Historians are unclear (perhaps the Minnesota Historical Society could take up the issue). Lore has it that it began at Matt’s Bar (mattsbar.com) at 35th and Cedar in south Minneapolis in the 1950s, but others -- principally, the people at the 5-8 Club (5-8club.com), about 20 blocks south -- disagree. There is also some disagreement as to the origins of the name, but it’s probably some kind of Minnesota-ism; perhaps the Uff-Da Burger (as in, “uff-da, dat cheese sure is dang hot”) didn’t have the same ring. The loss of the “I” in juicy has also disappeared into the mists of time, other than it’s a Matt’s thing; the full spelling is used at the 5-8.
Other than their novelty (and their position as a local culinary oddity) I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the Jucy Lucy. The patties themselves don’t have a ton of pizzazz, and, given the (bland) cheese’s molten nature, a too-enthusiastic approach (taking a bite too soon) can lead to a visit to the burn unit at HCMC. Count me a fan of the Matt’s experience, though – it’s the epitome of the neighborhood take-solace hangout -- and the fries, which are excellent.
My feeling is that the stuffed burger to beat in the Twin Cities can be found at the Blue Door Pub (thebluedoorpubmn.com), where there’s a long list of, yes, Blucys.
I see that Jen Farni has a Reuben on her menu at the new Grain Stack at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I'd start there. I'm also a fan of the Reuben at Rye Deli (ryedeli.com). As for the lack of delis, it's a supply-demand thing. If only the Lutherans would rise up and shout DELI DELI DELI.
I'm so glad you suggested that. I have it on my list for Burger Friday. For those that don't know, Burger Friday is my weekly attempt to explore a different Twin Cities burger. You can find it at startribune.com/burger
Another find for that great city. Des Moines is a totally underrated food city, in my opinion. It's worth a weekend, and it's the same distance, car-wise, as a drive to Madison, Wis.
I love Wally's (wallysroastbeef.com), a Bloomington classic. It's second only to Maverick's (mavericksroastbeef.com) in Roseville.
I've not had it, but if Jamie Malone (seachangempls.com) is dabbling in burgers, then I'm so there. I'll check it out, soon. Thanks for the tip.
Yikes. But in their defense, I have to think that there's really no way to return that complex burger to the grill and have it come back to anyone's satisfaction.
Duly noted. Thanks! Any others?
Yes, that's one chain that really does it right.
Absolutely not. That gives them a measure, I'd say that's a great descriptive. I always like to answer the "how do you like your burger?" with "how does the kitchen prefer to prepare it?" and go from there, and I'm rarely (no pun intended) disappointed. But will it be the same level of rare that you're comfortable eating?
And plenty of restaurants grind their own beef for their burgers, starting with the Strip Club (domeats.com).
I wonder if they're afraid of winter. I'll be in southern California in a few weeks, and of course I'll be making my pilgrimage to I-N-O, so I totally get where you're coming from.
We're definitely in need of burgers for lunch! Read more about Rick's picks for burgers in the Friday blog (called Burger Friday, what else?). Find it at startribune.com/burgers
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