Indy Burger Guy visited Scotty’s Brewhouse on Friday, August 19, 2016.
Since I started the Indy Burger Guy project at the beginning of August, there has been maybe one person as excited about this blog as myself (perhaps even more excited, to be honest – to date, he’s the only official follower of Indy Burger Guy on WordPress). That person is my old college buddy and former improv team cohort, Landon DeCrastos. Landon is a local pastor and blogger, who like me, is bald, bearded and, perhaps most importantly, a burger lover! So it made sense to me that I invite Landon along when I compiled my first review at Scotty’s Brewhouse.
Now I’ve been going to Scotty’s for several years. In fact, I’ve been a fan of Scott Wise’s restaurant ventures around Indiana since I met a friend for brunch at the downtown Scotty’s almost a decade ago. The Brewhouse, Thr3e Wise Men, and the long-lost Scotty’s Burger Joint – I’ve been to each and enjoyed every visit. (I, unfortunately, missed out on Scotty’s Lakehouse, a fact which haunts me to this day.) In fact, the weekend before I started writing reviews for this blog, I popped into Scotty’s with my wife to grab a helping of Lakehouse Mac & Cheese! And I’ve long been a fan of Scotty’s burgers! However, I knew I needed to apply the E.A.T. Method to at least one of them in order to find that which I sought – the best burger in Central Indiana!
In an effort to follow my own guidelines (specifically #4), Landon and I went with the quarter pound version of the Lucy Burger – the classic cheeseburger named for Scotty’s “first love.” (I assured Landon that he needn’t feel bound by my guidelines, but he insisted… though he did remove the onion and add ketchup*.) Amazingly, for as long as I’ve been coming to Scotty’s, I’ve never had this burger, usually opting for one of the Brewhouse’s more complex creations. The burger itself is a marvel of culinary simplicity – a grilled patty of Scotty’s “signature ground chuck” topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and pickles all on a lightly-toasted “golden sweet buttery” brioche bun. Yet, in spite of (or, more likely, because of) all that simplicity, Lucy is a darn tasty burger!
When you don’t overdo it on toppings, the beef – which, for all intents and purposes, ought to be the star of the burger – really gets a chance to shine. At that point, the quality and the flavor of the meat speaks for itself and it’s this quality that separates the great burgers from the merely decent ones. The burgers at Scotty’s Brewhouse definitely fall into the great category, I’m pleased to say. Even without a sauce like mayonnaise or ketchup coming standard, the meat itself was juicy enough and the toppings fresh enough that I didn’t miss that particular element as much as I had with the Big Pickle.
The thing most responsible for keeping the Lucy from the 90th percentile of burger glory is the golden MTB ratio (for the uninitiated, that stands for Meat, Toppings, and Bun). The thing about brioche is that it tends to run a bit on the thick side, which can overwhelm a thinner burger patty. Part of this is my own fault – had I upgraded to the ‘large’ Lucy, I imagine the meat would’ve stood up much better to the lovely thick doughiness of the brioche. Next time, perhaps.
SIDEBAR: Lucy is the third burger now that I’ve had here in Central Indiana to be on brioche and, I have to say, it may be my new favorite bun option. For the most part, it stands up really well to even the messiest burgers (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, burger integrity is key!) and it’s got a delightfully golden, doughy texture that perfectly compliments a well-cooked cheeseburger. It may very well be my current favorite cheeseburger bun!
For sides, both Landon and I upgraded from the Thr3e Wise Men seasoned potato chips that come standard with the lunch-sized Lucy to the wonderful tater tots at Scotty’s. (I mean, c’mon! It’s only a dollar more!) The Brewhouse actually offers a number of great sides – from potato options (tots, chips, waffle fries, natural cut fries) to salads to mac & cheese to veggies & fruit! You’ll really have a hard time going wrong with any of those great options!
All things considered, Lucy is a great burger – well worth the trip to any one of a number of Scotty’s locations throughout the state of Indiana. Or, if Lucy proves too classic, try one of the other 10+ burgers on Scotty’s menu (with breakfast burger options available for Sunday brunch – but, alas, not the great Breakfast Burger that used to adorn their menu) or build your own. The Brewhouse is currently celebrating its 20th year as an Indiana institution – so now may very well be the very best time to visit if you’ve never been! Enjoy a burger, a pint of one of the Thr3e Wise Men signature house brews, and maybe bring the kids – Scotty’s has a great kids menu as well!
various locations across the state of Indiana
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)
*I’m really just busting Landon’s chops here (as friends do). I couldn’t care less that he didn’t follow the guidelines to the letter. After all, they’re my guidelines, not his.