Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Red Stag Supper Club

Red Stag Supper Club

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s like David S. Burgers! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Just over the river and into Northeast Minneapolis you’ll find a little honey hole of good foodie finds. We’ve hunted in this area before but this time we’re heading to investigate some talky talky about Red Stag Supper Club. Now this place is all charming and hosts a v strong menu. I’m practically dating their fish & chips and their Mac & Cheese. Anywho, once in awhile you have to look past your steady and go hunting on the menu. This probe is honing in on the Peterson Farms Heirloom Limousin Burger. And we’re off . . . Bun is sesame and poppi, toasted yet soft. It’s in collusion with this roasted garlic aioli. Attacking from the top and bottom. Soooo delicious. The meat is limo cattle (French) from a top shelf Minnesota farm. These are grandpa cows. The burger is full of flavor, finely textured and clean. Loose pack. Lots of drips! Cooked to order by pros. Knowing medium is the ultimate complement to a chef. They know medium. The cheese is white cheddar and completely smothering. Light salty and good. Topped with a sheet of crispy lettuce and I added the double smoked bacon. At least it tasted that way. Comes with pickles on and I took um off. Had plenty of crunch and really with this quality beef you can’t have to many distractions. There’s a hint of sweetness and it comes from the sneaky red onions under the meat. The burger is a standout and my findings are that the talky talky is true. Great burger from first bite to last.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.4   Presentation: 9  Originality: 9

Red Stag Supper Club, 509 1st Ave NE, MPLS; redstagsupperclub.com


Burger Hunter: Wagner’s Drive-In

wagners drive in

You know who he is, you know what he does. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Now and then we all need to go back in time to get that sweet taste of nostalgia. It’s what makes us appreciate the small things more. Life is simpler at the historic Wagner’s Drive-In. Yup, just pull right up and hit the switch and out will come your happy smiling waitress, minus the roller skates. First thing to notice is the prices . . . I think someone forgot to update them. They are very low folks. I ordered the bacon double cheese. Coming out hot at under $7. Damn Gina. Let’s start with the bun. Pretty regs but it’s butter grilled. The beef is chucky and smashed onto flattop with a very loose pack. Cooked through, but hella juicy. Bib up cause you’re in the car. Full burger flav with a nice salty finish. The cheese is American and pretty standard. The bacon is double crisp and just perfy for my 1 and only topping. Now this is a drive-in so you better malt up if you know what’s good for you. Fries are crinkle and decent. Belgium dip anyone? They’ll ask you if you want a tray for the window or a bag for the car . . . Always go window tray . . Always go window tray! It’s the difference maker. You’ll leave smiling and feeling young again.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.5   Presentation: 5   Originality: 6

Wagner’s Drive In, 7000 W Broadway Ave, Brooklyn Park; wagnersdrivein.com


Burger Hunter: JL Beers

JL Beers

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Once in awhile it takes a couple visits to fully figure out what’s all going on with a burger. This happened to me at JL Beers. You know JL, it’s those North Dakota beer dudes that came to Twincy to strike burger gold. So on visit numero dos I bellied up to get a birds eye view of how and why my burger is coming out so quickly, yet so good. And there it was—a clam grill that comes over the flattop and puts a full court press on your meat with heat from both sides. 1 minute and 15 seconds later, out comes your seared up beef patty party. It’s most likely ground chuck with nice flavor from classic seasoning. Juicy, too! I ordered the University Ave Burger. The bun looks regs, but it’s so not. Fresh and seriously almost perfect. Butter grilled with a crispy inner and soft gentle outer . . . Mmmmm gentle outer . . . Just holds in your hands so nicely this one. Cheese is American and gooey good. Topped with clean crispy bacon that adds to the positive crunch factor throughout this ride. The salty beef plays nicely with the sweet bbq sauce. They calm each other down. Ever had one of those friends? Anywho, the fries are solid and fresh cut with your choice of topping. I love how perfect this burger is. Looks nice, tastes great, quick, easy, no attitude or gimmicks, and fresh! Sign says, “Great Burgers Sold Here.” And I put my stamp of approval on that!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.8   Presentation: 5   Originality: 7

JL Beers, 24 University Ave. NE Suite #100, MPLS; jlbeers.com


Burger Hunter: Joe Senser’s

Joe Sensors

He’s back! Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burgerknowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

So I’m just gonna come out and say it. Someone knocked some sense into me and we finally made it over to Joe Senser’s. Yeah the old Minnesota Viking place, but not the guy who sat on the bench. This dude made it to the Pro Bowl. Now Senser’s has been rockin’ a hardcore sports scene since ’88. Even if that’s not your thing, this is done pretty well. I even sat in a fancy garage lounge theater for dinner. Quite contemporary. But trust me it’s pretty game-y and I don’t mean the chow. I ordered The MVP burger. First off it’s a hot mess. But glorious. It’s like I hope nobody’s looking kinda good. Just dig in. BBQ seems heavy but it ain’t. Bun is fresh and toasted. Grind is Angus and locally sourced. It’s fresh never frozen and seared on griddle to lockdown juicy flavor town. And that’s about what it did! Now the toppings ride on this all-star are dialed. The garlic aioli adds a nice depth while the bacon and cheddar deliver the stats your hero is looking for. The salt on those two brothers put the BBQ almost sideways. But them caramelized onions tried to dom a bit but that’s what MVP’s do. Ball don’t lie . . . Might need more napkins than you’re used to, but that’s well worth it now isn’t it. Job well done, Joe!

Scorecard:  Flavor: 8.9   Presentation: 8   Originality: 8

Joe Senser’s, 2350 North Cleveland Ave, Roseville; sensers.com


Burger Hunter: The Happy Gnome

Happy Gnome

He’s back! Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s quite the traveler, like the Rick Steves of patties! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Well after a week of straight salads I decided that was quite a bore and needed to hunt for something a bit more . . . meaty . . . and happy. Also something sneaky. Here we go, The Happy Gnome in St. Easy is a popular gastropub that flat out delivers the funk each and every time. I ordered the Game Burger and it’s not gamey by any means. The grind is bison, elk, bacon and horseradish. Yeah, not tradish but all the way yummy boots. The meat is balanced really nicely. Wevers in Rio style. But there’s depth too. Getting a little peppery almost All Spicy, nutmeg kinda flavor. That sneaky Gnome. Making things hard on the Hunter. Okay now the bun is egg and fresh. Shiny and lightly toasted. Comes with LTO and some blue cheese onions that could steal your whole identity if they wanted. Yeah they are that good. The lingonberry aioli is so seasonal it’s redick. Works terrific. The toppings give it sweetness and Damn Gina this ride was drippy. Far from dry. Plate drips. Table drips. Beard drips. The chef is obvi profesh and putting forth some pairings and tastes that really go all the way around your mouth. Balance and depth ain’t easy but this Happy Gnome goes hard cuz. You’ll Fall in love with this burger.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 9   Originality: 10

The Happy Gnome, 498 Selby Ave, STPL; thehappygnome.com