Foodie Spotlight: Krueger’s Tavern specializes in sausages, burgers

Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America.  A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks.  This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.

Review by Dustin Heller (@eatindywatchindie on Instagram)

If you’re anything like me, you grew up playing the board game Monopoly.  I have vivid memories of arguing with my brother over who got to be the thimble, but I digress.  It seems that the folks of the Cincinnati-based Thunderdome Restaurant Group are making the game a reality by creating a monopoly of their own on the corner of Mass Ave and Delaware in Downtown Indy.

We were already fans of their tacos at Bakersfield and their fried chicken at The Eagle, and now we can get excited about their new Tavern that grinds their own sausages and burgers right in-house.  Krueger’s Tavern is located at 323 N. Delaware St., completing the Thunderdome food trifecta.

Photo by @davepluimer

The main entrance to Krueger’s is just off Delaware, but the rear exit opens up to a communal outdoor patio that is shared with Bakersfield.  Sounds like one big party to me.  The interior of Krueger’s is very modern and has a laid-back casual vibe. It’s the type of place to sit around and hang out with your friends.  The dining area is not huge, but with both front and back patios, the place will be rockin’ come summertime.

Photo by @davepluimer

As for the food at Krueger’s, fresh meat is their business–and business is good.  Their meats arrive daily and are freshly ground in-house for optimal flavor.  While burgers and sausages are their specialty, it’s not all meat.  They also offer some tasty bar snacks, garden-fresh salads and a diverse selection of sides. Their veggie burger is pretty darn tasty, if you’re into that sort of thing.  With that, here are the four “can’t miss” items from the menu that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Giant Meatball: Whenever I see the word “giant” on any menu, I get pretty excited.  It’s like sending the bat signal to my stomach.  The meatball is the size of a softball (maybe bigger) and bursting at the seams with flavor.  They take their beef and pork meatball and douse it with their deliciously spicy arrabbiata sauce.  It doesn’t end there, though. On top of the smothered meatball goes a generous portion of creamy Parmesan herb ricotta.  Sprinkle with basil and parsley for garnish and serve with toasted muffaletta and voilà.  It’s obviously big enough to share with the table, but if you’re anything like me (or my 3-year-old), I’m not sharing!

Photo by @davepluimer

Cuban Sandwich: Contrary to popular belief, the Cuban sandwich wasn’t invented in Cuba.  It actually originated in cafes in the southern part of Florida that catered to immigrant Cuban workers.  Interesting!  Staying true to the original, Krueger’s starts with an essential Cuban roll and piles on the braised pork and ham.  From there, they substitute gruyere cheese for the traditional Swiss and add house-made pickles, Dijon mustard, and a delightful black bean puree.  Open wide and say adios.

Photo by @davepluimer

Lincolnshire Sausage: This is a pork sausage that originated in, and was named after, the English county of Lincolnshire.  The main herb used in Lincolnshire sausage is sage, which gives it a bit of a sweet flavor as opposed to a peppery flavor.  Krueger’s elevates the sausage by topping it with Guinness braised onions that melt in your mouth.  Not to be biased, but the real star of this show is the colcannon.  What’s colcannon, you ask?  Well, I had to ask the same question, so don’t feel bad.  Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made of mashed potatoes and wilted kale–a real pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Photo by @davepluimer

Spicy Burger: I’m aware that everyone’s palate is different, so if you’re not into spicy food, stop reading now. However, if you stick with me, I’ll recommend an alternative burger that might be more to your liking.  When it comes to my personal taste, the spicier the better!  All of the burgers at Krueger’s are made from a blend of beef that is ground in house (fresh, never frozen).  The patty for the Spicy Burger is prepared to your liking and then topped with ghost pepper cheese, spicy homemade pickles and a chipotle habanero slaw.  That’s right, ghost pepper and habanero–you might need a box of tissues to get through this flamethrower!  I promised a burger choice above for the non-heat seekers, and I’ll follow through on that promise: get the Genoa.  Trust me!

Photo by @davepluimer

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