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Oct 1, 2010 10:35 AM

USA Today got it right

They went throught the best burger in each state. For Minnesota they say that the quintessential Minnesota burger is the juicy lucy. They acknowledge that although Matts and the 5-8 may have started it, the Nook does the best job. I couldn't agree more.

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  1. The Nook blows the other two away. I've really tried to like the 5-8, but the taste of the meat is always lacking for me.

    Matt's is fine, but not on the level of the Nook.

    1. Here's the link, for those who haven't seen the article.

      1. You must be trying to stir things up..... I mean, there are few topics as controversial.....

        From my JL-eating days, I'd have to say that the Blue Door's version is better than any of them. Now THERE's a controversial opinion!

        2 Replies
        1. re: mtullius

          Haven't been back to Blue Door since right after they opened. Atrocious service and so-so food. We should really give them another chance, but I do adore The Nook.

          1. re: mtullius

            I like to think I've eaten at every "lucy" joint in the cities and in my opinion, BDP has both the best burger and menu...however service can be an issue. Also, after BDP airs on "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" this fall, its essentially not going to be worth eating there due to the inevitable 60+ minute wait that you will have to endure.

          2. Looks like James Norton said it, and USA Today just printed it.

            I really do need to get to the Nook one of these days, but I certainly agree that Matt's is nothing write home, or USA Today, about.

            1. This is a good thread to ask a question about Juicy Lucys that I've been wanting to ask...Why is it that the "quintessential Minnesota burger" is a Juicy Lucy? And why do Matts and the 5-8 get credit for starting it? Isn't it just a stuffed burger, the same that can be found on bar menus across the US? (And no, they're not copying MN). And while I know this might be a tired question, why is it that the quintessential burger in MN is one that, by definition, has to be made well done? Is this reflective at all (and I won't say which way) on Minnesotan's palates and love for cheap cheese? Why isn't the quintessential MN burger one that's just a well made burger using quality ingredients? Maybe some wild rice somewhere? Or a duck product? But why a burger that cooked into briquet that stuffed with crappy cheese? What does that say about Minnesota?

              On the choice for a juicy lucy, I will agree that given what it is (it's kinda like saying who has the best fried mozzarella sticks), Blue Door Pub has the most inventive juicy lucy's, the best made (such as it can be), and of the other choices, by far the best beer list selection.

              For those that complain about Blue Door's service, it's a small place, with what, about 10 tables? With no offense to the BD (I'm going there Monday to meet a friend), offer Surly and a creative juicy lucy in that Mac-Groveland / Merriam Park middle class neighborhood, and it'll be packed. Marketing genius. It's like a Highland Grill for hipsters. So you need to wait to get in. I've been there over 20 times (yeah, I know, the hypocrisy drips), and I've always had good service - that meaning, once I get seated, I get a menu, I order, I get my food in a timely fashion. That's what I expect from a place like that. On the plus side, on a 30 minute wait, I've been able to order a beer and just stand in the way of the servers, without them complaining or looking at me evil. That's good.

              EDIT: I checked out the article. I grew up in NJ. USAT picked White Manna as the NJ representative. I grew up minutes from White Manna, and have eaten my share of them. Now I get the juicy lucy choice. It's like picking PBR as the best beer.

              Highland Grill
              771 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

              The Blue Door Pub
              1811 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

              5 Replies
              1. re: foreverhungry

                If you guys would only open your eyes and look around you could get a lamb burger goat cheese juicy Lucy at McBarry's Pub in Maple Plain if you want to try something different from SYSCO burger meat and buns.

                As for quintessential I am afraid the cable TV food shows have anointed the juicy Lucy though none of them could be considered the "best" burger.

                1. re: Davydd

                  Well, that does certainly sound interesting (though it would require me to leave my Minneapolis enclave...). Kidding.

                  While it does sound interesting, I would have to ask, why the penchant for turning it into a Juicy Lucy? Why not just make a lamb burger, then top it with goat cheese? That way, the lamb wouldn't have to be cooked the pre-requisite well done to get the cheese to melt (admittedly, though, you might not have to go as far with goat cheese to get it soft). Isn't it really just a gimmick? One that produces over-cooked pieces of meat? Or am I missing something (which is altogether possible...).

                  1. re: foreverhungry

                    I guess the answer is aren't all Jucy Lucys just a gimmick? I suppose McGarry's did it to differentiate from all the other Jucy Lucys. Lamb is more Irish than beef. The pressure is on now for most bars to join the bandwagon now that the national media has anointed Jucy Lucys as the Twin Cities burger.

                  2. re: Davydd

                    I might consider that if goat cheese didn't make my throat close up. LOL Lamb burger does sound yummy though!

                  3. re: foreverhungry

                    Groveland Tap has been serving juicy lucys (including a cajun lucy with pepper cheese and jalapenos) forever. They also have Surly's. Disclaimer: I'm not a juicy lucy afficianado--what makes one better than another?

                    Groveland Tap
                    1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105