Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: The Copper Hen & Kitchen

The Copper Hen & Kitchen

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire pitiful Twins season, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.

Oh, Nicollet Ave., you complete me. Pretty sure that’s been said more than once. Either way it’s a multi-generational Eat Street that’s been crushing it for decades. This hunt takes us south on Nicollet to The Copper Hen & Kitchen. It’s urbanely debonair and just perfect in so many ways. The Cheddar Ale Burger is like going back in time. Is that grandma cooking in back? Nope! It’s some dope foodie chef that flat-out gets it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s an incredibly delicious brioche, grilled with butter and quite unique! One of the better looking and tasting buns in the wild. The meat is Peterson grass-fed (known for their famous Limousin cattle) and on the leaner side. Perfect for a good dad bod. But to the contrary, this things fried in brown butter like Midwestern households have been doing since the hamburger was invented. From the smell to the look to the taste, it’s so old timey. The outer is almost blackened from the butter sear and the inner leaves a nostalgic texture that only a pan can do. This time machine is topped with a caramelized onion marmalade and a housemade pale ale cheese “whiz” that you wish you could buy off-sale. It’s on point much like scoring the davenport at your grandparents house during holiday. Pro-tip: Don’t sleep on their chocolate chip cookies! Buy like 10.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.5   Presentation: 8   Originality: 8

The Copper Hen & Kitchen, 2515 Nicollet Ave S, MPLS; copperhenkitchen.com


Burger Hunter: The Kenwood

The Kenwood Burger

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire pitiful Twins season, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.

Rolling north through Lake of the Isles you’ll land in a bonafide neighborhood known as Kenwood. There lies the restaurant of the same name, The Kenwood, an eatery that’s doing things their way—and folks it’s working. Menu is strong and heavy on the whole breakfast brunch thing. Setting seems to be old English. Not the mensy type, the country type. Order the Kenwood Burger, then strap in, bib up, lean forward, and go! Yes, this voyage may require a shower or a dip in the lake. Here’s why: the meat is v juicy and seasoned quite nicely. Drippings a plenty. Comes with a sunny side egg on top that’s a show-pleaser. Do I have egg on my face? Fork stab that thing and press record. Everyone loves that scene. RT RT RT. The egg adds great flavor to beef. Ok, it adds great flavor to anything. There’s a spread on the burger that I admit I have no idea what it is but its finger licking yummy-town! The lettuce and bun try to hold up but just face it, you’re in over your head and people are looking. Messy chic. It’s a thing. The burger is covered in a king’s cheese aka gruyere and topped with pork belly. The flavor is incredible and totes worth going caveman style. Comes with hand-cut fries and they are needed for cleaning up your plate. Wearing your best slob shirt has never looked so good . . . They’re making Kenwood proud!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 7    Originality: 9

The Kenwood, 2112 W 21st St, MPLS; thekenwoodrestaurant.com


Burger Hunter: Lyn 65

Lyn 65

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during both primaries and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.

South of the cities doesn’t always mean Southdale. This hunt takes us crosstown to LYN 65 Kitchen & Bar in Richfield, MN. It’s located in a strip mall just down from a place that would put your rock collection to complete shame. The Chicago Diner Burger gives you the option of going single or double and folks don’t even think about it—go big! The inspiration behind this burger is the famous Au Cheval in Chicago. Their real game no gimmicks approach to the greatest sandwich on earth set the stage for “basic” being not so boring after all. Starting with the bun; it’s soft, fresh, and perfect firmness for handling this juicy masterpiece. The meat is sensational. Sus of some short rib grinding in. You can’t get that kind of flavor without some high ranking cut making a cameo in your meat party. It’s smothered with American Kraft and is just savage. Comes with pickles and shallots and I added the bacon, of course. There’s a wonderful spread that adds a lovely flavor extension. Most likely it’s mayo mixed with mustard. Whatever it is it’s an OTP (one true pairing). The burger is a handful and will leave a couple kisses (grease spots) on your clothes if you’re not careful. The fries are hand-cut and simply wonderful. Oh oh oh the staff is so so sweet and the cocktails are v crafty! Get it in ya!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 7   Originality: 7

Lyn 65, 6439 Lyndale Ave S, MPLS; lyn65.com


Burger Hunter: Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill

http://www.esunshinefactory.com/

Somewhere wedged between Minnetonka and Maple Grove is a town that’s known for a playhouse and a lake filled with medicine. Plymouth is the 7th largest city in Minnesota and plays host to the Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill. It’s kinda like the Fountain of Middle Age. The Match dot com app runs heavy up in here. The menu is strong and arguably the beginnings of pin drop sitch. Anyways, the Bacon Cheeseburger is why we came in the first place. It’s all Angus, 💯. 1/2 pound of fine flavor, tasting the the grill and the flame char on the outer and getting that smooth clean med beef inner. The bun is grilled, semi-soft and fresh. Suh, add the bacon as it will always add and never take away (from the flavor). Pro-tip: bacon is commonly known to be a dominant ingredient but paired with a burger it brings out more flavor in the meat. No distractions here besides maybe that manther preying on the puma at the bar. (But in all seriousness it’s a good crowd.) Top your burger off with your choice of cheese and if you can’t decide always go cheddar, they have a good one. Melt factor is off-the-chart! Oh, and let’s clear the air on one little thing… When you order, it’s not “I’ll just have the burger.” It’s, “I’d love to try your burger!” No shame in your burger game… Go!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.9   Presentation: 6   Originality: 6

Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill, 4100 Vinewood Ln N, Plymouth; esunshinefactory.com


Burger Hunter: Black Woods Grill & Bar

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Head “up north” two hours to Twincy’s home away from home—the cabin for the 99% has always, and will always be, Duluth, MN. And little did we know that Black Woods Grill & Bar has more than just an awesome pre-drive home hangover brunch. . . They also have a have a burger that is straight woke! The London Road Burger makes you want to take it home to the place you belong. Let’s just be honest John Denver probably loved Duluth. Okay, back to the olé Gitchigoomie meat wagon. Yeah folks it a big-un. 1/2 pound classic grind topped with Wisconsin cheddar and gruyere. Could be an OTP but so could a lot of cheese combinations. Being close to Wisconsin sometimes isn’t so bad. The thick-cut applewood smoked bacon is FR. Eat a small piece on its own so you know know. Lettuce, tomato, and crispy onion straws top it off with a little house made agate sauce. The bun is butter grilled, bringing even more crunch to this party. Cooked to absolute perfection so the chef gets a hang ten. All in all it’s a fun flavor ride made for a big bite! And technically Black Woods is the Last Place on Earth for every Millennial that just visited their pal at UMD.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.3   Presentation: 6   Originality: 8

Black Woods Grill & Bar, 2525 London Road, Duluth; blackwoods.com