INEXPENSIVE: 96th St. Steakburgers
The best fast food burgers in America can be had at In-N-Out Burger — which is kind of a drive if you’re in Indy. The nearest franchise can be found in Allen, Tex., about 330 miles from Monument Circle. A fairly worthy competitor to the In-N-Out can be found in the Circle City, though: 96th St. Steakburger does a damn fine job of serving up a quality meat patty with the proper veggies and secret sauce.
[Note from the editor:
In a sudden turn, 96th St. Steakburgers closed this weekend after 12 years in business. The owner is planning on opening a new, yet unnamed, restaurant in the same building. There is one place you can still get these steak burgers though, and that is in the Indianapolis International Airport. So, when you are planning your next sojourn out of our fair city, make sure and arrive at the airport a little early and hungry!]
MID-RANGE: Twenty Tap
Full disclosure: The beer’s a distinct assist here. I’m partial to the regular-old, “classic” medium-well burger at Twenty Tap with romaine, tomato, red onion and cheddar. The test of a really good burger: Do you miss the ketchup? I never do when I’m chomping through one of these sandwiches and draining a marvelous Midwest-brewed hop monster. Although the fries are exemplary, the option of side salad dials down the debauchery here just a bit.
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME: The Loft at Trader’s Point
Nineteen dollars for a burger? Yep, feed me, Trader’s Point. The grass-fed beef ground with bacon would probably be great naked, but the beer cheese, “mushroom catsup” (it’s a pretty hefty, dense concoction) and pickled onion make for a decadent dish that screams for a burly red wine (and reds help lower the odds of a cardiac event, right? Right?). The side — a smashed starch called “griddled potatoes” – is equally heavenly. Get a table on the balcony when the weather’s warm. It’s like dining in a treehouse.
BROKE? COOK THIS AT HOME: Kincaid’s bacon burgers
The blend of Kincaid’s ground beef and Neuske’s bacon is another patty that won’t really need condiments. LE Kincaid and Sons sell these burgers ready-made, so it’s an easy task to slap ‘em on the grill as soon as you get home. These burgers are something of a Wenck-family-tradition on race weekend, topped with a slice of smoked gouda and paired with a quality pilsner.
Our beloved Managing Editor, Ed Wenck just moved on from NUVO to live a quieter life. But, if you’re looking for a chance to chat with him and to thank him for all of the amazing work he’s done, not only here, but also as a long-time radio personality, there’s a chance you’ll find him noshing on a burger at these places.