The Indy Burger Guy visited Scotty’s on 96th St. in Indianapolis again on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Read his previous review of Lucy.
As much as I enjoy eating at Scotty’s, I don’t often get a chance to get over there – usually because it’s just not feasible during the week, but also because there are so many other burger places that I haven’t been to, yet. However, knowing that I needed a new burger for my blog this week, I swung by to grab one of the most popular burgers on their menu, and one that many of my friends have recommended that I try.
On paper, the Shewman Special is really the kind of burger that should not work at all. And yet, somehow, some way, it works really, really well!
By that, I mean that the toppings aren’t ones that one would normally think of putting on a burger – fresh jalapeño slices, thick-cut bacon, melted cheddar cheese, and creamy peanut butter. That’s right, I said peanut butter.
Normally, I’d probably take one look at a burger like this and move on. It’s got a few strikes against it already:
- I’m not a huge fan of peanuts in savory applications. I tend to limit my peanut butter intake to PB&J sandwiches, breakfast toast, and chocolate-covered in candies.
- I’m not a big fan of overly spicy food. I can handle some heat, but if it gets too overwhelming, I’m no good at all. Fresh jalapeños might be okay, but I usually don’t like to get too much spicier than the Flamme Burger.
- Cheddar cheese is never gonna be my go-to cheese. It’s just not.
However, after I posted my review of Lucy back in September, a number of my Facebook friends could not stop raving about the deliciousness of the Shewman. So, I bit the bullet and decided to give it a go.
And it totally works, you guys. Completely and totally works.
It becomes a question of balance. Every ingredient manages to work in harmony with the others, creating a symphony of flavor rather than the cacophony I had initially anticipated. The salty, smoky bacon manages to play well with the smoky, nutty, slightly sweet peanut butter, while the jalapeños (being fresh and not pickled) lend a not-at-all overwhelming heat to the proceedings. That heat mixes well with the subtle sweetness of the peanut butter. The cheddar cheese is completely melted (which is a relief, as cheddar doesn’t always do that – hence my lack of excitement about it on a burger) over the jalapeños, which keeps them in place and helps minimize potential mess. (Remember: eatability is always a factor!)
But what ties it all together is the beef. I got the ‘large’ Shewman (it comes in ‘small’ as well, which I’m assuming means a 6 oz. patty, rather than the 8 oz. I got on the ‘large’*), which actually enabled an almost perfect MTB ratio. The beefy flavor is what really manages to tie everything together, which makes the meat the star of the burger – which is exactly as it should be!
The bun is the standard brioche bun served at Scotty’s, which is my favorite burger bun so far, due to both its softness and its ability to soak up the burger grease without compromising its structural integrity. The bun is the most underrated and under-recognized part of the burger. I firmly believe that the bun – like the crust on a pizza – can make or break the whole burger, which is why I truly appreciate when I can see that a restaurant has put so much thought into their bun selection.
One thing I could have used were some veggies. Other than the jalapeños, there weren’t any. Some lettuce, onion, maybe even tomato could have helped cut some of the richness of the burger and upped the freshness quotient even higher. I also thought, aside from some melting peanut butter, that this was a fairly eatable burger – thanks in large part to the brioche bun!
All said, the Shewman Special is a completely tasty burger that will definitely satisfy your most adventurous burger cravings! Check it out ASAP!
various locations across Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Florida**
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)
*SIDEBAR: I didn’t actually order the large. I was never asked for a preference, just how I wanted my burger cooked and what side I wanted. I was a little perturbed that my waitress just assumed that was what I wanted, particularly given the $2 price difference between burger sizes.
**Due to the rapid expansion of the Scotty’s brand, it’s gotten bigger than what I consider merely a ‘regional’ chain – i.e. locations in two or three nearby states. That being said, this will be my last review of Scotty’s, as they are no longer strictly a local chain. I still love Scotty’s and will still eat there, but will no longer review their burgers for the blog.