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Indy tastemakers and their favorite local burgers (Part 2)

Celebrate Indy Burger Week with these selections by industry insiders


Chef Thom England believes his students are making the best burgers in Indy.
  • Chef Thom England believes his students are making the best burgers in Indy.

Indy Burger Week is June 20 - 26 and we will be sharing with you some of the best burgers around the city according to industry insiders and Indianapolis tastemakers, all week long. This is Part 2 of 5.  

Thom England, Culinary Program Chair at Ivy Tech and Interim Executive Director at DigIN –

“My vote for best burger (not just in Indiana) is in the Ivy Tech culinary student-run café. We butcher hanging sides of beef. The beef is a South Poll breed that is known for its quality of flavor. We select specific cuts to make our hamburgers. The meat is salted for 24 hours before grinding to increase the depth of flavor. Then, we leave the meat in long strands as it goes through the grinder. It is rolled like a cookie dough, then sliced to form the burger. This means that the burger is delicate and holds its moisture better.

“Then we start developing the bun. We use whole wheat berries that are cold smoked, then we grind into the flour. Inside of the bun we add caramelized onions and potatoes. The yeast that we make the bread with was cultivated out of a bottle of red wine that we started 3 years ago.

“That is how the best burger is made, from the fields of the finest cattle and grains.”

Ed Rudisell, Co-owner at Rook, Black Market, Thunderbird and Owner of Siam Square

“That's a tough one.

The spicy and delicious Disco Inferno from Boogie Burger. - CAVAN MCGINSIE
  • Cavan McGinsie
  • The spicy and delicious Disco Inferno from Boogie Burger.
Workingman's Friend rates up there along with Triple XXX in Lafayette – they are no frills, perfectly executed burgers that are greater than the sum of their parts. It's a real testament as to why hamburgers have endured so long as one of America's favorite sandwiches.
“I also love spicy food so, if I'm in Broad Ripple, I'll swing by Boogie Burger to grab a Disco Inferno. I love the heat of those serrano chilies.”

Tiffany Wedekind, Secretary at United States Bartenders' Guild and On Premise Specialist for Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. (Jagermeister) –

“To me, having a burger is more about being outside with family or friends and grilling out! For me, it’s more about the experience. Sharing and pulling from the same toppings, imbibing together, not being locked down to a table, being able to chat with the chef while they cook…maybe this is because I grew up this way!

“Eating burgers – not cheese burgers because I am a lactose-intolerant – is like a sixth sense. The sixth sense being that of community. Community was big thing for my parents and grandparents. This was back in the life of when 'block parties' were a thing (at least where I grew up)! So for me, burgers are nostalgic and a meant to be a “serve yourself” and eat off a paper plate kinda thing and that’s the way I like it!

“But, if my fiancé is craving a burger … my typical order/quest is: local bison done medium rare, pretzel buns, fresh jalapenos, and Sriracha…dairy-free of course.”
A perfect, classic cheeseburger from The Red Key Tavern - MICHAEL THIERWECHTER
  • Michael Thierwechter
  • A perfect, classic cheeseburger from The Red Key Tavern

Jerry Connor, Co-founder/Owner at Bier Brewery –

“Man you made this really hard! There are some goooood burgers out there. Here is my list. I can't say just one so I am saying these: Punch Burger, Alley's Alehouse, Flatwater and Bru Burger.

“All these are really good, but they each are a little different with their flavoring.”

Sarah Buschmann, Bier's salesperson, bartender, and in-house chalk artist added, "Red Key Tavern. It's my favorite." 

Check back tomorrow for Part 3 and don't miss out on Part 1


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