The Indy Burger Guy visited Indy Burger Kitchen at Victory Field on Saturday, June 10, 2017.
My day job recently had a get-together at Victory Field to see the Indianapolis Indians – our local minor league baseball team – play the Columbus Clippers. While “The Tribe” didn’t perform particularly well (they lost the game 8-4), it was a fun night out at the ballpark with friends from work!
My dad and I used to go see the Indians play all the time at the old Bush Stadium when I was a kid (I distinctly remember running into Razor Shines one day before a game and my dad making me go talk to him, shake his hand, and get an autograph – it was awesome!), but I hadn’t yet seen a game at Victory Field (which is borderline unconscionable seeing as how it opened in 1996… meaning that I haven’t seen the hometown team play in over 20 years), so I was kind of excited to spend some time at the park after all that time.
As my wife and I were walking to our seats, I noticed a large sign in the corner that proclaimed ‘INDY BURGER KITCHEN’ and got really excited – burgers at a ballpark! Typically, I’d always regarded ballparks as ‘hot dog territory’ (I mean, there’s a national hot brand named Ballpark, for heaven’s sake!), so I was beyond thrilled that there was a concession stand within Victory Field that served burgers!
So, I endeavored to get one before the night was up. At the end of the sixth inning, I ran over to Indy Burger Kitchen and ordered a #2 – it included a single-patty cheeseburger with ‘special 317 sauce’ and a side of tater tots – as a double. The whole shebang ended up being $12 before a beverage, but this is stadium food after all and mark-ups are the name of the game.
I made my way back to my seat and proceeded to nosh my burger. I’m really glad I got the double cheeseburger rather than the single, because the MTB ratio proportions were practically perfect! The cheese was mostly melted (there was a lot of overlap of cheese over the burger that didn’t seem to melt all the way) – melted enough to create that great meat-cheese marriage that great smashed patty burgers enjoy! The meat was also super-fatty, which means the burger was both super greasy (there was a small grease pool on the paper next to my burger when I picked it up) and super tasty!
As there were no toppings on this burger (indeed, they omitted the “317 sauce,” but I found the burgers juicy enough not to warrant any additional sauces), the meat takes center stage. Sure, there are a sweet gherkin and mild cherry pepper skewered to the top of the bun, but those would be cumbersome to try to put on the burger itself, so I ate the gherkin separately and set the pepper aside. With no toppings, this burger is a celebration of beef!
This is actually a very well-prepared burger, truth to tell. The meat is both well-seasoned and well-cooked (medium-well, but that’s to be expected in a stadium setting) with two slices of American cheese that, as I mentioned earlier, help cement that perfect melding of cheese and beef usually only found in a smashed patty burger. The bun is utilitarian – a store-bought white burger bun – but it serves it’s role well here, soaking up a good deal of the burger grease without completely falling to apart.
The major flaw here is in eatability. This is clearly a two-handed burger (at least to start), but the stadium setting makes that a difficult proposition. Plus, the grease is so prevalent early on (before the bun begins to soak it up), that you can easily end up with a mess on your hands if you’re not careful.
In honesty, though, this was a much better burger than I ever could have hoped for from a sports stadium. If you’re willing to overlook the lack of toppings, messiness, and high price point, this is a burger that will satisfy any meaty cravings you may be having at the ballpark!
As a final note, as I was about midway through eating this burger, the Kiss Cam started rolling. My wife had slipped out to find some ice cream for herself, so I was effectively by myself eating a giant, messy cheeseburger. There was a part of me – a small part, but still – that was terrified that I’d find myself on the Kiss Cam with a mouth full of greasy beef and fat streaked beard (like a less-messy George Costanza). Fortunately, the people at Victory Field had the good sense to know that no one wants to see that…
FINAL RANKING: 7.8/10
Indy Burger Kitchen @ Victory Field (section 111)
501 W. Maryland St.
Cost Range: $$ ($7-$12)