Burger Hunter

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


Burger Hunter: Good Earth Cafe

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Plus he’s really branching out these days and amazing to read. Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Celebrating our Earth should be done more than once a year! And the same goes for visiting the Good Earth Restaurant in Roseville or Edina. Yes, we’re hunting amongst the leaf nibblers. Only kidding . . . These conscious eaters are to thank for leading the pack on everything fresh and local. I ordered the Good Earth Burger. Now it’s got a full menu of toppings so let’s kick things off with that bun. Sesame and poppi, maybe a nut or two, not butter grilled but fresh. Liked it. Beef is Peterson Farms grass fed and runs a clean flavor profile. The portobello shrums lead the charge for the salad and the carm-y onions are pretty steady. Tomato is fresh and poppin’. The avocado and the rather sweet red pepper aioli smooth things out a bit. But those sunflower sprouts really made me feel proud. I just knew those things were helping me out in some way. The cheese is Gruyere and better believe it’s in my tops. Burger is a bit slippery but super earthy good. I devoured this thing. Loved knowing that everything is natural, organic, and farm to table. Comes with terra root vegetable chips and those are always a fun treat . . . Not quite sure what you’re eating but damn those purple and red ones are lit.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.2   Presentation: 9   Originality: 9

Good Earth Cafe, 1901 W Hwy 36, Roseville; goodearthmn.com


Burger Hunter: Flameburger

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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.

 

Now that we went all healthy let’s immediately fall off that bandwagon and head straight back to that loving feeling. Oh yeah babe and it’s going down at none other than Flameburger. Upon entry you’ll have an immediate strange flashback of being here before. Early 20’s like 3 AM. Pretty sure it was breakfy. Wake up! Ok I’m back and holy wow there’s flames everywhere in here. So obvi I headed for the Flameburger with bacon & cheese. Bun is decent and has a dusting on it that could be cornmeal. It’s butter grilled. The meat is likely under 80/20. Maybe 75. Tradish chuck. V good tho and not seasoned much. Cooked over flames, adds all that Jazz to the beef. Each high note searing in sweet. Damn Gina, damn. Juicy to the nines and even compromised the bottom bun a little. Each bite exploding with flavor. Savory meat blasts of juicy rendering the perfect chew. Onion with the lightly charred beef is an OTP. The bacon is there but not showing off by any means. The cheese is about as American as those flames. If you close your eyes you’d think you pulled off the side of the road on some road trip to nowhere. Their cups will give you goosebumps and the soda tastes hella good in um. I loved this burger big times. It’s flame-forward and they been going hard since 1955. Pro-tip: Order the hashbrowns!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.1   Presentation: 8   Originality: 5

Flameburger, 4800 Central Ave NE, MPLS; theflameburger.com


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