The Txuleta Experience
Brugge Brasserie owners open new Basque Cider House
Writer / Stephanie Duncan
Photographer / Amy Payne
Regulars of Brugge Brasserie might have noticed a change to the upstairs of the Broad Ripple brewery. Owners Ted Miller and Shannon Stone decided to make a bold makeover of the upstairs space to a Basque-style steak and cider house called Txuleta. That’s pronounced like Chu-le-ta.
“I have a terrible habit of naming things people can’t pronounce,” Miller joked when asked about how the unique name came about.
With more than 13 years in the restaurant and brewing business, Ted and Shannon are no strangers to the challenges of the culinary world. And Txuleta was a new, fresh way to hopefully get more people into their space.
“When we took over the whole building for Brugge, the restaurant climate was different back then and we could easily fill the space,” Miller says.
When upstairs traffic slowed, they started to close the space a few days a week and realized they needed a change. “We needed to use the space better,” Miller says.
Cider was the driving force of the menu and ultimately the Basque style concept. “We knew it was going to be cider, and similar to Brugge, we knew we were going to do Belgian beer,” Miller says. “The menu was inspired from that. We thought of all kind of silly stuff. I had all kinds of menus from chicken wings and meat on a stick.”
Following Brugge’s trend to stay on theme, they finally asked, why don’t we do Basque?
Txuleta’s menu is inspired by the cider houses in Spain and has a set menu for two that includes a salt cod omelette, txistorra (a traditional Basque sausage) poached in cider, a 26 oz. ribeye and a traditional Basque dessert. For those looking to explore, they also have a wide variety of shareable plates and pintxos, which are a basque-ified version on tapas where they are served skewered to pieces of bread.
“People tend to gravitate towards pintxos because they interesting and you get to share them,” Miller says. “I recommend the Gilda. It’s an explosion of flavor, salty, bitter and sweet. It’s awesome. It opens the party. The Gilda is a skewer of anchovies, olive and boqueron. I recommend everyone get one of those.”
The real star, according to Ted, is the cider collaboration with McClure’s orchard. The sidra natural is brewed from the McClure’s apple juice with their own culture to produce a unique, dry cider that is very different than typical sparkling ciders. Right now, there are three ciders to choose from, but they hope to be able to introduce more and do more collaborations with McClure’s as well.
“It’s very important for the juice to be local. We’re in Indiana, our cider needs to be from Indiana,” Miller says.
Txuleta recently opened in December, and Ted and Shannon feel very lucky to be sharing their new concept with Broad Ripple. So, if you’re in the mood for cider, steak, pintxos and small plates, give Txuleta a try.
Txuleta Basque Cider House is located at 1011 East Westfield Blvd above Brugge Brasserie. Check out their entire menu and drink selections at txuletaindy.com.