Recently I asked people to give me a list of favorite burger places and a couple of people mentioned Freddy’s for smash burger. It intrigued me—even though it’s a chain, I was feeling smash burger-ish and was with the kids (no Workingman’s Friend for me) so we decided to give it a try.
So it sort of reminds me of In-N-Out Burger on the inside—all red and white and you go up and order at the register and they call your number when it’s ready. However, food-wise, it is more in the style of Steak ‘n Shake (wow, I just noticed the coincidence of the use of “n” in both names). Flat griddled patties with crispy edges, skinny fries and battered onion rings. They do shakes too—but they are simpler and made with custard. They also have a large menu like Steak ‘n Shake but I think are more successful because of no table service (and the potential of bad service). The food comes out pretty quick too.
The burger was really good—I had a single with their standard set up, which is mustard, pickles and onions. I added a bit of ketchup to it as well. It was really good ($6.49 for single combo meal with fries and drink) . The meat had the crisp lacy edges but was still nice and tender in the middle. My kids both had double cheeseburgers ($7.69 for combo) and were happy to see that they added the extra slice of cheese that they used to have to ask for at Steak n Shake. I liked the long cut thicker pickles as well. The skinny fries were pretty identical to Steak n Shake and served their purpose (Freddy’s gives you a more generous portion though). Freddy’s stands out for its special “fry sauce” though—so I think it is sort of like a special sauce of mayo, ketchup, pickle juice and their burger seasoning—which is a seasoning salt. I really liked some of it on my burger as well as my fries—guessing this is why they don’t put ketchup on the burger since it has ketchup in It (by my estimate anyway). My daughter thought it was distinctly pickle-y, but I really liked it. But I love pickles. Kind of surprised they call it fry sauce though instead of using it as special sauce on the burgers.
We got some onion rings as well ($2.29) and they tasted pretty good. Again, very similar to Steak n Shake, although these were cooked quite dark. They may have felt a little over done for me, and could have been hotter, but not bad. I am not sure if they are supposed to be cooked like this, since I have never been before, but I would prefer them a little lighter. My daughter got a chocolate shake ($3.79) which she liked, but it wasn’t as interesting as others—it seemed like it wasn’t a hand dipped shake, that it likely came straight out of a machine the way it was. But I don’t know for sure. They do make sundaes, and Blizzard-like drinks as well.
Overall, this is a very good option for a crispy-edge burger. I am not sure why they are so far only out in the outskirts of Indy, but especially with all the Steak n Shakes closing, they would probably do themselves (and all of us) a service opening a more central location. And Steak n Shake could learn from them and probably be more successful ditching table service.
So yes, it’s a chain, but yes, I will be eating here again. It’s a solid crispy-edged burger.
Freddy’s (multiple locations)
2740 E. 146th Street
Carmel, IN 46033