the Peppy Grill does offer free WIFI, with the password scrawled on a giant white board that also lists the flavors of pie available that day. (All the cream pies are made in-house.)
The Peppy has a wide variety of customers. A quick look at Yelp.com and UrbanSpoon.com reveals that the diner is a late-night destination for people who’ve been enjoying themselves — maybe a little too much — at Fountain Square’s several bars. There are the police officers from the nearby precinct and the under 21 crowd who want a place to hang out a night. And of course the locals, those who have been regulars for as long as anyone can remember.
Recently, I found myself at the Peppy Grill for breakfast. I’d run out of the house without grabbing something to eat and just could not face another McDonald’s drive-thru breakfast. So on my way to work, I stopped at the Peppy. It was close to 8:00am and there were about 8 people in the small diner. I took a seat and was handed a menu right away.
The Peppy is known for its biscuits and gravy — they are even featured on the hand-painted front window. But I ordered the scrambled eggs with wheat toast. I had a choice of potato — hash browns or home fries. I asked the server which he recommended and went with his suggestion of the hash browns. You can expesct substance over style at the Peppy. You won’t find garnishes of parsley or a twisted orange slice on your plate. What you will find is tasty food served up quickly for a decent price. The bill for my scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast and soft drink came to just over $6.
When the server handed over my check, he asked if I wanted a refill of soda in a to-go cup. Yes, please!
Would I go to the Peppy Grill again? Yes. Next time I might give lunch a try.
The Peppy Grill is located at 1004 Virginia Avenue, in the heart of Fountain Square.