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Jucy Lucys (in case you're mailing this to an out-of-town friend--yes, that's how it's spelled) are south Minneapolis's contribution to world cuisine, made by crimping two beef patties together around a hunk of cheese and grilling until the cheese inside reaches molten temperatures. Served on a white, seed-free bun, and usually topped with grilled or raw onions and a slice or two of pickle, the Lucy keeps the meat near the cheese very moist and--more important--it separates Minnesotans from outsiders: Those in the know bide their time and wait for the hot cheese to cool, while rubes, hicks, New Yorkers, and other social misfits scald their tongues on the excruciatingly hot mixture of grease and cheese that pools inside.
If you think a burger's just a ground-beef patty slapped between bun halves, you probably don't live in Minnesota. Here we take our burgers as seriously as Easterners do their pastrami and Southerners do their barbecue. We can probably blame this... More »
The cheese-stuffed Ju(i)cy Lucy hamburger is a south Minneapolis icon, a native-born food with murky 20th-century origins and a penchant for provoking arguments. In the spirit of "news you can use," we present a fact-driven evaluation of three... More »
Matt's Bar 3500 Cedar Ave., Mpls.; 722-7072 5-8 Club 5800 Cedar Ave., Mpls.; 823-5858 So, where exactly in Michigan is Minnesota? Living in Mindianapolis, is it difficult to get tickets to the big car race? Oh, I've been to Minnesota four... More »
Just as Geno's and Pat's stubbornly battle for the title of Best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia, so too are Matt's and the 5-8 Club locked in an eternal struggle over who created the cheeseburger that has been called "the Cheesesteak of south Minneapolis": the Juicy (or Jucy) Lucy. The sandwich exerts so great a gravitational pull on the local imagination that an entire website has sprung up to taste the Lucy in all its incarnations, with the eventual goal of naming the best in town. Matt's makes the best claim for the origin of the flavorful name. In a 1998 City Pages article, Cheryl Bristol, the daughter of bar founder and namesake Matt Bristol, told of how one day in 1954, a customer asked a cook to put two hamburger patties together and seal up some cheese in the middle. When the customer bit down on the novel concoction, he was heard to exclaim, "That's one juicy Lucy!" The purest incarnation of the Lucy features American cheese, though variations include blue, pepperjack, and Swiss, all of which are available at the 5-8, which serves USDA Choice Beef and fresh bakery baked buns, making it the gentleman's Juicy Lucy (if such a thing is possible). Wherever you get it, best to heed the warning and let it sit before you bite, lest you also be introduced to the pain of scalding hot cheese.
Just as Geno's and Pat's stubbornly battle for the title of Best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia, so too are Matt's and the 5-8 Club locked in an eternal struggle over who created the cheeseburger that has been called "the Cheesesteak of south Minneapolis": the Juicy (or Jucy) Lucy. The sandwich exerts so great a gravitational pull on the local imagination that an entire website has sprung up to taste the Lucy in all its incarnations, with the eventual goal of naming the best in town. Matt's... More »
Some things never ever change, and they never ever should. Matt's Bar, "home of the Jucy Lucy," looks no different than it did 30 years ago, except nowadays you don't have to squint through your neighbor's cigarette smoke to see the game on TV. Same oval, red plastic baskets loaded with skinless fries, same Jucy Lucys--two thin beef patties squeezed around a layer of gooey American cheese, grilled till the beef is crisply charred and the cheese is molten, the bursting oval served on a... More »
What the hell is on that grill? The angel on our shoulder wants to say, "Magic!" But the devil says, "Drugs!" Whatever it is, Matt's duly famous Jucy Lucy has it: The Jucy Lucy, in case you're not an earthling, is two beef patties seared around a molten core of bubbling cheese, topped (ideally) with dark-fried onions, and issued forth from a grill that has been in continuous operation for some 50 years and seems to impart a particular magic to every pad of beef that crosses its surface.... More »
You can keep your fancy burgers laden with all manner of vegetables, sauces, stinky cheeses, and enough other crap to require a knife and fork for consumption. As we see it, the best burgers are simple, and in keeping with the spirit of such a food item, they don't come from anywhere you'd have to dress up to visit. No, they come from neighborhood corner taverns like this, where they have not a kitchen but a grill behind the bar; where anything on the menu can be had for less than $5... More »
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