IndyBurgerGuy visited The Steer-In on July 16, 2016.
The Historic Steer-In Diner in Irvington, IN has been a fixture of the Indianapolis scenery for over fifty years. In that time, it seems that very little has changed from the makeup of the menu to the clientele that fill the seats. There’s a quaint sense of welcome at the Steer-In, from the old diner-style sign as you enter that beckons you to “Please Seat Yourself” in front of a single cash register to the circular bar area and booths scattered across the restaurant. The parking lot bears the remnants of a drive-in that no longer is. This all contributes to an overall diner experience unlike any other in Indianapolis. It’s no wonder Food Network chose to spotlight the Steer-In on its popular “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
For my first foray at the Steer-In, I opted for the diner’s signature burger – the Twin Steer. This burger is the diner version of the classic Big Boy* from the old Frisch’s Big Boys around Indy with a couple key differences. The biggest and most important difference was the quality of the beef. The Steer-In proudly serves hand-pattied black angus beef on all of their burgers and that attention to detail makes all the difference for this burger. The other difference between the Twin Steer and the Big Boy is the use of mayonnaise in lieu of the “special sauce.” As a fan of mayo on burgers, this is another checkmark to its credit. (The menu calls it their “Steer-In sauce,” but it looked and tasted quite a bit like mayo to me.)
While the quality of the burger is vastly superior to its more well-known counterpart, I thought their homage could have done without a few of the similarities to make it stand out a bit more. The inclusion of the ‘middle bun’ – the hallmark of the Big Boy – made way for a meat-to-bun ratio that was… off. Too much bread, whereas a standard double cheeseburger would have hit the spot perfectly. Also, the sesame seed bun lacked a little something. Not bad, but not my first choice.
All told, the Steer-In is a great diner, and the Twin Steer a great burger. Both are well worth your time, your money, and the trip over to historic Irvington. You’ll be glad you did!
FINAL RANKING: 8/10
The Historic Steer-In Diner
5130 E. 10th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)
*I STAND CORRECTED! Never let it be said that I’m not willing to correct a mistake! The original review referred to the Twin Steer as an homage to the Big Mac, but it turns out that’s not the case. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, Steer-In got in touch to thank me for the review and correct my error. Check it out!
In retrospect, this makes sense, especially seeing as how the Big Mac didn’t debut until 1967 (thanks, Wikipedia!), whereas the Big Boy first appeared in ’37. The basic components are essentially the same, so it was an easy enough mistake to make… but a mistake nonetheless. Special thanks to the Steer-In for both sharing the link and correcting the error! (Edited on Sunday, August 28, 2016.)