DINING: New joint has burgers in the bag

Bagger Dave’s

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Does Indianapolis need another chain of burger joints?

That depends, I think, on your perspective.

If you are a food writer for an esteemed publication or a serious local foodie, you might well write off yet another player on the sandwich landscape as adding to the clutter.

But if you are a hungry visitor who pulled off of Interstate 465 to stay at a chain hotel and are drawn to the glow of Bagger Dave’s (8840 N. Michigan Road, 870-3531)—or if you are a resident of the dining black hole known as Pike Township—you may well celebrate the arrival of Dave’s first Indy location. It’s the first of what the Michigan-based company hopes will be many outposts here.

ae-bagger05main-15col.jpg The Train Wreck Burger. (IBJ Photos/ Perry Reichanadter)

For the traveler, Bagger Dave’s makes a better burger than most highway-exit eateries. And it offers more than the food. Nearby Steak ’n Shake, for example, doesn’t have a bar, let alone one serving Indiana beers. The price point is reasonable. And the effort to localize with the aforementioned local brews—and large wall photos of Monument Circle and other Indy locations from years gone by—is honorable.

Over two visits, we dug into Fresh-cut Potato Fries with Sea Salt ($2.59/$4.59) and Dave’s Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt ($2.79/$4.89). On both trips, there were kitchen glitches, and in both cases management made things right without prompting. Once our food arrived as ordered, the fare was suitable for sharing but it was good enough to inspire a bit of selfishness.

ae-smallbagger01-15col.jpg A flight of craft sodas.

The fries are available straight-up or “sloppy,” with toppings—most free—ordered from check-off sheets at the table. The chips, served bagged, as are the burgers (hence the restaurant name), are offered with a dish of sweet dipping sauce—either caramel, honey mustard or honey cinnamon.

The burgers can be ordered the same way as the fries, with a base sandwich ($5.19/beef, $5.79/turkey, $5.49/veggie black bean) supplementable with cheese (add 80 cents), sauces (try the Santa Fe Chipotle), and premium toppings a la fried egg, guacamole (add $1) and a range of freebies (fresh basil, sautéed mushrooms, pico de gallo, etc.).

Considering kicking in another $1.25 each for peanut butter or bacon. Then just try the Train Wreck Burger ($7.89) or the PB & J(alapenos) Burger with peanut butter, peppers and more.

All the burgers we tried proved above average. And we found satisfaction in the Tuna Melt (a very sensible $4.69) and Sloppy Dave’s BBQ ($4.49), a sloppy joe variation served on smartly toasted honey wheat bread. (I recommend a fork rather than decorating your lap with it.)

You could order dessert, but you’d be better off siding your meal with a Brown Cow or Boston Cooler Float ($3.99), both made with Bagger Dave’s Craft Soda. The drinks, sans ice cream, are also available separately in a four-drink Soda Sampler ($2.39).•

First in a month-long series of “possessive men” restaurants.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.