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March 1, 2016 at 6:00 am
Annie’s Parlour, 313 14th Ave SE, MPLS
7.555
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in a month, documenting his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
As Arlo Guthrie said “you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant” but does the same go for Annie’s Parlour in Dinkytown? Frankly it doesn’t matter, you’re going there for burgers and malts, plain and simple. Actually, Tasty & Old Timey! A burger’s best friend is always the french fries but Annie has another BFF—don’t skip on the creamy deliciousness inside the tin cup, the malt. The bun is grilled and offers a light buttery/flaky taste. The cheese is melted American that traps the bacon to the burger. The meat is seasoned nicely and has that diner quality crispy outer while the inside remains juicy and full of smiles. A damn good burger. Who doesn’t love burgers and malts!
4243017.525
3
March 8, 2016 at 5:01 am
BLVD Kitchen & Bar, 11544 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka; blvdkitchen.com
8.476
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire Lenten season and documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Come at me bro from the west metro! This week’s burger hails from Minnetonka where the yuccies (hipster/yuppie) swell like ducks on a pond. BLVD Kitchen and Bar is quite urbane and plays host to foodies that are ready for the big leagues. Let’s get to the true grit. The burger holds its head high—and folks, it should. The bun is soft and . . . almost inviting? The meat is full of flavor and very juicy. They know medium. Don’t sleep on the white cheddar cause it’s amazing partnered with the applewood bacon. A true two-fister that deserves a happy dance. Big ups on the build. Everything appropriately proportionate. Chef had to of been an architect in a former life. Go for the drive, stay for the burgers.
4243721.429.8
4
March 15, 2016 at 5:05 am
Shortstop Bar & Grill, 421 Northdale Blvd NW, Coon Rapids; shortstopbar.com
8.755
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire Lenten season and documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Some call it the “763”. Others have coined it “Bachmann Country”. But really, it’s just simple ol’ Anoka County—and a large beastly burger dwells in the backwoods out there, way out in Coon Rapids. The Shortstop Bar & Grill is an iconic burger bar with a legendary past. Traditionally a “set-up” bar where you bring your own bottle and only pay for the mixer, the Shortstop now brings the people in with Jack and Coke’s and burgers. Now to this beast between two buns. The burger is big. It’s more than a half pound and makes others look like lightweights in comparison. A thick patty would be an understatement. The grind is likely traditional, but the mix has to be around 70/30 to explain this trip to flavor town. The bun is fresh and the fried onions are cooked on the same flattop as the burgers. Add the crispy bacon to set the stage for a standard issue Shortstop burger. Tots or crinkle cut on the side. Now, you want to make history? Try not taking a nap after this quest… Impossible. So if you’re big game hunting and looking for an All American Burger this Goliath sums it up. It’s so 763… Go crush one!
4244418.727.4
5
March 22, 2016 at 5:05 am
The 1029 Bar, 1029 Marshall St NE, MPLS; the1029bar.com
9.458
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire Legislative season and also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
If you’re down and out, don’t rob this place! This week’s visit takes us to the iconic Nordeast MPLS neighborhood stop called the 1029 Bar. Out front, the 1029 is a funzy cop bar where the thin blue line maybe looks a little thicker these days, thanks to it’s not so hidden secret operating the back kitchen: The Smack Shack. The Smack Shack is pretty well known for serving lobster everything, but here lies one of the top secrets of the city, the Smack Burger. It’s a 1/2 pound hand-pattied law breaker that has a glorious flavor. It quickly becomes hand cuffed to your stomach and your soul. From the first bite it hits you… Boom! The bun is grilled, soft-yet-buttery crisp. The bacon is Nueske’s and they’ve been smoking applewood style since 1882! Do the taleggio cheese, it’s relatively mild, but has a fruity tang and strong aroma. This burger is the real deal. Absolutely killer. Juicy no matter how you order it and that special taste literally keeps hitting you on the way out the door. Go on karaoke night the bartender has honey in his voice! #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter
4245122.431.8
6
March 29, 2016 at 5:05 am
Louis Ristorante & Bar, 211 7th St W #3, STPL; cossettas.com
9.288
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire season of watching House of Cards and also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
“Well, ask me why I burger alla time? It levels my head and eases my mind.” This week’s hunt is so good it calls for a little Dylan. Head down 7th street in St. Paul and you’ll find an Italian landmark-et known as Cossetta’s. This little slice of heaven has layers of secrets. On the top floor is Louis Ristorante & Bar—and they don’t have a burger on the menu. It’s on their double secret bar menu and the wait staff protect it like Gollum does the ring. Hamburger Alla Griglia. Yes, a power name, but much deserved. It’s grilled, tasting the flame with every bite, and the meat is seasoned to perfection. Then there’s its many friendly accompaniments, like the Italian fav rocchetta cheese made from goat, cow, and sheep milk. Hey Mambo, it is sooo creamy good! The giardinera and garlic-town aioli add a real nice touch. Top it off with LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) and an onion bun and you’ll need to seek “Shelter from the Storm” . . . Storm Griglia!
4245825.234.4
7
April 5, 2016 at 5:15 am
Burch Steak and Pizza Bar, 1933 Colfax Ave S, MPLS; burchrestaurant.com
9.779
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire season of watching House of Cards and also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
When you think Uptown Mpls there’s always a few intersections that come to mind. This week’s hunt jaywalks heavy at the corner of Franklin & Hennepin, straight into Burch Steak and Pizza Bar. The Burch Cheeseburger has the pedigree of a king that’s sending a very strong message across flavor-town. The meat is American Kobe aka Wagyu from a local favorite Snake River Farms. It’s Prime grade or higher, and the flavor profile is steak-like with a hint of sweetness—it just melts in your mouth! Burch executes the excellence with aged cheddar, some cabbage/carrot slaw, and a little smoked aioli. The bun is buttery grilled black sesame and does a fair job holding course. Damn near perfection and absolutely something to write home—or you Burger Hunter fans—about. Ask for a table by the windows, the people watching is to live for!
4246525.735.4
8
April 12, 2016 at 5:05 am
Buster’s on 28th, 4204 S 28th Ave, MPLS; busterson28th.com
968
The Standish Neighborhood deep in the heart of South MPLS has a gastropub that flat out knows burgers. Buster’s on 28th is a special piece of America where foodies flock and beer dudes rock! The place is beautiful, rich in mahogany and kinda cozy for a bar. Hunting rarely feels this good. The Buster’s Burger is first-rate. In hipster talk—it’s lit. Way lit! The burger’s meat is flavored exquisitely, the onion is added right into the patty and it’s seasoned just right. Rendering an even flavor where nothing dominates… that’s tasting the meat, folks! Cheese is by choice with only fine selections. The bun is from heaven, literally baked same-day fresh right next door at A Baker’s Wife. A little pickle aioli, LTO, and when you can, always add applewood smoked bacon. All collaborating together and bringing you incredible comfort, like an orchestra performing “Con Te Partirò” for mom and dads wedding anniversary.
424722332
9
April 19, 2016 at 5:05 am
Tilia, 2726 W 43rd St, MPLS; tiliampls.com
9.379
Bordered between Lake Calhoun (aka Lake Rybak in the Hunter’s book) and Lake Harriet dwells the beautiful neighborhood of Linden Hills. And on that hill. There is a tree. The prettiest tree that I ever did see. . . Sorry went into the kid classic “The Green Grass Grew All Around” for a second there, but the tree we’re talking about is Tilia and this eatery understands that the burger is a canvas for culinary creativity. One look at the Gorgonzola Burger and goals AF. It’s big, beautiful, and bold in flavor. A house grind that’s cured and gives it almost a hint of sausage, but likely no oink mixed in. V good to say the least. The burgers namesake Gorgonzola cheese with Tilia’s pan drippings mayo is my OTP (one true pairing) for life. It’s the Mariana Trench of flavor. So deep. Topped off with some sweet & spicy pickles on a super soft bun. The Gorgonzola Burger proves that a burger is art; go find your (t)h(r)ill down in Linden Hills.
4247925.334.6
10
April 26, 2016 at 5:05 am
Shammrocks, 995 7th Street West, STPL; crnook.com
8.259
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire season of watching House of Cards and also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
No longer settle for a line out the door. Demand more! Well, you’re in luck if you’ve been striking out at The Nook. You gotta try the more comfortable sister spot The Irish Nook aka Shamrock’s. It’s also home to the iconic Juicy Nookie Burger, and for stuffed burgers this thing is laced. Straight up the funk. Why wouldn’t you take two patties and wrap them around your choice of cheese? You’re pretty much not a Minnesotan if you haven’t done a Juicy. Shamrock’s work is up there, but not over the moon. Bun is soft, patties are thin and cooked medium with crisp edges. Creating a perfect pocket. Pro Tip: Eat it vertically and use the coin purse method to control your cheese. The molten lava inside is that special something where dreams and magic come together in absolute harmony (R.I.P. Prince) to make some kind of brand new element on the periodic table from the meat’s juices mixing with cheese to make this tasty eruption. Probably everything you ever wanted in life! Enjoy the no waiting, all the space, and it’s super easy to win a rubber ball on their crane game.
4248622.230.4
11
May 3, 2016 at 5:06 am
The Salt Cellar, 173 Western Ave N, STPL; saltcellarsaintpaul.com
8.598
Cathedral Hill boasts a food scene that’s quite worthy of the Almighty! Head down Selby Ave and you’ll find The Salt Cellar at an intersection that’s well known to local foodies—from time to time hunting requires crumb tracking on the paths of our great fore-feasters. The Salt Cellar Burger is definitely a notch above. It’s 1/2 lb ground steak with a delightful clean flavor profile. It sports a pretzel bun, and for a p-bun this one is choice. It’s light, fluffy, almost airy. The white cheddar is . . . Let’s just say there’s not enough letters in the alphabet to describe how great thou art. Some B&B Pickles top the burger and they are sweeter than freedom itself. Perfect pairing. Salt sweet. And when a chef knows medium, somewhere somehow an angel gets their wings. Oh, and the fries are cooked in beef fat, so you might need to ask for a little forgiveness after your meal—you are a Minnesotan and the Cathedral of St. Paul is just a Hail Mary away.
4249325.534
12
May 10, 2016 at 5:00 am
Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse, 12800 Bunker Prairie RD NW, Coon Rapids; kendallstc.com
8.977
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole weird 893 albums campaign and also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
The north metro of our sweet Twincy has a rep of nothin but “sod farms & trailer parks” but it’s more like “golf courses & liberty.” Pulling into the beautiful Bunker Hills Golf Course the feeling of freedom does actually come over you. Approach the clubhouse to find Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse and from the moment you open the door you’ll know you’re in for something special. It’s got the smell of a wood fired lifestyle and the look of a massive cabin home in the hills. Now, let the games begin—The Whisky Burger, which kind of a Cinderella story on a menu this good… It’s a 1/2 lb char broiled sandbagger that is straight out-of-bounds! Bun is soft and buttery grilled. The grind is likely an in-house blend of chuck & steak, giving it perfect consistency and a fab depth of flavor. Fore! Look out folks, the whisky glaze is savage! It’s Happy Gilmore at the clubhouse. Way fun and brings everyone together: The thick cut bacon, the A1 Mayo, LTO, and the sharp cheddar cheese. A fairway of flavors and all on the same team. Ryder Cup style hole-in-one! Kendall’s Whisky Burger is on it’s A-game like Carl Spackler in Caddyshack and for that we give it our golf clap 👏👏👏
4250022.931.8
13
May 17, 2016 at 5:10 am
Route 65 Pub & Grub, 18407 HWY 65 NE, East Bethel; route65pubngrub.com
8.856
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole MN Lynx season and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Central Ave/Hwy 65 is well known for having large and in charge burgers. Take Burger Highway straight up to East Bethel, MN to a biker bar called Route 65 Pub & Grub. “Where bikers stare at cowboys who are laughing at the hippies . . .” Route 65’s American Bacon Cheese Burger is an all conference renegade that’s putting down thousands of kickstands. It’s full power 1/2 lb after being cooked, and hella juicy. Not a tiddler by any means. Comes equipped with a bakery fresh bun and thick cut smokehouse bacon that’s far from basic. It’s Custom! A chopper! Top it off with your choice of cheese and you just got a little bit more American. The flavor is all burger all the time—lightly seasoned, tasting the meat in every bite. And when it’s this good don’t hide it. Now this beast does have a partner in crime and they are hand-cut freedom fries that pretty much make this whole outlaw bit completely out of hand. Route 65 is live and you’ll get more than your kicks.
4250719.828.6
14
May 24, 2016 at 5:10 am
Barker’s Bar & Grill, 413 2nd St, Hudson; barkersbarandgrill.com
968
If you find yourself heading east into the land of confusing politics and maniac football fans, you’ve got to pause for a burger in Hudson, WI. Take good ol’ exit 1 to Barkers Bar & Grill right downtown, right on the river—it’s the right thing to do. The Tyson Burger is black and blue, hence the great name. This burger’s a knockout with blackened seasonings seared to the outer meat and topped with house crumbled Amish blue cheese and Monterey Jack. Twincy has always tipped it’s hat when it comes to our cheesy neighbors, and once again neighborino, you exceed your rep! The meat is lovely and lean, yet full in flavor, and ground “Barkers style” by a local butcher every single morning. Super juicy and cooked to your desired temp. The bun is first-class, fresh baked and delivered daily from Grateful Bread in River Falls, WI. Veteran eaters can taste a hint of sweetness, but folks it’s just delightful. Go with or without the LTO and you’ll be fine either way; this sconnie creation doesn’t require them, but adds some depth & texture. Fries are absolutely top-shelf. The hand cutters and the burger—I ‘ship them so hard.
425142332
15
May 31, 2016 at 5:05 am
Burger Moe’s, 242 West 7th Street, STPL; burgermoes.com
8.368
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole summer of block parties and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
When craving the worlds greatest sandwich in St. Paul get to West 7th Street and let your nose lead the way. This hunt takes us to Burger Moe’s and as you may notice they have burger in their name. Without it, this could be mistaken for a Simpsons episode where Barney crushes like four burgers before noon. REALITY! This ain’t no cartoon, this is the real world, and it takes us down the menu to the Kobe Beef Burger. A 1/2 lb patty that’s fresh ground daily and cleaner than you are. The taste is pure, refreshing, and somewhat graceful. A smooth St. Paul ride. Served on a fresh bun baked daily at St. Easy’s own PJ Murphy’s Bakery with a gluten free option. Topped with their local produce (LTO) from NaturaFarms in Marine on the St. Croix. Say yes to the chipotle aioli, it’s straight up yummy boots. And remember it is always better with cheddar so make sure the cheese is on there. All in all this prey is precisely the image you have in your head when you think burger. Mmmmmmmmm burger… (Homer).
4252122.330.6
16
June 7, 2016 at 5:10 am
Eichten’s Cheese & Bison, 16440 Lake Blvd, Center City, MPLS; specialtycheese.com
988
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole summer of block parties and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
If you find yourself traveling through America’s little Sweden or checking out of Hazelden Betty Ford, your next best step should be to Eichten’s Cheese & Bison in Center City, MN. It’s a 45 minute jaunt from Twincy. The reason? You betcha—the Cheese and the Bison. It’s right there, properly in their name! Eichten’s is located right on their farm and the buffalo graze out back in the pasture. They have a market on one side to purchase off-sale (bison) and all sorts of fine Eichten’s original cheeses. On the other side is the bistro that offers burgers that are actually farm to table. I’m down with FTT! The Smoked Gouda with Bacon is a heart-healthier powerhouse. Bison meat is low in sat fat, yet rich in flavor. Kinda has a sweet taste. It’s very clean and should be a bit undercooked. Order it that way. You’ll be fine. The bun is softer than a marshmallow napping on a cloud and a g/f option is available. LTO equipped but you should def take a few bites without so you can hone in on the flavor of this high class meat. Eichten’s Smoked Gouda covers the bacon and these two add a nice contrast to the sweeter meat. This burger will leave you contemplating many things . . . but not your cholesterol! Yes, bison also makes for better tacos and spaghetti. That answers that. Bring a cooler.
425282534
17
June 14, 2016 at 5:20 am
Pittsburgh Blue, 11900 Main St, Maple Grove; http://www.pittsburghbluesteak.com/
9.196
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the presidential election season and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
At the meeting point of highways 494, 694, & 94, through the sands of time (literally like piles of time to get that far out) you’ll find a suburban utopia known as Maple Grove, a land of legends like Sisqo and Jason “Jazzberry” DeRusha. Get to the windmill and look south, there lies a fantastic restaurant named Pittsburgh Blue. It’s an upscale steakhouse that’s not intimidating, rather inviting and chill! Gazing at their strong menu you might not default to the burger but in all honesty you really should. The Bacon & Cheddar Burger could quite possibly be your a new fave and have you Stanning like a sir. Let’s start with the bun, it’s sesame soft and buttery fresh. Perfect size and decent durability, handling the high juiciness level of the burger quite well. The meat is Midwest ground fresh presenting a classical flavor, letting the quality ingredients take the lead. Cooked by pros to exact spec. You can even go medium rare plus. That’s in between medium rare and medium. Or go medium plus, I think you get the picture—so bossy! Any which way you go, it’ll be juicy and delish. The bacon is an absolute hit. Pro tip: Always order bacon at a steakhouse. Always and forever. The burger comes with LTO (3 🍔 amigos ) and a lovely cheddar cheese that has nice coverage. It’s a fine unit. Fries are hand-cut Idaho russets so don’t substitute. Bring the family to a place like this for burgers and you’ll be a hero for at least a week.
4253524.133.2
18
June 20, 2016 at 7:42 pm
Cooper Irish Pub, 1607 Park Pl Blvd, St Louis Park; cooperpub.com
9.7910
If you are looking for a perfect setting to show off your new groutfit, look no further than Cooper Pub. You’ll contrast nicely in this Euro styled restaurant in the heart of St. Louis Park. Here lies The Vincent Burger. No it’s not dead, it’s alive and doing quite well. It’s timeless just like the atmosphere. Thankfully Vincent Francoual, chef and founder of Vincent A Restaurant, agreed to join Cara Irish Pubs (the mothership of Cooper Pub) as their Culinary Director. So the legacy lives on, folks. This burger is as good—or maybe even slightly better!—than it was before. That’s a big claim, so I’ll let you decide for yourself. The meat is a mix of ground beef and pulled braised short rib. So tasty. Infused into the burger is a smoked Gouda that’s sus of Dutch beginnings. Way way good. A fab gherkins sauce is spread on an egg bun making for the flavor ride of your life. Topped with LTO & this thing is James Worthy of an International prize. It’s TD, go get one! You’ll love the aesthetic—Vincent Burger your new home looks very good on you!
4254128.738.4
19
June 28, 2016 at 7:37 am
Hoppers Bar & Grill, 119 Olive St, Waconia; hoppersbar.com
8.856
Day trips to the lake in Minnesota might be our greatest pastime. Head 40 minutes west to Waconia, MN and you’ll find not only a lake, but a badass burger. Drop your pin on a place called Hoppers Bar & Grill. No fish stories here—the Hickory Burger is a behemoth. This muskellunge sized burgeris of a traditional grind, most likely chuck around an 80/20 clip. It’s seasoned nicely with the basics but there’s something sweet in the mix—just a hint or a touch, if you will. The patty is all hand with a loose pack rendering a wonderful texture and chew. It conjures up the feeling of lawn chairs on a pontoon. Meat wads gone wild! If that ain’t country it’ll harelip the Monopoly Man himself (Waconia replaced Baltic Avenue on “Monopoly Here & Now”)! The bun is soft and holds this sandwich in check. Oh my my my, the hickory smoked bacon with a little BBQ sauce is a reason to smile for weeks. Topped off with cheddar cheese and you’ve got yourself a burger worth taking a picture of. Much like that prize catch back in 98′. But this time you’ll have proof!
4254919.828.6
20
July 5, 2016 at 5:00 am
Running Aces Casino & Racetrack, 15201 Running Ace Blvd, Columbus; runaces.com
9.178
And they’re off! Head straight up 35W Northbound about 20 min or so to Columbus, MN and you’ll find a very special place that may or may not bring back some memories. Running Aces Casino & Racetrack is located on the old Trout Air property. Yes, that “city fishing” place that hosted some epic parties with A-list entertainment like Metallica and the Charlie Daniels Band. Well those days are long gone but the nostalgia lives on… Running Aces has a trout pond you can fish and eat your catch inside at the Trout Air Tavern. And that brings us to the Build Your Own Angus Steak Burger, yeah no fish sandy for this Hunter. The front runner in this race is the Angus and it’s v tasty. Good cows have a good pedigree. But let’s start with the bun, it’s Kaiser which is commonly a hard roll but this semi-soft sire is just perfy. Go all in on the Eichtens amablu cheese, it’s finesse and it’s local. Bet big on the Nueske’s bacon as it’s the best in the Midwest. Add LTO and Damn Gina those charred whisky onions! The burger is flamed grilled and so yum-town! It would make Dan Patch pace in the parking lot. Win, Place, Show your family a great time at Running Aces!
4255624.133.2
21
July 12, 2016 at 5:00 am
Black Woods Grill & Bar, 2525 London Road, Duluth; blackwoods.com
8.368
Head “up north” two hours to Twincy’s home away from home—the cabin for the 99% has always, and will always be, Duluth, MN. And little did we know that Black Woods Grill & Bar has more than just an awesome pre-drive home hangover brunch. . . They also have a have a burger that is straight woke! The London Road Burger makes you want to take it home to the place you belong. Let’s just be honest John Denver probably loved Duluth. Okay, back to the olé Gitchigoomie meat wagon. Yeah folks it a big-un. 1/2 pound classic grind topped with Wisconsin cheddar and gruyere. Could be an OTP but so could a lot of cheese combinations. Being close to Wisconsin sometimes isn’t so bad. The thick-cut applewood smoked bacon is FR. Eat a small piece on its own so you know know. Lettuce, tomato, and crispy onion straws top it off with a little house made agate sauce. The bun is butter grilled, bringing even more crunch to this party. Cooked to absolute perfection so the chef gets a hang ten. All in all it’s a fun flavor ride made for a big bite! And technically Black Woods is the Last Place on Earth for every Millennial that just visited their pal at UMD.
4256322.330.6
22
July 19, 2016 at 5:00 am
Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill, 4100 Vinewood Ln N, Plymouth; esunshinefactory.com
7.966
Somewhere wedged between Minnetonka and Maple Grove is a town that’s known for a playhouse and a lake filled with medicine. Plymouth is the 7th largest city in Minnesota and plays host to the Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill. It’s kinda like the Fountain of Middle Age. The Match dot com app runs heavy up in here. The menu is strong and arguably the beginnings of pin drop sitch. Anyways, the Bacon Cheeseburger is why we came in the first place. It’s all Angus, 💯. 1/2 pound of fine flavor, tasting the the grill and the flame char on the outer and getting that smooth clean med beef inner. The bun is grilled, semi-soft and fresh. Suh, add the bacon as it will always add and never take away (from the flavor). Pro-tip: bacon is commonly known to be a dominant ingredient but paired with a burger it brings out more flavor in the meat. No distractions here besides maybe that manther preying on the puma at the bar. (But in all seriousness it’s a good crowd.) Top your burger off with your choice of cheese and if you can’t decide always go cheddar, they have a good one. Melt factor is off-the-chart! Oh, and let’s clear the air on one little thing… When you order, it’s not “I’ll just have the burger.” It’s, “I’d love to try your burger!” No shame in your burger game… Go!
4257019.927.8
23
July 26, 2016 at 10:23 am
Lyn 65, 6439 Lyndale Ave S, MPLS; lyn65.com
9.377
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during both primaries and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
South of the cities doesn’t always mean Southdale. This hunt takes us crosstown to LYN 65 Kitchen & Bar in Richfield, MN. It’s located in a strip mall just down from a place that would put your rock collection to complete shame. The Chicago Diner Burger gives you the option of going single or double and folks don’t even think about it—go big! The inspiration behind this burger is the famous Au Cheval in Chicago. Their real game no gimmicks approach to the greatest sandwich on earth set the stage for “basic” being not so boring after all. Starting with the bun; it’s soft, fresh, and perfect firmness for handling this juicy masterpiece. The meat is sensational. Sus of some short rib grinding in. You can’t get that kind of flavor without some high ranking cut making a cameo in your meat party. It’s smothered with American Kraft and is just savage. Comes with pickles and shallots and I added the bacon, of course. There’s a wonderful spread that adds a lovely flavor extension. Most likely it’s mayo mixed with mustard. Whatever it is it’s an OTP (one true pairing). The burger is a handful and will leave a couple kisses (grease spots) on your clothes if you’re not careful. The fries are hand-cut and simply wonderful. Oh oh oh the staff is so so sweet and the cocktails are v crafty! Get it in ya!
4257723.332.6
24
August 2, 2016 at 8:15 am
The Kenwood, 2112 W 21st St, MPLS; thekenwoodrestaurant.com
9.279
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire pitiful Twins season, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Rolling north through Lake of the Isles you’ll land in a bonafide neighborhood known as Kenwood. There lies the restaurant of the same name, The Kenwood, an eatery that’s doing things their way—and folks it’s working. Menu is strong and heavy on the whole breakfast brunch thing. Setting seems to be old English. Not the mensy type, the country type. Order the Kenwood Burger, then strap in, bib up, lean forward, and go! Yes, this voyage may require a shower or a dip in the lake. Here’s why: the meat is v juicy and seasoned quite nicely. Drippings a plenty. Comes with a sunny side egg on top that’s a show-pleaser. Do I have egg on my face? Fork stab that thing and press record. Everyone loves that scene. RT RT RT. The egg adds great flavor to beef. Ok, it adds great flavor to anything. There’s a spread on the burger that I admit I have no idea what it is but its finger licking yummy-town! The lettuce and bun try to hold up but just face it, you’re in over your head and people are looking. Messy chic. It’s a thing. The burger is covered in a king’s cheese aka gruyere and topped with pork belly. The flavor is incredible and totes worth going caveman style. Comes with hand-cut fries and they are needed for cleaning up your plate. Wearing your best slob shirt has never looked so good . . . They’re making Kenwood proud!
4258425.234.4
25
August 9, 2016 at 5:00 am
The Copper Hen & Kitchen, 2515 Nicollet Ave S, MPLS; copperhenkitchen.com
8.588
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire pitiful Twins season, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Oh, Nicollet Ave., you complete me. Pretty sure that’s been said more than once. Either way it’s a multi-generational Eat Street that’s been crushing it for decades. This hunt takes us south on Nicollet to The Copper Hen & Kitchen. It’s urbanely debonair and just perfect in so many ways. The Cheddar Ale Burger is like going back in time. Is that grandma cooking in back? Nope! It’s some dope foodie chef that flat-out gets it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s an incredibly delicious brioche, grilled with butter and quite unique! One of the better looking and tasting buns in the wild. The meat is Peterson grass-fed (known for their famous Limousin cattle) and on the leaner side. Perfect for a good dad bod. But to the contrary, this things fried in brown butter like Midwestern households have been doing since the hamburger was invented. From the smell to the look to the taste, it’s so old timey. The outer is almost blackened from the butter sear and the inner leaves a nostalgic texture that only a pan can do. This time machine is topped with a caramelized onion marmalade and a housemade pale ale cheese “whiz” that you wish you could buy off-sale. It’s on point much like scoring the davenport at your grandparents house during holiday. Pro-tip: Don’t sleep on their chocolate chip cookies! Buy like 10.
4259124.533
26
August 16, 2016 at 9:04 am
Half Time Rec, 1013 Front Ave STPL; halftimerec.com
9.359
A stop at Bandana Square and Half Time Rec has put this Hunter in a daze! This historic St. Paul dive bar has a top Secret of the City inside known as Paddy Shack. They handle the food side of the business and they handle it quite well. The Paddy Shack Burger is big, bold, and beautiful! 1/2 lb of some very flavorful meat. Seasoned right on point and juicy to the nines. Smothered with a white American cheese that’s ode proper. The salad (veg toppings) is what really makes this burger special. Topped with pickled green tomatoes that add a crisp crunch, deadass tasty with meat. The bottom is almost a slaw; consisting of lettuce, onion, and Paddy Sauce. So refreshing on many levels. Someone really thought this through. A chef-driven performance going on here. Well, the head chef that relaunched the kitchen is a James Beard nominee. All the ingredients work together like a well planned flash mob . . . or more like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (2008 in China). Perfection. The Paddy Shack Burger was crowned King in 2015 (Twincy Burger Battle). Bun is good but not the shining star and the fries are big steak style and average at best. The place is Irish, kinda party, killer menu, and is the bar in the classic movie Grumpy Old Men!
4259823.332.6
27
August 23, 2016 at 5:00 am
Meister’s Bar & Grill, 1056 West Highway 96, Shoreview; meistersshoreview.com
7.965
Shoreview, MN is one of those metro cities that seems to still have huge tracks of land! They do have 14 lakes so the name gets points for accuracy. Otherwise Landview would make more sense. Anywho, this hunt takes us to Meister’s Bar & Grill located in a strip mall without a view, unless you’re into parking lots. The Burgermeister is what brings us around these parts. With a German name meaning “master” there’s a lot to live up to… and they mostly do! The bun is a bit earthy and perfect size. Yes, it matters. Meat is diner style and full of moisture. Chef likely uses a lid and water to steam cook it, guaranteeing some chin drips. It’s 1/3 lb and can be cooked to desired temp. The cheese is American and covers like a total eclipse. The bacon is very smokey and chopped. It adds everything to this burger and turns it right into a smokehouse. The Burgermeister has a little street cred, but seems to still be a hidden gem in this community center haven. The fries are hand-cut, always the right choice to make. Pro tip: Meister’s has a meat raffle every Wednesday starting at 5pm.
4260518.926.8
28
August 30, 2016 at 5:05 am
Haute Dish, 119 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., haute-dish.com
9.5810
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the entire media coverage of the State Fair, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Washington Ave. in Minneapolis is about as famous as the city itself. Everyone has been on it and it plays host to some fun restaurants. This hunt takes us to Haute Dish. You knew it was coming didn’t you! The Flavor Country Burger is so ridiculously Team Internet. It’s got street cred and there is some ink out there… But here’s the true grit! The bun is brioche, baked in house and fresh. Butter grilled crispy crunchy in all the right places. The meat is out of control good, ground chuck and brisket seasoned with rosemary, thyme, onion, garlic, and powdered blue cheese. Pretty sure that last ingredient mentioned (PBC) is their SOTC. Going 90% off of taste here folks so your guess is as good as mine—but I do hunt for a living. It’s fried with butter in an iron skillet creating a fantastic light crisp outer with a gentle pink mid. The meat itself makes the meat all-star team. But all its rowdy friends have not settled down. It’s lined with applewood smoked bacon, roasted garlic aioli, a stoney mustard, truffled up mushrooms, crispy lettuce, yellow onion, spicy vinegar cucumber, tomato, and blasted with a full shipment of American cheese. A parade of flavor. This salty meat with the fresh salad can make dreams come true every single day! Layers of crispy throughout. Each ingredient playing its part. Brings tears almost . . . Fries are terrific!!! Save the hot dish for later and go eat their burger . . . now!!!!
4261227.537
29
September 6, 2016 at 5:10 am
The Sample Room, 2124 Marshall St NE, MPLS; the-sample-room.com
9.289
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the entire first semester of school, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Nestled just north of Gluek Park on the east side of the Mighty Miss is a little gem that’s been putting out quality eats for quite some time now. The Sample Room is a Minnesota foodie hangout from when the early Gen Xer’s were seeking something better before the Y2K bug proved to be nothing. And without further ado, The Bottineau Burger. It’s a 1/2 pound of succulent house-cut grass-fed beef that’s pulling folks right off of the vegan wagon. Yeah it changes lives. Smothered with cheddar cheese and topped with pork belly that’s sus of being bootleg Ibèrico. Way good. The burger has a little smoked tomato aioli that pairs in nice with the cheddar attack. There’s a salty sweet hint, likely from the onions and pork. The bun is toasted and fresh. All in all it’s more of a savory delight that’s almost paradise. How could we ask for more? Well, it does come with some hand cutters that are exquisite. And there will be little to no phubbing going on when the food tastes this good. Stuff your face!
4261926.235.4
30
September 13, 2016 at 5:00 am
Nighthawks, 3753 Nicollet Avenue South, MPLS; nighthawksmpls.com
9.489
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the entire over-extended run up to Halloween, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
South Nicollet is most definitely becoming Burger Avenue. At just about every intersection there’s something interesting going on. Hunting gone easy. So we followed a little birdie to Nighthawks Diner & Bar. The Double Cheeseburger is an absolute diner masterpiece. Starting with the bun, it’s fresh house-baked and toasted. Perfect size and clean flavor. The meat is the big hero here, with the grind consisting of sirloin, brisket, and chuck. If I had children those would be their first names. That’s how good that combo is! The burger’s smashed style, so they have butter chunks in the meatballs and then they press them down onto a flattop to form a patty. The butter creates that crispy outer that’s trending harder than Pokemon on crack. This burger is right proper. Juicy. Fine fine meat flavor at the forefront of each bite. It’s smothered with American cheese and a burger sauce that’s really spectacular. It’s puréed everything that people put on a burger. So no need for thousands of toppings the sauce has it all. There is caramelized onions and some crunchy pickles but that’s it. If you’re triggered for cheeseburger gluttony at its finest than get your fix at Nighthawks.
4262626.435.8
31
September 19, 2016 at 4:47 pm
112 Eatery, North 3rd St, MPLS; 112eatery.com
9.389
Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during all the Open Streets events all summer, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.
Downtown Minneapolis has always had a few great burgers. Some have come, some have gone but we’re certain this one is here to stay! This hunt takes us to none other but the fantastically eclectic 112 Eatery. There you’ll find the 112 cheese burger. Let me just stop right there… Folks, yes of course you should try the burger at a place like this. If their foie gras is soooo spectacular than what do you think they’re going to do with the greatest sandwich ever invented? Yes…..! That is correct, they’re going to knock it out of the park. And 112 does just that. The burger is big, it’s 1/2lb and thick. Sus of prime beginnings. The mix has egg, thyme, butter and caramelized onion in it. Making for a medium density. Which is perfecto for a medium to rare cook. The flavor is rich and hella savory! Ok now to what I believe really makes this burger stand out. Served on a semi toasted English muffin. It’s buttery light crunch makes all the difference. FR, it does. The cheese on the burger is Brie. It’s soft, milky and works quite nicely. Absolutely in love with the 112 cheese burger. TBH it will probably get a few votes for POTUS. Oh and beware of the slight zombie vibe, you’ll know what I mean.
4263226.335.6
32
September 27, 2016 at 5:00 am
The Well Sports Tavern & Grill, 35 Coon Rapids Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids; wellsportstavern.com
8.366
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s like the burger hunting version Kevin Garnett in his Timberwovles prime, but with a championship! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Coon Rapids, MN has one really good thing going for it and it’s not their name. The city plays host to another hunt and this time it’s at The Well. This working man’s and woman’s sports bar is actually an incredible find for folks looking to flat out go to crush town on damn good food. The Law Burger is all of 1/2lb and wider style, not super thick. The grind is Angus fresh and big on flavor. Seasoned up just right. Salt, pepper and not to far from there. It’s a classic boss burger so remember the key parts. Juicy, check! Bacon, check! Hand-pattied, check! The kitchen cooks this beauty over flame rendering that strong grill flavor. Cause law just don’t go around here. I think I spotted Ike Clanton at the bar. Moving along, the bun is sesame and decent. The cheese is American and good but could of had a stronger melt. That bacon tho… Really strong and v traditional. All in all a great American Cheeseburger! Comes with crinkle cuts and that’s always good for a smile. Pro tip: Go on Mega Monday (every Monday) order wings and a burger. Loosen up those belt buckles and wish upon The Well. Hangovers cured—and created!—here.
4264020.328.6
33
October 3, 2016 at 9:16 pm
Revival, 4257 Nicollet Ave, MPLS; revivalmpls.com
9.599
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Now here we are again on “southern” eat street just trying to get lucky . . . With people literally pouring out their doors cluck cluck cluck we are at Revival, folks! Their foodie-forward South-loving menu has literally gone viral. Yes, the fried chicken is to live for. Possibly the best ever, that or Stroud’s in Kansas City. But that’s another hunter. Pro tip: Order the chicken and the burger. Share the chicken. Don’t share the burger. Meat sweats anyone? Well, the medical term for this very real phenomenon is protein-induced thermogenesis? Try that on for size. The Revival Burger is something you must have in life. It’s TD af. The grind is a blend of short rib and grass-fed brisket. They run a double patty. Griddled-up nicely, rendering a light crunch while remaining hella juicy thanks to those exotic fatty meats. Next up is the cheese and it’s a straight up hot mess of American. The bun is lovely, fresh, and from a St. Easy favorite Saint Agnes Baking Co. No frankenfood found here. Everything is dialed. It comes topped with some B&B pickles and a little mayo. Go bacon on your next one. Simply magic. This burger is of old timey diner super pedigree. Think it ain’t?
4264627.537
34
October 11, 2016 at 5:05 am
Lake & Irving, 1513 W Lake St, MPLS; lakeandirving.com
9.399
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Up-town funk you up . . . right to the corner of Lake and Irving! And that’s precisely where this hunt takes place, at a glorious eatery named Lake & Irving. Once again, the menu will have you ordering two meals cause just face it, you’re a Minnesotan—very indecisive and you do need to build up for the winter. Just make sure one of those orders is the burger. The Cheeseburger (Lake & Irving) is fab! The meat comes from the legendary east coast purveyor of fine meats Pat La Frieda. So the grind is sus of some of the high-end fattier cuts. It’s smashed style two patty system. Crispy outer with light pink juicy inner. You know the routine. The meat is the big winner. It has a lovely flavor profile with all units coming correct. The bun is a brioche from Patisserie 46. It’s everything a bun should be and more. Much like a relationship, good buns can make it or break it. This one makes it all the way to the end. Holding strong has never tasted so good. The cheese is from our neighbor state and smothers more than an overbearing mother. Comes with a secret sauce and it’s lit! Go for the premium Duroc bacon, you’ll loke it. I did mine on the side this time. Had to hone in. The Twincy burger scene is a crowded field but this one certainly stands out.
4265427.336.6
35
October 18, 2016 at 5:00 am
Capital Grille, 801 Hennepin Ave, MPLS; thecapitalgrille.com
9.2109
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burgerknowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Downtown Minneapolis has a gangsta burger battleground going on of it’s own. Master foodie chefs are fronting as the steakhouses flex hard with their burger game. So, being it’s election season we head over to the Capital Grille. This place is so GOB (Good Ol’ Boy) with old master style paintings of your favorite politician or horse . . . You almost have to have a good debate about America’s sweet sweet future! The Grille’s Signature Cheeseburger is worthy of ones endorsement. They do a house grind of chopped sirloin, smoked bacon, and sweet onions. Yummy-boots with a nutty flavor from the dry aged steak. Drowning in some choice cheese and topped with primo LTO. You decide on the house-cut pickles either on or off. I did it both ways. Added a nice crunch but also wasn’t necessary here. The burger is big. Or I suppose . . . We’ll do it, but just this one time . . . It’s YUUUUGE! The bun is nicely toasted and all about independence. Comes with fries and an excellent assortment of fancy dipping sauces. One might ask: Who goes to a steakhouse and orders a burger? Hahahaha! In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a revolution going on out there. So veto the steak and vote for the burger. I most def found my thrill at the Capital Grille!
4266128.237.4
36
October 25, 2016 at 5:00 am
Whitey’s Saloon, 400 E Hennepin Ave, MPLS; facebook.com/Whiteys-Saloon
8.986
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of hisburgerknowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! The Burger Hunteralso documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
As soon as you cross the river entering into Northeast Minneapolis you get attacked with options. If you’re wisdomous, you’ll mount up at Whitey’s World Famous Saloon. This place is pretty kitschy and proudly displays a giant burlesque lady right over the bar. The Cheeseburger is one-half pound of traditional grind honky-tonk. Flavor is All-American, all the time. Nicely salted, decently peppered. A hint of something else but couldn’t decipher. It’s hella juicy and a little greasy. But good greasy. There is a difference. This beauty is big and demands some respect. In a town flooding with new trends and thinner patties, Whitey’s is holding court. The burger is topped with cheddar and presented on a very friendly bun. No bad attitudes in this saloon. Comes with an incredible garden. Hundo p, add the LTO! Way snatched. Really found this burger to be a classic and not passé at all. This joint delivers the exact burger you’d expect it to! It’s of that era, you just know. Pro tip: Also go for breakfast, thank me later.
4266822.931.8
37
November 1, 2016 at 7:30 am
Blue Door Pub, 1514 Como Ave SE, MPLS; thebluedoorpubmn.com
8.159
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Right down some old memory lane in a community near you is a great burger that’s recently expanded. This hunt takes us to the Blue Door Pub. It’s legendary and all up in your neighborhood with it’s new locals. The Blucy is the go-to order here of course but I also did The Classic. They are just jucy’s so you can do a couple. The Blue Door Pub constructs these beauties with two fresh ground angus beef patties and surround your choice of cheese. Then sealing the outside of patties so the prize is protected nicely inside. The Blucy is pretty obvious, Blue cheese and garlic. Funky!! Delivering a beautiful bitter contrast on the beef. The Classic is Land O’Lakes White American and renders that molten inner you hope for in life. Gooey . . . Goodness grief, I got drips. The burgers have a strong onion flavor and are really really good. Some nice char-daddy even. And they are big so two might be pushing it. Fries are wonderful and ready for clean up. We should all tip our hat to the Blue Door Pub for taking an iconic Minnesota food (Jucy) and shaking it up with of all kinds of twists. Their menu is fun and full of creativity. Bring the whole family out for burgers!
4267522.130.2
38
November 8, 2016 at 5:00 am
Market Bar-B-Que, 1414 Nicollet Ave, MPLS; hmarketbbq.com
9.589
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s even getting recognized at restaurants now! TheBurger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Nowadays Twincy gets all kinds of love for it’s incredible food scene. Well before all that there was one restaurant that pioneered the way. Market Bar-B-Que is a legendary Minneapolis supper club that’s been doing it right since 1946. Mad props to the Polski family. In fact let’s all give them a well deserved happy dance! Now when you come here you have to get the ribs. Yes, we know they are world famous. Ok on your next visit or if you’re sharing, one of the biggest Secrets of the City is the “Boss Hog” Pork Burger. This is seriously in my tops of all-time! We have to cover our bases so some non-traditionals make the cut. It’s seasoned ground pork, then smoked in the pit. The burger is so on-point that you’ll set it down and think after one bite. Where? Why? Who didn’t tell me about this!?! It’s a farmers grind with likely choice cuts. Flavor is out of control! Juicy to the nines and perfect texture. They glaze it lightly with their special sauce. And it’s special. No joke. Top it with what you like but it needs nothing just your full attention. Market Bar-B-Que is storybook American classic and everything is really delicious. From Liberace to Leno this place has seen the likes of them all! Pro tip: Get the onion rings.
4268226.536
39
November 15, 2016 at 5:00 am
Lindey’s Prime Steak House, 3600 North Snelling Ave, Arden Hills; theplaceforsteak.com
9.386
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
This hunt is flat-out one of the best things I’ve done all year. Somewhere in the super foodie towns of Twincy is a little city called Arden Hills. Now take your driving test and head over to the hidden gem of all supper clubs Lindey’s Prime Steakhouse. But to get the burger you’ve got to go for lunch. So roll out of bed and sniff test your best flannel cause it’s time to go back in time. The 1/2 lb Steakhouse Burger is all that. The meat is a classic grind of chuck with possibly some prime cut add ins . . . It is a steakhouse that only serves steak. The taste of this burger leads you in that direction but just slightly. First off, the chef knows medium. I guess that’s a big part of the job at steakhouses! In all honesty tho, most burger chefs don’t know medium. Happily upon first bite you’re immediately hit with a storm of flavor, juice, and nostalgia! Set it down and regroup. Look around and smile cause this place is charming. Like 60 years of charming. Okay, the bun is top notch butter grilled light and nice. Top it how you like it. I went cheese and onion, wanted to hone in. Oh, and bacon of course. This burger is way good. Loose pack with a full classic flavor. That kind you taste in your mouth an hour later and say, “Damn that was good!”
4268923.332.6
40
November 22, 2016 at 5:05 am
Matt’s Bar, 3500 Cedar Ave S, MPLS; mattsbar.com
10510
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
This time of year offers us an opportunity to be thankful for so much! Like the target of this week’s hunt, which takes us to the one that started it all. Matt’s Bar is home to the Jucy Lucy. Around here it’s about as famous as Paul Bunyan or the MOA. The Jucy Lucy burger has been repeated, redone, copied, duplicated, interpreted, and transformed by burger joints all over the country. Now to the burger, it’s seriously one of the best in the state. The bun is basic but perfect. The Jucy is two thin patties formed around a little block of cheese and sealed to perfection. Matt’s Bar Jucy makes the ultimate pocket for the molten hot liquid cheese inside. You must eat it vertically or your chin drips will be cheesus scars. These burgers actually even come with a warning and served with a side of south-side attitude. They make thousands of these daily and all on one little flattop grill that’s seasoned to the nines with piles of onions. The flavor is really dialed in. Meat tastes great but the cheese is obvi the star here. Squeeze just a little with each bite and that surprise inside is the secret to Minnesota Nice. Matt’s is who we are. Twincy culture is summed up in the seats and the eats of this legendary establishment. It’s iconic with no frills. Seriously none. No ice. No plates. No credit cards. Plenty of lines—big ones! Pro-tip: Go at odd times like 3 PM and you won’t have to wait in a line that goes out the door. Fries are shoestring and better than McDonald’s. Go feast!
Clash of Kings426962535
41
November 29, 2016 at 5:00 am
Burger Burger, 321 South Street Dining, MOA; eatburgerburger.com
8610
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
It’s the holiday season. With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock, the Burger Hunter is back on the clock! This time it’s a family holiday shopping spree at MOA with a pit stop and a refuel at Burger Burger. Now this spot certainly knows how to capture the whole crew. I mean they got a meat dude in a window out front making burger patties with their daily grind of the famous “sustainable beef” from the Revier Cattle Company in Olivia, MN. So they do local. They do fresh. And now to what they really do well . . . Options. From sauces to toppings to build your owns to chef driven creations there’s something for everyone. Yes, even your vegan cousin can join in. I went with the John Wayne burger. Delivered on a fresh bun from St. Agnes Bakery. Which is nice . . . The meat is clean, seasoned with some unknowns, and packed tight. It’s good beef. All Angus, but really folks it’s got some serious white in the grind. Go look for yourself in the window. This cowboy has lotzzzzz going on. Topped with Wisconsin sharp cheddar, dill pickle slices, bourbon BBQ sauce, Mayo, onion rings, brown sugar bacon, and a ten gallon hat. Ok, not the hat but the burger ends up as big as one. So with all this it’s a bit of a messy ride, but they package you up nicely so you might want to leave it on. All in all it’s just what you are looking for. It’s fun. Try things. Laugh. Play. The ingredients are fresh and they won’t weigh you down. Shop on! And add Burger Burger to your MOA hit list.
427032432
42
December 6, 2016 at 5:00 am
Volstead's Emporium, Lake St and Lyndale Ave, MPLS
9.398
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Somewhere, someplace in an alley near Lyndale and Lake, hiding behind a dumpster and staircase, is The Top Secret of the City. Volstead’s Emporium is speakeasy. Hundo p. No website. No parking. No nothing. I mean this couldn’t make for a better hunt. It’s literally hiding! Upon arrival you’ll maybe think it’s the right spot, but the door is locked and your Minnesota-style second guessing of oneself will kick in full throttle, almost like never before, cause it’s dark and very sketchy. Then I hear something open and it’s the peep hole for the doorman. He let’s me in, and to the basement we go. So it’s a total juice joint (blind pig), all hotsy-totsy, charming, and very intriguing. The Cheeseburger is a standout on this small, but ambrosial menu. It’s a bigun and juicy to the nines. First bite is an explosion of flavor all up in your business. Thank goodness it’s dark cause we be dripping. Wipe clean and focus in. The bun is soft, delightful, and somehow holds up. Prohibition is officially over on cheesy goodness—this burger signifies that! The meat is the mob boss tho. Probably shouldn’t say too much being this place is a giant secret. Volstead’s Emporium slaps the infamous Volstead Act right in the face. As it should. Prohibition is/was a bad idea. Happy hunting!
Location: ?????????
4271026.335.6
43
December 13, 2016 at 5:05 am
Murray’s Steakhouse, 26 South 6th St, MPLS; murraysrestaurant.com
9.2109
We get more reader responses for the juicy work or Mike S., the Burger Hunter. He’s even getting recognized at restaurants! And deservedly so—no one has a pure love for the craft of burgers than he does. You can check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
The holidays offer us a time to celebrate our blessings. The snow has set the stage for ridiculous levels of merriment and joy. This hunt gets us all in the spirit, while paying respect to another era—yup, lunch at Murray’s Steakhouse! This place is so incredibly iconic, I’m pretty sure Mr. Murray is actually Mr. Fezziwig. There’s no place like Murray’s for the holidays. Almost feels like Santa’s private supper club. The Smokey Joe Burger is the gift you need to give yourself. A personal Christmas, if you will. It’s over a 1/2lb of primetime.Steakburger-style with luscious flavor from those insanely bossy cuts. So choice! The bun is soft, fresh, and buttery toasted. Topped with sharp cheddar, onion, and tomato. But the sweet onion jam and crisp smokey bacon could be up for OTP of the year. FR. Comes with a side of some smoked garlic aioli that’s a bit biting. So dip accordingly. Murray’s is a favorite for so many Minnesotans and it’s crystal clear why. Fine food with a charming atmosphere and exceptional service. Doing it since 1946! Now, if you’re still “feeling 2016″ go eat a burger and rejoice in good tidings. Pro tip: Go to crushtown on the famous buttered toasts in the bread basket. Ask for more. Thank me later.
4271728.237.4
44
December 20, 2016 at 5:00 am
Red Cow Restaurant & Bar, 208 N 1st Ave, MPLS; redcowmn.com
101010
We get more reader responses for the juicy work or Mike S., the Burger Hunter than any other feature. You can check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. Editor’s Note:This hunt may shock some of our regular readers. But it’s worth mentioning that Mike had such strong feelings about this burger that he tried it on separate occassions to confirm his findings—it’s the type of dedication you come to expect from him.
Have you ever woke up and said, “I had too much to dream last night?” Well, this hunt is so outrageously inspiring and thought provoking that you might need a few days to get your head around it. In the historic North Loop (where they toss 13 story building proposals like side salads) of MPLS, sits the 2016 🍔 Hunt of the Year! Red Cow. I mean even the name is dialed. Be ready, about to sing some praises. The Double Barrel Burger is a flavor beast of everything you dream when you think, “Damn I want a good burger right now.” Let’s run this thing from top to bottom. Bun, best burger bun maybe ever. It’s the right size, doesn’t get too drenched, airy, dreamy, and quite saporific. It’s got that look . . . custom & fresh daily from the legends over at Wuollet Bakery. Next up is the white American. Folks . . . we mean the cheese! Melt factor hundo p. Taste is perfection. Doesn’t interfere or hide. Underneath the cheese is what changed me forever. The Red Cow Grind: 21 day aged ribeye, chuck, short rib, and brisket. They take all that and grind it up into two thin patties and smash them onto the flattop. The pack is loose, the seasonings are light, and the cook time is minimal. But the flavor is woke af. Can’t. Even. Handle. Seriously it’s the big leagues. It’s like Michael Jordan just walked in or something. I get a little nutty . . . flavor from the dry aged ribeye but also a richness from the short rib. It’s to live for! On the bottom bun is some grilled onion and a fabtown special sauce spread. Ok, wake me up! This is like fantasy land. I mean the burger is harmoniously simple. Kinda but not. It’s got a classic feel but the flavor is from heaven. A chef driven masterpiece no doubt. Pro-Tip Be the hero at Christmas and give someone a gift card to this place. Sweet dreams are made of this.
427243040
45
December 27, 2016 at 5:00 am
Fuddruckers, 3801 Minnesota Dr, MPLS; fuddruckers.com
9.267
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Let me take you back in time to a place that you might not have even been considered for a hunt. Just south of the Galleria in Bloomington, MN is the not so common Fuddruckers! Yeah, so, we’ve all been, but it was years ago, and the one near me closed . . . We get the story . . . It’s not adding up . . . I want to go out on a limb here and say Minnesotans let Fuddruckers down not the other way around. This place is incredible and we were too stuck in our ways to understand the concept and the flow of a self-serving restaurant. Anywho, the burgers are badass and always have been. The 2/3lb Bacon Cheeseburger is a mouthwatering masterpiece. Medium pack with a fresh traditional grind. Classic seasonings with no exotics. Cooked to exact temps and the biguns render a hella juicy/lightly greasy drip-tastrophy. In the biz we just call that flavor. The bun is lit. Baked fresh in house daily and the composition with the sesame seeds are so France Ave. The bacon is a must on a burger this size and the cheddar is good but in all honesty not -ness. Only cause they offer an entire wing of their restaurant as a DIY station filled with free fixings. From hot jalapeño cheese to a super LTO takeover and much more! Beware the pickles got some garlic funktown going on. No matter how you build it they always have their signature savory clean juicy flavor. You’ll remember immediately!
4273122.231.4
46
January 3, 2017 at 5:00 am
Republic, 221 Cedar Ave S, MPLS; republicmn.com
8.887
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Precisely on the corner of the 7 corners West Bank neighborhood is a place you might not think of for a good burger. But Republic, the beer lovers dreamland, is kicking out some mighty fine food folks! The Bacon Cheeseburger is the real deal. Meat is angus, clean and they run a medium pack. Good angus has a certain smell. And it’s lovely. Like a master sommelier I take a whiff. Forest floor, barnyard, fleshy. But the meat flavor is dulcet and soothing almost. Cooked to perfection aka chef knows medium. Flat-top for sure with water steam lids towards the end. Bun is super buttery and perfect size. Topped with an aged cheddar and they do a world-class melt job. FR. It makes a big difference. Especially when the cheese is a winner. Next up is a caramelized onion that tastes like candy. It doesn’t takeover, it’s just right. Works well with the salty cheddar. They are neighbors and all . . . Bacon is crispy and brings this whole thing together. Mmmmmmmm nom nom nom making memories one burger at a time. Comes with house-cut fries that are worthy of a mention as not one was spared. Republic is beautiful inside and out. Of course they got a killer patio scene in the summer but you need to get a feel for their inside vibe. If the bar is full get a window spot looking out onto 7 corners. Nosh on! Oh and they have butterscotch pudding for dessert. Need I say more?
4273823.832.6
47
January 10, 2017 at 5:00 am
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, 31 S 7th St, MPLS; firelakerestaurant.com
8.41010
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Well 2016 is gonzo and we can’t totally complain about that . . . Onward! If you’re turning over a whole new leaf or running some major league resolutions on the one seven than this hunt is just your speed. On the main level of the Radison Blu downtown is a food haven called FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar. Now the menu here is strong, but remember that leaf you turned over—so yeah, not the Dirty Fries, but yes the Wild Acres Turkey Burger. This is a strong choice, let’s just start with the meat . . . Gobbling North from the Pequot Lakes area and they don’t sleep in tents. Actual wild turkeys! They season their grind up nicely but there’s a hint of sweetness that’s likely from the binding agent. Then cooked over a mesquite grill that gives it the saltiness it needs. Balanced like Wevers in Rio. It’s so yummy! Now on this cow I mean bird is a garden of lovelies; caramelized onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and a sherry scallion sauce that’s just perfy. The Brie is all that it should be and more. This New Years resolution thing ain’t so bad huh? The bun is from New French Bakery and toasted. Now they might deny it but that harissa aioli you see on other parts of the menu was on this burger and I’m so thankful for it. It’s that light heat that really wakes up the bird. The flavor overall is refreshing and lush. Loved it! But really folks tour the menu cause they go hard on local and these chefs flat-out get it! Pro-tip: Bathrooms are hidden.
4274528.436.8
48
January 17, 2017 at 10:35 am
Jake’s City Grill, 1288 Promenade Place, Eagan; jakescitygrille.com
896
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Have you been sticking to your resolution to try new and different burgers? You’ve come to the right place. This hunt travels to the burbs to your favorite Jake’s City Grille. If you’ve heard of this place, it’s probably because of the wings and they are delish but that’s an appetizer. The Black Angus Cheeseburger is where it’s at. They run a lean chuck that’s fresh and so clean . . . Seasoned simply and cooked over flames. As the infamous Beavis coined, Fire! Fire! Fire! So now you know where all the flavor in this burger comes from—flames don’t lie. And neither does the ball for that matter. Anywho, patty is marked up and the grilly taste runs throughout. It’s like summer in the dead of winter. The grill flavor does that. It’s just so what you need sometimes. Topped with LTO and smothered with a cheddar that is and looks sublime. Yes, always yes, to the bacon. Especially on these clean rides. The bun is basic, but not really, cause there’s like 200 plus sesame seeds on it. Now all over the menu is their signature JakeSauce so obviously get a side of that. It’s good, runny and vinegary. Dip away and run everything through there at least once. The burger and wings are the go-to here so don’t panic order and make a mistake.
427522331
49
January 24, 2017 at 5:00 am
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 11600 Fountains Dr, Maple Grove; freddysusa.com
8.156
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag onInstagram.
On every level across all genres, I hunt for the best in hopes to appease our weekly desires. Sometimes it’s 5 star and sometimes it’s a square. Thanks Lori. Nonetheless, if the burger is good I want people to try it. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Maple Grove pulled me right in. Now this place is super fun. The Triple Cheeseburger is fantastic! Meat is fresh and all I know is they say “steakburger”. The patties are thin and seasoned fully. Pressed on the flat-top and gives you a very familiar buttery taste on the meat. They get a nice char-daddy and the loose pack makes them fall apart and seriously it’s the best part. These little chunks of glory breaking off and landing softly on your freedom fries is like your own mid-meal mini appetizer of burger burnt ends. Kinda old school skillet crispy. The cheese is American with a nice melt on it. Bun is butter toasted and holds court quite well cause this triple lindy is juicy! I love this style of burger, they are always flavor forward and super satisfying. Patty up and only eat half if it’s too much. The advantage here is the layers of juiciness and cheese. Comes with some grade A thin cut fries and their own fancy dipping sauces. Save some fries for the ice cream. Salt/sweet hot/cold. It’s dench. So far there’s only two of these in Minnesota but if your experience is like mine I’m thinking more soon.
4275919.127.2
50
January 31, 2017 at 5:00 am
Luckys 13 Burnsville, 2033 Burnsville Center, Burnsville; luckys13pub.com
8.566
Rolling down the freeway during a Minnesota winter often brews up a deep craving and you know where this is heading . . . Only a burger can really fully satisfy one’s true most inner desires. Well, I was feeling it, alee to Lucky’s 13 Pub! Now the menu here is colossal with over 20 burgers on it so you’ll need the luck of the Irish to help you decide. The Classic Burger seemed like a good starting point with a little customizing. The meat is angus and the taste is easy—to fall in love with! Seriously, this burger is kind of a gentle giant. It’s over a 1/2 pound of pure nourishment. Hints of season salt, pepper and onion powder in the grind. But folks this mellow fellow is juicy to the nines. So much so that the sesame seed bun eventually becomes a member of the Soggy Bottom Boys. FR! I topped it off with some provo (not Utah) and stayed clear of the salad this time. Nothing against it, just did one earlier is all. Instead, I went with some bacon cause I’m low key addicted to it. Now the chef really knows medium here and that’s not an alternative fact. This burger is one to remember. It’s tantalizing and immense. Pro tip: Onion rings are top rated.
4276620.529
51
February 7, 2017 at 7:28 am
Ike’s Food & Cocktails, 50 South 6th St, MPLS; ilikeikes.com
9.499
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag onInstagram.
Winter in Twincy is nothing short of spectacular. Especially if you like all the wondrous little things that make our settings so nice. This hunt takes place in exactly one of those. Ike’s Food & Cocktails is a first-rate experience. Charming atmosphere and bar with classic mix masters. And the aroma gives you life. I heart it. Kind of a light mesquite smoke. Now that we’ve settled in and down it’s time for the Ike’s Roadhouse Steak Burger. This behemoth is right as rain, as the Brits would say . . . I kinda get a New England & mid century vibe going on in here. Ok, let’s start this thing off. The grind is angus chuck with prime rib. I love this flavor in hamburger. It’s the quintessential steakhouse high-quality burger, tbh. Meat melts in your mouth. Kinda like Toro for you sushi hunters. The chef knows medium and is quite possibly Salt Bae himself. But folks I just gotta say the bun is onion control! Sweet and butter toasted. Works v nice with the salty 4 year aged Widmer’s cheddar. Wisconsin legends in cheddar for like 80 plus. Melt factor hundo p. The crispy onion straws are just that, crispy and add another layer of o-town. This 10 ouncer is onion forward not onion dominant. Feels good to get that off my chest . . . The sautéed mushrooms are sneaky great. Out of nowhere, bam! Just when you are wondering where they are? That’s how these shrooms play. An exquisite burger, big in size and flavor. Everything worked together like Canada. Read into that all you want. You heard me . . . In a heartbeat! Pro tip: Nothing says I love you like a burger.
4277327.436.8
52
February 14, 2017 at 5:00 am
Val’s Rapid Serv, 628 E St Germain St, St Cloud, facebook.com/pages/Vals-Rapid-Service
8.256
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag onInstagram.
On a bus to St. Cloud . . . Oh, Garth. Any which way you go put on some twang cause we’re heading to Cloud town. Now I’m tempted to support Kim Kardashian’s former fiance Kris Humphries 🏀 parents (they own a Five Guys 🍔 in St. Cloud, MN), but we’ll save that one for later and hit up the legendary Val’s Rapid Serv. You act like you didn’t know that was coming. Said Cloud town! This place is old timey with game. Sign outside is so tight. Damn Gina, damn! They’ve been doin’ it, doin’ it, and doin’ it well since 1959. Totes a take-out burger and fries joint. Cash me ousside, howbow dah. Eat in the car. The Triple Cheeseburger is the best choice. You can eat half if it’s too much. Don’t get weirdy on me. Always remember burger lefties are late night besties. The patties are thin and done well on a flattop that’s seen more action than Wilt the Stilt. A “seasoned grill” like Val’s is destined for a Smithsonian at some point. Kid you not! The flavor is classic and the cheese is melted all over. With a light beef grease and a power cheese melt it mo def an OTP. Hella juicy! The bun is good and fits better than your lost winter glove. Speaking of finding things or finding things out, the locals seem to know why the fries are so good and possibly off color. While browsing the racks at St. Clouds iconic sports den Centennial Sports, I come to find out that those sneaky folks over at Val’s sprinkle their fries with popcorn salt and possibly a hint of cheese. It certainly explains the unique flavor. A top-rated French Fry indeed. Loved this whole experience. It’s fast and when everybody likes it you know it’s good!
4278019.227.4
53
February 21, 2017 at 9:10 am
Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, 14401 Excelsior Blvd, Minnetonka; goldnuggettavernandgrille.com
9.3810
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag onInstagram.
There’s gold in them there hills! This hunt takes us on an adventure into the west metro where the yuccie’s drive with no regard for humanity. 10-and-2 yourself straight to the Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille. Now this place is burger Mecca. They even have an internal battle each week between their own burger specials. I went with The People’s Burger. It won 22 weeks straight and earned itself a spot on the menu. This beast is loaded with flavor. The grind is a mix of chuck and smoked short rib so the pedigree is choice af. The meat taste is rich. Fitting for the number of high buck vehicles in the parking lot. Ok let’s mine our way through this big winner. Bun is brioche, butter grilled and perfy. Light and nice. The burger is topped with a housemade American chive cheese that all about smothering your meat. We call it “Instagram ready” in the biz. It’s so yummy and really should be consumed more in life. Next up is the smoked poblanos and tomato jam. Sweet and smokey work together like a miner and his pan . . . Or a hipster and her fixie. You get the point. They complete each other. There’s a reason so many BBQ joints render this tasty outcome. The People’s Burger has even more going on. Imagine a calendar full of appointments where everything is syncing in harmony. iSuccess. Last up is the bacon mayo. It’s sneaky great. The mayo just slides into your DM’s and the bacon is creeper . . . This burger is high and mighty but worth the investment. The chew is terrific and def a sweeter ride. Don’t sleep on the cheese curds they might be better than the Minnesota State Fair. Big claim . . . Big hunt!
4278727.336.6
54
February 28, 2017 at 5:00 am
Saint Dinette, 261 East 5th Street, STPL; saintdinette.com
9.71010
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
When hunting “elephants” on Wall St. in St. Easy there’s no better deal than the burger at Saint Dinette. It’s quickly becoming legendary in Lowertown. The Cheeseburger is an uptick to everything you’ve been eating lately. Let’s just start with the grind. It’s high key primo beef. Sirloin, chuck, and brisket with loads of butter ground right in. They smash the patties onto a flattop and cook to medium temp. Trade secrets encourage insider trading. The point is they’re doing it right. We’ve learned that a high pedigree, butter, and smash smash smash (sorry for the Kai reference) is the golden ticket. The bun is perfy. Fresh daily from St. Agnes Baking Co and butter grilled. It’s like the ultimate sloppy joe bun ever. The burger is topped with a cheese blend of sharp cheddar, gruyere, and champagne. Think like port wine cheese but more gentle. It’s to live for. It’s to die for. Quite possible the best cheese I’ve ever had on a burger. The flavor of this entire ride is flat out next level. It’s juicy, the right amount of salt and cheese ratios, dialed af. Nailed it would be an understatement. Whether you go long or short, you’re certain to make a good investment at Saint Dinette. And you don’t need F-you money for their burger either. Very reasonable. Especially considering the fancy cuts up in here . . . That’s the upside. The downside is there’s so much more yummy on their menu!
4279429.739.4
55
March 7, 2017 at 8:01 am
Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave S, MPLS; patstap.com
989
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Just wait til you see his logo, we cannot wait to debut it. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Nicollet Ave is about as good as good can get. This hunt takes us right to the craft beer supernova more commonly known as Pat’s Tap. Okay, okay, now after you’ve made your beverage selection try to dial in on the Big Cheese Burger. We’ll just head right in with the meat. It’s Peterson Farms Limousin beef. Those sneaky great French brown cows. Clean with depth is the flavor ride. They run a mid to firm pack and let salt lead they way. Chef knows medium. It’s yummy boots. FR. The bun is fresh from Denny’s 5th Ave Bakery and butter grilled. Perfy size and softer than you are. Now the cheese is what makes Pat tap dance to the break of dawn. It’s an Ellsworth white cheddar masterpiece. They fry it on the flat top before placing it onto your burger. Outer has the light crisp crunch of like a saganaki (Greek fried cheese) and the rest of it is all gooey goodness. Another Damn Gina, damn! The burger is topped with a light salad of tomato and crunchy pickles. All local ingredients so top marks on that. I love how the chew is on this burger. Great aftertaste. It’s lion-like. I mean lions must get this sensation. Full, happy, and a light meat flavored coating throughout your mouth. But really it’s so satisfying. I pwned it straight to crush town. Pro tip: Order the cheese curds.
428012635
56
March 14, 2017 at 5:00 am
Rock Elm Tavern, 16605 County Road 24: Suite 211, Plymouth; rockelmtavern.com
9.2710
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Just wait til you see his logo, we cannot wait to debut it. Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Rockford Road/ take me home/ to the place/ I belong. We know that would have to be a burger joint somewhere . . . The Rock Elm Tavern in Plymouth, MN is starting to earn some really good burger banter in the foodiesphere. Okay, let’s go! The Rock Elm Burger is their big home run hitter. This beauty is boss. The meat is angus grass fed from the sustainable legends in Olivia, MN Revier Cattle Co. Now these burgers literally glisten. They are shiny af! The reason for that I believe is because the cows are fed flax seed for the last 6 weeks. It not only makes these burgers runway ready and all pretty but adds a depth of flavor that grass fed beef honestly needs. Also makes them healthier than salmon. That’s the rumor anyways. Ok let’s move on . . . Bun is totes my style. Soft and butter grilled. From Emma Krumbee’s in New Prague, MN. The burger is topped with a candied walnut aioli that I’d like to spread on everything in life. They use a montamore cheese that’s simply magical. It’s in the parm family, so yeah, get to know. The mushrooms are house roasted and come to party. Although the sweetness from the candied aioli keeps them in check. They are just right there, not all up in your biz. If you haven’t noticed there’s a giant flavor bomb going on here. It’s a sweeter ride, but the bitter green beast arugula helps calm that done a notch or two. This burger is ridiculously good. There’s a creaminess with the toppings, a perfect med cook, and hella juicy. Everything is soft. Beautiful inside and out.
4280826.235.4
57
March 21, 2017 at 5:00 am
Bulldog Northeast, 401 E Hennepin Ave, MPLS; thebulldognortheast.com
8.7710
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Just wait til you see his logo, we cannot wait to debut it. Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Coping it sweet in Northeast, MPLS on a random weekday might find you pondering your lunch time happy place. Low and behold I found mine at The Bulldog Northeast. Now you should have at the very least heard of this place or hopefully had a drink or something here. It’s got cred. Menu is Burger-forward and we’re into it. So I went with the Peanut Butter and Bacon burger which should be called the Knife and Fork burger. We will get to that later . . . Let’s start with the beef. The grind is brisket, sirloin, and chuck. Golf clap. The pack is firm. Chef knows medium and flavor of the beef is dialed. It’s topped with a Surly spiced peanut butter that is now and forever part of my fam. Is anyone listening???!! Bottle that shit! STAT! Sorry I get carried away. Next up on the burger is an apple-wood bacon that works beautifully on this super concoction. This whole thing is kind of a breakfastie hangover super crave town munchies ensemble. When you need to flat-out crush, this is it folks. Now they put a fried egg on it with a little Wood’s maple syrup. The runny egg always adds nice flavor to meat. Instagram Stories were made for this. But with these specific ingredients the egg is really the Pope Francis. Brings it all together and almost can’t live without. A keystone if you won’t. That brings us to the bun. The croissant. A noble choice but it just can’t hold up. Sweet and buttery and perfy choice to pair with these ingredients, but if your looking to hold this burger you might have a messy ordeal on your hands. Hence the Knife and Fork burger. Love the flavor of this ride. Sweet, full bodied and bold. It’s not hiding nor covering up. Just satisfying the soul.
4281525.734.4
58
March 28, 2017 at 9:32 am
Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave S, MPLS; icehousempls.com
9.199
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
How does one even begin to understand the amount of good food up and down Eat Street. Nicollet Ave needs a documentary. If only Twincy had a few creatives . . . We are heading to chill out at the Icehouse. No silly, you don’t need your coats or skates, just your appetite to go to crush-town. The Icehouse Burger is for bon vivants and those looking for the finer things. Now there’s some pretty fancy upgrades that can be done to this burger that include adding foie gras and a truffled bordelaise. I didn’t go there but will be doing that soon. Instead, I went standard issue. The meat is a grind of sirloin, brisket, and chuck. Strong start. Seasoned up with shallots and thyme. Gives it a more earthy flavor profile. Almost meatloafy . . . Bun is described as an “everything bun.” And folks it’s that. More seeds and what have you than in a hippies corduroy pants pocket. Works fab with the meat. Baked in house fresh daily. The burger is topped with a French cows milk cheese known as delice. Kinda bitter and tangy but soft and creamy. Works nicely with the caramelized onions. Foodspo bro. I go hard, cuz. Lettuce is crisp and keeps things in place. Flavor is full-bodied and deep. Juicy and cooked to perfection. I had a challenge dialing in on some of the flavors here cause there’s some seasonings that make you pause, in a good way. Thyming is everything and can throw a guy off. You understand, right? Well, go find out for yourself and bring the relatives cause this place is fun!
4282227.136.2
59
April 4, 2017 at 8:52 am
The Bad Waitress Diner and Bar (Northeast), 700 Central Ave NE MPLS; thebadwaitress.com
8.997
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
They hold a secret power to the dining experience. Some are great and some should try a bit harder. We all have stories. Stories of the good, the bad, and the OMG Never Again! Wait staff are a big part of the experience. So this hunt takes us to the Bad Waitress, where they take that whole bit out of the equation. Yup sit down, look at your menu and write down what you want and go do this damn thing. Get up and move, yo. No, it’s actually pretty slick and they do bring you out your food. Thank goodness. Around these parts business meetings and breakfy are running hard, but I’m self ordering the Black-Top Bacon Cheeseburger. Diners do good burgers, folks. Almost always. This one is choice. Bun is a soft mound of rebound. Fresh from The Wedge. Meat is grass-fed with a loose pack and seasoned lightly. Delicious beef. Very clean but not lacking anything here. Juicy to the nines. Drips a plenty on the plate. “Can I get another napkin?” Maybe? Not sure TBH cause you’re a bit on your own here. Really tho, it’s kinda nice. Back to the beef. It super fresh tasting and I like it! The cheese is savage. A white cheddar thunder _____. What? It’s a white cheddar and it’s way good. Now the bacon is super crunch; in pieces, poised, positioned, and presented like a wedding cake. It’s really a nice touch. The salad is all organic and v refreshing. My lettuce was so happy to see me and I put the BBQ sauce on the side for a few dips. Not all that ‘ness cause the flavor alone is beautious. Pro tip: No throwing shade up in here cause no ones listening.
4282924.933.8
60
April 11, 2017 at 5:00 am
Anton’s Restaurant, 2001 Frontage Road North, Waite Park; antonsrestaurant.com
8.789
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Sometime this summer Cloud Town will be all up in your maps—you’ll either go by it, around it, or right to it! This time around it’s in for Anton’s Restaurant in Waite Park. Oooh yes, it’s got more charm and history than a dinosaur love story. Now we came here for food didn’t we . . . Big Ego! That’s the name of the burger and let me just attempt at explaining myself. Or itself. It’s a grilled cheese sandwich on wheat, then a big burger patty, then another grilled cheese sandwich on wheat. Okay reread that last sentence. But seriously one of my most enjoyable experiences was just getting down and dirty and owning this thing. I wanted the super cheese blast from the double flanking grilled cheeses but in order to get it you have to open wide and just kinda caveman it. Three-quarter pounds of meat and all that bread makes for a tall sandwich. But when you finally receive your lion-like reward, it’s everything you thought it would be. Really is folks. A perfect marriage. The buttery toast and the gooey cheese with a perfy medium meat that has a nice and gentle taste . . . If this don’t warm your soul you’re impossible. A comfort food orgy that even makes Mrs. Dash blush a little. Now it comes with caramelized onions and a honey mustard, but I put ’em on the side. Bacon left on. Loved this burger, made me feel really good and homey. The grilled cheese and the burger are American classic sandwiches. Nothing to argue there. And hey do actually work together but are of course better as stand alone units. I mean I’m not crazy. FR tho go to Anton’s you can’t really go wrong here. Pro-tip: Everyone get a popover.
4283625.734.4
61
April 18, 2017 at 5:00 am
Lowry Hill Meats, 1934 Hennepin Ave, MPLS; lowryhillmeats.com
9.578
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Heading down Hennepin just south of the Walker you’ll find a little gem of a butcher shop that would make even Thomas Lowry proud. This hunt takes place at Lowry Hill Meats and no we’re not making our own. Valid, tho—this is the spot if you need something for the grill. But on Wednesday and only Wednesday this meat market makes burgers that are so good you’ll retire your apron and let the propane run out for good. So I ordered it as is but doubled the patty and gazed their meat cases as I waited. Out comes this beautiful burger that immediately reminds you I could never do that at home. For one they are using a flattop and for burgers that’s like some kind of a secret weapon. Really is folks. Let’s start with the meat, it’s choice. They use chuck and stuff. The stuff is from cuts off steaks and whatnot all week. So that’s in the grind and you can tell. The depth is there in the taste. But gentle. And juicy af. While crushing I spotted them using those little tin covers on their burgers creating a steam bath. Take a bite. Sit and watch. Seeing is believing folks. This place is way fun! Now it’s smothered in the creamiest American you’ll ever have. It’s house made and we’re not sure why they don’t sell it but they need to. It’s got a little sauce-town going on. Sus of MMK (mayo, mustard, ketchup). Below the beef is some lettuce and some pickled carrots with mini cucumbers. Comes with caramelized onions but TBH they’re not all that noticeable. Which was nice. They just added a little flavor and went home. Kinda like a Seekins Sighting. The bun is a lovely pork fat bun. It held court. Fantastic burger that’s clean and flavorful. Not a heavy meat hangover at all. This is where you want to be in life.
4284324.534
62
April 25, 2017 at 5:05 am
Borough, 730 N Washington Ave, MPLS; boroughmpls.com
8.989
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Straight down Washington Ave, if you can get through . . . Your guess is as good as mine? Mayoral candidates pay attention. Anywho, just move over a street and on you go to hop down at Borough for lunch. Aww yes, the excitement is high! This place has been trending for awhile. Ink, lists, banter, and a pile of street cred. FR. You’d have to of been in a sequestered jury on a killer burger case in order to not have heard about the legendary Parlour Burger. So I ordered it. It’s name is because you used to only be able to get it at their Parlour below. Let’s start with the bun. It’s an egg bun that’s grilled crispy hundo p. Almost crunchy. It’s buttery and really a good one folks. The meat has the triple crown pedigree you’re looking for in life: ribeye, brisket, and chuck. Those three friends are invited to any party. And all summer long, too. Now the flavor of this beef is unarguably delicious and better than a strong majority of all the burgers out there. But TBH I found this one a little too salty and not quite juicy enough considering the choice cuts, hence the semi-scandalous rating! Come at me, bro! It’s smashed style two patty system and you get that light char daddy outer that’s amaze. Those old tastes that your Mom and Dad talk about. The skillet burger days kinda flavor. It’s a big ‘un too. Topped with a white American cheese that’s plenty creamy and oozing on the meat. Major league GOAT bites for the banks. Yummy burger, no doubt. Pro tip: The fries are perfection and ask for a dipper of Swiss cheese aioli!
4285025.934.8
63
May 2, 2017 at 8:32 am
Rudy’s Redeye Grill, 4940 Hwy 61 North, White Bear Lak; rudysredeye.com
8.797
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
The East Metro of our sweet Twincy is just full of surprises. Straight up Dylan’s Hwy 61 in good ol’ White Bear Lake is a sneaky great place named Rudy’s Redeye Grill. Now the ambiance is red and if Rudy is short for Rudolph maybe it’s time for this reindeer to “see” a doctor. It’s spreading! All kidding aside let’s get to the burger. Rudy’s has a champ here. Hidden deep on the menu too. Almost not even there. Okay . . . Starting with the bun, it’s toasted and super standard issue. The meat is angus with a clean mild flavor. Very light, loosely packed. Grilled over real flames with no char-daddy situations. Juicy to the nines and the beef is show stopping, runway ready, the funk. All glistening pretty like it’s somebody’s birthday. It’s smothered in a BBQ sauce that’s somewhat runny and somewhat thick. Who knew? Topped with two tomatoes that surprisingly pairs nicely with the BBQ sauce and bacon. And the raw onion comes in and says, “let me in on this ride!” Making for some perfect marriages here. Now the onion and the lettuce add that little crisp fresh taste your looking for cause the sauce and juicy meat renders a real succulent mouthful. The cheddar plays it role . . . Best supporting actor. The salty cheese is just so helpful on this sweet beast. But the one that brings it all together and unifies these marriages is the bacon. Love when everything works together. Hey Rudy, you’re doing it right!
4285724.733.4
64
May 9, 2017 at 5:00 am
St. Paul Grill, 350 Market Street, STPL; stpaulgrill.com
8.497
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Once in a great while you just require a man with a top hat to open the door for you. You guessed it! This hunt happens at the St. Paul Grill, conveniently located on ground level of the historic St. Paul Hotel. Upscale hunting is so hot right now. “You there, grab me some more bread. Post haste.” Get bossy and dial in cause this place is calm. The Bacon Cheeseburger is now on trial. Starting with the bun, it’s a potato roll all floured up and super airy. Way good. Grilled. Really fresh. The meat is black angus hundo p and lightly char grilled. Flat out a summer burger. You can taste it right away. It’s got a mad garden going on, too. All fresh ah. See I do listen to reader comments! Two large tomato slices lead the charge. So delicious. A crispy piece of super green lettuce that you know was cleaned twice and inspected for color consistency. Red onion and a pickle complete the salad. The burger is smothered in cheddar and y’know it’s a winner when you get that gooey pull on the first bite. That combo of cheddar and juicy flame grilled beef is an OTP bestest. IKEA effect hard brah. FR. That’s why we all love it. The thick-cut bacon is the flavor boost on this clean garden town. It’s flying. Crunchy and almost worth just a side order of it. Now the burger might not be your first choice on a menu this strong but it also will not disappoint! Pro tip: Order a gallon of the Cream of Minnesota Wild Rice Soup (best ever).
4286424.432.8
65
May 16, 2017 at 10:56 am
Culver’s, 4004 Silver Lake Rd, St. Anthony; Culvers.com
8.456
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
All across the Midwest, there’s a sneaky great burger that is consistently done right and worthy of more praises. This hunt is all about that urge to crush a burger, like okay NOW! Head to your local Culver’s and you’ll find a menu that’s shockingly long with strong choices like the pork tendy or even walleye (when in season). But ignore all that and order the Double ButterBurger with Cheese. The meat is fresh—never frozen—Midwest beef that’s seared crisp on a flattop with butter. No pre-made nightmares, everything is cooked to order. Now the flavor of the meat is really nice. The crispy outer is life and the juicy inner is goals. Topped with a heavy American from Wisconsin. Each bite is meat cheese blasts of glory. The bun is butter grilled and okay. Do toppings as you please but I went naked for this ride; bun, meat, cheese. Culver’s and you yourself should be proud of this burger. The convenience factor is hundo p and that don’t take away nathen. Fries are crinkle cut and the root beer is fabulous. Drive-through or dine-in and one thing is for certain you’ll be pretty far from basic. Pro tip: The Culver’s in St. Anthony (Silver Lake Rd) has a full-on old timers bluegrass jam every Saturday from 1:30 PM-4 PM. Probably the coolest thing you’ll ever see in life.
4287119.427.8
66
May 23, 2017 at 5:00 am
The Sheridan Room, 337 13th Ave NE, MPLS; thesheridanroom.com
8.799
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Now that things have settled down a little in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, it’s a good time to go hunting! The Sheridan Room precisely at 337 on 13th is quite possibly the hipster capitol of the world. So roll up your skinnies and park your fixie right up front cause we’re rolling hard for meat. The Sheridan Room Burger is all scratchy and totes chef driven. Bun is onion and semi-sweet. Liked it. The grind is chuck and brisket so the pedigree is strong. Major league juicy town. Beard wipes galore. Medium be doing, which is nice. V loose pack on the meat. The burger is smothered in a super smooth gruyere. It’s yummy. There’s a magical cipollini onion jam that’s really just there the whole time. Adding depth to each bite. The lettuce is on the bottom where it belongs. Some sneaky mushrooms and a dijonnaise finalize the show. It’s a journey but they’re all together. Top marks chef. Comes with fries or an artsy salad. Loved the burger, love the place. Now there’s a nice aftershock of flavor that’s very lasting, reminding you of all its glory. Pro tip: Glass block windows are almost always a score. You see them you go in.
4287826.735.4
67
May 30, 2017 at 5:05 am
Hi-Lo Diner, 4020 East Lake St, MPLS; hi-lo-diner.com
9.5109
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
We’re Living Hi-Lo dirty clothes ain’t never lost no bet . . . Whoops slipped into an old White Iron Band classic. Well, that kinda gave it away. Yup, this hunt is east on Lake Street at the one and only Hi-Lo Diner. Now once again the burgermight not be your number one choice cause the menu here has some muscles. Real good. But you’re missing out if someone in the group doesn’t get all religious on some burger meat. The Hi-Lo Burger is a 1/3 lb diner beef blend. What that means is who knows but what it tastes like is O-M-G. It’s got a choice cut in there for sure and probably lots o’ fat in the chucky. It’s grilled semi crispy on a flat top. Sensational buttery crunch outer but a soft juicy not drippy inner. Best of both worlds kinda thing going on here. The bun is airy light brioche buttery and likely baked by an angel. With a hint of garlic and crispy yet soft. It’s maybe the best brioche I’ve ever had. Damn Gina. Anywho . . . The cheese is American and practically running down the block. Each bite gets a nice blast. Nailed it. Order a malt so you don’t get egg on your face. They’re incredible. And remember to blast a photo cause you’re in a 1957 Fodero. I’m also dropping a pin on this kill. Got more work to do here.
4288528.538
68
June 6, 2017 at 8:25 am
Shake Shack, Mall of America #332, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington; shakeshack.com
9.868
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Driving across town to the biggest Mall in America has never felt so exciting. This hunt is all about the best things in life—like Shake Shack. Seriously folks, believe the hype. The ShackBurger is one of the best around. FR. Now always patty up when available. Here it’s a double so go there. Trust . . . The meat is from local legends the Revier Cattle Co and they set the farm bar pretty high in Minnesota. The grind is a mix of love that I really don’t know. My best guess is angus with brisket. Menu says hundo p angus. Either way, it’s so good you won’t care. Cliff Clavin your beef some other time. This ones all about living in the moment. Each and every bite. The cheese is out of control. You almost think it’s a Jucy Lucy! I long for it. Hard. It’s creamy and perfect. Now this burger is cooked medium and is juicy to the nines. Glistening and drip forward. The bun is potato, small and butter grilled. Just right. Get the ShakeSauce on the side so you can taste this meat. The sauce is likely just a combo of all the fav burger condos. Good for some Belgiums. Dips fool! The fries are crinkle cut and super hot. Shake is in the name so you better believe they got game. And they do. No ice chunks here. Bring the fam and hit some stores but I guarantee you it’s the burger you’ll remember most!
4289223.833.6
69
June 13, 2017 at 5:00 am
Anchor Fish & Chips, 302 13th Ave NE, MPLS; theanchorfishandchips.com
9.367
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Ahoy polloi. Summertime and the livin’ is easy. This hunt we head to 13th Ave for the legendary fish fry line out the door place. Yup, it’s The Anchor Fish & Chips! Let’s get right to it. You get a burger at fish place? Damn right I do. And if you knew what was good for you, you’d do the same. Okay . . . we just had to talk that out. Glad we’re still friends. Pro Tip: Order the Fish & Chips as your appetizer! Your shipmate will be impressed. Now you’re settled in, on to the Burger & Chips. It’s packin’ Peterson Farms beef with their sweet limos (Limousin cattle from France) hella fresh kinda steaky smooth, but grass fed so clean and gentle. The texture is unique and hundo p made me want more and more. Nicely seasoned and salt is dialed. Medium and juicy. Bun is potato and from the French Meadow Bakery. Buttery grilled and just right. Arhhhhhhhh. The Irish Cheddar is whispering. It’s good, but double up if you cheese two. Get it? Says 1/3 lb, feels like a 1/2 pounder, so it kinda needs 2 slices. Anywho, the salad is monster . . . crispy and fresh. Tomato was better than textbook. The below deck bun gets a wonderful bath of flavor from all the meat juices and moisture. It holds court but becomes this whole new area of delight. Burgers on point . . . FR. List worthy even. The fries are wedgy and creamy good. You might even hear the fry chef say “nailed it”. Gotta love taking pride. Good work Anchor. I tip my sailor hat to you!
4289922.331.6
70
June 20, 2017 at 5:05 am
Smashburger, 15 locations in the Twincy metro, smashburger.com
8.467
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Busy summer months are all the up in your business. This much needed pit stop is before all 18 weddings and 22 graduations. Smashburger time folks. Yeah, this place is legit. It’s your high end fast food burger joint and I’m a card carrying member of the Smash Club. Actually it’s just an app. But there’s mad deals up in there! The BBQ, Bacon, & Cheddar is my steady. Let’s start with the bun, it’s eggy and butter grilled. Pretty good. The meat is never frozen, fresh and obvi smashed down onto the flattop. Burger is served simmering hot yet v juicy. Big, flat and cooked just passed medium. It’s kinda greasy but not offensive. Multi napkin affair. The meat is angus and right on flavor profile. Clean and seasoned simply. It’s topped with some haystack onions that are better than 98% of the onion rings out there. In fact, you can get a side of them and you’d be winning if you do so. There’s a fab town cheddar on dare and it’s to live for. Creamy and dreamy. Gooey and golden. A person oughta do two pieces . . . I’m being extra but whateves. The bacon is really breakfy and applewood smoked. The produce punch is fresh and crisp so get some if you’re into it. Lettuce your ride. Comes with a BBQ sauce but I’m a condo side guy. You control the levels. Love Smashburger every time. Consistent and the shoe string fries are a must.
4290621.429.8
71
June 27, 2017 at 9:46 am
Timber Lodge Steakhouse, 7989 Southtown Dr, Bloomington; timberlodgesteakhouse.com
9.2810
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Look up we are in Bloomington! A city besides MSP that actually has buildings. This hunt is so 1997 and we’re up north at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Now I’ve been saying for awhile that a good steakhouse almost always delivers a dynamite burger. Have a taste of nostalgia for size. Always hearted hard on T-Lodge. Who didn’t have a good meal there? FR! Place is lit. Now they’ve kicked it up a notch with some gourmet burgers and that’s my cue. The Bacon Cheeseburger is big times running for something! It’s bossy and has it all. They call um Butcher Burgers and this is why –> the meat is locally sourced from a single steer that comes from Blooming Prairie, MN. Top marks for all that. Timby admit-tingly uses their pals Lowry Hills Meats to get their special grind. The flavor is perfy. Flat top cooked with good meat sears on the outer and v juicy insides. Thick and med/light pack. So you do get a few crumbly pieces as you devour. The chew is goals. There’s a heavy salad, LTO & fresh ah! They get it from their own produce farm, which is nice. TBH it’s noticeably nice. There’s a little BBQ sauce that acts as a dressing. The bun is choice! Super fresh from Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in the Food Building in Nordeast. I loved this bun and would eat it just plain. Damn Gina. The burger comes with Neuskie’s Bacon and I shouldn’t need to explain the quality there. Hundo p. It’s smothered with a fab cheddar from Bongards. Lots of local and lots of love. I’m in a cabin folks. It’s pretty nice. Oh Timber Lodge you’ve never disappointed me. And to think how long it’s been. Damn I’ve missed you. Glad we’re back!
4291327.236.4
72
July 5, 2017 at 5:10 am
Peppers & Fries, 3900 East Lake St, MPLS; peppersandfries.com
9.159
You didn’t think we’d skip Burger Hunter this week, did you? Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us, so we’ve got to keep the coverage coming! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
You tell me this town ain’t got no heart . . . Cruise up and down Lake Street, roll down your windows and enjoy the beautiful diversity of flavors that’ll suit just about anyone’s fancy. You just gotta poke around. This one road alone could out eat the entire state of Rhode Island. East a bit on Lake dwells the food paradise of Peppers & Fries. It’s a sports bar that’s got a big MN Twins following but it feels like you’re in a fancy William Arena. Where the hell is Clem Haskins anyway??? Peppers PB&J burger is lit. No doubt folks add this beauty to your list. Don’t freak, you protein packin’ super scared of carb freaks. It’s a big 1/3 thick and juicy. Nice crisp outer, inner is medium and the chew is out of bounds. A nice grind on this angus. It’s topped with a thin to win layer of peanut butter that is without any argument the greatest spread ever invented. You could survive in the woods for a month on a big jar of PB. Put it on everything! This burger has a terrific pepper jelly that adds a touch of sweet heat to the now nutty tasting beef. It’s just wonderful. Maybe you had too much too fast. Topped with platform crispy bacon and a light cheddar. Bun is hundo p bakery fresh. P.J. Murphy’s I believe. Puffy. Now the fries are the real deal so get them. I sat right next to a box of Idaho beauties so it’s like, “yeah I’m getting you.” They have damn good food here. Let freedom ring on Shakedown Street!
4292123.132.2
73
July 11, 2017 at 8:52 am
Five Guys, 2300 Hennepin Ave S, MPLS; fiveguys.com
7.956
It’s the Burger Hunter! Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Now that you’ve celebrated our Independence, it’s a good time to pledge your loyalty to a guilty pleasure or two. Mine and yours is Five Guys. You can still be a foodie or a locavore or whatever, you’ll still work these fine fellas into your mix. They do it right, folks. Fresh AH. FR! Pro tip: There’s no freezer in any Five Guys restaurant. So they got that going for them, which is nice. Ingredients are always popping. The Bacon Cheeseburger with two patties is the Ave I went down. Went naked this time just to taste the beef, but I strongly suggest adding some garden. The meat is v good and mo def Five Guys flavor. Not sure if it’s in the light seasoning or just the beef. Patties are seared up but not crispy. Very juicy inner with American cheese wads coming correct in each bite. Think classic double 1/4 pounder but the best one you’ve ever had. Bacon on the bottom. Not sure why but it’s down there and in pieces. Not strips. The bun is sesame, good enough but not great by any means. Fries are woke and potato is from the farm they post on the wall. Fried in peanut oil. My fav part is the bag fries. Their bit is to dump a ton of extras in your bag with all the food. It’s like a Ricki Bonus. Now if you know what that is we all impressed! Another nice touch is the free peanut gallery. Hey it’s summer, go nuts!
4292718.926.8
74
July 18, 2017 at 10:34 am
Uncle Franky’s, 728 Broadway St NE, MPLS; unclefrankys.com
7.757
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
At the end of the trendiest street (Quincy) in Twincy and just across the block sits a restaurant that thankfully is lost in time. In the era of swanky this and that with million dollar makeovers this place is historically kitschy and crushing it. Uncle Franky’s is a dog joint and I definitely suggest getting one but I went for the triple cheese burger with bacon. The menu is on a chalkboard which is always a good sign. Yup it is . . . I know you just thought about it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s regs but butter grilled and sized correctly. Burgers got some flavor. Gotta be the old flattop. You could put a cardboard box on that grill and it would taste good. FR. Seasoned hundo p. Guessing chuck but the pack is all the way firm. That cheese tho is the best part. I went to Swiss town and it was all over the place. And thank you Uncle Franky for that. Onions are minced and on the bottom. Bacon is fried and from mars. I didn’t understand it. Anywho, this burger is noteworthy and they have a great juicy so mark it down. Comes with some crinkle cut potato logs. Served piping hot! Also the MinneSoda fountain pop is a must. Sitting in this place really brings you to another era. The ceiling fan. The smell. The chef yells out to you to double check your order. They even have a special of the day that’s under $5. When I got up I thought it would be farmland out those doors. Tasted good—felt amaze!
4293419.727.4
75
July 25, 2017 at 5:05 am
Duluth Grill, I-35 & 27th Avenue West, Duluth; duluthgrill.com
9.289
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. And he’s not afraid to head into colder, hipper climates to do it! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Norther beyond the Askov Finlayson exit and further past the infamous Esko Thomson exit is the one that stated them all . . . Duluth, Minnesota! Looking for a midsummer nights dream vacation? Damn straight up 35 for 2 hours and you’ll need to pit stop for some grub. The Duluth Grill is your answer. This place is without a doubt a foodie Mecca. I personally know families that drive 2 hours up and 2 hours back just for their pies. Pro tip: Get the banana cream. Anywho, I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and it was legit. Bun is brioche, soft and fresh. Butter grilled. The meat is grass feed and v clean but seasoned appropriately. Nice size just under 1/2lb. Juicy and medium be doing. Topped with blue cheese and wadded up nicely. Some is melted and some is chunky and all of it’s creamy. But the big whites were wah de tah!, as Pootie Tang would say. But FR they are goals. Best ever maybe. Also has a little maple bacon jam that works nicely with that award winning blue cheese. Every bite has a flavor bomb going off. There’s a great caramelized onion on it that’s been marinating longer than old jazz hands at Club Saratoga. Now I went with the hash browns and let me tell you my friends were eyeing them up. This place is woke. Entire menu deserves a dance. Now go see the sites! Duluth . . . Gotta love it every time. Paris of the North Shore.
Duluth Week4294126.235.4
76
August 1, 2017 at 10:47 am
Kelly’s Depot Bar, 241 E Kellogg Blvd, St Paul; https://www.facebook.com/Kellys-Depot-Bar
8.955
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Once upon a time there was an engineer. Drove his locomotive both far and near . . . Whoops, I derailed to St. Easy and hopped down to Kelly’s Depot Bar for a bite! Now folks this place will immediately remind you of something growing up. Maybe it was that local bar you always went to with the fam or the one near your grandparents’ house. Any which way this beauty is lost in time. Kelly’s Depot is an American classic long bar with the flattop cooker at the end. Damn that’s a winning combo. You look down a long bar and see the kitchen right there and not in back, you’re most likely in for a treat. That certainly was the case here. First off, the service comes with a paper placemat just before your food arrives. It’s so incredible that I didn’t even know what to do. Stunned back in time and it felt so frickin’ good that you could almost scream. Now I went all aboard for the Bacon Cheeseburger. It’s a big ‘un. All of 1/2lb fresh never frozen hand-pattied 80/20 straight chuck. Seasoned in the 80’s and cooked to perfy medium. While eyeing up the locals I spotted the old tin lids. Full steam ahead and boy could I taste it. V juicy. The flavor is pretty tradish. Bun is butter grilled and soft. Cheese is classic and the bacon is under it like it’s going night night. I went with the onion rings and those were par. Do the crinkle cuts they are much better. Loved my experience at Kelly’s Depot Bar. Won’t be touring the menu much but I hear their coneys are the real deal. Prices are hundo p the lowest in Lowertown.
4294818.927.8
77
August 8, 2017 at 9:06 am
Jimmy’s Pro Billiards, 4040 Central Ave NE MPLS; facebook.com/Jimmys-Pro-Billiards
8.269
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus if you make a beat for this week’s installment it sounds like total jam! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Rolling down central while sipping on juice I noticed a giant sign on a building stating 22 Pool Tables, 22 Burgers, 22 Beers. Hit the brakes and we’re at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards. Now they don’t open till noon and there may or may not be a dog running around inside but if there is, it kinda actually adds to the charm. Anywho, we skipped the tables and went straight for the beef. I went with The Grinder. All Black Angus beef with onion, bacon, and shredded cheese mixed into the burger. Cue the music not the chalk. It’s cooked med well and they should look into that. FR. Cause it was almost juicy enough but needed a notch under. The flavor is dialed and mo def lots going on. It’s topped with lettuce and tomato and 1000 island sauce. Rack um! We just started another game didn’t we. Yes, it’s leaning towards sandwich. So the bun is butter grilled and fresh from the Franklin Street Bakery. Quite soft. Now this place is pretty tight. There’s pinball. Prob don’t need to say anymore after all the 22’s and now pinball. But I will. The fries are choice ah. Hand cut and the owner is proud of them. If you’re lucky he will be your utility player through the entire experience. I wholeheartedly love a good pool hall and this place won’t disappoint. There’s some real sticks in this joint.
4295523.231.4
78
August 15, 2017 at 5:10 am
50’s Grill, 5524 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center; 50sgrill.com
8.876
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
If you’re lucky enough to still have your grandma or grandpa or some wonderful aunt or uncle than you better have taken that oh so special person to this oh so special place. Geese Louise we’re at the 50’s Grill! Dust off your chiffon scarf cause the big balls in cow town with hopes of some grease lightning. I went with the Bacon & Cheddar. It had a big star next to it. And it was deserving folks. This burger was all you could ever hope for and expect from a place like this. I mean they have pink booths here and some wicked cool neons. So the bun is baked in house fresh daily and it’s goals. The bottom even has like a floury cornmeal thing going on. The meat is tradish. Probably 80/20 chuck. But totes Voltage (our new word for greasy good). Travolta. We know he’s weird. Anywho moving along the meat flav is fab. This glistening patty of magic has a nice crispy outer with that winning juicy inner. Medium be doing and most def cooked on a flattop. Now don’t let the dude in the booth with the ducktail haircut show you up with his righteous malt order. Get one with your meal. Not after. Ok back to the burger it’s topped with a semi salty super gooey cheddar. Bacon is all the way Chantilly lace. Yeah it’s pretty. The burger is real good folks. I wouldn’t lie. Especially with grandma. Absolutely love the poodle skirts and saddle shoes the staff are sporting. Big ups to this charming piece of America.
4296221.830.6
79
August 22, 2017 at 5:10 am
Lucy’s Burgers, 1190 County Road J #700, White Bear Township; lucysburgers.com
899
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus if you make a beat for this week’s installment it sounds like total jam! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Eastbound and down, loaded up and trucking all the way to the town—with absolutely no sign of polar bears! Lucy’s Burgers in White Bear Lake is one of the new faves in town getting some definite love on social. I mean right there on the top of their menu ‘Strongly Advising’ you to cut your Lucy in half before eating. That’s like blasphemy in traditional jucy country. But they are doubling down on the Insta love cause who doesn’t want to see that . . . I ordered the American Lucy, they use Hereford aka British Beef (touché?) and any old farmer will tell you it’s got more marbling than Angus. And it does. Season up v nice and the beef on this ride can rival many in flavor. Cheese is stuffed inside and the pack is pretty dang firm all together. A sliver of a pocket and quite frankly not enough cheese. The more cheesy bites were lit but the less cheesy bites were just above average. I do have to hand to them on the cheese. It’s really good and an almost perfy consistency. Bun is regs and butter grilled. The salad toppings are fresh and can be enjoyed on or off this ride. Now seriously folks good stuffed burgers are hard to come by, but Lucy’s Burgers is doing some fine work and well on their way to burger gold. Also if you’re a beer battered O ring super fan you’ll need to get a batch of those. For beer battered, maybe the best ever.
429692634
80
August 29, 2017 at 5:15 am
Ole Piper Inn Bar & Grill, 1416 93rd Lane NE, Blaine; http://www.olepiperinn.com
9.387
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Straight up Central, all the way to Blaine, you might find yourself taking in some soccer or perhaps just a little blue sky . . . There are no big buildings up that way. I mean like none. A wicked cool motel would do well. Anywho, this party is heading to the Ole Piper Inn. Oh, we know you’ve seen the commercials, but you’ve probably never been. The Ollllllllllle burger inn. This time I went with the Patty Melt. This thing is so goals that you probably should sit down while reading. Let’s mo def start with the bread. It’s a Marble Rye that’s all buttery & crunchy. Just heaven. The beef is straight chucky and running around 75 or 80. Marble-be-doing. And Juicy!!! Searsy dude turned my mouth into a puddle. The cheese was flanking. From the topside is a gooey American and from the bottom was this Swiss that certainly didn’t miss. That sneaky Gnome (their mascot) in the corner is definitely watching me. Convinced. Okay, the sautéed onions are minced and add a hefty punch to this succulent sandwich. After halfway you can’t hardly believe what you’ve done. Inhaled and hardly noticed. Now for the second half you got to find your composure and dial yourself in. Enjoy every bite cause they all GOATs. Loved this burger so much. Flooding with flavor. Stop looking at me, gnome! Get a window seat and look upon the trucks of Hazzard County. The Ole Piper Inn is a legend of the North Metro. Always fun and has a damn good breakfy.
4297624.333.6
81
September 4, 2017 at 9:02 pm
Birchwood Cafe, 3311 East 25th Street, MPLS; birchwoodcafe.com
8.1810
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
As the seasons change so does one’s appetite to try new things. This hunt brings us to the perfect place to go on a little burger adventure so to speak . . . The Birchwood Cafe is the home to good locally sourced food that puts healthy forward allllll the days. I decided to jump off the cliff and go for the Black Bean & Quinoa burger. Now for some this is just an everyday affair but for the Great American Burger Hunter this is like a whole new beginning. Starting with the bun it’s parmy herby and super soft. Very good flav. The meat—or lack there of—is a grind of black beans and quinoa. Points for proper pronunciation. It’s pressed onto a flattop and grilled crispy. It tastes like the best ever black bean and queso dip. FR! The crispy outer is soooo ladies and gentlemen totes my new fav. I did mine ‘Scorch’ which means there’s a party of heirloom marinara, mozzarella, pesto, little lettuces, and garlic aioli. Each bite I can feel myself getting healthier. All the grains and whatnot take you on a real nice texture adventure. It’s plenty earthy but at the same time a tad greasy. You’re mo def eating a burger. When it comes to wellness, Birchwood plays zero games. This may be my first BBB but it won’t be my last.
4298226.134.2
82
September 12, 2017 at 5:00 am
Flameburger, 4800 Central Ave NE, MPLS; theflameburger.com
9.185
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Now that we went all healthy let’s immediately fall off that bandwagon and head straight back to that loving feeling. Oh yeah babe and it’s going down at none other than Flameburger. Upon entry you’ll have an immediate strange flashback of being here before. Early 20’s like 3 AM. Pretty sure it was breakfy. Wake up! Ok I’m back and holy wow there’s flames everywhere in here. So obvi I headed for the Flameburger with bacon & cheese. Bun is decent and has a dusting on it that could be cornmeal. It’s butter grilled. The meat is likely under 80/20. Maybe 75. Tradish chuck. V good tho and not seasoned much. Cooked over flames, adds all that Jazz to the beef. Each high note searing in sweet. Damn Gina, damn. Juicy to the nines and even compromised the bottom bun a little. Each bite exploding with flavor. Savory meat blasts of juicy rendering the perfect chew. Onion with the lightly charred beef is an OTP. The bacon is there but not showing off by any means. The cheese is about as American as those flames. If you close your eyes you’d think you pulled off the side of the road on some road trip to nowhere. Their cups will give you goosebumps and the soda tastes hella good in um. I loved this burger big times. It’s flame-forward and they been going hard since 1955. Pro-tip: Order the hashbrowns!
4299022.131.2
83
September 19, 2017 at 9:54 am
Good Earth Cafe, 1901 W Hwy 36, Roseville; goodearthmn.com
8.299
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s really branching out these days and amazing to read. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Celebrating our Earth should be done more than once a year! And the same goes for visiting the Good Earth Restaurant in Roseville or Edina. Yes, we’re hunting amongst the leaf nibblers. Only kidding . . . These conscious eaters are to thank for leading the pack on everything fresh and local. I ordered the Good Earth Burger. Now it’s got a full menu of toppings so let’s kick things off with that bun. Sesame and poppi, maybe a nut or two, not butter grilled but fresh. Liked it. Beef is Peterson Farms grass fed and runs a clean flavor profile. The portobello shrums lead the charge for the salad and the carm-y onions are pretty steady. Tomato is fresh and poppin’. The avocado and the rather sweet red pepper aioli smooth things out a bit. But those sunflower sprouts really made me feel proud. I just knew those things were helping me out in some way. The cheese is Gruyere and better believe it’s in my tops. Burger is a bit slippery but super earthy good. I devoured this thing. Loved knowing that everything is natural, organic, and farm to table. Comes with terra root vegetable chips and those are always a fun treat . . . Not quite sure what you’re eating but damn those purple and red ones are lit.
4299726.234.4
84
October 3, 2017 at 7:03 am
The Happy Gnome, 498 Selby Ave, STPL; thehappygnome.com
9.2910
He’s back! Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Well after a week of straight salads I decided that was quite a bore and needed to hunt for something a bit more . . . meaty . . . and happy. Also something sneaky. Here we go, The Happy Gnome in St. Easy is a popular gastropub that flat out delivers the funk each and every time. I ordered the Game Burger and it’s not gamey by any means. The grind is bison, elk, bacon and horseradish. Yeah, not tradish but all the way yummy boots. The meat is balanced really nicely. Wevers in Rio style. But there’s depth too. Getting a little peppery almost All Spicy, nutmeg kinda flavor. That sneaky Gnome. Making things hard on the Hunter. Okay now the bun is egg and fresh. Shiny and lightly toasted. Comes with LTO and some blue cheese onions that could steal your whole identity if they wanted. Yeah they are that good. The lingonberry aioli is so seasonal it’s redick. Works terrific. The toppings give it sweetness and Damn Gina this ride was drippy. Far from dry. Plate drips. Table drips. Beard drips. The chef is obvi profesh and putting forth some pairings and tastes that really go all the way around your mouth. Balance and depth ain’t easy but this Happy Gnome goes hard cuz. You’ll Fall in love with this burger.
4301128.237.4
85
October 10, 2017 at 5:00 am
Joe Senser’s, 2350 North Cleveland Ave, Roseville; sensers.com
8.988
He’s back! Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burgerknowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
So I’m just gonna come out and say it. Someone knocked some sense into me and we finally made it over to Joe Senser’s. Yeah the old Minnesota Viking place, but not the guy who sat on the bench. This dude made it to the Pro Bowl. Now Senser’s has been rockin’ a hardcore sports scene since ’88. Even if that’s not your thing, this is done pretty well. I even sat in a fancy garage lounge theater for dinner. Quite contemporary. But trust me it’s pretty game-y and I don’t mean the chow. I ordered The MVP burger. First off it’s a hot mess. But glorious. It’s like I hope nobody’s looking kinda good. Just dig in. BBQ seems heavy but it ain’t. Bun is fresh and toasted. Grind is Angus and locally sourced. It’s fresh never frozen and seared on griddle to lockdown juicy flavor town. And that’s about what it did! Now the toppings ride on this all-star are dialed. The garlic aioli adds a nice depth while the bacon and cheddar deliver the stats your hero is looking for. The salt on those two brothers put the BBQ almost sideways. But them caramelized onions tried to dom a bit but that’s what MVP’s do. Ball don’t lie . . . Might need more napkins than you’re used to, but that’s well worth it now isn’t it. Job well done, Joe!
4301824.933.8
86
October 17, 2017 at 5:05 am
JL Beers, 24 University Ave. NE Suite #100, MPLS; jlbeers.com
8.857
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Once in awhile it takes a couple visits to fully figure out what’s all going on with a burger. This happened to me at JL Beers. You know JL, it’s those North Dakota beer dudes that came to Twincy to strike burger gold. So on visit numero dos I bellied up to get a birds eye view of how and why my burger is coming out so quickly, yet so good. And there it was—a clam grill that comes over the flattop and puts a full court press on your meat with heat from both sides. 1 minute and 15 seconds later, out comes your seared up beef patty party. It’s most likely ground chuck with nice flavor from classic seasoning. Juicy, too! I ordered the University Ave Burger. The bun looks regs, but it’s so not. Fresh and seriously almost perfect. Butter grilled with a crispy inner and soft gentle outer . . . Mmmmm gentle outer . . . Just holds in your hands so nicely this one. Cheese is American and gooey good. Topped with clean crispy bacon that adds to the positive crunch factor throughout this ride. The salty beef plays nicely with the sweet bbq sauce. They calm each other down. Ever had one of those friends? Anywho, the fries are solid and fresh cut with your choice of topping. I love how perfect this burger is. Looks nice, tastes great, quick, easy, no attitude or gimmicks, and fresh! Sign says, “Great Burgers Sold Here.” And I put my stamp of approval on that!
4302520.829.6
87
October 24, 2017 at 5:05 am
Wagner’s Drive In, 7000 W Broadway Ave, Brooklyn Park; wagnersdrivein.comz
8.556
You know who he is, you know what he does. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Now and then we all need to go back in time to get that sweet taste of nostalgia. It’s what makes us appreciate the small things more. Life is simpler at the historic Wagner’s Drive-In. Yup, just pull right up and hit the switch and out will come your happy smiling waitress, minus the roller skates. First thing to notice is the prices . . . I think someone forgot to update them. They are very low folks. I ordered the bacon double cheese. Coming out hot at under $7. Damn Gina. Let’s start with the bun. Pretty regs but it’s butter grilled. The beef is chucky and smashed onto flattop with a very loose pack. Cooked through, but hella juicy. Bib up cause you’re in the car. Full burger flav with a nice salty finish. The cheese is American and pretty standard. The bacon is double crisp and just perfy for my 1 and only topping. Now this is a drive-in so you better malt up if you know what’s good for you. Fries are crinkle and decent. Belgium dip anyone? They’ll ask you if you want a tray for the window or a bag for the car . . . Always go window tray . . Always go window tray! It’s the difference maker. You’ll leave smiling and feeling young again.
4303219.528
88
October 31, 2017 at 5:05 am
Red Stag Supper Club, 509 1st Ave NE, MPLS; redstagsupperclub.com
9.499
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s like David S. Burgers! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Just over the river and into Northeast Minneapolis you’ll find a little honey hole of good foodie finds. We’ve hunted in this area before but this time we’re heading to investigate some talky talky about Red Stag Supper Club. Now this place is all charming and hosts a v strong menu. I’m practically dating their fish & chips and their Mac & Cheese. Anywho, once in awhile you have to look past your steady and go hunting on the menu. This probe is honing in on the Peterson Farms Heirloom Limousin Burger. And we’re off . . . Bun is sesame and poppi, toasted yet soft. It’s in collusion with this roasted garlic aioli. Attacking from the top and bottom. Soooo delicious. The meat is limo cattle (French) from a top shelf Minnesota farm. These are grandpa cows. The burger is full of flavor, finely textured and clean. Loose pack. Lots of drips! Cooked to order by pros. Knowing medium is the ultimate complement to a chef. They know medium. The cheese is white cheddar and completely smothering. Light salty and good. Topped with a sheet of crispy lettuce and I added the double smoked bacon. At least it tasted that way. Comes with pickles on and I took um off. Had plenty of crunch and really with this quality beef you can’t have to many distractions. There’s a hint of sweetness and it comes from the sneaky red onions under the meat. The burger is a standout and my findings are that the talky talky is true. Great burger from first bite to last.
4303927.436.8
89
November 7, 2017 at 5:05 am
Mayslack’s, 1428 4th Street NE, MPLS; mayslacksbar.com
8.988
Whenever we talk about Secrets of the City people immediately say “oh, I love the Burger Hunter!”. We love him, too. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
This hunt takes place just off of Uni-, just enough to make it cool for some reason. Welcome to Mayslack’s. Okay, now you got your visual. That corner. You can see Knight Cap over there the unofficial home to all their 86’ers. Anywho, I’m not at Mayslack’s to party or listen to a band this time. It’s hunting season and there’s three beautiful mini burgers in my scope. They are totes one of the best things on this menu. Had ’em many times tbh. Bread is a dark rye that’s sweet and soaks up juices better than SpongeBob himself. Buns filled with flavor. Lots of it comes from the straight up onion party they got going on. Bold and glorious beefy au jus taste to them. Sautéed to success. Not too sweet. Light crunch still and flat out everywhere yet somehow it’s not too many. There’s like 150 onions on it give or take a zero! The burgers meat is hand pattied, with a loose pack and fresh. There’s a special sauce that is special. Seems to have ketchup and pickles and mustard and idk really. It’s good. These Mayslack’s mini burgers are quite possibly the best sliders in town. FR! Pro tip: The roast beef is legendary and nobody beats their meat.
4304624.933.8
90
November 14, 2017 at 5:05 am
Miller’s Corner Bar, 547 N 40th Ave NE, Columbia Heights; millerscornerbar.com
8.355
It’s everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! The only one people ever mention. We’re basically an empty vessel for Mike S.’s burger hunting exploits and that’s just fine. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Now you might want to sit down or just make sure you are paying very close attention. Before us is probably my number 1 most favorite hunt so far. They’ve all been great but this one . . . OMG. Okay, so we park get out and boom there’s a smell of something fried and it’s hitting my memory banks. Miller’s Corner Bar in Columbia Heights is the epitome of a classic Minnesota burger joint. You can find these joints up north or in Northeast, small towns, or off the beaten path. Any which way here in Minnesota we cherish them . . . They are part of our Big North culture. Anywho, upon opening Miller’s front door I’m greeted by a dude tuning in his pedal steel guitar to to Johnny Cash song. Almost fainted. Didn’t and ordered the bacon cheese. Bun is lightly butter toasted. Crunchy and soft. Meat is chuck and very traditional tasting. Salted perfectly. Full onion flavor on the meat sear. Cooked to med well but hella juicy. Drips McGee and Drips Malone showed up. Holy heaven now there’s a guitar picker and he’s got honey in his voice. Feeling so good and proud to be a Minnesotan I’m tearing up on each bite. Now the cheddar is perfect and blankets the bacon to the meat. They do toppings on bottom and I chose only raw daddy onions this time. The burger is really enjoyable and exactly what you’d expect here. Go on Saturday afternoon and you might catch their sound check like we did.
4305318.326.6
91
November 21, 2017 at 5:05 am
Barbette, 1600 W. Lake St, MPLS; barbette.com
8.898
It’s everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! The only one people ever mention. We’re basically an empty vessel for Mike S.’s burger hunting exploits and that’s just fine. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
Now that your hot laps around Bde Maka Ska are almost over it’s time to head inside to one of your old favorites—or one of my new favorites. Embarrassingly this is my virgin voyage to the beautiful Barbette. It’s true! How did it happen! It’s obvi got street cred amongst the foodie scene, but I’m traveling past the glorious mussels and steak straight to crushtown. The Royale with Cheese is your flame grilled quintessential quality burger. Not many restaurants do flame and fine beef. Barbette does. They use Limousin cattle and local. The texture is the big winner here . . . Char marks on the outer and the chew just slides into your DM’s. The bun is toasted, sized right, flakey and soft. Now the cheese is comte and brings a flavor portfolio that one should consider more often. Kinda nutty and earthy and somewhat sweet. Sounds like Uptown or France to me. Either way its melt factor is hundo p and the report card says “works well with others”. Tasty AH. All upper mouth. There’s an onion marmalade that’s flanking and a light spread of Grey Poupon. It’s balanced quite well. Comes with a fresh salad, which means you had a salad for lunch. Things are working out nicely. This burger is simply exotic. Not a ton going on but what is, is just perfy. To think that this killer restaurant has been marinating here since the Cafe Weird days is a bit bizarre.
4306025.834.6
92
November 28, 2017 at 5:05 am
BRIO, 15190 Bluebird Street NW Suite #100, Andover; briotwincities.com
8.389
It’s everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! The only one people ever mention. We’re basically an empty vessel for Mike S.’s burger hunting exploits and that’s just fine. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.
With great energy and confidence we head North to the lovely town of Andover, MN. BRIO is an established coffee house that does small batch at a very high level and them there fresh grounds might not even be their best game. They have a sneaky great chef that’s pastry trained and in it to win it with her foodie game. I had my best ever grilled cheese sandwich here. I’m talking the one-that-changed-everything-kinda-best-ever. On to The Sleepy Swine, which is their burger on the menu. It’s on a torta roll which is just a better name for ciabatta. But there it is, now that I said it, we all know how good that is as a bun—mediocre at best. All uphill from here tho. The meat grind is a mix of lamb and bacon. Fantastic flavor and nothing dominates. Hard to do with them two. Juicy. The blue cheese is very forward like it’s had four drinks. Works well with the garden tho. Fozzy Bear tomatoes. That’s what we call the big ones. Delicious and far out exotic with the tzatziki sauce helping everything be so fierce. It’s reaching a bit but it all works out great. Each bite rendering a blast of different flavors. Good complexity. Coffee is a must. Big ups on that lamb and bacon grind. They are bff’s.
4306725.333.6
93
December 5, 2017 at 5:10 am
The Depot Tavern, 17 North 7th St, MPLS; thedepottavern.com
8.388
It’s the countdown to the final ever Burger Hunter, everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! That’s right, there’s only a few more hunts left until Mike S. goes on an extended cleanse (as The Juice Bar Hunter?)! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s previous meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the Twitter.
It’s the holiday season because it’s December and now it’s cold. This hunt takes us indoors to the place where I’m almost certain there’s never Christmas music, The Depot Tavern. It’s conveniently parked next to First Avenue because they own it. Upon entry it’s kinda like you’re in a New York Music Scene Diner Bar Restaurant. And the dinner music is real good. But would you expect anything less. The staff has more style than all of fashion week combined! You feel like you’re watching some bad-ass scene from a movie, when actually you’re living it. Anywho, the Bacon Cheddar burger is a fine starting point. Meat is Angus. Seared up by chef hardcore. Hella juicy with a minor drip party. Bun toasted. Kaiser like. Eggy. Onion strizzle on top with the bacon is an OTP and that bottom caramelized onion ketchup sure likes to dance. More of a marmalade TBH. But Wow! Crispy and smooth and just a v perfect bite happening. This ones G’d up from its feet up. Comes with house-cut fries that are one notch too thick. Lots of stars outside, another star inside!
4307424.332.6
94
December 12, 2017 at 5:05 am
White Castle, 608 Central Ave NE, MPLS; whitecastle.com
7.146
It’s the countdown to the final ever Burger Hunter, everyone’s favorite Secrets of the City feature! That’s right, there’s only a few more hunts left until Mike S. goes on an extended cleanse (as The Juice Bar Hunter?)! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s previous meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the Twitter.
It’s bar close and nothing’s open. You can probably guess where this hunt is heading. That’s right we’re in the drive-thru at none other than White Castle. Don’t act like you’ve never done this before. Ok everyone calm down so we can order. Four Sliders with cheese naked and a bag of nails. First off the bun on these little fellas is soft ah. They are the real soaker uppers that give this burger its iconic taste. The beef patties are not grilled but steamed over a pile of onions. As you can imagine the meat gets dominated by onion and renders that smell we all know from 50 feet away. I order mine without the O’s because they’ve been pretty much marinating in um. Topped with cheese and tbh it’s the only contrast you’ll get in the flavor on this ride. It’s so BOM bun onion meat that the cheese actually stands out. How I’m noticing these things at 2am is a miracle of its own. The Castle has been going strong for almost 100 years. That’s a longer stay than some of the original castles in Europe. Anywho the nails aka fries are crinkle cut, hot and all you’ve ever needed after a night of skulduggery. Now don’t make the mistake of ordering all the bizarre on the menu, especially at this hour. But if you do miss your late night crave, the next morning has you completely covered. Pro tip: White Castle serves a damn good breakfy. They actually crack the egg and use real toasters.
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