The Indy Burger Guy visited Flamme Burger in Fishers on Friday, December 30, 2016.
I mentioned in my 2016 Year in Review that I had made a mental list of about ten burger places that I wanted to try before the end of 2016. The last restaurant remaining on that list in the days following Christmas (after my trip to Bub’s, that is) was Flamme Burger. Astute readers will remember that Flamme was one of the four places up for consideration for my Black Friday burger excursion, but it ultimately lost out to Between the Bun. However, a day off from work and an end-of-year visit from my out-of-town sister provided the perfect excuses to check the final ‘must-eat’ spot off my list!
We arrived at Flamme Burger at the heart of the lunch rush and, after we took in the line (that was almost to the door, but moved fairly quickly), we noticed the sleek, modern look of the Fishers Flamme. Fire is the motif, from the booths upholstered in red faux leather to the large back-lit glass images of fire that adorn the walls. Accents are black, which makes for a very bold design choice! There’s also a fairly open kitchen area, which allows patrons to see the burger cooking process and look at the flames shooting up off the wood-fire grill.
Speaking of which… the SMELL! The wonderful aroma that greets you when you enter Flamme as food is cooking is a little overwhelming. You can tell from that wonderful odor that this is not going to be any old burger – that smoke means you’re going to be getting a burger packed with a delightful wood-smoked flavor!
The first question I asked the cashier as I placed my order had nothing to do with the menu or food, but with the restaurant’s name: “Is it pronounced ‘flame’ or ‘flah-may’?”
He smiled and, cheerfully but ultimately unhelpfully, replied: “‘Flame,’ ‘flah-may’ – either way!”
I tried not to betray my lack of enthusiasm with his answer as I ordered the “namesake burger,” the Flamme Burger, with a side of Truffle Parmesan fries.
As we slid into the booth we would occupy for our visit, the manager made her rounds and dropped off a couple of freshly-baked chocolate chunk cookies. This is something that is apparently done during the lunch rush at Flamme. The cookies are baked in house at around 10am, then passed out to the patrons while they’re still warm. They are slightly crispy around the edge, while almost cookie dough gooey toward the center. (Don’t worry – they’re cooked to a proper temperature to kill off any and all bacteria to cook all the ingredients enough to make them safe for consumption!)
It wasn’t long before our burgers came to the table. The Flamme Burger isn’t my normal foray when I eat at burger places. It’s topped with melted Swiss cheese, house roasted Serrano chiles, Applewood-smoked bacon, and Sriracha mayo and served on a toasted brioche bun. Now, I like spice as much as the next guy (provided the next guy likes a kick to his food), but I am by no means a chile-head. A moderate amount of heat is fine, but I tend not to want to overdo it. And, I have to say, the Flamme Burger tested my limits…
This was just a hair over the amount of spice I usually court from spicy foods. The first bite was a symphony of flavor – beef, bacon, chile, and gooey cheese. There was serious heat – particularly given that that seeds were left in the roasted Serranos – but I was amazed at how well the beef flavor shone through all of that. Flamme uses fresh Angus beef, seasoned very well and cooked perfectly to order. Even with the heat that is definitely present, the flavor of the beef shines through wonderfully, taking center spotlight – which is exactly what it should be doing!
In fact, the whole burger is surprisingly well-balanced. The heat from the Serrano chiles is distinct from the sweet heat off of the creamy Sriracha mayo. This heat pairs well with the creamy Swiss and the salty wonder of the Applewood bacon. The smoke off of the beef provides the most flavor, though, and really helps tie these other disparate flavors together. Even the brioche adds a little sweetness to the proceedings, while providing a stable canvas for all the flavors to mingle and play with one another.
Yes, ‘stable’ here means that the bun holds up pretty well to the burger juices. It did start to get a little thin toward the end of the eating, but did not at any point compromise the overall integrity of the burger.
As well as these flavors play off one another at first, eventually the heat did become a bit much for a lightweight like myself. A chile-head will have no problem with this burger and the people who do things like the B-Dubs Blazing wing challenge will not have a problem. I, however, am weak and don’t really do that much spice all at once (though I do enjoy a good Thai curry from time to time).
I was not, however, quite as big a fan of the Truffle Parmesan fries. They were overwhelmed by the truffle oil used and, to be honest, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the Parmesan used came from one of those plastic green tubes. The handcut potatoes would have provided a perfectly serviceable side all on their own and, in the future, that’s likely the route I’ll end up going.
At the end of the day, the Flamme Burger may pack a punch, but the flavor and atmosphere elevate it beyond just a ‘spicy burger.’ This is something seriously special and, even if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, Flamme Burger has a burger to fit your taste buds! I cannot recommend them highly enough!
FINAL RANKING: 9.1/10
Two locations on the north side – in Fishers and Whitestown
Cost Range: $$–$$$ ($7-$12; $13 and over)*
*Only the Surf n Turf Burger, which comes “topped with Jumbo Lump crab, grilled asparagus, and Bernaise sauce,” costs over $12. (It’s $14.95.)