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3500 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407 (map)
Burger Tyme – Minneapolis Part 2 –
If you ask anybody in the Twin Cities area about the best burgers in town several names will come up on just about everyone’s list – one of them is Matt’s Bar and another is The 5-8 Club. You might remember reading about a previous Burger Tyme Minneapolis review of The 5-8 Club. Their claim to fame is their delicious Juicy Lucy burger. Today’s Burger Tyme review, Matt’s Bar, and The 5-8 Club have an ongoing battle over who invented this burger with a molten cheese core. Having enjoyed my first Juicy Lucy over at The 5-8 Club, I decided that I owed it to myself (and the Burger Tyme readers) to investigate. Of course, this is nothing new. Last year, the Travel Channel’s program, Food Wars tried to answer the question of who has the better Juicy Lucy. The battle over who actually gets the credit for creating this beauty is still ongoing but it seems to me that Matt’s Bar is taking full credit, as their sign tells all who pass.
Heading to the Bar –
After a short drive across town we arrived at the corner of 35th and Cedar. No parking lot here – only street parking. It definitely looks like an old neighborhood bar from the ’50s – on the inside and out. Even at around 2pm on a Thursday the line was nearly out the door in this dark and pretty cramped location. We waited about 20 minutes for a spot at the bar but we were entertained by reading all the newspaper reviews and old advertisements on the walls. This place has a great reputation. It seems like this bar is now much more burger place than watering hole. Where bottles of liquor normally line the back of the bar, Matt’s bar space is reserved for burger building. The menu isn’t complicated – burgers, a few sandwiches and fries, no malts or shakes, and even the soda is served in a can. I already knew I wanted the Jucy Lucy (that’s how they spell it here) and fries but what I didn’t know is what kind of toppings were available. The only topping the waitress offered was onions – raw or fried. I ordered them fried as I always do when available. After a pretty long wait (hey, only one grill here serving up dozens of people crammed in) the burger and fries arrived.
I’m in love with Lucy –
The waitress offered one piece of caution – beware of the hot cheese. Given that piece of wisdom I start on the fries. These fries are simple but have a great crisp to them. Cooked perfectly in my opinion. The full order of fries is enough for 2 or more people depending on your appetite. I decided to brave the molten burger. After one cautious bite I noticed what absolutely sets this burger apart for me – the grilled onions. These aren’t your normal grilled onions but are actually minced like McDonald’s does on their small hamburgers (by the way, I love those little burgers). The small size and the fact that they are grilled on the same griddle all these burgers are cooked on results in a powerful flavor. The burger itself had a perfectly salted and slightly crispy exterior concealing a medium well burger and a fair amount of melted cheese. The waitress was right – be careful of that hot cheese or it could ruin your meal. If you put the burger down facing the wrong direction you’ll lose some of that precious cheddar so beware of that as well. My wife didn’t order a burger but by the time she saw how much I was enjoying my Jucy Lucy she wanted in on the action, meaning I had to share what has to be the best burger I’ve had in a very long time. This burger is simple. No mustard, ketchup, lettuce or tomatoes. Just beef, cheese, onions and a few pickles. And you know what, you don’t even miss the extras. This burger stands on its own and stands tall. I agree with Food Wars – Matt’s Bar definitely has the best Jucy Lucy in the Twin Cities. I’m not trying to take away from The 5-8 Club because they have a very solid burger but Matt’s Bar takes the prize. If you make it to Minneapolis and can only eat one burger, make it this one.