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MSP - Burger Jones opens today

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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 places...no 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. We tried it yesterday afternoon. As others have said, the kitchen just isn't ready to handle the rush yet.

                              We were there around 3PM, there was a 15 minute wait for a table, even though some tables were open.

                              TCL had the veggie burger, which is now one of the top (if not the top) veggie burger in town.

                              I had the bacon cheeseburger. It was fine, but nothing worth waiting for. The burger leaked a lot of juices, and left the bottom of the bun a soggy mess. I love a juicy burger, but it needs to have a bun that can stand up to it.

                              Our bigger issue was that we ordered the BJ Nuts off the Happy Hour menu, since it was happy hour. We got many apologies about them taking so long, and were told early on that we wouldn't be paying for them. They didn't actually appear until we got our check. At that point, we got a BIG takeout container with them - still PIPING HOT, along with a free ice cream sandwich. (I'd go back just to get one of those Liberty Frozen Custard Ice Cream Sandwiches)

                              I can't really complain, that's the price you pay for being an early adopter. We'll go back in a month or so, once they've found their rhythm. There's lots of potential in there, but they need to get their issues sorted out.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Danny

                                well, shoot-- i want to hear more about why the BJ veggie burger is now perhaps the best in town, & what makes it so great! what does the Lurker have to say? :)

                                1. re: soupkitten

                                  I went this week. Service was terrible, our waiter took our drink order, then didn't come back for 15 minutes. Once we finally got our drinks and had to ask for water, he took our order, which didn't come for another 45 minutes.

                                  But the burgers were good. I got the bacon cheese burger which was juicy and big. I tried my friend's veggie burger which had nice big pieces of mushroom and chopped nuts in it. It had texture but was moist, not crumbly. She loved it.

                                  Also the onion rings have a thick, crunchy breading and are very good.

                                  I'll hope the bad service was just a start up problem. I'll go back.

                                  1. re: mankymiss

                                    thanks mankymiss for the further details esp. on the veggie burger . I am always looking for housemade veggie burgers that are GOOD, might be willing to wait for one. I live in the area so stopped in recently just to see what the place looked like. A very friendly hostess stood by the entrance and I asked her how long the wait was (I was by myself) she smiled and said '2 hours' without blinking. There were at least 4 empty tables...I did see a bunch of tables with the 'tower of fries' that looked good. I don't get the 2 hour thing. Really don't. This is Parasole, not mom and pop with no experience opening a place. Why is there so little indoor seating? What were they thinking. Must be some secret backstory here, wonder if we'll ever hear it.

                                    1. re: faith

                                      This is nuts. There is no burger on Earth worth a one hour wait, let alone a two hour one. You can drive to Bulldog, the Nook, Town Talk Diner, or any other place in town that does a great burger, get there, eat, and be finished before the Burger Jones folks will seat you.

                                  2. re: soupkitten

                                    I liked the veggie burger becuase it had a lot of interesting texture, it wasn't too dry nor too sloppy and I liked that I could get it with whatever toppings I wanted. By interesting texture, I noticed that it had some sort of nuts (cashews perhaps?) that gave the burger a nice crunch and nutty flavor. While the veggie burger was larger than the bun and the burger that was outside of the bun fell apart, most of the burger held up pretty well. Not that this burger is similar to the 'spicy black bean burger' pre-made thing, but for a homemade version it stayed together pretty well.

                                    The veggie burger or the "Birkenstoker" comes with avacodo and pepper jack cheese. However, being that I have to avoid high fatty toppings, I got it with salsa, jalepenos, lettuce and tomato and it was a nice complement to the nutty, mushroomy flavor of the veggie burger. One thing to note, if you don't want to avocado and pepperjack cheese, you need to make sure to ask them to take it off. I thought if you ordered the burger with the extra toppings that's what you would get, but actually you need to tell them no avocado, no cheese. I ended up just picking the fatty stuff off but learned how to order in the future.

                                    I also had the wedge salad which was nothing remarkable.

                                    As Danny mentioned, the ice cream sandwich was fantastic. Then again, how can you go wrong with two chocolate chip cookes and frozen custard? You can't.

                                    1. re: The Chowish Lurker

                                      wow thanks for the BJ's veggie burger review, TCL. i hadn't yet seen anything in the other reviews to make me want to patronize this place (another burger place, and corporate restaurant group, to boot), but now i know what i'd order, if i ever did go there! :)

                                      is the "wedge salad" a wedge of iceburg with riff on classic creamy dressing? or is the "wedge salad" all neo-hippy microgreens, whole grains, and organic fruit/veg, a la "the wedge, the co-op?"

                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                        The odds of TCL coming out of hiding twice in one thread is rare, so I'll take this one. It was a wedge of iceburg lettuce, with some onions, and tomatos on the side. The menu says it comes with Bacon, which TCL requested be left off. The menu also says it has Bleu Cheese on it, but that was missing too, perhaps because TCL requested Bleu Cheese dressing to be served on the side?

                                        Have you noticed a theme in our posts - these are the little things that they need to improve on. She ordered the Veggie Burger with Tomato, Lettuce, Jalapenos and Salsa Verde, but got The Birkenstocker with those things.

                                        Thinking about it, the only thing they got entirely correct was my burger and fries. Everything else was not quite right for one reason or another. But, we went in expecting problems, so we were neither surprised nor upset.

                                        1. re: Danny

                                          The Birkenstocker IS the veggie burger. Thought I posted this yesterday but don't see it. I finally went and had the newer version of the Birkenstocker, now with kidney beans and mushrooms and Mexican spicing. I asked for avocado lettuce tomato and onion, minus the pico de gallo it now comes with. It was good- nice sized burger, good bun, good seasoning, firm enough for a homemade veg burger.

                                          I also got a small order of fries, asked for no salt. Was told they would come 'light seasoning' . They came out with nothing on them, and were quite good, hand cut russets twice cooked so they had a nice exterior crunch.

                                          All in all, pretty decent.

                                          1. re: faith

                                            They are not, and were not the same thing.

                                            The Birkinstocker WAS a veggie burger with cheese, and a bunch of other toppings.

                                            What TCL ordered was a "veggie burger with Tomato, Lettuce, Jalapenos, and Salsa Verde."

                                            What TCL got was A Veggie burger with whatever cheese and toppings come on the birkinstocker PLUS the additional things she asked for. That is NOT what she ordered.

                                            1. re: Danny

                                              The Birkenstocker was the original only veggie burger on their menu. About the time you and I went there in August, they had just replaced it with what is now called 'Southwest Veggie Burger' that seems to be a mushroom vegetable patty with pico de gallo and pepperjack cheese. I believe the server referred to the SW veggie burger as the Birkenstocker when talking to me about it. I didn't want cheese on mine, asked for avocado instead.

                                              And yes, they got CL's order wrong. I haven't been motivated to go back.

                                2. ok, so went this weekend because we needed a book at B&N. Walked right in to a table inside at about 4:15 pm (people were waiting for the patio). Nice details that add atmosphere--dish towels as napkins, food served on 1/4 sheet tray. Food was meh...I wanted salad and poutine for entree; expo brought poutine as app and then server came by and told me that he asked for it to be held as entree, so then he brings my salad, too...my dh waited and waited and waited for his burger and fries and ended up sharing the poutine with me. expo brought hus plain hamburger (which literally took 35 minutes) and forgot fries. expo and waiter both swore they'd bring fries....never came. poor service needs to be worked out...it was over $30 and we only ordered soda, not beer or drinks....save your money and go someplace else.

                                  1. isn't "Jonesing" a term referring to chemical dependency?

                                    Sounds like a lot of mixed reviews. I'll wait a few more weeks and give 'er a try. Yogi Berra crowdedness is a problem.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: keg

                                      Yes, I've been thinking about that 'Jones' term since the sign went up many many days ago. It does refer to a craving and I think comes from street drug lingo. Hey, I just figured something out- maybe they are a Hazelden for burger addicts....and by making you wait so long, bad service etc. it's like behavior mod. and gets you over the craving.....OR just makes you go somewhere else.

                                      1. re: faith

                                        Had dinner tonight at Burger Jones. No wait for a table (either indoor or outside) at 6.00 p.m. The cheese curds are great - better than the State Fair. The fry trio was ok - the fries cooled off pretty quickly and turned soggy. I didn't care for the burger. If I am going to spend that much on a burger, I'm going to Levain. It Just didn't taste like much of anything. Service was good. I would go back for drinks and curds and get dinner somewhere else.

                                      2. re: keg

                                        It all depends on how you look at the term or where your mind is. ;) You can choose to think of it as a drug term, but it was not created by that group. The term to me derives with the "keeping up with the Jones'" which meant competition to have the best. So, I looked at jonesing to mean craving for the best. I'm sure Parasol was thinking the same.

                                        1. re: Davydd

                                          I actually thought it sounded like a jazz musician.

                                          "Saturday night, come see Burger Jones and the Tube Steak Five!"

                                      3. Out of curiosity I went to Burger Jones for a late lunch (2:30 PM) and had no wait. There were plenty of tables open but I sat at the bar. Burger Jones is definitely a cut above the fast food places like Five Guys in my opinion. I've been to Five Guys in Edina, MN and Fairfax, VA. I ordered probably the most interesting and most outrageous selection called the "White Trash" burger. It came with a cross of deep-fried bacon and a small stack of cheese curds. The melted cheese on the burger was Velveeta. The burger was held together with a toothpick flag - the Iowa state flag. Charlie, the bartender, asked me, without my prompting or my asking, how I would like my burger cooked, pink inside or well done. I said pink. It clearly was not smashed and was done just right. The taste was unique, juicy and good. I'd recommend it. Attached is a photo of the burger. Drool. ;)

                                         
                                        1. As if Burger Jones wasn't underwhelming enough, Liberty Frozen Custard has now been replaced with Generic Frozen Custard: http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Danny

                                            Is it just me, or do all Parasole restaurants have a huge focus on $$$$ and only focus on anything else if it goes along with increasing $$$$.

                                          2. Went for lunch today. It seems the hype has died down a bit, because we got a table right away. I like the decor. It makes good use of natural light, and the restaurant has a nice conviviality to it.

                                            Service was lightning quick, and we had food within about 10 minutes of sitting down.

                                            We started with the tri-fry tower. Each of the variations (french fries, sweet potato fries, parmesan waffle fries) were quite good. Nice and crispy, and full of flavor. The sweet chili sauce was a good match for the SP fries.

                                            I ordered the Hangover, which features a fried egg, bacon and hot sauce to go with the usual tomato and lettuce. Wife had a burger with sauteed onions and Swiss.

                                            The first thing I noticed was that her patty was thicker than mine. Not sure why this was the case. My burger was very juicy, which disintegrated the wussy bun in no time, and it didn't have any sort of sear.

                                            For a burger with bacon and hot sauce, the strongest flavor was the egg. The whole thing lacked flavor, and I found myself making use of the dipping sauces that came with our fries.

                                            Wife ordered hers with no pink (some pink and no pink are the options), and the extra thick burger didn't add much in the way of flavor. It was pretty dry throughout.

                                            Bill, with a Diet Coke, came to $31. At that price point, I need something much more impressive from a burger. This one rates somewhat below Tavern on France. I can't see myself returning.