Indy Burger Guy visited Taylor’s Pub in Greenbriar on Monday, August 29.
I’ll be frank – I wasn’t expecting a top-class burger when I walked into Taylor’s Pub. Passable? Sure. Delicious? Hopefully. But a burger of such quality and care as what I actually got? Nope. Sure wasn’t expecting that.
Taylor’s Pub is a fairly unassuming local bar. On the outside, you’d almost never recognize it. I confess to having driven by it multiple times before finally realizing that it was the Taylor’s Pub on my burger list. The letter’s on the outside are standard block letters – no logo or fancy font. A small patio area sits between it and the next shop in the strip mall it occupies, a few tables scattered about for al fresco dining. All in all, nothing to really draw attention.
Inside, Taylor’s is a typical bar. A few flat-screen TVs sit above the mirror at the bar, where the regulars belly up to order their pints and trade one-liners both with each other and the friendly bartender (who, while I was there, was also functioning as the sole waitress during the busy lunch rush). She greets each one as they come through the door by name, which creates the most atypical thing about Taylor’s, transforming it from almost every bar I’ve ever been to into something more akin to Cheers: this is a place where people feel most comfortable and come in order to be themselves. I liked that.
All of this played into my expectations. I ordered the Taylor Made Burger and it seemed it might be decent cheeseburger, if not a particularly busy one (more on that in a moment). Again, my expectations betrayed my reality.
On paper, the Taylor Made Burger has a great deal in common with the Big Pickle at the Stacked Pickle – both burgers contain numerous and similar toppings, sauteed mushrooms and onions, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. That’s where the differences end, however. Instead of the fried pickles that topped the Big Pickle, the Taylor Made eschews the pickles entirely opting for the addition of mayo instead (greatly appreciated by yours truly!). Instead of the Big Pickle’s cheddar, the Taylor Made selects a more mild Swiss, which pairs better with the sauteed mushrooms, to my thinking. That cheese is also perfectly melted on the Taylor Made, adding a delectable chewy stringiness to the juicy burger.
However, in the case of the Taylor Made, the toppings are secondary (as they should be, really – toppings are the supporting players and ought not overwhelm the beef). As should be the case, the star of this burger was the Certified Angus beef that Taylor’s uses on all their burgers. It was a bit more cooked than I’d asked for (I wanted medium, but got a decided medium-well), but in spire of that, I could tell the beef was good quality and seasoned quite well. It serenaded the juiciness of the mushrooms quite well, making for a rich and flavorful burger. The beef is the reason you’re eating a burger – it ought not be overwhelmed or bogged down, particularly when it is quality meat.
The bun was also an unexpected surprise. It had the look and feel of a housemade bun, slightly golden at the top with a fresh, doughy texture. I almost asked my server if the bun was done in house before I noticed the bold, italicized lettering on the menu: All of our bread is baked fresh locally. This naturally begs the question – where? It wasn’t until I walked out that I got the possible answer – Taylor’s Pub sits right next door to Lucy’s Bakery, the kosher-approved bakery opened by the owners of Bub’s Burgers in Carmel to provide the buns for their own burgers. It seems logical to me that Taylor’s would gladly help their next door neighbors by purchasing their high-quality buns.
And these buns, you guys. Seriously, so good. They’re slightly dense and chewy and hold their shape even a few bites in. The bottom bun was thicker than most lower buns I’d seen, which serves the burger well overall. Were it too thin, the bun would likely disintegrate under the weight of the collective ingredients. Its strength and integrity holds up to the burger itself very well. As much as this burger has going on, it needs a particularly strong bun, which it has. The fact that it also tastes as good as it does is icing on the cake. (The bun’s thickness does throw off the overall MTB ratio ever so slightly, which is a strike against it, to be sure.)
NOTE: There is an upcharge for sides other than the standard “pub pretzels.” The tater tots that I got made my regularly $10.49 burger a $12.99 burger. Consider yourselves warned.
Bottom line: the Taylor Made at Taylor’s Pub is a tasty, well-made, if not slightly busy, burger well worth your time and money to try!
FINAL RANKING: 8.5/10
Two locations on the northwest side – both on 86th St.
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)