There isn't a lot to look at inside The Region, just neighborhood folks enjoying burgers, fries and milkshakes. But there is something unique about this joint, and it stems from the owner's origins: a reference that was made in Bloomington, Indiana, at Indiana University.
"You'd meet someone, they'd ask where you're from. You'd say Merrillville, Crown Point, Hobart a certain town and they'd say 'you're from the region,' and it kinda stuck," said owner Curtis Rund.
And if you've spent any time in The Region, you'll probably know about Schoop's - a local legend.
"I worked at Schoop's in high school and in my first couple years of college when I'd be home on break so this style is something I learned there a couple decades ago."
Rund learned how to make incredibly flat burgers there. He starts with just under a half-pound ball of ground beef, presses it down on the griddle until it's literally as flat as a pancake. He then flips it one more time, to ensure even crispness. It's at this point cheese is added, if you like. Onto a griddled bun, then the toppings: usually some Region Sauce (a secret) plus sweet relish, some raw, white onions, and that's it.
Fries are all handcut and fried twice, until crispy - getting some cheddar isn't a bad idea if you like that sort of thing. And shakes are thick and refreshing. But it's the texture and flavor he hopes will convince Northsiders to give this Indiana-style burger a chance.
"It's gonna change the flavor especially when you're gonna have these seared ends, but what it's really gonna do with the texture is it's gonna add a bit of crispiness or crunch when you first take that first bite," said Rund.
Burgers come in single, double and even triple if you've got a huge appetite, this one is a double and you can see how gigantic it is; good luck finishing one of these off.
In this week's "Extra Course," Steve talks about one of The Region's decadent side dishes - chili-cheddar fries.
2057 W. Roscoe Blvd.