MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – The Twin Cities (that’s Minneapolis and St. Paul) are home to many things: Target headquarters, Mall of America, Caribou Coffee, and freezing temperatures. It’s also home to one of the greatest showdowns in sandwiches: the Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy depending on which menu you read). It’s a burger grilled with a pocket of cheese inside instead of slice on top. The biggest debate runs deep between two popular joints both located on the same street: the 5-8 Club (home of the Juicy Lucy: “if it’s spelled right, it’s done right!) and Matt’s Bar (home of the Jucy Lucy: “if it’s spelled right, you’re at the wrong place). I braved the line at Matt’s to find out, as a cheeseburger lover, if a Jucy Lucy is really worth this war. The short story: it is.
Upon arrival, the line snaked out the door into the cold Minneapolis winter. Once we finally edged our way inside, it was so tight that our poofy jackets and scarves practically draped themselves into the French fries of happy diners who finally felt the glory of a good burger. The wait took about an hour, but scoring a table is only half the battle. There’s only one waitress and she’s slightly busy to say the least. So is “the kitchen” — one man in a tie-dyed shirt behind the bar flipping a few burgers at a time.
The best burgers I’ve ever had have always been served on a sheet of paper instead of a plate, and Matt’s is no exception. Between the oozing lava-like cheese and the intense seasonings, the whole experience is taken to a new level. If you’re a burger lover, it’s worth the wait. The whole wait — really, wait the extra 5 minutes after your food arrives for that volcanic hot cheese to cool. Your (unburnt) tongue will thank you.