Located in the heart of Fishers along 116th St The Chatham Tap opened in 2010. There’s another location on Mass Ave in downtown Indy. During its first year my wife and I visited and, although we enjoyed the brew, we did not care much for the grub. It was very bland, under seasoned and just not that good.
The Friday night before the Indianapolis Super Bowl I was “baching it” and decided to give this place another try. I’d been craving a burger all afternoon and after checking out the online menu I already had an idea what I was going to get.
The Chatham Tap is a lively place, (and pretty loud tonight) it’s decorated in a soccer theme with plenty of TVs covering all the major sports channels. I was sitting at the end of the bar & kept watching the staff high-five each other over and over. Must be required or they really like each other.
I settled in and ordered a pint of Guinness while I double checked the menu. There it was… The Smoking Black and Bleu burger. A Cajun Seasoned 1/2 lb hand pattied burger, brushed with chipotle Tabasco, topped with melted bleu cheese and two strips of rasher bacon. Red onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes round out the setup. It’s all served on a perfectly toasted brioche style bun. This was the kind of burger I’d been thinking about all day.
Homemade chips and the normal list of sides are available but when I saw the “hand breaded onion rings” I had to give them a shot. Onion rings are usually very hit or miss so this was a gamble.
The bartender tonight (Rudy) was very attentive but not overly chatty, just the way I like my barkeep. It took about 10 minutes before the food arrived and it looked even better than I imagined. The burger was covered in melted bleu cheese and all the produce looked fresh with the exception of the tomatoes which I would expect this time of year. The onion rings were nice and thick and had obviously been freshly made (eat enough onion rings and you can tell these things).
I kicked the tomatoes off to the side and ate the pickles on their own (sandwich slice type, nice and cold). Once stacked with toppings this burger was pretty big. A big extra point for the Rudy. He brought catchup and mustard to the bar along with the silverware. I like my onion rings with mustard and I always hate to have to ask for it.
I’m just going to get this out of the way now… This burger was fantastic. It was cooked exactly how I ordered it (medium) and it was smothered with melted bleu cheese (one of the best cheeses in my opinion). The onion rings were just as amazing. The coating had just the right thickness and the onions were nice and sweet. They reminded me of giant Big Boy onion rings except bigger and, I’ll have to admit, better. Add a little dab of mustard and I was in onion ring heaven.
Score another point for the Rudy as he was right there when it came time for another beer. He used that time to ask about the food and he was on his way. I was pretty impressed with how he was managing his side of the bar tonight. He’s definitely good at his job and others noticed it as well.
The Chatham Tap has definitely redeemed itself and I usually don’t give places a 2nd chance. It took me a couple of years to try it again but I’m glad I did. Good atmosphere, attentive staff and great food make this place a winner. I’m adding this place to my limited rotation of Fishers restaurants.
If you’ve been there or go there after reading this let me know what you think!