Fort Wayne Burgers is deeply saddened by the recent removal of The Baron from Copper Spoon's menu.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this terrible tragedy. 🙏

We're reviewing all of the burgers in Fort Wayne

Finally, an unbiased and objective ranking of the burgers in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The CHEEESE scale (don't overthink it)

7. Crap

6. Hellacious

5. Edible

4. Everyday

3. Enticing

2. Splendid

1. Excelsior

Rating

1. Excelsior

Reviewed

February 2022

Restaurant

Copper Spoon (The Baron - RIP)

It’s the burger that started it all. 

I was living in a state of ignorance, unaware that one of the best burgers in town lived less than a mile from my house. When I tried this burger recently, it was so good that I went back to eat it again four days later. I had to wonder: how many other wonderful burgers were right at my fingertips, completely unbeknownst to me? And so begins my journey to know, understand, and occasionally love every burger in Fort Wayne. It starts at the Copper Spoon.

The Copper Spoon, sitting just beyond the outfield of Parkview Field, is best known for its sexy cocktail list and range of culinary offerings from James Beard nominated chef Aaron Butts. The untrained eye might miss the burger, dubbed “The Baron,” sitting unassumingly at the top of the dinner menu. But don’t be fooled - it’s a Fort Wayne treasure.

What makes this burger such a show stopper? Please, take a seat.

We start with a layer of shredded lettuce on bottom, topped by two thin and juicy beef patties that are covered in fully integrated melted cheese. Moving up the burger we find a layer of shaved onion and a phenomenal egg salad - the star of the show, in my opinion (it reads more like a delicious mayo-y sauce - egg salad averse need not be afraid). Notably, this burger doesn’t fuck around with tomatoes.

The flavor of the burger is excellent, but more than that, it’s architecturally sound. The honey bun outside almost tastes a bit stale, but in a good way, because it holds the whole ensemble together without risk of an exterior meltdown. The Baron is petite in diameter, and while verging on too tall, it still lands within perfect striking distance for even the lockjaw prone like me.

It’s hard to not take the ambience of the Copper Spoon into consideration when rating this burger, as it’s arguably the best winter bar in town. Dark, cozy, and full of good liquor. Alas, this isn’t a democratic endeavor, and to me, nothing tops a great burger in a great bar.

The Baron sets the bar high, earning the first Excelsior on the CHEEESE scale.

Restaurant

Junk Ditch Brewing Company

Rating

1. Excelsior

Reviewed

July 2022

We moved to the West Central neighborhood in early 2020 - as we started exploring the restaurants around us, Junk Ditch was our first frequent haunt. We were drawn to an almost exclusively locally-sourced menu that pushed beyond what you’d ever expect from a brewery, and continue going back for selections that change seasonally.

The JDBC burger’s presence has been perpetual - always there, and always delicious. Junk Ditch occasionally offers a CYO (Choose Your Own) burger as well, but trust me, leave it to the pros. 

The burger itself includes a Wood Farm Beef Patty, a soft GK Bun with toasted sesame seeds, Tillamook cheddar that binds this beautiful creation together, fried egg, beautifully brined, tart pickles and onions that complement the savory flavor of the burger, Special Sauce (a Big Mac Sauce homage), with a side of Frites, and Sambal Aioli. 

What makes this burger stand out is how incredibly seasoned the beef is - the spice blend they use brings out the richest of notes in the meat, and strays far from the overly beefy flavor that most burgers of this size offer. 

I think it’s important to note how great the GK bun is as well. Grace Kelly Baked Goods is part of the same hospitality group as Junk Ditch, and “are devoted to bringing Northeast Indiana high-quality, hand-crafted artisan breads and pastries to our community”. The bun is a blessing, along with each and every pastry that comes from GK Baked Goods. 

If you haven’t been to Junk Ditch, go soon. Get the burger. After that, start working through the rest of the menu. Once you’re done, wait a few weeks, and return to an all new menu - save for one incredibly delicious burger.

Restaurant

Bravas - El Rincon

Rating

1. Excelsior

Reviewed

July 2023

Bravas is the best restaurant in town right now. And the burgers aren't even the best thing on the menu.

Don't get me wrong - the burgers are excellent. But to call it a burger restaurant at this point would simply be missing the mark, because it's a "weird Spanish American restaurant." And it's kicking ass.

I've been to Bravas no less than once a week over the past month+, and have had the Snoop Burger and the Classic Burger in that time. Both feature a soft potato bun, shaved lettuce, onion, and a Wood Farms beef patty, with the Classic going in the ketchup/mayo/cheese direction and the Snoop getting fancy with garlic aoli, bacon and gouda. My one gripe, if you'll indulge me, is that the patty could be smashed a little closer to oblivion so it gets that crispy crunchy action going. I'm kind of lost in no man's land where one patty isn't enough but two patties would be too much. C'est la vie.

The burgers are delicious, but just about everything else on the menu is even better. The Spanish Tortilla! The Brandade! The Lomo! 

Bravas has an exceptional menu, a fun atmosphere, and a cool staff. Work your way through all of the tapas and specials and after you revel in the absolute treasure that Bravas is to the Fort Wayne food scene, settle in and get a burger.

Restaurant

Bravas - Food Truck

Rating

1. Excelsior

Reviewed

September 2022

“Have you tried Bravas?”

This is always one of the first questions people ask when I tell them I’m searching for the best burger in Fort Wayne.

“Of course,” I tell them. “Do I look like a rookie?” I mutter under my breath. “But I haven’t done an official review.”

Until now! The official Bravas review is here, and it’s officially a top tier burger. This review is based on the Snoooooop burger. The name alone suggests that this is the premier burger, and if a menu item involves both gouda and aioli, I’m not going to pass it up. You may be thinking "this picture looks like shit." Don't let that stop you.

Bravas burgers are of the smash variety, and yes, they’re truly smashed. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

On the outside we have a soft, standard bun, followed by a layer of diced onion, shredded lettuce and aioli. Next are the smash patties - thin, salty, and well seasoned - a key factor in the overall success of the burger. Gouda cheese makes the whole ensemble feel quite bougie, and really glues this burger together. Finally, the bacon is legit and cooked correctly - no saggy ass sad bacon here. This burger is rich and delicious, as promised.

It’s important to note that this burger was consumed approximately 15 minutes after its creation. Does that affect the overall taste and experience? Probably, but it’s my goal to consume each burger the way God (or the burger owner) intended. If there was a table next to the Bravas food truck, I would’ve been obligated to eat my burger right then and there. But there was no table, so I must assume I was meant to drive home and eat the burger on my couch.

This is easily one of the best burgers in town, and that’s coming out of a food truck. When the brick and mortar location opens, Bravas is certainly going to give the top spot a run for its money.

Restaurant

Sidecar

Rating

2. Splendid

Reviewed

July 2023

Sidecar's burger came highly recommended from one of my coworkers - who claims it's even better than Copper Spoon's burger - because apparently he hates egg salad.

That is, after all, the only difference between the burger you get inside Copper Spoon's dark & cozy restaurant and Sidecar's outdoor tiki bar of the same owners.

My assessment? That's an important egg salad!

Because the Sidecar burger is really quite tasty, but it's missing a little pizzazz, if you will. Maybe more briney pickles would do the trick? A little ketchup? EGG SALAD??

This burger is the double smash patty variety (smash level approved) with american cheese, shredded lettuce, shaved onion, djonnaise, and pickles, all protected by a honey bun exterior. It's very good! It's just going to need a little more juice to enter the upper echelon of Fort Wayne burgers.

All that to say, if you find yourself going to a Tincaps game or just wandering aimlessly down Washington Boulevard, pop into Sidecar for a Double Smash Burger and a Painkiller and you won't be disappointed.

Restaurant

B+B Meat and Seafood Market (RIP)

Rating

3. Enticing

Reviewed

March 2023

The B&B Market burgers are fun, flavorful, and left me with more questions than answers. Philosophical burgers, if you will. We’ll get to life’s bigger questions shortly, but let’s dig into the meat pile itself first.

When you get to the meat market, you encounter a large board with vast burger options. The differentiator between each is the cream cheese topping your burger will don, which we’ll get to shortly. We opted for the Bacon & Onion and Miso Buffalo Blue Cheese on this particular occasion.

If you can, opt for a seat at the bar top for the best dining experience. Shortly after you order, your burger arrives in a cardboard box, which for us, is less than ideal. I understand the ease of use for those taking their burgers to go, but for a restaurant with a great counter, we wish there was an option for a plate or something similar.

Once you move past this early shortcoming, things get hot and heavy fast. The bun is very good – sweet, held together well, and tastes quite fresh. The ground beef is savory, but not overly “meaty”. We particularly liked the charred aspects of the burger. It packs a punch, and is flavorful, but not greasy. The burger comes with good lettuce, too - none of that saggy ass sad girl lettuce here.

The cream cheese spread is the pièce de résistance that really makes these burgers fun and flirty. It brings a creamy yet snappy flavor that balances the sweetness from the bun, along with the savory-ness of the burger.

These burgers are messy. Granted, I can make a mess out of anything. But be warned that this can be embarrassing, borderline don’t eat it in public-messy. Luckily, if you’re sitting at the bar top, you’re facing a wall and only a few people have a good angle at the absolute burger meltdown taking over your hands and face.

This is really, truly a good burger. It’s full of flavor and a little bit different than what you’ll find elsewhere. But there are questions this burger raises - that it’s not necessarily to blame for -  but that can’t be ignored.

  • Why does every burger in this town seem to cost at least $15? I’m all for paying that price and more for a good quality burger, but not every burger warrants that price. Yet every restaurant seems to think they get to just waltz around charging top dollar for their burgers.I have a similar bone to pick with cocktails.
  • - Why does every burger insist they’re a smash burger nowadays? It’s simply not true. If you’re calling your burger a smash burger, you better smash the hell out of it before it reaches my plate.
  • Whose responsibility is it to determine if lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion belong on the burger? Should the burger architect and visionary decide if the above toppings deliver the best experience, or should the consumer decide for themselves? 

B&B Market makes a great burger that you should try for yourself. Just don’t come after me when it incites an existential crisis.

Restaurant

Landing Beer Company (RIP)

Rating

3. Enticing

Reviewed

June 2022

I have a little secret for you - the best food at Landing Beer Company isn't the BBQ.

Landing Beer Company offers a strong menu including all of your classic BBQ favorites, including pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey and more. But today, I'd like to tell you about the hidden gem - the Landing Burger.

The Landing Burger boasts two Double Smash Patties, Cheddar, Pickles, Crispy Onions, Lettuce, C Street Sauce, all on a Brioche bun.

I had this burger once earlier in January of 2022 and was floored with how well it hit all the high notes. I think far too often, we see a burger tucked away into a menu for those looking for a classic. My relationship with the Landing Burger is similar to my relationship with the delightful Christopher Nolan film, The Prestige. First time was great, and second time was even better.

The burger quality is excellent - flavorful, a perfect width that provides and maintains all the great flavors of quality beef, yet not too thick so that the beef overpowers the rest of the sandwich. The pickles are perfectly brined, fresh, and and crisp. The special sauce adds a sweet, smoky, and spicy punch that counters the pickles. And last but not least, the brioche bun is perfectly toasted, and absorbs (but doesn't pancake) the sandwich well.

This is a cohesive burger that stays together well, and all the ingredients compliment and counter each other perfectly.

The Landing Beer Company offers a top-notch burger in the classics category.

Editor's note - Pairs well with the Chugg Life Lager, and don't miss out on the white bbq sauce for the fries.

Restaurant

Tolon

Rating

4. Everyday

Reviewed

June 2022

I love Tolon. I can wax poetic about the restaurant's ambience, the forward-thinking farm to table menu, the friendliness of the owners who seem to truly care that you're dining with them. When friends and family come to visit Fort Wayne for their the first time, I'm almost invariably taking them to Tolon. Which is why it gives me no pleasure to rate their burger as an average, Everyday burger. We can't overcome our obstacles if we don't name them.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this burger. It's cohesive and the ingredients are high quality, but it's missing that proverbial zing.

The double cheeseburger starts with two smash patties, which I don't believe are smashed enough to hold such a name. It's a meat forward burger topped with white cheddar, caramelized onions, worcestershire mayo and an everything bun. This all sounds good on paper, but unfortunately when you're eating it, the flavors don't come together in an exciting way.

It's not bad. But with a menu full of inventive, delicious items, I wouldn't recommend the burger.

Restaurant

Copper Spoon (House of Tallow Burger)

Rating

4. Everyday

Reviewed

December 2023

The successor of The Baron has a lot to live up to. So let's just get down to brass tacks - it doesn't.

Copper Spoon is largely the same after the departure of chef Aaron Butts. Cocktails are yummy, whipped feta slaps, the vibe is good, and the menu is mostly unchanged. Except for one incredibly important detail - the burger. It felt more than a little personal when I opened the menu to see that the only notable change was the removal of my beloved Baron.

But what's done is done! If Copper Spoon wants to ruin a good thing and take the best burger in Fort Wayne off their menu, who am I to stop them?!

Copper Spoon's new burger, the House of Tallow Burger, is basically a little beef bomb. It carries over some key components of The Baron - a honey bun, shredded lettuce, american cheese, and a double beef patty. But it's missing the illustrious egg salad, and in its place, is garlic tollawaise. What is that, exactly? I don't know - but it just tasted like an extra smattering of beef. It's worth noting that the honey bun was a little too burnt, and overall this ensemble gave off a beefy, burnt taste. In summary, it wasn't exciting or particularly unique.

The burger's alright. You might even like it. But I'm not happy about it and I'm not going to pretend that I am! If you're going to remove the best burger in Fort Wayne from your menu, you better have something damn good to replace it. The House of Tallow Burger ain't it.

Restaurant

Parkview Field

Rating

5. Edible

Reviewed

September 2022

I ate this burger during the TinCaps 2023 exciting regular finish where they made a massive rally to clinch a play-off spot. This burger came from the right field concession stand, and was exactly what you’d expect for a burger you bought at a minor league baseball stadium. 

It came wrapped with what I’d call common fixins (shredded lettuce, tomato, onion). I was happy to see it was properly dressed with American cheese. I chose to add ketchup, mustard and mayo.

The burger was your stock Buy-It-In-Bulk from what I imagine was either Gordon’s. If I ventured to guess, the veggies came from Cisco. 
Unfortunately the TinCaps have mostly mediocre food that sounds great but is usually just fine. I always expect to have a savory ballpark experience when I go to a TinCaps game, and am left feeling a bit taken between the price and value

This burger is a burger. It is fine. I will probably eat a few more, while I cheer on my Caps next season.

Restaurant

Burgerfi

Rating

7. Crap

Reviewed

February 2022

I had higher expectations than I should have for BurgerFi - with a sworn review from someone I'd argue is the best reviewer I know, I'm currently reviewing all of his reviews (I should've been tipped off when he gave the new Weezer album less than an 8/10).

Anyway - the atmosphere and experience of BurgerFi is essentially Chipotle but Burgers. Prices are fair, and you do get quite a bit of fries. But this isn't a fry review!

The burger was 'stamped' with a with a BurgerFi logo that looked more like a skidmark than a brand. The meat was flavorless, and overly greasy. The bacon was undercooked, and thin, but not crispy.

My goal in finishing this burger was to make sure to get enough of a review that I could confidently not go back to BurgerFi.