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Northwest Indiana-style burger, Schoop's featured on Food Network show

Northwest Indiana-style burger, Schoop's featured on Food Network show

Northwest Indiana-style burger, Schoop's featured on Food Network show

"The Kitchen" Co-host Jeff Mauro made a Northwest Indiana-style smashed burger on the Food Network over the weekend.

The Northwest Indiana-style smashed burger was featured on a popular, long-running Food Network show over the weekend.

Co-host Jeff Mauro, a Chicagoan who won the seventh season of "Food Network Star" and also hosts the show "Sandwich King," made a Region-style burger that's griddled to where the edges are crispy on an episode of "The Kitchen" that aired over the weekend. He gave a shout-out to the Schoop's Hamburger chain, one of the best known purveyors of the Northwest Indiana-style smashed burger, during the summer cuisine-themed episode titled "Sun's Out, Buns Out."

Maura described his version of the local favorite as a "crispy-edge beauty."

"Quite possibly the best burger I ever made," he posted on social media. "My Northwest-Indiana Style Smashed Burger, Inspired by one of my favs @schoopshamburgersmc."

He also shared his personal Northwest Indiana-style smashed burger recipe, which calls for 70/30 chuck, American cheese, brioche buns, beefsteak tomato, iceberg lettuce, gherkins, granulated garlic, butter and Dijon mustard, among other ingredients.

Schoop's, Miner-Dunn and other old school restaurants serve up the griddled-flat Region burger, which the Chicago Tribune has described as "one of Chicagoland's essential burgers."

"The Kitchen" is an hour-long talk show geared toward home cooks that's aired on the Food Network since 2014. The Daytime Emmy-nominated show features recipes, meals tips, viewer questions and banter among the hosts, who all specialize in different types of cooking.

Today on an all new #TheKitchen Family Style I am making this crispy-edged beauty! Quite possibly the best burger I ever...

Posted by Jeff Mauro on Saturday, July 11, 2020

2020 The Times Best of the Region

2020 The Times Best of the Region

Welcome to The Times Media Company’s Best of the Region for 2020.

When voting began in early March, we couldn't have predicted the changes to business as usual that we have experienced.

Still, thanks to the pluck of local entrepreneurs and dedication of our readers, we are presenting our annual look at the best restaurants, services, places to live and more in the Region.

This year we added an ambitious 40 categories for a total of 176, and we are proud to profile these businesses and providers that you chose in the monthlong voting.

This contest is the culmination of another year of interacting with our readers, telling stories about people and places that make a difference in our communities and championing the local businesses that serve as the backbone of the Region. It's also a testament to the resilience of the Region.

This is a process you, our readers, take seriously, casting 320,282 total votes, up 28% from 2019. That includes an 11% increase in write-in votes.

All this from 36,068 registered users, an increase of 84% from 2019. That speaks to more than the fact that we have been spending a lot more time at home. It expresses the understanding that the Region is poised to rebound from the limitations imposed by the coronavirus.

What accounts for the staying power of Best of the Region? Perhaps it's how we recognize the value of hard work and the chance to applaud businesses that respect our time and resources and consistently exceed our expectations. A Best of the Region nod is not only a well-deserved “thank you” to those who truly care for their customers, but it also reinforces those efforts.

These pages contain a number of first-time winners including Anytime Fitness, Jay Marie Salon & Spa and the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce in addition to stalwarts such as Albert's Diamond Jewelers, Centier Bank and Strack & Van Til that annually dominate their categories. But whether the business is big or small, time-honored or cutting-edge, all have excellence in common.

So on behalf of the Times, I’d like thank the readers who took the time to thoughtfully complete the ballot and offer our congratulations to the winners. Here’s to another year of “the best” in the Region!

Chris White



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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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