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Matt's Jucy Lucy MSP (Yes spelled correctly)

After 28 years since my last jucy lucy, I finally found myself back in Matt's neighborhood, (my wife-to-be used to live in the neighborhood and we would stop there quite frequently for a buger) and since it was lunch time, decided to try it again. (Do a search on this website for jucy lucy, and read the 2004 review for a great piece of writing - you will love it.) The bar serves beer and wine - no booze. The Jucy Lucy is now $4.50, fries not included. I ordered a burger and a glass of the house red (which comes in a water glass - they don't serve much wine). The barmaid popped the wax paper wrapped burger in front of me, and asked if I knew how to treat the burger. Yes - I used to eat them over 28 years ago, and you unwrap them, let them cool a bit, and bite around the edges so you don't burn the hell out of your mouth when the cheese starts to flow. She introduced me to the old guy (I'm 60), sitting next to me "...he probaby cooked your last Jucy Lucy - he's Matt". Is the burger good? Yes. Is it the best burger I ever had? No. Worth the trip. Have fun.

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  1. If the 5-8 Club is still in existence, they made the best JL I have ever had in my life. It was huge and stupendous. I have had Matts and it was OK, but nothing worth writing home about.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cooknKate

      The 5-8 is still alive and kicking, I'm happy to report. I live in the neighborhood and when I need a burger, that's where I go.

    2. FWIW, I have it on good authority that Matt's uses Sysco patties. I haven't tried the 5-8 burger, but have heard good things. The JL at Groveland Tap in St. Paul is pretty decent. Really though, it's worth it to make them at home. My favorite at-home version is stuffed with goat cheese and pickled jalapeños.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mill City Modern

        I like the cajun lucy at the Groveland Tap, too, although, it's stuffed with jalapenos, not with cheese. They plop a slice of cheese on top of the cajun lucy, like a regular cheeseburger.

        We've made jucy lucys at home, too. It's harder than you'd think!

        My favorite JL is still at the Nook on Hamline at Randolph--the bun is even wonderful.

        ~TDQ

      2. The 5-8 Club is still around, and I've had their JL a number of times. I like the 5-8, but The Nook's JL is a notch above, plus it comes in a few different varieties (jalapeno JL, etc.).

        I'd love to see 112 Eatery turn their cheeseburger inside out and make a JL. Now that would be a sight to see!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chris Mitra

          I like the Moliter burger at the Nook, which is a variation of the JL, but stuffed with pepperjack cheese.

          I agree that 112 Eatery could make a fabulous Lucy!

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Yeah, I think I was thinking of the Moliter -- pepperjack cheese, not jalapeno peppers.

            Speaking of JLs, I think Birchwood's Black Bean (veggie) Lucy has recently been through some changes. It used to be a little pastey, but I was speaking to the new chef at Birchwood a month or two ago, and he was planning to try to change it up a bit to make it a little more moist. Has anyone had this recently, and can you confirm/refute?

        2. Dnag! I haven't been to the Nook since I moved to Minneapolis, and now you've all got me hankering for one of their burgers!

          1. Since I haven't eaten a hamburger in 12 years I couldn't tell you which is best. I like the Nook for the pork tenderloin sandwich and the perfect atmosphere. I also like the 5-8 Club because they too have a pork tenderloin sandwich and a speakeasy history. Does Matt's have one?

            1. Ok, I've had Matt's JL a number of times, and have been to the Nook occasionally (but never had their JL) but never to the 5-8. I think I've driven by it a bit, though. Isn't it near 77? Can someone refresh my memory? BTW, a JL is so rich for me that I like it, but it isn't necessarily one of those "bigger is better" items. Are the JLs at the 5-8 huge? How does the size of the Nook's compare?

              2 Replies
              1. re: dahlsk

                The 5-8 club is near where Cedar Ave (77) meets the Crosstown (62). At the first stoplight north of that junction, turn west (by Fat Lorenzo's) and then navigate a block further south on the frontage road.

                1. re: dahlsk

                  The 5-8 JLs are not huge -- actually they are reasonably sized. I am pretty sure the Nook's JL is bigger, and juicier. Or is that "jucier?"

                2. I have a burger maybe three times a year, and one of those times is always at Matt's. I know that Mill City Modern pointed out the Sysco connection (pause...ecckkkk), but I still remain loyal to this place.

                  Why? Sadly, I have an affection for those super-sour food-service pickles that many of us in the Midwest had on our high-school cafeteria trays. At Matt's, I can tell our server I'd like extra pickles, and I will get them. In a big way. And I love them.

                  No accounting for taste, huh?

                  But Matt's always appeals to our family for the crazy Op-Art wallpaper, the super-casual atmosphere - with the sizzle of those Sysco patties as backdrop, the willingness to bring more mayo for the fries...as well as the light in the kids' eyes if we announce our yearly trip to Matt's.

                  I agree - it's certainly not the best burger I've had. Not by a long shot. But it's a fine burger experience, emphasis on the experience.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cayjohan

                    what a lovely tribute. I too am fond of Matt's because it used to be walkable from my apartment & i was able to afford to treat my parents there when i was very young and broke. my dad would see that my tip was (to his mind) lavishly out of proportion for the extremely cheap tab. but the service was always great, & we'd always chat w our favorite waitresses about their kids etc. Matt's bar doesn't have any delusions of grandeur or hoity-toity brews on tap, but it is a great neighborhood joint that i wouldn't hesitate to bring good friends from out of town or across the puddle, for a real local experience.
                    I am also incredibly relieved that Matt's is not Sysco-a-go-go, at least for meat. I remember being amazed to sit at the bar & watch the fry-cook reconstituting dried onions (in vast quantities), though :)

                  2. In responce to Mill City Modern, Matt's bar does not use Sysco patties. They make their own patties from fresh ground beef. I know this for a fact.

                    1. Thank you for the info. I feel better about Matt's Bar again!

                      1. Interesting. The person who told me that used to work there. mlw, just curious how you know...do you work there?

                        1. No I don't work there exactly. I am one of their sales reps.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mlw

                            So, I spoke to my friend about the Matt's/Sysco issue; he says he they are not using Sysco patties, but are using fresh Sysco meat? Maybe? That might have only been when he worked there. My mistake. And while Sysco ground beef is surely not the greatest, it's probably what 95% of the places in town use anyway. So eat at Matt's to your heart's content! I probably would if it were closer to my neighborhood.

                          2. Just to be clear, there are a few 5-8 Club restaurants around town, the one on Cedar and 62 being the original. That being said, I've had the Jucy Lucy at the 5-8 Club on McKnight Rd. in Maplewood and it was abysmal. Cold meat, flavorless cheese, dry tasteless much-too-large bun. A complete waste of a trip. I can only hope the 5-8 Club in Mpls is better.

                            As for the Nook it is nearly impossible to compete with the Lodge Burger.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sven

                              Thankfully, Sven, you haven't been so distracted you lost your good chow-sense. Imagine! Too distracted for chow!

                              We tried the lodge burger at the Nook on your recommendation and it was, indeed, very good. I still love the Jucy Lucy (Moliter), there, though and almost always order it. I know I'm a lunatic, but, the opportunity cost to me of ordering something OTHER than the Moliter is too high, lest I be disappointed. But, it's best when my dining companion orders the lodge burger, because then I can have a bite.

                              ~TDQ