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Sidebars: Local burger joint leaves litigator underwhelmed

Jennifer Lukemeyer , Fred Vaiana
August 14, 2013
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SidebarsSidebars reviews and rates eateries lawyers may enjoy visiting when working at courthouses throughout Indiana. Fred offers this week’s review of Punch Burger.

What I have to write about is really nothing new amongst you local foodies, but it is something a bit off the usual choices in Indy. As Jenny was on her mid-summer soirée to Mexico, I was joined on this occasion by my esteemed law clerk, Hunter Bedford. Hunter will soon be a junior at Marquette University and is a part of the Pre-Law Scholar program there. Hopefully, what he has seen this summer with me will not scare him away from the profession.

On a blistering hot July mid-day, I engaged Hunter in a normal law clerk duty. I sent him to get lunch while I enjoyed the cool comfort of my office. I’ve been trying to expose Hunter to a variety of lunch options and, on this date, Punch Burger had a certain appeal. I had been there myself on a previous occasion and enjoyed a blue burger along with the eclectic atmosphere. A nice finishing touch to the place was the patrons drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon tall-boys at 11:30 a.m. While I enjoyed the burger and the atmosphere on that day, I didn’t exactly walk away with the feeling that this was a destination spot. In all fairness, I vowed to give it another try given the popularity of the place. After my lunch with Hunter, my feelings remain unchanged.

I opted for the burnt cheeseburger. The online menu describes it as a burger with a ring of burnt cheese around it. In reality, it is a burger with two slices of “burnt” cheese on top. I really wouldn’t describe this American cheese as being burnt, but it was certainly to the point of browned crispiness. The quarter-pound beef patty consisted of quality, fresh-ground meat but was overcooked as well, resulting in a relatively dry burger. If it weren’t for the higher quality of meat that they serve, this could have been a burger disaster.

I added the optional bacon selection – a wise choice. The only reason why I did is because the menu stated it came from Goose the Market. The thick slices were everything I expected. We are so fortunate in Indy to indulge in all “The Goose” has to offer. I’ll save that review for another day to benefit you out-of-towners.

Hunter selected the build-your-own burger option. After two years of exposure to the German heritage of Milwaukee, he decided to base his burger on the foundation of a pretzel bun. Admittedly, his expectations were high for the bun, and he came away a bit underwhelmed. As for the beef patty, he echoes my sentiments. When given the option for the patties to have “a little pink in the middle” or “cooked all the way through,” we asked for the former but received a high-quality, though very dry, burger. Hunter added the pepperjack cheese and fried egg, hoping to add an extra kick; he was still not very impressed. Overall, the great quality of the ingredients made for a good burger, though not one that blew him away. In his words: “With so many other fantastic food choices in town, it’ll certainly take more than a so-so burger to keep me away from the legal field.”

The bottom line: While these burgers offer a break from the ordinary, there are a litany of better burger choices in downtown Indy. Space limitations prevent me from listing them all. Of course, if you’re anxious for a PBR tall-boy can of beer before afternoon court, this may be your spot. Punch Burger, 137 East Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204. 317.426.5280. www.punchburger.com.•

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Fred Vaiana and Jennifer Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn & Paul in Indianapolis, focusing on criminal defense. Both enjoy a good meal with colleagues and friends. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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