There are plenty of places to get a pretty good hamburger in most any town and even more choices for a gourmet burger in larger cities.
Celebrity chef and James Beard award-winner Michael Symon really delivers with his B-Spot Burger joints. His most recent opening at Ironworks, 86th and Keystone in Indianapolis, delivers one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.
Symon’s empire started with his signature fine dining restaurant in downtown Cleveland, Lola’s. Several visits there have thrilled and delivered great taste, creativity, and excitement for my palate. B-Spot burgers have expanded the Food Network and ABC The Chew co-host’s empire without the risks of high-end dinning entrepreneurship. Click here for my Nov. 2014 review.
The urban-industrial décor is perfect for a burger joint. Ample outside seating is a nice touch popular with the lunch crowd on a moderately busy Thursday. The menu offers burgers with unique topping mixtures to satisfy any palate – and if not, you can build your own.
Simon is a strict constructionist when it comes to a good burger. He preaches the use of a signature blend of Angus beef, cooked to order seasoned with salt. The toppings add the unique touch to the world-class chef’s sandwiches.
I had the “Lola” burger with melted cheddar, bacon, pickled onions, and a soft-fried egg. I cut the sandwich in two pieces for easier handling. The egg yolk dripped down over the burger for a tantalizing richness. I generally turn my nose up at anything “pickled,” but the onions had just the right amount of onion flavor and tang. It was an incredibly good burger.
My lunch companion ordered one of Symon’s award-winning burgers, The Fat Doug. That burger comes with cole slaw, pastrami, stadium mustard, and swiss cheese. She loved every bite. We even chopped off bites to swap and offered rave reviews on both choices.
B-Spot serves the same famous “Lola Fries” available in the Cleveland home-base restaurant. The salty, rosemary-seasoned, thin cut potatos are addictive. Since it was a first visit, and wanting to be a thorough food reviewer, we also ordered the onion rings. Frankly, onion rings in too many restaurants often disappoint. But the onions were tender, the breading was lightly seasoned and very crispy. Perfect!
The restaurant offers a huge selection of beers and Symons Bad A** milkshakes. I’m anxious to delve into that portion of the visit during a future visit. The burgers are priced at $8.99 to $10.99. Everything is ala carte so a sandwich side and drink, will cost around $20.
Indy has other “gourmet” burger shops I have yet to try. Symon sets the bar pretty high with his first-time venture into the expanding Indy food scene.
The location might offer a challenge for anyone not familiar with Indy’s northside. The Ironworks building sets at the busy corner of 86th and Keystone Avenue. The restaurant is actually on a back corner away from the two streets. There is a sign at the complex entrance.
I can’t wait to go back. Welcome to Indy Michael Symon!