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MSP - Busters review - best burger

Snow/slushy night - a burger and a beer. Had the 1/2 pound Buster Burger with pickle aioli and fries, other party had the Bison burger with Widmer Cheddar. Overall excellent burgers - maybe in the top one or two places in the whole Twin Cities in my view. Fries done well, if a bit salty. The beer selection amazing. Was allowed to try a small taste of one of the taps gratis - always a nice touch. Place was loud - party next to us especially. Good staff, would rec. and go again. About $15-20 per son with beers. Would like your thoughts.

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

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  1. Yes, Busters burgers are great, I also rate them at the top of the tcs best. Try the beer from Cooperstown, NY on tap it is a hall of fame beer

    1. I love Busters. I was there on Saturday night for a couple brews and some of their always great potato chips. I find their burgers to be a little uneven, usually due to the seasoning. Still, this place is a gem and I would be there multiple times a week if I lived closer.

      1. I'll third the replies. Buster's on 28th has one of the best burgers (if not the best) in MSP. Add to that their beer selection, along with the knowledgeable and friendly bartenders, and you have a winning combination. On the odd nights there that I'm not feeling like a burger, I've had some of their salads, which are also excellent. Buster's should be a model for how to run a successful neighborhood bar. They obviously don't skimp on ingredients or on talent. Why can't more places be like Busters?

          1. I also like the burgers (and fries) at Buster's. I like that I can order my burger med-rare too. The only thing I do not love about the burger is the bun. The crust is a little too dry and the inside too airy for me. I prefer a softer, denser bun - just a preference.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BigSal

              Agreed about the bun. It's a shame too, since they get it from the bakery next door (A Baker's Wife), which does PHENOMENAL work with pretty much everything else they do.

              Seriously, they make the best plain cake donut I've ever had in my life.

              1. re: BigE

                I'm going to have to agree with BigE on all accounts. I love Buster's also, but the last time I was there my burger was so heavily salted it was almost inedible. I agree that the cake donuts at A Baker's Wife are awesome. As are the lemon bars.

            2. I generally like Busters but wish it were bigger. I've rarely been there when it wasn't busy/crowded and I don't even go at peak times. That says something for how good the food and beer selection are, but if you don't like the crowd and the noise then there are other quality joints in the vicinity.

              2 Replies
              1. re: GutGrease

                Just went last night after unexpectedly arriving at closed restaurant on Superbowl Sunday. Packed on a Tuesday night. Yeesh.

                The beer selection is broad and surprisingly affordable. Friend and I split the bison burger, the scallop beef carpaccio app, and some chips with special cream cheese.

                The bison burger was solid. Bison is a very lean meat, and can be quite dry. This was juicy and robust. My friend explained that they add a bit of chorizo to the mix. An inspired choice if so. The fries are the earthy, skin on type, and I liked them quite a bit.

                The bun was unmemorable, and kinda disintegrated under all the shmutz they put on the burger. I had to eat it with a knife and fork, which is a sign the bun wasn't up to snuff.

                The scallops were solid, but unspectacular. I think the dish needs more of the carpaccio. This restaurant is bonkers for crushed pepper, and it overwhelmed the scallops a bit without enough beef to absorb it. The scallops themselves seemed to be of a high quality.

                The chips are enough to feed a family. Love the addition of pepper. It brings out the salty taste (which might explain why some have felt the food is too salty).

                The place strikes me as a cross between the Happy Gnome and Blue Door. The food's a bit more versatile than the former, and the beer list is more extravagant than the latter. It splits the difference in terms of ease of finding a table.

                1. re: kevin47

                  I love that last paragraph...perfect description.

                  For me, the entree side of things has always been uneven. My normal night there is splitting a basket of fries or chips and hoisting a few pints. For that purpose, I love the place.

              2. I feel like Buster's has a near-monopoly on "Best in the TC's" awards with regard to bar food - Best Burgers (easily), Best Onion Rings (easily), Best Wings (arguably). The Buffalo wings aren't your standard, blazing orange variety that you'd find somewhere like the Groveland Tap or Sweeney's. They're much meatier and more tender.

                But those burgers are the reason you have to wait for a table every night. They seem to be one of the few places in town that knows how to consistently cook a patty medium rare.

                Even when I have to wait for a table, I enjoy the cozy atmosphere inside. I know at one point they were thinking about expanding into the adjacent space, but imo it would have taken something away from the experience. Sometimes its fun to sit at the bar and marvel at how they can prepare all that great food in the postage stamp kitchen behind the bar.

                2 Replies
                1. re: keithinmpls

                  I would rate the burger behind the Blue Door, V-44, Vincent and TSC, but it belongs in that category.

                  1. re: kevin47

                    I would put it behind those as well as The Nook & Ike's. If the buns were better @ Busters...perhaps it could move up.

                2. Chatterbox's mediterranean burger
                  Five Guys

                  1 Reply
                  1. Went again - busy for a Thursday. Two comments - the place filled with smoke from the grill. Scary considering what happened to the restaurants on 50th. I think the city inspector should review the vent system - or lack of. Second, the burger was ordered medium rare and came raw in the middle - fluke?

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

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: PhilESL

                      If you order a burger medium rare, it's going to be pretty raw in the middle. So you got what you ordered.

                      As a chef I hate it when people don't know what rare, medium rare, medium, etc means. I have had steaks sent back numerous times because they order it medium and they are mad cause it still is pink in the middle. You order medium rare it is gonna be close to rare and cool in the middle.

                      But I have had great burgers at Busters and their beer selection is always top notch and fun.

                      1. re: jaysin612

                        Sorry J, but medium rare is NOT cool in the middle, it is warm in the middle. Rare is cool in the middle

                        1. re: jfood

                          jfood is right, and this is important when it comes to burger. You are taking a risk with a burger that is cool in the middle (not so with a steak, FYI). If they get it wrong, and you're worried about it, send it back. That said, burger can still be pink, and the bacteria will be pretty darn dead.

                          About the smoke, unless you have expertise in the area of fire safety, I would hesitate to come to conclusions. It is a rare event that a restaurant burns down. If the smoke itself is a problem, talk to a manager.

                          1. re: jfood

                            All this ambiguity in language is the problem with the whole system. We should order steaks and burgers by temperature. It would be great if I could just order it cooked to an internal temperature of 125, then there is no question whether or not it is cooked to order, my definition of medium may be different than yours, but an empirical scale doesn't allow for error.

                            1. re: diearzte2

                              that would be great. Jfood has noticed that lots of steak houses are going to the "warm pink" "warm red" inside to avoid this ambiguity.

                              One time jfood ordered a med rare and it arrived overcooked. When he told the server, server went and checked with the kitchen and came back and said. The kitchen said it was cooked to 150 degrees which is med rare. Jfood asked for the check.

                      2. Went to Busters (seems like a weekly visit recently) and had another burger. Perfectly medium, with a great char yet red/pink center. Unfortunately, the bun didn't hold up. The bun is the only thing keeping this from being my favorite burger in town.

                        1. jfood returned to Buster's tonight. First he set his garmin to the wrong 28th ave (you guys gotta come up with more street names) but once he got there it was great.

                          he was so hungry he ordered some scallops for his appetizer. as he sat there eating them he reminded himself he was in a bar. what was he thinking. please pass on the scallops and go straight to the main event.

                          a bacon cheeseburger plus rings were order. The burger arrived and it was cooked to perfection, jfood favorite med-rare. the bacon was fantastic the cheese added a great balance and te grilled onions were better than last time. the rings were actually cooked this time but the breading held so much oil jfood ate two and decided that he was not man enough to eat all of them.

                          so jfood still thinks this is the best burger in MSP and he is glad he fought traffic in many wrong directions to get there.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jfood

                            I agree on the rings. They look great, but are completely oversaturated with oil.

                            Stick to the fries or chips. Those chips (paired with french onion dip) are a guilty pleasure of mine.

                          2. I found that the onion rings looked much better than they tasted. Burger ordered medium came out med rare the way I prefer. I disagree with the neg. bun comments. For me the bun adds a lot, but to each our own. Ps: avoid prime times if you don't want to wait. As Yogi said, "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded".