A Burger A Week – Indigenous
Can a fine-dining restaurant really crank out a great burger?…
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I had a feeling that this stop, in particular, was going to be different than all of the other ones. Turns out, that feeling was correct! 😃
One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most from this whole burger adventure is the WIDE range of burger experiences that there are in the Sarasota area. Think of it, we’re almost halfway done with our list, and we’ve hit both the Shake Pit AND the Capital Grille. Stop #21 fits more towards the Capital Grille end of things.
One of the beautiful (is that correct word?) things about the burger is its approachableness (this IS the correct word!). Think about it. Even the vegan/veg crowd has burgers that fit their particular dietary choices. I mean, EVERYBODY can enjoy a burger! 🍔 AND that’s where the “beauty” of this unique sandwich lies.
Words like “upscale, elevated, and refined” can be traps. You hear them, and you expect certain things. But sometimes, the things that you don’t expect are the things you get. Like a burger in a restaurant celebrated for its perfectly prepared sustainable seafood dishes.
Here’s a question. Can a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist create a burger that lives up to the lofty reputation of his restaurant? Yes, this is a tricky question and one that we’re hoping to answer.
Answering this question was going to take a group effort. And not just any group will do. This group includes two local food magazine publishers, a fantastic food writer, AND a neuropsychologist specializing in brain health! 🧠 (I warned you that this was going to be different!)
Indigenous Restaurant has a reputation. It’s one of the treasures of our Sarasota fine dining community. It’s elegant but not “fancy.” Its dishes are thoughtful. Plates are constructed keeping our planet’s resources top of mind. Cuisine that pushes the boundaries, but in a way that is uncomplicated. Common ingredients combined to produce uncommon and delicious results.
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All of that comes from a smallish kitchen (smallish might be generous!) …
The restaurant is someone’s former home. So even though it wasn’t your home, it will probably still seem familiar and comfortable.
It is certainly not the place where you would expect to see a burger on the menu. But yet, here it is.
Let’s talk about our Indigenous burger experience…
RESTAURANT: INDIGENOUS (239 S. LINKS AVE. (941) 706-4740)
DATE OF VISIT: FEBRUARY 7, 2023
STOP #: 21 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: MY UNCLES BURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: two thin grass-fed patties, cheddar, Indigenous Sauce, bacon jam, duck fat roasted potatoes, pickled stuff, brioche ($24)
Let’s run down our group of esteemed burger tasters.
From Edible Sarasota Magazine, Editor, Tracy Freeman, and Managing Editor, Tina Bossy-Freeman. Also, Kaye Warr, one of their very talented contributing writers. But our little burger bevy would not be complete without a doctor, right? 🤷♂️⚕️
Dr. Stephanie Peabody of the Brian Health Initiative is going to round things out for us today. Stephanie is in Sarasota as part of a brain health lifestyle study in association with Harvard University and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. (I’m really hoping that burgers are part of a healthy brain. 🤞).
We’re going to go about this one in a slightly different way since we had SO much input! Let’s randomly run through some of our guest taster’s comments:
“The Bacon Jam was amazing” • “Chef Steve Phelps is the real deal” • “Holy s..t, delicious!” 😃 • “Unctuous umami excellence” • “Pickled veggies should come with every cheesy burger!” • “Duck fat potatoes!” • “Buttery, meaty, and perfectly grilled burger” • “Pickled veggies for the win!”
Those are some pretty rave reviews. Now it’s my turn to chime in…
• This was a meaty burger. When I say “meaty,” I don’t mean an overly big burger. I mean, it tasted like meat! That’s a good thing. 📝 In keeping with the culinary consciousness of the restaurant, they use beef sourced locally from Florida’s Providence Cattle Co.
• Loved the Indigenous Sauce! Between the bacon jam and the sauce, you really have a bold combo of flavors that meshed together delightfully with the beef. I could slather that sauce on just about anything and be happy. 📝The exact recipe is a tightly held secret. But there may be a chance for you to buy some soon…
• The bun was perfect! Crispy, buttery, and moist. I’m not sure you could expect any more from a bun. 😄
• The potatoes were delicious. Our table pretty much agreed that a dipping sauce would have taken an already fantastic side dish to the next level!
• The atmosphere was not like any of our other stops. Upscale and cozy. Along with that goes the level of service you would expect from a restaurant in the class of Indigenous.
Let’s check out how all of this looked when we ordered My Uncles Burger… (Apologies up front. There isn’t exactly “studio lighting” in a place like this! 📸)
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: The most upscale of our burger experiences so far • This is NOT the dollar menu. I think you know what that means 💰 • Attention to detail around every corner • if you don’t want My Uncles Burger, there are SO many other delicious choices on this menu • If seafood is more your thing, you can upgrade this “burger” to cobia for just an extra $2 🐟
👀 SNEAK PEEK: This Sarasota-based mini-chain is known for its self-serve beverages and pizza. We’re going to see just how well their burger stacks up!
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✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔
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🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info. (If you have an event, send us the details! (EMAIL IT)
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH – Cheese & Wine – Mademoiselle Paris (Downtown)
FEB 13 – Galentine’s Day Wine Dinner – Pop’s Sunset Grill
FEB 13 – Valentine’s Day Eve – Michael’s On East
FEB 14 – Valentine’s Prix Fixe Menu – MeLANge
FEB 14 – Valentine’s Prix Fixe Dinner – Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie
FEB 14 – Hoppy Valentine’s Day Menu – Good Liquid Brewing
FEB 14 – Annual Aphrodisiac Dinner – Ortygia
FEB 15 – Party on the Bay – Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
FEB 21 – Gainey Vineyards Wine Dinner – Sunnyside Cafe
FEB 22 – Lapostolle Wine Dinner – Michael’s Wine Cellar
FEB 23 – Alsace Wine Tasting – Mademoiselle Paris UTC
FEB 23 – Truchard Wine Dinner – Michael’s Wine Cellar
FEB 24 – Chappellet Wine Dinner – GROVE Restaurant
FEB 28 & MAR 1 – Legacy Chef Wine Dinner (Ray Arpke) – Café L’Europe
MAR 1 – Hartford Court Wine Luncheon – Harry’s Continental Kitchen’s
MAR 3– Whiskey & War Stories – GROVE Restaurant
MAR 11 – Saturday Open House Wine Tasting – Michaels’s Wine Cellar
APR 1 – Wine Brunch & Charity Auction – Florida Winefest & Auction
APR 15 – Food Trucks, Tunes, & Brews 5 – INFORMATION
APR 20 TO 24 – Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🧑🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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