Happy National Hamburger Month. Roadtrip! That's right we're headed to Northwest Indiana and were gonna check out one of my favorite burger stops anywhere. Schoop's is a classic 1950's style hamburger stand that takes you back into time when you enter one of them. Started in 1948 in Hammond they have since taken off and now have 21 locations in NW Indiana with a couple shops in the South suburbs of Chicago. Allen Schoop had a vision when he started his shop and that was to feed (and stuff) the gutsy steelworkers and his blue collar bredren of the Calumet region area. More than 60 years later they're still doing just that and over time Schoop's has become world famous and served millions of hungry people including big time fan and United States president Barack Obama.
Schoop's (multiple locations) is a favorite of the people of NW Indiana
The insides take on the same looks today that they had when they started
The best part about Schoop's is obviously their hamburgers which they make the same way today as when they first started. I've been going to Schoop's since my youth. A good friend of mines parents have a summer spot in Michigan City, IN that I get to go up to and relax at every summer since grade school. Despite the fact it's right on the beach of Lake Michigan and they got a boat and it's an absolute blast to hang out there, my favorite part about visiting was always the fact that a burger from Schoop's was going to be had. I love this place so much me and my friend would have debates all the time about whether we were going to Schoop's or Redamak's for burgers that day. If he refused to do Schoop's, I'd just roll solo. While they do have other stuff on the menu it's all about the burgers and these arent sliders so you might not need anything else anyway. I tend to stick with a Mickey burger and shake when I go and never leave disappointed.
Irish Nachos (fries topped with cheese, bacon, scallion and ranch)
So what about them burgers? What makes them so special? Well to start they haven't changed. Schoop's still uses fresh made to order beef for their burgers. What makes these burgers the best is the way they're cooked which is smashed. Around the food world and forums they call this the "30's style" of hamburger. Fresh never frozen beef that's cooked til crispy perfection. Most places used to make them like this back in the day, shame it's changed but Schoop's still does and that's why they're so loved. Unfortunately I have no video this time around but they take a ball of beef throw it on the griddle and then with what surely takes some practice they smash the ball of beef into a patty with the most perfect edges each and every time. The burger of choice is the 'Mickey' which is one of their famous crisped up patties topped with two slices of cheese and your choice of toppings. I always go with a double, its the way to go with the beef to bun ratio being perfect when doing so.
Schoop's famous 'Mickey' burger...doubled
When your burger arrives it's hard not to get excited when seeing it. Another signature of the Schoop's world is that the patty's are always bigger than the bun so they stick out past it with the crispy edges on full display, these are things of beauty if I may say. I'm not sure your going to find a better bang for buck burger out there. A Mickey doubled will set you back around $7 and is sure to fill you up. Although I prefer my burgers (esp. this style) with just mustard, pickles and onions I always go 'everything, no ketchup' at Schoop's. Everything includes it all, mustard, onions, relish, pickles, lettuce, tomato and mayo. It all works oh so well together with the beef and bun. I'm getting hungry for one as I write this.
Two hands are needed to hold it
When you consider the fact that you can get to the Schoop's in Hammond in about 20 minutes from downtown it's almost a matter of "why wouldn't you go" as opposed to "would you go, is it worth it" Hell yeah it is! Make a day of it and go to the beach in Michigan or ride to the outlet mall in Mich City one day and shop for some clothes and eat well after. Go gamble and get a burger after. Obviously I do alot of food travel and nowhere is to far for me but I promise that even a novice foodie will enjoy these. With the exception of my friend who's house I visit (he loves Redamak's), I have never had anyone who I took to a Schoop's tell me anything less than "that was amazing". When it comes to regional fast food outlets and their burgers, Schoop's is the King in my book. Check one out this summer and you'll be so happy you did. See ya next time on S'C'&C.
Crispy griddled burger perfection (look at those edges)
6638 Indianapolis Blvd
Hammond, IN 46320
*Please note there are multiple locations. Click HERE.