Scotty’s Lakehouse is a prized member of the Scotty’s Brewhouse pub-grub dining kingdom, launched in Muncie in 1996 by Scott Wise while the ink was still dripping from his Ball State University diploma. He offered a glitzier, sleeker entrant to the college bar scene than the dumpster dive watering holes of my now dimly remembered, but no doubt stellar collegiate years, endowing them with flat screens in every direction; spacious, glittery environs; bountiful comfort food menus and beer choices; and enthusiastic, efficient service. He took the concept to the scholars gracing the college towns of Bloomington and West Lafayette, and on the presumed assumption that more than a few would be taking what they learned to the Crossroads of America, he opened Brewhouses in downtown and northeast Indianapolis, as well as the Broad Ripple brew pub, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company.
Scotty’s Lakehouse, opened in March, 2010, in the southwest corner of Fall Creek and Brooks School Roads in Geist, and while fully accommodating family dining, seems geared to older Brewhouse alums who have put their Hoosier-blessed degrees to profitable use through the years, and enamored of a lively session of schmoozing over burgers and beer after a day of romping about the reservoir and bonding with the sea. Housed in a small strip mall that was the original home of Bella Vita Ristorante before Owners Henri and Shelley Najem moved to the banks of Geist Marina, Scotty’s Lakehouse offers a spacious mix of booths, tables, and high tops, flanking a large 22-stool horseshoe bar showcasing several micro-brews on tap, as well as a smattering of outdoor and sun room seating areas. The cheerier-than-thou waitresses are garbed in denim cut-offs and “Scotty”-labeled tee shirts to further emboss the beachy lakeside effect.
Scotty’s Lakeside is sub-headed “A Burger Joint,” offering an array of gourmet burgers, where the abundant and creative toppings are the star-attractions atop fresh, juicy patties. The quasi-conventional #1 ($12) offers cheddar cheese, red onions, lettuce, tomato, and homemade chipotle. The Asian-accented #7 ($13) lays on coriander, Asian carrot slaw, cucumber, and garlic mayo. I suggest you pass on the #3 ($13.50) with its inspired toppings of fried egg, apple wood smoked bacon, and smoked gouda if you’re treating your cardiologist to lunch. He or she is only going to steer you to the turkey and black bean “veggie” burger on the menu for the healthinistas prowling the area in significant numbers.
On a recent lunch foray, I opted for the #10 ($12), with the medium-well burger generously endowed with red onion, tomatoes, dill pickle slices, lettuce, and Vermont cheddar cheese, and slathered in garlic mayo, which provided the flavor pizzaz, and hit-the-spot burger bliss. The mayo also insured a rather messy repast which explains why the table setting opts for cloth face towels over paper napkins to wipe the likes of chipotle 1000 island and ketchup, sautéed mushrooms, garlic mayo, and dressing toppings oozing down the chin, or in my case, chins. Sandwiches come with a choice of three seasoned fries, including waffle and sweet potato, with a choice of dipping sauces. I prudently opted instead with the very generous house salad of mixed greens, goat cheese, chopped eggs, tomato, and onions in a tastily tart balsamic vinaigrette. I also worked in a well-croutoned French onion soup, with the broth effectively sweetened by carmelized onions.
Non-burger options include three lavishly topped grilled cheese renditions featuring sourdough bread from Scholars Inn Bakehouse and cheeses from the esteemed Fair Oaks Farms up north. Other noted Scotty menu curiosities include its signature fried pickle chips; the next appetizer fad, batter fried green beans; bison burgers and assorted wraps; root beer from the fabled Triple XXX Drive-in West Lafayette; and marshmellow s’more sandwiches for dessert. Scotty’s Lakehouse is also achieving acclaim, notably from my daughter, Megan, for its weekend brunches, on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., laying on an impressive spread of omelets, scrambled egg skillet dishes, pancakes and cinnamon French toast, biscuits and gravy, and flavored oatmeals.
With the usual allotment of flat screens festooning the premises, Scotty’s Lakehouse is a natural forum for a Sunday afternoon with the Colts, and thus as good a place as any for a group hug as we and they soldier on awaiting … DEPARATELY AWAITING … for Peyton Manning to come back from medical leave, while wondering whether of diet of burgers and beer would speed his recovery.
Scotty’s Lakehouse at Geist
10158 Brooks School Road
Fishers, IN 46037
Hours: Lunch-Dinner: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Brunch, Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Entrée price range: $10-$14
Major credit cards accepted
www.scottyslakehouse.com (menus/special events)