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Maybe I just don't like hamburgers - Bulldog NE [MSP]

Well I have been on a mini-quest for good hamburgers lately. With all the hype surrounding the new places in and around the MPS area, I have been craving a good burger. My Smash Burger experience was just awful, and I have lost all respect for City Pages after they rated Smash #1. I live close to Bulldog NE and decided that I would try that out. The actual dining area left much to be desired, especially the evening I chose. The gale force winds that were whipping through the bar carried a ton of dandelion cotton crap that I had to avoid eating as it landed on my food. The smell of cigarette smoke coming in from the patios also infused my every-other bite. I ordered the Junk Burger and it was ok. I didn't jump and scream about its tastiness, and I didn't spit it out. It was "decent." The fries were the star of the plate, they were awesome! My wife ordered the Caesar salad and I tasted that after she stated it had no flavor at all. She was right; the overwhelming flavor was . . . lettuce. It was a plate full of oily lettuce. Did I mention we started with hot pretzels with the horseradish mustard? I think they nuked a couple of super pretzels, they were very un-inspired. In conclusion, I might go back to try some of their other food, and definitely for the fries. I just haven't had that knock out burger yet. I will keep trying.

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  1. CP rated SB #1? wow.

    ate at BD yesterday with my brother. he had the truffle burger, I had the Junk.

    both were good, not great. I don't get too geeked out about truffle this or that. for being super duper ground fresh kobe...the meat was a bit bland.

    the fries? yeah, they are really good.

    1. If you haven't already, I would try Vincent or Blue Door's burgers before dismissing the genres. As for the Bulldog, to me it's about the hot dogs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kevin47

        my recent good burger experiences have mainly come at BDP, which also has good fries(and cheese curds!). I was at the Nook last sunday, before heading to Grand ole Day, and while mine wasn't as bad as what jfood described I was pretty underwhelmed.

        Smash was a fast food burger. no more, no less. the fries sucked.

        I haven't been to Vincent in a while but that is a burger I drool at just the thought of.

        Levain, Strip Club and 112...I'll make a note and get around to them.

      2. Princebaal,

        Jfood has been on hamburger search on and off for many months in MSP and was relieved to finally find Bulldog a few weeks ago. And he liked the dog but it was coldish by the time it arrived at his table (a beautiful night outside onthe side)


        When they are on, jfood really liked the burger at 112 and their fries are great but jfood has also had a few misses there. Do NOT get people started on the Jucy Lucy debate. Very passionate. Jfood was lucky at Matts and not so at Nook. Wildfire in the Eden Prairie Mall, the place south from there down the street, the place on 50th in Edina, all disappointing.

        Jfood is planning on Vincents, maybe this week and give the Nook another shot (not on $1 burger night


        If you are in that neighborhood, please try Brasa. Double Great at that price point.

        Now add a good ice cream tour and you and jfood will probably bump into each other.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          You think the jucy lucy debate is heated... Because you haven't been interested in pizza, you haven't even scratched surface of our most heated controversy, the Punch vs. Luce vs. Nea debate. (I like both Punch and Luce, haven't tried Nea).


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            jfood slowly dipping paw into that one. Not excited about Punch, but enjoyed Black Sheep, very good, not great. He is lucky living in CT with some really good pizzas.

          2. re: jfood

            Interesting enough after the night at the Bulldog we drove to the Pumphouse Creamery! Very good! But I am an ice cream machine and eat enough to have found those places.

          3. They rated SB #1 of the 5 new burger places (Sonic, Five Guys, American Burger Bar, Burger Jones, and SmashBurger) - not of all burgers. However, I will admit that the list also made me crave a hamburger.

            We decided to go the bar at Vincent last night and try the Vincent burger. I was quite impressed with how flavorful it was. I loved the smoked gouda with the meat and was impressed that it stayed moist even though they have to cook it a big more to get the gouda inside to melt. However, I think the Loaded Burger at the Strip Club in St. Paul is still my favorite burger in recent memory.

            1. I'd suggest the burger at Cafe Levain. Really flavorful (they use Thousand Hills) and the accompaniments are nicely matched. Gruyere fondue, charred onion, yum. It's close to me so it's my favorite place if I really crave a burger and I don't want to have CG start the grill.


              Cafe Levain
              4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              1. Bulldog is hit or miss on temp, and that makes or breaks a burger for me.

                I wanted to hate Smashy, but I looooved it for a thin burger. It beat out my Culver's craving for crusty edges and sloppy toppings.

                I've had two misses at Blue Door, but I'll keep trying. I love pink, but totally raw in the middle was a little much.

                What about the burger @ 112? The grind is beautiful, the meat flavored with onions and thyme, the cheese is brie and the english muffin rocks it. It's a good bomb.

                1. I'm going to add comments on burgers that I've held back on...there's just been too much discussion for me to resist.

                  One is that my one experience with the Vincent burger was abysmal. This either proves that it stinks (highly doubtful) or that, as plainly evident in these recent threads, burgers are just a hit-or-miss proposition no matter what or where you eat.

                  The outer beef on mine was dry. The bun was package quality. The short ribs inside were even more dry than the outside. There was no gouda flavor at all -- I almost wondered if they forgot it completely until I hit a little unmistakable blob. To add insult to injury, it was tiny. Hopefully you've all seen that I'm not prone to hyperbole or the "best this" or "worst that" but even including fast food, it was the 2nd worst burger I've had in recent memory, with the last Culver's burger I ate easily in 1st.

                  Next thought: Using "kobe beef" in a burger, in my humble opinion, is flat out a sham and waste of diners' money. To begin with, even the most prized Wagyu has lips and a-holes so the pretense that just because it says "kobe beef" on the menu means you should pay 2x more gets my head shaking. "Kobe beef" in burger form is nothing more than the "certified Angus" or whatever the TGIF and Applebee's menus proudly tag their beef as.

                  Anyway...rant finished. Enjoying the continued burger discussions.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MSPD

                    Amen on your kobe rant, MSPD. Talk about the sham of all shams.

                  2. Just to throw a curve into the discussion.... I'm really not much of a burger fan - I eat two or three a year (at Jax, mostly). But last night I had a burger that I would eat often. It's the Buffalo burger at Trotters. I ordered it with cheddar cheese. Very tasty!

                    A plus is Trotter's good salads and desserts - and there's always Izzy's around the corner. I shall return for another burger soon.


                    1. I just had the Perfect Burger at Victory 44, and it merits discussion here. Mine was seared perfectly (it's one of the best looking burger's I've seen), and was spectacularly juicy. The bun was good stuff, and stayed crispy in spite of getting doused with each bite. None of the bacon, pickles, cheese or sauce distracted from the meat.

                      If you are looking for a straight-up burger, it would be hard to do better, and everything else I've had there is very good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kevin47

                        I suggest opening the City Pages back up but skip the new places they rated and go to the
                        'old favorites for burgers' page. I like a number of those including Convention Grill, and Barbette. I also like Ike's and Morton's.

                      2. One of the best burgers I have consistently had in the Twin Cities is at Buster's on 28th, near Lake Hiawatha in MPLS. Nothing fancy, but a solid burger. As a plus, they have a very good beer selection on tap.

                        Buster's on 28th
                        4204 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foreverhungry

                          They have really good fries too, but be forewarned...the portions are ridiculous.

                          I was there with a buddy a few weeks back and we ordered some fries to munch on with our beers. We didn't expect them to bring us the entire fryer basket worth. Same goes for their onion rings and house made potato chips. Every app order = entire basket.

                          For the record, I'm not sure if the fries are cut in house or not...but they certainly taste like it.

                        2. I had a really great burger at Harry's last night. Nothing terribly fancy--cheddar cheese, special sauce, fried onions. But it was cooked perfectly med-rare, and the potato bun was awesome! Definitely in my top 5 (the others being The Nook, Ike's, Vincent, and Bulldog NE)

                          1. Well I got around to having the tuffle burger. It was actually something. Very flavorful is best I can desribe it. It is a simple burger on an english muffin, but the meat speaks for itself. I would have another.