Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Birchwood Cafe

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

As the seasons change so does one’s appetite to try new things. This hunt brings us to the perfect place to go on a little burger adventure so to speak . . . The Birchwood Cafe is the home to good locally sourced food that puts healthy forward allllll the days. I decided to jump off the cliff and go for the Black Bean & Quinoa burger. Now for some this is just an everyday affair but for the Great American Burger Hunter this is like a whole new beginning. Starting with the bun it’s parmy herby and super soft. Very good flav. The meat—or lack there of—is a grind of black beans and quinoa. Points for proper pronunciation. It’s pressed onto a flattop and grilled crispy. It tastes like the best ever black bean and queso dip. FR! The crispy outer is soooo ladies and gentlemen totes my new fav. I did mine ‘Scorch’ which means there’s a party of heirloom marinara, mozzarella, pesto, little lettuces, and garlic aioli. Each bite I can feel myself getting healthier. All the grains and whatnot take you on a real nice texture adventure. It’s plenty earthy but at the same time a tad greasy. You’re mo def eating a burger. When it comes to wellness, Birchwood plays zero games. This may be my first BBB but it won’t be my last.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.1   Presentation: 8   Originality: 10

Birchwood Cafe, 3311 East 25th Street, MPLS; birchwoodcafe.com


Burger Hunter: Ole Piper Inn

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Straight up Central, all the way to Blaine, you might find yourself taking in some soccer or perhaps just a little blue sky . . . There are no big buildings up that way. I mean like none. A wicked cool motel would do well. Anywho, this party is heading to the Ole Piper Inn. Oh, we know you’ve seen the commercials, but you’ve probably never been. The Ollllllllllle burger inn. This time I went with the Patty Melt. This thing is so goals that you probably should sit down while reading. Let’s mo def start with the bread. It’s a Marble Rye that’s all buttery & crunchy. Just heaven. The beef is straight chucky and running around 75 or 80. Marble-be-doing. And Juicy!!! Searsy dude turned my mouth into a puddle. The cheese was flanking. From the topside is a gooey American and from the bottom was this Swiss that certainly didn’t miss. That sneaky Gnome (their mascot) in the corner is definitely watching me. Convinced. Okay, the sautéed onions are minced and add a hefty punch to this succulent sandwich. After halfway you can’t hardly believe what you’ve done. Inhaled and hardly noticed. Now for the second half you got to find your composure and dial yourself in. Enjoy every bite cause they all GOATs. Loved this burger so much. Flooding with flavor. Stop looking at me, gnome! Get a window seat and look upon the trucks of Hazzard County. The Ole Piper Inn is a legend of the North Metro. Always fun and has a damn good breakfy.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 8   Originality: 7

Ole Piper Inn Bar & Grill, 1416 93rd Lane NE, Blaine; http://www.olepiperinn.com


Burger Hunter: Lucy’s Burgers

Lucys Burgers

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus if you make a beat for this week’s installment it sounds like total jam! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Eastbound and down, loaded up and trucking all the way to the town—with absolutely no sign of polar bears! Lucy’s Burgers in White Bear Lake is one of the new faves in town getting some definite love on social. I mean right there on the top of their menu ‘Strongly Advising’ you to cut your Lucy in half before eating. That’s like blasphemy in traditional jucy country. But they are doubling down on the Insta love cause who doesn’t want to see that . . . I ordered the American Lucy, they use Hereford aka British Beef (touché?) and any old farmer will tell you it’s got more marbling than Angus. And it does. Season up v nice and the beef on this ride can rival many in flavor. Cheese is stuffed inside and the pack is pretty dang firm all together. A sliver of a pocket and quite frankly not enough cheese. The more cheesy bites were lit but the less cheesy bites were just above average. I do have to hand to them on the cheese. It’s really good and an almost perfy consistency. Bun is regs and butter grilled. The salad toppings are fresh and can be enjoyed on or off this ride. Now seriously folks good stuffed burgers are hard to come by, but Lucy’s Burgers is doing some fine work and well on their way to burger gold. Also if you’re a beer battered O ring super fan you’ll need to get a batch of those. For beer battered, maybe the best ever.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.0   Presentation: 9   Originality: 9

Lucy’s Burgers, 1190 County Road J #700, White Bear Township; lucysburgers.com


Burger Hunter: 50’s Grill

50s grill

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He was also quite popular in our reader survey! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your grandma or grandpa or some wonderful aunt or uncle than you better have taken that oh so special person to this oh so special place. Geese Louise we’re at the 50’s Grill! Dust off your chiffon scarf cause the big balls in cow town with hopes of some grease lightning. I went with the Bacon & Cheddar. It had a big star next to it. And it was deserving folks. This burger was all you could ever hope for and expect from a place like this. I mean they have pink booths here and some wicked cool neons. So the bun is baked in house fresh daily and it’s goals. The bottom even has like a floury cornmeal thing going on. The meat is tradish. Probably 80/20 chuck. But totes Voltage (our new word for greasy good). Travolta. We know he’s weird. Anywho moving along the meat flav is fab. This glistening patty of magic has a nice crispy outer with that winning juicy inner. Medium be doing and most def cooked on a flattop. Now don’t let the dude in the booth with the ducktail haircut show you up with his righteous malt order. Get one with your meal. Not after. Ok back to the burger it’s topped with a semi salty super gooey cheddar. Bacon is all the way Chantilly lace. Yeah it’s pretty. The burger is real good folks. I wouldn’t lie. Especially with grandma. Absolutely love the poodle skirts and saddle shoes the staff are sporting. Big ups to this charming piece of America.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.8   Presentation: 7   Originality: 6

50’s Grill, 5524 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center; 50sgrill.com


Burger Hunter: Jimmy’s Pro Billiards

Jimmys Billiards

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus if you make a beat for this week’s installment it sounds like total jam! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Rolling down central while sipping on juice I noticed a giant sign on a building stating 22 Pool Tables, 22 Burgers, 22 Beers. Hit the brakes and we’re at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards. Now they don’t open till noon and there may or may not be a dog running around inside but if there is, it kinda actually adds to the charm. Anywho, we skipped the tables and went straight for the beef. I went with The Grinder. All Black Angus beef with onion, bacon, and shredded cheese mixed into the burger. Cue the music not the chalk. It’s cooked med well and they should look into that. FR. Cause it was almost juicy enough but needed a notch under. The flavor is dialed and mo def lots going on. It’s topped with lettuce and tomato and 1000 island sauce. Rack um! We just started another game didn’t we. Yes, it’s leaning towards sandwich. So the bun is butter grilled and fresh from the Franklin Street Bakery. Quite soft. Now this place is pretty tight. There’s pinball. Prob don’t need to say anymore after all the 22’s and now pinball. But I will. The fries are choice ah. Hand cut and the owner is proud of them. If you’re lucky he will be your utility player through the entire experience. I wholeheartedly love a good pool hall and this place won’t disappoint. There’s some real sticks in this joint.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.2   Presentation: 6   Originality: 9

Jimmy’s Pro Billiards, 4040 Central Ave NE MPLS; facebook.com/Jimmys-Pro-Billiards