Punch Burger137 E Ohio St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
On our hunt to find the best burger in Indy (we’re still looking), we thought we would try Punch Burger. All the meat, bacon included, is sourced locally, which we think is a huge plus. When you walk in, it’s easy to spot the menu, which is written in chalk on a huge floor-to-wall chalkboard. Although there are a couple of different burger combinations on the menu, building your own is the best way to order here. They have four buns to choose from, 11 toppings, seven cheeses, 10 sauces, and two extras (bacon and ham). The burgers are 1/3 of a pound and end up being about 1/2 inch thick. They do ask you if you would like your burger with some pink or cooked all the way through, which we appreciated, although it was poorly executed seeing as how we each asked for something different and they all came out the same. Understandably, with a patty that thin it’s hard to cook a burger any other way than medium-well.
Sean chose the option to build your own (starts at $5.25). He opted for the pretzel bun ($0.40 extra) with bacon ($1.00 extra), lettuce, onion, tomato, house made pickles, pickled jalapeños, a fried egg ($0.50 extra), burnt cheese ($0.50 extra), mayo, and sriracha sauce. After all was said and done the burger was ($7.65). In addition to asking how he would like his burger (which ultimately didn’t matter), they asked him how he would like his egg — over easy, medium or hard. This was a nice touch, and unlike the patty, this request was followed. The burger itself was good, but was not better than other comparable places like 5 GUYS or Shake Shack. The burnt cheese added a great crispy texture and flavor, but after trying it, he decided that he’d prefer the ‘gooeyness’ of melted cheese that all burgers deserve. The pretzel bun was okay— it was hard to taste the pretzel flavor, and like many other pretzel buns, it was too dense and threw off the meat-to-bun ratio (which might as well be a science). The last thing to mention is the house made pickles. We do appreciate home made everything, however these pickles seemed to not have been pickled that long (still crispy and large), but they did taste very acidic. Recommendation: Forget the pretzel bun and if you are getting burnt cheese, consider adding an extra slice of cheese that isn’t burnt to get the best of both worlds. You might also head to the nearest doctor immediately after your meal to get your cholesterol checked.
I also built my own creation that included: White bun, mayo, bacon ($1.oo), ketchup, onions, house made pickles and American cheese ($0.50). While Sean’s pretzel bun was dense, the white bun had some air to it, so the meat to bun ratio was spot on. The burger itself was juicy, although it lacked a little basic seasoning like salt and pepper. I have to agree on the pickles’ acidity, though I liked that they weren’t soggy and had a bit of a crunch.
Recommendation: Very good overall and definitely more satisfying than Bru Burger.
Although they do have other sides (Asian Slaw and Sweet Potato Tots), we both ordered the Waffle Fries ($1.25). The fries were slightly deceiving because they appeared to be extremely crispy/hard, but were actually fried perfectly. We think that these also lacked basic seasoning (salt and pepper), but were pretty good nonetheless.
We appreciate the wide array of topping/bun choices and its use of local ingredients. However, when one thinks locally sourced, delicious and flavorful food generally comes to mind. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the impression we left with. Don’t get us wrong, it was a good meal, but we want (and YOU want) a burger place that we can’t wait to visit again, not just another ‘good’ one. Don’t forget that Punch Burger sells beer and wine, so enjoy a local beer with your meal if you decide to stop in. As for us, the hunt for a crave-worthy burger joint continues.
Location: Downtown (Wholesale District)
Cuisine: American (traditional), burger, Farm-to-Fork
Dress Code: Casual