When in the Twin Cities, I almost always feel the need to get a Jucy Lucy. Or, I just avoid burgers entirely. Yet, on this trip my path led me to Freehouse, a microbrewery that is so incredibly popular that we had to wait longer for a table than the hostess had told us initially. Seriously. Fortunately, we were able to get things started with a couple of beers and some cheese curds before taking our seats.
The beer I liked the best was the No. 16 Belgian IPA and without it I don’t know if I could have survived the wait. The cheese curds were of the fried variety (although I much prefer them raw), although the batter was made with hard cider and was nice and light. They were served with apple sauce and quince jam, both of which added a delicious twist to something I have always eaten dipped in ranch or marinara.
Once we did get seated, my buddy also ordered another snack. It was the Candied Bacon and arrived on a tiny plate looking reminiscent of a plate of bacon at some greasy spoon diner. It was refreshing to know they didn’t feel the need to make it look fancy, and upon having my first slice of bacon it was obvious that this was no greasy spoon bacon. It had a great balance of sweet, salty and smoky, making me wish I had ordered it on my burger, but also making me wish the bacon was a bit thicker.
Oh yeah, as for the burger I ordered the 1,000 Dollar Burger that came in at a price of only 15 bucks. So obviously it was a steal. The patty was ground up short rib, brisket and sirloin, cooked in duck fat and topped with No. 4 (Stout) Butter and white cheddar on a house English muffin. It all seemed great, but in execution there were some highs and lows. The first low is obviously that damn pickle spear that went and tainted a couple of my fries. The high is that the English muffin did a surprisingly good job of holding in the burger. Unfortunately this was helped by the low of the patty itself just not being very juicy. In fact, even the butter couldn’t do much to help. Perhaps this town of Jucy Lucys is used to cooking a burger through to melt cheese inside, but this did not work at Freehouse.
Overall, despite the wait Freehouse was a good stop. Their beer was unquestionably good and they even made me rethink fried cheese curds. Unfortunately, their 1,000 Dollar Burger could have used a little work. Next time I’ll just have to find a Jucy Lucy.