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May 19, 2009 12:24 PM

MSP - Burger Jones opens today

Anyone going to check the new Parasole Restaurant today or this week. Any and all reviews would be appreciated! The menu online looks great and I can't wait to try this place.

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  1. Where does this place get off charging $5 for a shake, $6 for onion rings and $10 for some burgers?! Are they serious?

    10 Replies
    1. re: salvage7

      Prices aren't all that different from typical bars. Their basic burger is $1 more than the Uptown bar.

      1. re: galewskj

        Sorry, I just found out that their burgers don't come with ANYTHING, so $6.99 just for a burger (cheese costs extra) does seem a bit on the high side. And their "happy" hour is 2-5? So the happy hour is for the unemployed.

        1. re: galewskj

          Right, like I said, are they serious?

          1. re: salvage7

            Ha - those comments were some of the funniest things I've heard today.....I was curious to try Burger Jones....but it looks like Five Guys will hold me over for now . Anyone tried Smashburger before....when does that open up? or is it open??

            1. re: nymoving2004

              The first (Hilltop) Smashburger has been open for a couple of weeks now. I tried it for the first time today. (Full disclosure: I had a coupon for a free burger, so I didn't pay for mine.)

              Overall, it was a pretty good burger. Best burger I've ever had? No, but way better than most, and for 5 bucks, you shouldn't be expecting the 112 burger. I really liked the garlic rosemary french fries - some of the better fries I've had in a while, although a bit too greasy for my liking.

              In the end, Smashburger (and Five Guys, which I haven't been to, but will assume is quite similar) will do for the burger what Chipotle has done for the burrito. If your burgers are usually from McDonalds or Applebees (Taco Bell or Don Pablos) this will be a major step up for you. The service is fast and friendly, the place feels trendy, and the food is better than average at a price that won't break the bank.

              Thats a recipe for success with the masses, and they deserve every bit of that success. I doubt I'll go back, because I'd rather not visit any chain or franchise. That said, I don't think it is bad to have a place like this raising the bar for everyone else. You're going to have a hard time throwing a frozen Sysco patty on the grill and getting away with it if there's a Smashburger nearby.

              1. re: Danny

                I went to Smashburger and was pretty impressed, although I still probably prefer Culvers.

                The Twin Cities burger is damn tasty, but it was a mess to eat. The smashfries were OK, although mine were a little on the cold side.

                Still, I'm glad to see places like this around so we can more alternatives to the mega-chains.

          2. re: galewskj

            You go to Bulldog and pay $11 (I think) for burger and fries. Order of fries at BJ is $3, and the burger is $7 (depending on cheese). Prices are about the same.

            1. re: pgokey

              At the Uptown Bulldog, burgers come with fries, and range from $7.50-$9, compared with $10-14 for the same at Burger Jones. Two hot dogs and fries will run you $11.50 at BD, vs. $19 at BJ.

              At this price point, they are running with 112, Vincent and Manny's. If they have the execution to match, bravo.

              1. re: kevin47

                Bulldog NE, where the burgers are really good, is $11.

                You nailed it though - since the prices are running in line with 112, et all - that's the level of quality I expect.

            2. re: galewskj

              Oh, and the Porter and Fry burger is $14.

              High for burgers? Maybe, but not out of line with other places serving high-end burgers. The price certainly won't keep me away - the question is the quality of the burger.

              And a $5 shake is nothing, really. I think that's a pretty average price.

              I'm going to give them a couple of months before I try it. Let them work out the kinks. That will be the true test, then.

        2. Maybe they'll win the City Pages award for most expensive place to order Pabst.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kevin47

            Bottled water is $2.75, too. I can see $5 for a shake, and $9 for the alcoholic ones. But some of the low-end drinks are clearly overpriced.

            1. re: pgokey

              That's five dollars? You don't put bourbon in it or nothin'?

          2. We tried - 2 hour wait so I haven't been yet.... But in answer to a few other posts on this thread....

            SMASHBURGER - Didn't do it for me. Lackluster greasy fries and the burger was ok. I agree with the other poster that the Culvers burger runs circles around Smashburger for taste. I think my major complaint is the bun. Their bun is too eggy. I like the soft sweet bun (Culvers).

            5 GUYS - It's heaven. Burger heaven. French Fry heaven. Worth the wait in line.

            13 Replies
            1. re: bivouac

              Well, I guess Michelle Obama agrees with you about 5 Guys- I heard she likes to go there- can you elaborate on the specifics of why you deem it 'heaven' , bivouac? thanks

              1. re: bivouac

                Not to change the subject, but I've always been curious - who waits TWO HOURS for dinner? I've heard of this especially with some upscale chain-type restaurants (ala Cheesecake Factory). It's not like there aren't tons of fabulous places to eat here. I still fail to understand this but am willing to be enlightened...

                1. re: latte4me

                  Doesn't Burger Jones have takeout? Two hour wait?? I'm ordering it to go, having a beer while I wait and eating in my car while the other suckers wait another 90 minutes to get seated.

                  1. re: latte4me

                    The majority of the population never makes reservations for restaurants. As such, they simply assume that waiting in line for an eternity is the only way to eat the best stuff. These restaurants usually charge a bit more, which makes the customer feel like they are entering a truly elite club.

                    Sometimes, the restaurants offer elite food to match (Broders Pasta Bar for example), and sometimes, well, Cheesecake Factory.

                  2. re: bivouac

                    Just got back from 5 Guys and I don't get the hype. They only cook it well-done and it was devoid of juice and flavor. It was an amazingly sub-average burger.

                    Flip side, had Smashburger last week and thought it was so good, I ordered another on the spot. Retained just a hint of pink, even though it was a thin buger, and juice like mad.

                    Culvers double deluxe will always hold a special place in my heart for the killer crusty edges.

                    1. re: bivouac

                      Smashburger is horrible! I went there with my wife today for lunch and was very disapointed. My burger was a greasy mess, and the smash fries were also very greasy and cold, and just plain bad. The pieces of fries were tiny, like 1 inch long for each fry. I had a malt and it was ok, but nothing special. My wife had a salad and it was dry and tasteless. I won't go back because it's just not worth it. I am sure it will do well though, from what I can tell, most Minnesotans love their sub-par food from chains.

                      1. re: princebaal

                        Thanks Princebaal- somehow the name Smashburger doesn't seem very appealing to me- I thought it was better not to handle a meat patty too much, smashing it seems like the opposite.

                        1. re: faith

                          I made the same point on a thread-that-was-moved. Baker's Square is also featuring "crushburgers." Why this violence against poor, hapless burgers that just want to be gently cooked and loved? Why, I ask you?!

                          1. re: Jordan

                            I wholeheartedly agree faith and Jordan. There are dozens of burger preferences, but to me it's always a shame when you take good ground beef and ruin the flavor and texture by smashing it thin like Culver's does and like most Jucy Lucys end up. To me, crispy edges are not a good thing at all.

                            I haven't been to Smashburger (nor Five Guys or Burger Jones yet) so I want to be fair and give them a try. That said, hearing the comparisons with Culver's, especially those that say Culver's is BETTER, has me going in with extremely low expectations.

                            I would gladly pay the $10+ that people are exasperated about at Burger Jones if they put out a great burger that isn't ruined like a Culver's, Matt's Bar, 5-8 Club, etc. offering.

                            1. re: MSPD

                              As a Culver's acolyte I feel it necessary to point out that one can get charred edges without crushing the patty and that Culver's has always gotten my burger to temp (medium) when asked (unlike some of the places noted as standard-bearers within this thread) and they're juicy. Hell, one of the juiciest burgers in town (Lurcat) is cooked on a griddle and pressure applied in the cooking process.

                              I think you can get a burger and malt at Annie's for the price of a burger alone at these two new sale so far.

                            2. re: Jordan

                              And don't get me started on the "Joe Pesci at the end of Casino" burger.

                            3. re: faith

                              From what I understand, the meat is put onto the griddle in a ball, then smashed down into a patty. They don't continuously smash it into some sort of dry, flavorless meat puck.

                              To re-iterate my thoughts on Smashburger:

                              -Greasy and hard to eat (albeit tasty) burger.
                              -Boring and cold fries.

                              Sure, they are just getting started, but if I'm in that part of St. Anthony, I'll gladly go to Culvers.

                              1. re: BigE

                                Gonna have to chalk the demand/success of the smashburger up to marketing, plain and simple. As a recovered pre-fab food eater and current cook that grinds my own chuck patties, I thought I'd get off my high horse and see what all the fuss was about and check this place out. If I had to find a redeeming quality for these burgers - a big s-t-r-e-c-t-c-h - I'd say that they are seasoned well and have the crispy edges. But both of these things can be accomplished to much more delicious results with a real piece of meat and proper cooking technique. I'm about $6 poorer, but happily back on my horse again.

                        2. My husband and I went today. Here's the Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly....

                          The Good: My husband really liked his burger. He got a Bacon Cheeseburger and thought it was really good. I got a Salted Caramel Shake. It was amazing. The best shake I have ever had. They use the custard from Liberty. It had nice size bits of salt mixed in with the shake. I loved it.

                          The Bad: I thought my burger was pretty plain tasting. I wish they used grass fed beef because it has so much more taste. The Poutine was okay. I just think it is better with thicker fries. They have very thin fries, which are normally good, but not with poutine. I ordered onions, sauerkraut, cheddar cheese and mushrooms on my burger. I got about 2 mushrooms, the cheese was lacking in taste and there was not enough sauerkraut. Blah.

                          The Ugly: Oh dear. It was a 45 minute wait when we got there. We decided to wait and headed to Barnes and Noble. I think the bookstore is probably getting a lot of business due to Burger Jones. When we headed back, we heard the wait had increased to 90 minutes.

                          Once seated, we waited about half an hour from when our order was taken until when we got food. The wait staff was friendly, but I think she should have checked back with us more due to the long wait.

                          By the time we got our food, we realized that a) there were a lot of empty tables b) there were a lot of staff standing around and c) they were still telling people wait times. It seems the kitchen was way behind. They were leaving tables empty while people waited outside in order to get the kitchen caught up. We could hear the wait staff apologizing when people did get seated.

                          Clearly there are quirks that need to be worked out. I wish they would switch to tastier beef because that is not a quirk, but a flaw, or they should do a better job seasoning the beef.

                          We will go back because it is close and my husband liked it. I will get a plain cheeseburger next time with no upgrades. I won't get poutine, but regular fries.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: churchka

                            Churchka- I'd say if you went back, you must really love your husband, and/or love waiting around and/or love hanging out in Barnes and Noble! Your review doesn't make me feel at all inclined to go there...thanks for the g, the b and the u.

                            1. re: churchka

                              This is why I don't visit a restaurant within the first couple of months of opening. It's always best to wait for them to get the kinks out. I'll bet by the end of the summer, many of the management issues won't be an issue.

                              1. re: pgokey

                                Bulldog NE makes a truffle burger worth $10 but from the reviews it sounds like Jones isn't worth what they are charging. I just went to 5 Guy's and was impressed. Affordable prices, good burgers and really good hand cut fries. The fries remind me of the fresh french fries at the state fair. as far as waiting for an hour...YURZ.

                            2. The original comment has been removed