Burger Hunter

Duluth Week Burger Hunter: Duluth Grill

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. And he’s not afraid to head into colder, hipper climates to do it! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Norther beyond the Askov Finlayson exit and further past the infamous Esko Thomson exit is the one that stated them all . . . Duluth, Minnesota! Looking for a midsummer nights dream vacation? Damn straight up 35 for 2 hours and you’ll need to pit stop for some grub. The Duluth Grill is your answer. This place is without a doubt a foodie Mecca. I personally know families that drive 2 hours up and 2 hours back just for their pies. Pro tip: Get the banana cream. Anywho, I ordered the Blue Cheese Burger and it was legit. Bun is brioche, soft and fresh. Butter grilled. The meat is grass feed and v clean but seasoned appropriately. Nice size just under 1/2lb. Juicy and medium be doing. Topped with blue cheese and wadded up nicely. Some is melted and some is chunky and all of it’s creamy. But the big whites were wah de tah!, as Pootie Tang would say. But FR they are goals. Best ever maybe. Also has a little maple bacon jam that works nicely with that award winning blue cheese. Every bite has a flavor bomb going off. There’s a great caramelized onion on it that’s been marinating longer than old jazz hands at Club Saratoga. Now I went with the hash browns and let me tell you my friends were eyeing them up. This place is woke. Entire menu deserves a dance. Now go see the sites! Duluth . . . Gotta love it every time. Paris of the North Shore.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 8   Originality: 9

Duluth Grill, I-35 & 27th Avenue West, Duluth; duluthgrill.com


Burger Hunter: Uncle Franky’s

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

At the end of the trendiest street (Quincy) in Twincy and just across the block sits a restaurant that thankfully is lost in time. In the era of swanky this and that with million dollar makeovers this place is historically kitschy and crushing it. Uncle Franky’s is a dog joint and I definitely suggest getting one but I went for the triple cheese burger with bacon. The menu is on a chalkboard which is always a good sign. Yup it is . . . I know you just thought about it. Let’s start with the bun, it’s regs but butter grilled and sized correctly. Burgers got some flavor. Gotta be the old flattop. You could put a cardboard box on that grill and it would taste good. FR. Seasoned hundo p. Guessing chuck but the pack is all the way firm. That cheese tho is the best part. I went to Swiss town and it was all over the place.  And thank you Uncle Franky for that. Onions are minced and on the bottom.  Bacon is fried and from mars. I didn’t understand it. Anywho, this burger is noteworthy and they have a great juicy so mark it down. Comes with some crinkle cut potato logs. Served piping hot! Also the MinneSoda fountain pop is a must. Sitting in this place really brings you to another era.  The ceiling fan. The smell. The chef yells out to you to double check your order. They even have a special of the day that’s under $5. When I got up I thought it would be farmland out those doors. Tasted good—felt amaze! 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.7   Presentation: 5   Originality: 7

Uncle Franky’s, 728 Broadway St NE, MPLS; unclefrankys.com


Burger Hunter: Five Guys

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It’s the Burger Hunter! Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Now that you’ve celebrated our Independence, it’s a good time to pledge your loyalty to a guilty pleasure or two. Mine and yours is Five Guys. You can still be a foodie or a locavore or whatever, you’ll still work these fine fellas into your mix. They do it right, folks. Fresh AH. FR! Pro tip: There’s no freezer in any Five Guys restaurant. So they got that going for them, which is nice. Ingredients are always popping. The Bacon Cheeseburger with two patties is the Ave I went down. Went naked this time just to taste the beef, but I strongly suggest adding some garden. The meat is v good and mo def Five Guys flavor. Not sure if it’s in the light seasoning or just the beef. Patties are seared up but not crispy. Very juicy inner with American cheese wads coming correct in each bite. Think classic double 1/4 pounder but the best one you’ve ever had. Bacon on the bottom. Not sure why but it’s down there and in pieces. Not strips. The bun is sesame, good enough but not great by any means. Fries are woke and potato is from the farm they post on the wall. Fried in peanut oil. My fav part is the bag fries. Their bit is to dump a ton of extras in your bag with all the food. It’s like a Ricki Bonus. Now if you know what that is we all impressed! Another nice touch is the free peanut gallery. Hey it’s summer, go nuts!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 7.9   Presentation: 5   Originality: 6

Five Guys, 2300 Hennepin Ave S, MPLS; fiveguys.com


Burger Hunter: Peppers & Fries

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You didn’t think we’d skip Burger Hunter this week, did you? Mike S. gets a ton fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us, so we’ve got to keep the coverage coming! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

You tell me this town ain’t got no heart . . . Cruise up and down Lake Street, roll down your windows and enjoy the beautiful diversity of flavors that’ll suit just about anyone’s fancy. You just gotta poke around. This one road alone could out eat the entire state of Rhode Island. East a bit on Lake dwells the food paradise of Peppers & Fries. It’s a sports bar that’s got a big MN Twins following but it feels like you’re in a fancy William Arena. Where the hell is Clem Haskins anyway??? Peppers PB&J burger is lit. No doubt folks add this beauty to your list. Don’t freak, you protein packin’ super scared of carb freaks. It’s a big 1/3 thick and juicy. Nice crisp outer, inner is medium and the chew is out of bounds. A nice grind on this angus. It’s topped with a thin to win layer of peanut butter that is without any argument the greatest spread ever invented. You could survive in the woods for a month on a big jar of PB. Put it on everything! This burger has a terrific pepper jelly that adds a touch of sweet heat to the now nutty tasting beef. It’s just wonderful.  Maybe you had too much too fast. Topped with platform crispy bacon and a light cheddar. Bun is hundo p bakery fresh. P.J. Murphy’s I believe. Puffy. Now the fries are the real deal so get them. I sat right next to a box of Idaho beauties so it’s like, “yeah I’m getting you.” They have damn good food here. Let freedom ring on Shakedown Street! 

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.1   Presentation: 5   Originality: 9

Peppers & Fries, 3900 East Lake St, MPLS; peppersandfries.com


Burger Hunter: Timber Lodge Steakhouse

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Look up we are in Bloomington! A city besides MSP that actually has buildings. This hunt is so 1997 and we’re up north at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse. Now I’ve been saying for awhile that a good steakhouse almost always delivers a dynamite burger. Have a taste of nostalgia for size. Always hearted hard on T-Lodge. Who didn’t have a good meal there? FR! Place is lit. Now they’ve kicked it up a notch with some gourmet burgers and that’s my cue. The Bacon Cheeseburger is big times running for something! It’s bossy and has it all. They call um Butcher Burgers and this is why –> the meat is locally sourced from a single steer that comes from Blooming Prairie, MN. Top marks for all that. Timby admit-tingly uses their pals Lowry Hills Meats to get their special grind. The flavor is perfy. Flat top cooked with good meat sears on the outer and v juicy insides. Thick and med/light pack. So you do get a few crumbly pieces as you devour. The chew is goals. There’s a heavy salad, LTO & fresh ah! They get it from their own produce farm, which is nice. TBH it’s noticeably nice. There’s a little BBQ sauce that acts as a dressing. The bun is choice! Super fresh from Baker’s Field Flour & Bread in the Food Building in Nordeast. I loved this bun and would eat it just plain. Damn Gina. The burger comes with Neuskie’s Bacon and I shouldn’t need to explain the quality there. Hundo p. It’s smothered with a fab cheddar from Bongards. Lots of local and lots of love. I’m in a cabin folks. It’s pretty nice. Oh Timber Lodge you’ve never disappointed me. And to think how long it’s been. Damn I’ve missed you. Glad we’re back!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.2   Presentation: 8   Originality: 10

Timber Lodge Steakhouse, 7989 Southtown Dr, Bloomington; timberlodgesteakhouse.com