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2012 Minnesota Burger TDL

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After reading the city pages "top 10 burgers" list I had to draft my own burger to-do-list for 2012. My question is what's yours?

1. Wa-Fú Hamburger from masu because everything else on the menu is amazing.
2. Greasers from Travail.
3. Mickey's diner before is disappears.
4. Bulldog Northeast, I've only had the black bean burger.
5. The Vincent burger since many people claim it's the best in Minneapolis.
6. I want to try the broodjes at the Amsterdam bar and hall even though they are not all technically burgers.
7. Butcher & the Boar, if they have a burger, would make the list.
8. Pat's Tavern, duck burgers.

Here's my personal top 10 list of burgers to date.

1. For take-it-or-leave-it-attitude: Haute Dish.
2. For guilt-free dining and a side of smelt fries: Red Stag.
3 & 4. For value: Northeast social club and Crave MOA sliders.
5. For a downtown lunch break: the Hennepin at Lion's pub.
6. For the gourmet (and a burger cheaper than your cocktail): lamb burgers at LBV.
7. For pure butter: Lurcat sliders.
8. For originality and heart burn: Joe's Garage spicy asian pork burger.
9 & 10. For the best vegetarian alternatives: Bulldog NE's black bean burger or Fitgers wild rice burger.
11. Best brew pub burger is Town Hall's black and blue burger.
12. The burger and fries I'll always remember but never eat again: Pop!.

P.S. Yes I've had the 112 burger and it didn't make my list.

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  1. Not to nitpick, but I don't understand your top ten lists. The first list of eight burgers, is that City Pages list? What are their picks for 9 & 10? The second list of 12 burgers, is that your list? In the meantime, I'll need to ponder my list before posting... I agree with the list that has Fitgers on there. It would definitely be up there. I guess I'd put 112 Eatery's on there, too, now that you mention it. I don't really have 10 burgers, I don't think, so I kind of need it to round out my list. ~TDQ

    8 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      I had to laugh at the comments on that list. I thought it was a good list...I would have a different list but just about everyone else would too. Taste is subjective....especially hamburgers.

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Unless I'm misunderstanding, the first list is his 'To Do List' for this year. The second list is his favorites, as of now.

        I don't think the City Pages list is included.

        1. re: BigE

          Got it, thank you.

          All lists in this thread thus far are missing my #1 burger, which is at Meritage.

          If I had a top 10 list, Vincent's wouldn't be on it. It has always disappointed.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: BigE

            That's correct, the first list is on my to do list and the second list is my top burgers to date.

            1. re: precogpunk

              *headsmack* Now I get that TDL=to do list. Well, put Meritage on your TDL.

              ~TDQ

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            City Pages list FYI ("let's pick trendy and please everyone except Blue Door Pub junkies" seemed to be the theme:

            Vincent
            Matt's Bar
            Bulldog NE
            Victory 44
            112 Eatery
            Anchor Fish and Chips
            Nook
            Busters on 28th
            Burger Jones
            Mickey's Diner

            I'm not intrigued by thin burgers, Jucy Lucy style burgers, and burgers with short ribs (Vincent style). It can have a few non-standard items, but REQUIRED are thick-style, great tasting beef, uber-fresh bun, and done medium rare (pink with bit of red). So my list is shorter (first two are in order, then the rest are all tied):

            Nook (Nookie Supreme)
            Good Day Cafe (bacon and cheddar)
            Strip Club
            Meritage
            112 Eatery
            Bulldog NE

            I've had a few others that rank up there, but I don't list because I've only had them once and can't vouch for consistency.

            1. re: MSPD

              Oh, and King's Place in Miesville.

              1. re: MSPD

                (You must have posted this almost simultaneously to my last post)

                I'm going to second your list, with some tiny adjustments. I haven't had a burger at the Strip Club (and therefore can't comment) and I'd move Meritage to the top of the list. I really like the Molitor at the Nook, but to be honest, the Nook is mostly about the fries and the atmosphere for me so I can't really insist their burgers go on some kind of list for burgers alone. I suspect the Craftsman's burger would be on my list, too, but it's been so long ago I can't really vouch for it anymore.

                ~TDQ

            2. The City Pages list is as follows:

              1) Vincent
              2) Matt's
              3) Bulldog NE
              4) V-44
              5) 112
              6) Anchor
              7) Nook
              8) Buster's
              9) Burger Jones
              10) Mickey's

              http://blogs.citypages.com/food/2012/...

              3 Replies
              1. re: BigE

                The Twin Cities from Smashburger and The Deluxe from Culver's are as good if not better than most of the burgers on City Pages list IMO.

                1. re: Fudist

                  Of the CP list, the only ones I haven't had are #1 and 9. If I had to rank the other 8, I'd go:

                  1) V-44
                  2) Nook (supreme)
                  3) Anchor (Helicopter)
                  4) Buster's (would be outstanding with more seasoning)
                  5) 112
                  6) Bulldog
                  7) Matt's
                  8) Mickey's

                  I agree about the Culver's deluxe too. Done right, it's probably the best fast food burger in town.

                  1. re: Fudist

                    I agree on smash burger...an incredible burger for a chain but I have been disappointed at culvers too many times.

                2. This is an awesome thread. Got my own personal burger TDL now too! Thanks Hounds, although my doc will be PISSED! Ha!

                  1. I've not had most of the burgers on any of these lists, but would add the burger at Levain. MSPD and others might not like it since it's semi-Vincent style (I think they do add shortribs), but it's probably the best burger that I've tasted in the last year. (I had some of my son's burger.)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bob s

                      I'll put Levain on my 2012 Burger TDL. I have no problem with stuffed burgers (I think Boulud's is very good, for instance), I just don't care for Vincent's. With these stuffed burgers, it's all about ratio and whether you can get both the filling and the burger itself at the right temp... Not that easy, really.

                      ~TDQ

                    2. Please report back if you eat a burger mentioned in the thread. I'd love to hear the juicy details.

                      1. OK, I got moderated for recommending people mention the style of the burgers they are listing. Not sure how that was considered objectionable...without doing it, this is just basically a random list of burgers.

                        Anyway, in an effort to make this a useful thread, let's add why Burger X is good. The Nook might be too rare for many. Smashburger and Culvers smashed-flat style is horrible to many (me included). There are a lot of people who have no idea what Lion's Tap, Snuffy's, Convention Grill, Gold Nugget, etc. are like. In an effort to help people not waste a good meal, effort, and money, let's give some details/categories or something.

                        With utmost respect,

                        MSPD

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: MSPD

                          I'm just gonna make a personal favorite 5 in no particular order.

                          Blue Door Pub's Frenchy
                          The Paul Molitor from C&R's Nook.
                          Nookie Supreme from C&R's Nook
                          Cheeseburger from Lion's Tap
                          Blue Door Pub's Gatsby (Braised short rib, wine reduction and Gruyere) Off the flavor charts.

                          1. re: MSPD

                            I tend to agree-- trying to compare the Mickey's burger to the Meritage burger, to name a couple, is seriously apples to oranges. They're both good, and both aspire to be something quite different from each other, and each succeeds in its aspiration.... That's why these kind of lists (along with things like "best pizza") tend to be fairly useless...

                            One burger not mentioned here (and it's in the "high end" category) is the one at the Happy Gnome. I think it's changed fairly recently, and the past couple of times I've had it, it has been nothing short of extraordinary. Perfectly cooked (I always order medium rare), with a nice dollup of shortribs on top, super juicy, nicely seasoned... with some of their excellent homemade (or doctored at least) ketchup, it's a real winner in my book.

                            I've previously been a big booster of Meritage's burger, but this one might just be better (in my book) (though Meritage's fries, especially with the bearnaise, are much better).

                          2. Since no one has mentioned it, I'll chime in. The grass-fed beef burger at Heartland (in the bar, just $12) was my favorite of 2011. Served with thick wedges of skin-on fries and an ever-changing condiment trio (mustard, aioli, and ketchup -- all housemade).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jaycooke

                              I thought the City Pages list was pretty decent, though I have not had burgers at all of the places mentioned. I agree with MSPD that there are many (or at least several) different styles of burgers, and personal taste is a big determinant. If you like thin, griddled fast food style burgers, than the CP list will turn you off, just as listing the best thin, griddled patties will turn MSPD off.

                              (OK, I have now spent far too much time fighting Safari's autocorrect, which wants me to write about girdled burgers!)

                              My preference tends to be toward more of the thicker burger made with higher quality beef, that can hold up to being cooked medium rare and not drowned in condiments, but I can appreciate other styles from time to time. My personal list would include the Bulldog NE (many good varieties -- I particularly like the one that is glazed in sriracha and topped with sweet pickles and pepper jack cheese -- really good balance of sweet and hot, but it doesn't bury the meat), the Nook, and the late lamented Town Talk Diner. On the thin-and-crispy side, I do like Culver's from time to time, as well as Matt's Bar, and of course, the gold standard for this style, In-n-Out Burger.

                              I wasn't very impressed with the execution of the Vincent burger or Smashburger (how often do those two get mentioned in the same breath?). I've never been to the Blue Door Pub, so I can't join in that debate. As for the other exclusion that's been mentioned in the comments often -- I sadly agree with excluding the 5-8 Club. Although I like the joint, they just don't deliver the level of quality needed to stand out.

                            2. I totally agree with the Town Hall as a great pub burger. They say they grind their own meat, and they will give you a rare burger if you want it. Very good value as well, and good fries.

                              My fav burger in town is still the Capital Grill, but I've never had it at Meritage and that seems to be coming up quite a bit.

                              I also count in the "not a Vincent fan" column as well. Just didn't do it for me, and I've tried it twice now.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Lincster

                                my list

                                1) V44...
                                2) Anchor with Irish Cheddar and Egg
                                3) 112
                                4) Redstone Kobe Burger (Even though its off the menu temporarily)
                                5) 5-8 Club... need to have a juicy lucy on there

                                i also like vincent, but i would argue that it isn't a real burger