Burger Hunter: The Well Sports Tavern & Grill

The Well

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s like the burger hunting version Kevin Garnett in his Timberwovles prime, but with a championship! The Burger Hunter also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

Coon Rapids, MN has one really good thing going for it and it’s not their name. The city plays host to another hunt and this time it’s at The Well. This working man’s and woman’s sports bar is actually an incredible find for folks looking to flat out go to crush town on damn good food. The Law Burger is all of 1/2lb and wider style, not super thick. The grind is Angus fresh and big on flavor. Seasoned up just right. Salt, pepper and not to far from there. It’s a classic boss burger so remember the key parts. Juicy, check! Bacon, check! Hand-pattied, check! The kitchen cooks this beauty over flame rendering that strong grill flavor. Cause law just don’t go around here. I think I spotted Ike Clanton at the bar. Moving along, the bun is sesame and decent. The cheese is American and good but could of had a stronger melt. That bacon tho… Really strong and v traditional. All in all a great American Cheeseburger! Comes with crinkle cuts and that’s always good for a smile. Pro tip: Go on Mega Monday (every Monday) order wings and a burger. Loosen up those belt buckles and wish upon The Well. Hangovers cured—and created!—here.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 8.3   Presentation: 6   Originality: 6

The Well Sports Tavern & Grill, 35 Coon Rapids Boulevard NW, Coon Rapids;

Twincy Cheat Sheet: Take Flight


Between the arts and the culture and the entertainment and food and drink and the people and the places, there’s just too much going on to keep track of, so here’s a few talking points to start off your week and get your prepped for your back-to-work happy hour.

Who: MPLS City Council Member Jacob Frey

Out of all the politicos having a rough weekend, we were surprised that it wasn’t the one dealing with an ethics committee complaint. Instead, Third Ward rep Frey was managing a barrage of complaints about the surge in crime in the Warehouse District. Are the now-routine stabbings and shootings his fault? Of course not, but they’re turning into one of, if not the, defining character of his tenure.

What: Twin Cities Horror Festival V

One of the best fests that happens all year long, the TCHF rises up at the end of October with stagings of stories that include necrophilia, bloody underground facilities, dismemberment, and more creepiness that’s not suitable for children. It’s truly spooky at times and a great way to get in the Hallows Eve mood, but get dem tix ahead of time.

Where: Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, MN

The legendary recording studio—where Nirvana’s In Utero was recorded, as well as albums by PJ Harvey, Andrew Bird, Soul Asylum, and many others—fell into decline in the mid-aughts, but was in the process of being restored by John Kuker and now subsequently his family. Pachyderm now will be re-opening in October, and it’s a pretty big deal; expect to hear more on the festivities surrounding its return.

When: 6 PM, Tonight! Wine Dinner at Costa Blanca Bistro

We know, we know, it’s sort of short notice. But if you’re really feeling like it’s been a rough Monday night, treat yo self tonight at Costa Blanca in Nordeast where they’re having a pretty damn good looking wine dinner. It’s a little higher than we normally spend on a pre fixe menu, $75, but wine and seafood isn’t cheap!

Why (Not): Toruk—The First Flight

Some people love Cirque du Soleil, some people don’t. We’re honestly always impressed by the shows, especially the smaller runs in tents. Toruk, the newest show from the group, is based on the James Cameron movie Avatar (for some reason?), opens at the Target Center this week.

Quick Q+A: Amy Jo + A Way To Go

who made who

Amy Jo and TOOTH make up the righteously talented screen printing twosome Who Made Who. The duo “first bonded over a love of vintage catalogs, spicy food, and noisy Rock & Roll” and it certainly comes through in their work.

We’ve been a big fan of theirs for some time now, and in anticipation of the closing artist reception for their current A Way To Go: Amy Jo & TOOTH this Saturday, September 24th from 6-10 PM at the very cool Hamilton Ink Spot, we sent Amy Jo some quick questions so our readers can also get in on the love.

Secrets of the City: Why makes screen prints so appealing? The flat aesthetic? The flexibility of the medium? The price point?

Amy Jo: “People love flat things.” I think Andy Warhol said that. There is an element of craft to screen printing by hand that a machine just can’t duplicate.
A digital print might look nice and be a bit cheaper, but if you want something that cost the blood, sweat, and tears of an artist, buy a screen print.

Is it fair to say that MPLS + STPL has a big screen printing scene? Do you see yourself as a part of it? How did you get into it?

The Twin Cities has a huge design community and along with that I think comes a shared love of screen printing. There is something very charming about screen printing. It’s tedious and kind of clunky, but also very beautiful.

I started screen printing posters in 2001 for First Ave, Triple Rock, The Dinkytowner, and showing prints at Hair Police and the Hexagon Bar. TOOTH relocated to MPLS in 2007 and shortly after that, Who Made Who was born.

Is Who Made Who an AC/DC reference?

Busted. “Who Made Who, ain’t nobody told you?” (Although we are #teamBonScott). It made sense for us to have a name that references both rock and roll and maker culture.

A Way to Go is a collection of art prints, test prints, and rare screenprints by Amy Jo & TOOTH. Join us for an artist talk and a letterpress make and take of an exclusive new design. 

Burger Hunter: 112 Eatery

112 Eatery

Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during all the Open Streets events all summer, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.

Downtown Minneapolis has always had a few great burgers. Some have come, some have gone but we’re certain this one is here to stay! This hunt takes us to none other but the fantastically eclectic 112 Eatery. There you’ll find the 112 cheese burger. Let me just stop right there… Folks, yes of course you should try the burger at a place like this. If their foie gras is soooo spectacular than what do you think they’re going to do with the greatest sandwich ever invented? Yes…..! That is correct, they’re going to knock it out of the park. And 112 does just that. The burger is big, it’s 1/2lb and thick. Sus of prime beginnings. The mix has egg, thyme, butter and caramelized onion in it. Making for a medium density. Which is perfecto for a medium to rare cook. The flavor is rich and hella savory! Ok now to what I believe really makes this burger stand out. Served on a semi toasted English muffin. It’s buttery light crunch makes all the difference. FR, it does. The cheese on the burger is Brie. It’s soft, milky and works quite nicely. Absolutely in love with the 112 cheese burger. TBH it will probably get a few votes for POTUS. Oh and beware of the slight zombie vibe, you’ll know what I mean.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 8   Originality: 9

112 Eatery, North 3rd St, MPLS;

Twincy Cheat Sheet: Civil Discourse

The Souix Chef

Between the arts and the culture and the entertainment and food and drink and the people and the places, there’s just too much going on to keep track of, so here’s a few talking points to start off your week and get your prepped for your back-to-work happy hour.

Who: Chef Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef

Dang, we knew the Sioux Chef was popular, but this is big news: Sean Sherman, who’s become a driving force in Indigenous cuisine just successfully kickstarted the most backed restaurant project on the platform ever. 2,358 backers will be helping get things going, and we’re not going to be surprised when Chef’s Table on Netflix, which you have to watch, shows up.

What: The big Prince Tribute, which is happening

Honestly, from what we’d heard murmured around town, we didn’t think there’d be any big Prince tribute this go around, thanks to some missed contracts and such. So it’s probably a good thing that Stevie Wonder, Chaka Chan, and Morris Day will be playing at the Xcel Energy Center with a big group of people we’re not at all interested in, like John Mayer and Christina Aguilera.

When: Teen-tober

We will be adding -tober to everything for the next month, FYI. Regular readers know we love the Trylon micro-cinema for their mix of highbrow (like the early films of Mike Leigh, still showing) and lowbrow, like the upcoming Teens Save the Planet showings all October that includes The Lost Boys, Fright Night, the absolute must-see masterpiece Night of the Comet, the more recent Attack the Block, and of course “Wolfman’s got nards” in The Monster Squad.

Where: The Grinkie Circus

On October 8th, Harriet Brewing will be transformed by the Grinkie Girls Pin ups and the MPLS Beard & Moustache Club into a hip and huirsuite all day party. There’s fun for everyone during the day, including a pets and kids beard competition, and then some more adult fun with a pin up contest and fire circus. Only $10!

Why? (Because they’re awesome.): Meritage Staff stop assault

It’s the story we heard the most this weekend—when Meritage Chef Russell Klein heard someone punch his girlfriend in an argument outside the restaurant, Klein stepped in to stop the fight, and Dining Room Manager Alex Seide also got punched. Good on them! We’ll take this as a time to remind you about the upcoming Oysterfest, which is also awesome.

Burger Hunter: Nighthawks


Mike S. eats more burgers in a weekend than we do during the entire over-extended run up to Halloween, and he also documents his meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram. We love his work (how does he not have his own show for this?), so we convinced the Hunter to share some of his patty places with you, our hungry readership.

South Nicollet is most definitely becoming Burger Avenue.  At just about every intersection there’s something interesting going on. Hunting gone easy. So we followed a little birdie to Nighthawks Diner & Bar. The Double Cheeseburger is an absolute diner masterpiece. Starting with the bun, it’s fresh house-baked and toasted. Perfect size and clean flavor. The meat is the big hero here, with the grind consisting of sirloin, brisket, and chuck. If I had children those would be their first names.  That’s how good that combo is! The burger’s smashed style, so they have butter chunks in the meatballs and then they press them down onto a flattop to form a patty. The butter creates that crispy outer that’s trending harder than Pokemon on crack. This burger is right proper. Juicy. Fine fine meat flavor at the forefront of each bite. It’s smothered with American cheese and a burger sauce that’s really spectacular. It’s puréed everything that people put on a burger. So no need for thousands of toppings the sauce has it all. There is caramelized onions and some crunchy pickles but that’s it. If you’re triggered for cheeseburger gluttony at its finest than get your fix at Nighthawks.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.4   Presentation: 8   Originality: 9

Nighthawks, 3753 Nicollet Avenue South, MPLS;