Of the three burgers on B Spot’s menu that had won grand prize at the South Beach Burger Bash, Fat Doug – the only two-time winner (2010 and 2014) – remained the only one I hadn’t tried, so I figured, I’d finally bite the bullet and give it a go! Besides, what makes a Fat Tuesday better than a Fat Doug, am I right?!
My wife and I got in a little before close (contrary to what Google says, the Indianapolis B Spot location closes at 9:30pm during the week – not 10:30pm like we’d been led to believe) and, after taking our seats at our table, ordered our burgers and sides. While my wife had a classic cheeseburger with a side of Lola Fries, I opted for the Fat Doug with a side of the delicious onion rings!
The Fat Doug is a serious powerhouse burger – a half-pound of Iron Chef Michael Symon’s signature combination of brisket, sirloin, and spare rib topped with pastrami and melted Swiss cheese with cole slaw and the house made stadium-style brown mustard. The flavors are expertly balanced, as you might expect from a restaurant owned by an Iron Chef. The sweetness of the cole slaw balances well against the tangy kick of the mustard and the rich meatiness of the pastrami. The brioche bun that pulls it all together stands up well to both the big flavors of the burger and the sheer volume of the toppings.
My quarrels with this burger come down to two key factors: eatability (isn’t that almost always the way?) and doneness.
As with Porky, I found the cole slaw to make for a particularly messy burger eating experience. While absolutely delicious and perfectly in place atop this burger, I found a lot of it spilling out onto the plate, which made a bit of a mess. I also found myself licking residual mustard and slaw juice off my hands once the burger eating had wrapped. This is not a tidy burger, to say the least.
However, the most egregious offense – worse, in fact, than any I’d come across up to this point – was how overcooked this burger was. One bite in and I knew I was in trouble. As I always do, I ordered my burger medium which, according to the B Spot temperature gauge (seen above), should result in a “reddish pink, warm center.” What I got instead was a “no pink, hot center,” otherwise known as a well-done burger! My wife’s cheeseburger – which she also ordered medium – was cooked to a perfect medium, which made the oversight all the more disheartening. Very disappointing… and from one of the last places I would’ve expected it.
Had the burger not been so overcooked, this would easily have been a top-tier burger. The flavors were so in-sync and the ingredients so top-notch that I’d have happily placed this burger into the upper eschelons. That being said, everyone has a bad day. My previous good experiences at B Spot are enough to let me know that this is not “the norm.” I hope my next trip to B Spot will prove more in line with my earlier trips.
FINAL RANKING: 8.1/10
2727 E 86th St. Ste. 165
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)