Burger Hunter

Burger Hunter: Culver’s

Culvers

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! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

All across the Midwest, there’s a sneaky great burger that is consistently done right and worthy of more praises. This hunt is all about that urge to crush a burger, like okay NOW! Head to your local Culver’s and you’ll find a menu that’s shockingly long with strong choices like the pork tendy or even walleye (when in season). But ignore all that and order the Double ButterBurger with Cheese. The meat is fresh—never frozen—Midwest beef that’s seared crisp on a flattop with butter. No pre-made nightmares, everything is cooked to order. Now the flavor of the meat is really nice. The crispy outer is life and the juicy inner is goals. Topped with a heavy American from Wisconsin. Each bite is meat cheese blasts of glory. The bun is butter grilled and okay. Do toppings as you please but I went naked for this ride; bun, meat, cheese. Culver’s and you yourself should be proud of this burger. The convenience factor is hundo p and that don’t take away nathen. Fries are crinkle cut and the root beer is fabulous. Drive-through or dine-in and one thing is for certain you’ll be pretty far from basic. Pro tip: The Culver’s in St. Anthony (Silver Lake Rd) has a full-on old timers bluegrass jam every Saturday from 1:30 PM-4 PM. Probably the coolest thing you’ll ever see in life.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.4   Presentation: 5   Originality: 6

Culver’s, 4004 Silver Lake Rd, St. Anthony; Culvers.com


Burger Hunter: St. Paul Grill

St Paul Grill

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! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Once in a great while you just require a man with a top hat to open the door for you. You guessed it! This hunt happens at the St. Paul Grill, conveniently located on ground level of the historic St. Paul Hotel. Upscale hunting is so hot right now. “You there, grab me some more bread. Post haste.” Get bossy and dial in cause this place is calm. The Bacon Cheeseburger is now on trial. Starting with the bun, it’s a potato roll all floured up and super airy. Way good. Grilled. Really fresh. The meat is black angus hundo p and lightly char grilled. Flat out a summer burger. You can taste it right away. It’s got a mad garden going on, too. All fresh ah. See I do listen to reader comments! Two large tomato slices lead the charge. So delicious. A crispy piece of super green lettuce that you know was cleaned twice and inspected for color consistency. Red onion and a pickle complete the salad. The burger is smothered in cheddar and y’know it’s a winner when you get that gooey pull on the first bite. That combo of cheddar and juicy flame grilled beef is an OTP bestest. IKEA effect hard brah. FR. That’s why we all love it. The thick-cut bacon is the flavor boost on this clean garden town. It’s flying. Crunchy and almost worth just a side order of it. Now the burger might not be your first choice on a menu this strong but it also will not disappoint! Pro tip: Order a gallon of the Cream of Minnesota Wild Rice Soup (best ever).

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.4   Presentation: 9   Originality: 7

St. Paul Grill, 350 Market Street, STPL; stpaulgrill.com


Burger Hunter: Rudy’s Redeye Grill

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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! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

The East Metro of our sweet Twincy is just full of surprises. Straight up Dylan’s Hwy 61 in good ol’ White Bear Lake is a sneaky great place named Rudy’s Redeye Grill. Now the ambiance is red and if Rudy is short for Rudolph maybe it’s time for this reindeer to “see” a doctor. It’s spreading! All kidding aside let’s get to the burger. Rudy’s has a champ here. Hidden deep on the menu too. Almost not even there. Okay . . . Starting with the bun, it’s toasted and super standard issue. The meat is angus with a clean mild flavor. Very light, loosely packed. Grilled over real flames with no char-daddy situations. Juicy to the nines and the beef is show stopping, runway ready, the funk. All glistening pretty like it’s somebody’s birthday. It’s smothered in a BBQ sauce that’s somewhat runny and somewhat thick. Who knew? Topped with two tomatoes that surprisingly pairs nicely with the BBQ sauce and bacon. And the raw onion comes in and says, “let me in on this ride!” Making for some perfect marriages here. Now the onion and the lettuce add that little crisp fresh taste your looking for cause the sauce and juicy meat renders a real succulent mouthful. The cheddar plays it role . . . Best supporting actor. The salty cheese is just so helpful on this sweet beast. But the one that brings it all together and unifies these marriages is the bacon. Love when everything works together. Hey Rudy, you’re doing it right!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.7   Presentation: 9   Originality: 7

Rudy’s Redeye Grill, 4940 Hwy 61 North, White Bear Lak; rudysredeye.com


Burger Hunter: Borough

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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! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Straight down Washington Ave, if you can get through . . . Your guess is as good as mine? Mayoral candidates pay attention. Anywho, just move over a street and on you go to hop down at Borough for lunch. Aww yes, the excitement is high! This place has been trending for awhile. Ink, lists, banter, and a pile of street cred. FR. You’d have to of been in a sequestered jury on a killer burger case in order to not have heard about the legendary Parlour Burger. So I ordered it. It’s name is because you used to only be able to get it at their Parlour below. Let’s start with the bun. It’s an egg bun that’s grilled crispy hundo p. Almost crunchy. It’s buttery and really a good one folks. The meat has the triple crown pedigree you’re looking for in life: ribeye, brisket, and chuck. Those three friends are invited to any party. And all summer long, too. Now the flavor of this beef is unarguably delicious and better than a strong majority of all the burgers out there. But TBH I found this one a little too salty and not quite juicy enough considering the choice cuts, hence the semi-scandalous rating! Come at me, bro! It’s smashed style two patty system and you get that light char daddy outer that’s amaze. Those old tastes that your Mom and Dad talk about. The skillet burger days kinda flavor. It’s a big ‘un too. Topped with a white American cheese that’s plenty creamy and oozing on the meat. Major league GOAT bites for the banks. Yummy burger, no doubt. Pro tip: The fries are perfection and ask for a dipper of Swiss cheese aioli!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.9   Presentation: 8   Originality: 9

Borough, 730 N Washington Ave, MPLS; boroughmpls.com


Burger Hunter: Lowry Hill Meats

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Heading down Hennepin just south of the Walker you’ll find a little gem of a butcher shop that would make even Thomas Lowry proud. This hunt takes place at Lowry Hill Meats and no we’re not making our own. Valid, tho—this is the spot if you need something for the grill. But on Wednesday and only Wednesday this meat market makes burgers that are so good you’ll retire your apron and let the propane run out for good. So I ordered it as is but doubled the patty and gazed their meat cases as I waited. Out comes this beautiful burger that immediately reminds you I could never do that at home. For one they are using a flattop and for burgers that’s like some kind of a secret weapon. Really is folks. Let’s start with the meat, it’s choice. They use chuck and stuff. The stuff is from cuts off steaks and whatnot all week. So that’s in the grind and you can tell. The depth is there in the taste. But gentle. And juicy af. While crushing I spotted them using those little tin covers on their burgers creating a steam bath. Take a bite. Sit and watch. Seeing is believing folks. This place is way fun! Now it’s smothered in the creamiest American you’ll ever have. It’s house made and we’re not sure why they don’t sell it but they need to. It’s got a little sauce-town going on. Sus of MMK (mayo, mustard, ketchup). Below the beef is some lettuce and some pickled carrots with mini cucumbers. Comes with caramelized onions but TBH they’re not all that noticeable. Which was nice. They just added a little flavor and went home. Kinda like a Seekins Sighting. The bun is a lovely pork fat bun. It held court. Fantastic burger that’s clean and flavorful. Not a heavy meat hangover at all. This is where you want to be in life.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.5   Presentation: 7   Originality: 8

Lowry Hill Meats, 1934 Hennepin Ave, MPLS; lowryhillmeats.com