Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Route 65 Pub & Grub

Route 65 Pub

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole MN Lynx 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.

 

Central Ave/Hwy 65 is well known for having large and in charge burgers. Take Burger Highway straight up to East Bethel, MN to a biker bar called Route 65 Pub & Grub. “Where bikers stare at cowboys who are laughing at the hippies . . .” Route 65’s American Bacon Cheese Burger is an all conference renegade that’s putting down thousands of kickstands. It’s full power 1/2 lb after being cooked, and hella juicy. Not a tiddler by any means. Comes equipped with a bakery fresh bun and thick cut smokehouse bacon that’s far from basic. It’s Custom! A chopper! Top it off with your choice of cheese and you just got a little bit more American. The flavor is all burger all the time—lightly seasoned, tasting the meat in every bite. And when it’s this good don’t hide it. Now this beast does have a partner in crime and they are hand-cut freedom fries that pretty much make this whole outlaw bit completely out of hand. Route 65 is live and you’ll get more than your kicks.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.8   Presentation: 5   Originality: 6

Route 65 Pub & Grub, 18407 HWY 65 NE, East Bethel; route65pubngrub.com


Burger Hunter: Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse

kendall's burger

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the whole weird 893 albums campaign and 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.

The north metro of our sweet Twincy has a rep of nothin but “sod farms & trailer parks” but it’s more like “golf courses & liberty.” Pulling into the beautiful Bunker Hills Golf Course the feeling of freedom does actually come over you. Approach the clubhouse to find Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse and from the moment you open the door you’ll know you’re in for something special.  It’s got the smell of a wood fired lifestyle and the look of a massive cabin home in the hills. Now, let the games begin—The Whisky Burger, which kind of a Cinderella story on a menu this good… It’s a 1/2 lb char broiled sandbagger that is straight out-of-bounds!  Bun is soft and buttery grilled.  The grind is likely an in-house blend of chuck & steak, giving it perfect consistency and a fab depth of flavor. Fore! Look out folks, the whisky glaze is savage! It’s Happy Gilmore at the clubhouse. Way fun and brings everyone together: The thick cut bacon, the A1 Mayo, LTO, and the sharp cheddar cheese. A fairway of flavors and all on the same team. Ryder Cup style hole-in-one! Kendall’s Whisky Burger is on it’s A-game like Carl Spackler in Caddyshack and for that we give it our golf clap 👏👏👏

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.9   Presentation: 7   Originality: 7

Kendall’s Tavern & Chophouse, 12800 Bunker Prairie RD NW, Coon Rapids; kendallstc.com


Burger Hunter: Salt Cellar

salt cellar burger

Cathedral Hill boasts a food scene that’s quite worthy of the Almighty! Head down Selby Ave and you’ll find The Salt Cellar at an intersection that’s well known to local foodies—from time to time hunting requires crumb tracking on the paths of our great fore-feasters. The Salt Cellar Burger is definitely a notch above. It’s 1/2 lb ground steak with a delightful clean flavor profile. It sports a pretzel bun, and for a p-bun this one is choice. It’s light, fluffy, almost airy. The white cheddar is . . .  Let’s just say there’s not enough letters in the alphabet to describe how great thou art. Some B&B Pickles top the burger and they are sweeter than freedom itself. Perfect pairing. Salt sweet. And when a chef knows medium, somewhere somehow an angel gets their wings. Oh, and the fries are cooked in beef fat, so you might need to ask for a little forgiveness after your meal—you are a Minnesotan and the Cathedral of St. Paul is just a Hail Mary away.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.5   Presentation: 9   Originality: 8

The Salt Cellar,  173 Western Ave N, STPL; saltcellarsaintpaul.com


Burger Hunter: Shamrock’s

Shamrocks

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do in an entire season of watching House of Cards and 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.

No longer settle for a line out the door. Demand more!  Well, you’re in luck if you’ve been striking out at The Nook. You gotta try the more comfortable sister spot The Irish Nook aka Shamrock’s. It’s also home to the iconic Juicy Nookie Burger, and for stuffed burgers this thing is laced. Straight up the funk. Why wouldn’t you take two patties and wrap them around your choice of cheese? You’re pretty much not a Minnesotan if you haven’t done a Juicy. Shamrock’s work is up there, but not over the moon. Bun is soft, patties are thin and cooked medium with crisp edges. Creating a perfect pocket. Pro Tip: Eat it vertically and use the coin purse method to control your cheese. The molten lava inside is that special something where dreams and magic come together in absolute harmony (R.I.P. Prince) to make some kind of brand new element on the periodic table from the meat’s juices mixing with cheese to make this tasty eruption. Probably everything you ever wanted in life! Enjoy the no waiting, all the space, and it’s super easy to win a rubber ball on their crane game.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.1   Presentation: 5   Originality: 9

Shammrocks, 995 7th Street West, STPL; crnook.com


Burger Hunter: Tilia

image2 (1)

Bordered between Lake Calhoun (aka Lake Rybak in the Hunter’s book) and Lake Harriet dwells the beautiful neighborhood of Linden Hills. And on that hill. There is a tree. The prettiest tree that I ever did see. . . Sorry went into the kid classic “The Green Grass Grew All Around” for a second there, but the tree we’re talking about is Tilia and this eatery understands that the burger is a canvas for culinary creativity. One look at the Gorgonzola Burger and goals AF. It’s big, beautiful, and bold in flavor. A house grind that’s cured and gives it almost a hint of sausage, but likely no oink mixed in. V good to say the least. The burgers namesake Gorgonzola cheese with Tilia’s pan drippings mayo is my OTP (one true pairing) for life. It’s the Mariana Trench of flavor. So deep. Topped off with some sweet & spicy pickles on a super soft bun. The Gorgonzola Burger proves that a burger is art; go find your (t)h(r)ill down in Linden Hills.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 7   Originality: 9

Tilia, 2726 W 43rd St, MPLS; tiliampls.com