Savory cuisine transports diners to faraway places

Savory cuisine transports diners to faraway places

Written by: Jessica Campbell
July 9, 2018


Why travel? You get to hear the music and language and visit monuments, oceans and world wonders. You can touch the clothing, the sandy shores or the rocks on a mountain. You can’t help but take a whiff of the sea air and the cooking smells of authentic dishes. 

But what about traveling just with taste?  

There are these places in Indiana, these burger places, where you can “Taste the World,” and be back in your own bed that night.  

Many NWI residents have seen or heard of the specially designed gourmet burgers that are crafted to blast a person’s taste buds to another country, but what they don’t know is why these burgers landed on our plates in the first place. 

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Why travel? You get to hear the music and language and visit monuments, oceans and world wonders. You can touch the clothing, the sandy shores or the rocks on a mountain. You can’t help but take a whiff of the sea air and the cooking smells of authentic dishes. 

But what about traveling just with taste?  

There are these places in Indiana, these burger places, where you can “Taste the World,” and be back in your own bed that night.  

Many NWI residents have seen or heard of the specially designed gourmet burgers that are crafted to blast a person’s taste buds to another country, but what they don’t know is why these burgers landed on our plates in the first place. 

The original Burgerhaus was opened in 2012 by the Costas family in Valparaiso and continues to be run by the father-son duo, Valpo Mayor Jon Costas and Evan Costas. The second location opened in Indianapolis in 2014, then the Schererville store came to the corner of U.S. 30 and U.S. 41. The latest recently opened its doors this March in Carmel, Indiana. The family also owns the Valpo restaurant Le Peep. 

“We wanted to do our own concept and we landed on burgers,” says Evan Costas. “Then we tried to get creative and come up with something unique that would stand out.” 

The goal wasn’t just to bring new flavors to the table, but to transport their travelers from a booth in Indiana to Italy or Asia with just one bite. Like the Aussie Outback, with smoked applewood bacon and Gouda. Or Vienna, with beer-braised onions, bacon jam, and thick soft provolone cheese all framed in a brioche bun. On a quick afternoon excursion, one can dive into fish tacos from the citrus coleslaw and avocado aioli-infused Galapagos waters. 

“It is interesting to bring the tastes of around the world to an American staple, the hamburger,” says Mayor Costas. “We like the theme of exploring and we wanted people to feel that their dining experience was more of an adventure.” 

The menu offers 11 burgers, with vegetarian substitutes, along with an assortment of appetizers, salads, other entrees, and a children’s menu. 

To help support fellow local businesses, the restaurants provide a wide selection of alcoholic drinks from local breweries and wineries, and all except the Valpo location offer assorted liquor-based drinks.  

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas and his son Evan own and operate the Burgerhaus enterprise.
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas and his son Evan own and operate the Burgerhaus enterprise.

The original Burgerhaus was opened in 2012 by the Costas family in Valparaiso and continues to be run by the father-son duo, Valpo Mayor Jon Costas and Evan Costas. The second location opened in Indianapolis in 2014, then the Schererville store came to the corner of U.S. 30 and U.S. 41. The latest recently opened its doors this March in Carmel, Indiana. The family also owns the Valpo restaurant Le Peep. 

“We wanted to do our own concept and we landed on burgers,” says Evan Costas. “Then we tried to get creative and come up with something unique that would stand out.” 

The goal wasn’t just to bring new flavors to the table, but to transport their travelers from a booth in Indiana to Italy or Asia with just one bite. Like the Aussie Outback, with smoked applewood bacon and Gouda. Or Vienna, with beer-braised onions, bacon jam, and thick soft provolone cheese all framed in a brioche bun. On a quick afternoon excursion, one can dive into fish tacos from the citrus coleslaw and avocado aioli-infused Galapagos waters. 

“It is interesting to bring the tastes of around the world to an American staple, the hamburger,” says Mayor Costas. “We like the theme of exploring and we wanted people to feel that their dining experience was more of an adventure.” 

The menu offers 11 burgers, with vegetarian substitutes, along with an assortment of appetizers, salads, other entrees, and a children’s menu. 

To help support fellow local businesses, the restaurants provide a wide selection of alcoholic drinks from local breweries and wineries, and all except the Valpo location offer assorted liquor-based drinks.  

On the first of the month, the never-know-what-to-expect Burger of the Month comes out, which is a unique burger created by one of the kitchen managers. 

“We continue to grow with our Burger of the Month and creating new burgers,” Mayor Costas says. “It fits into our theme of ‘Never Stop Exploring.’” Some of the burgers, like the Vienna and the Santiago, were once Burgers of the Month that received such great reviews that they earned a permanent spot on the menu. 

“We try to be unique and creative so we can offer pleasing entrees to everybody,” Evan says. “We are not just burgers; we want to do a lot more than that.” 

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf

Doing more also means giving back. With every meal purchase, a meal is also given to a child in need. For years, Mayor Costas has been on the board of the Kids Alive charity, so when the restaurant came to be, they decided to connect the theme to an actual international program. The restaurant has since delivered nearly 650,000 meals to kids and families across the globe.  

“We want our employees to know that they are serving not only our guests, but also those less fortunate,” Evan says. “It brings up cool conversations and questions from our patrons and helps keep things in perspective to know what life is all about.”