The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Old Meets New at Kingo Bowl
It’s a Pita Jungle Out There
Eating Like a Sconnie at Culver’s
Doing the Impossible at The Counter?

‘Minneapolis’

A Pizza Sandwich at Broadway Pizza

Best combination ever?
Best combination ever?

While the Twin Cities are certainly renowned for the Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy, they are not without other culinary creations. I stumbled upon one of these accidentally when ordering from Broadway Pizza. You see, this is a pizza and sandwich place, but one item on the menu was a combination of the two, calling itself the Pizza Sandwich. My curiosity got the best of me and I ordered it.

Juicy with an “i” at the 5-8 Club

Sweet Lucy.
Sweet Lucy.

In the grand scheme of the genius of humanity, the Juicy Lucy (a burger stuffed with cheese) must fall somewhere on the spectrum of wonder and destruction as the atomic bomb. Unlike the atomic bomb, however, there can never be too many and there is a bit of confusion about who invented the thing. I already reviewed Matt’s Bar, which spells it without the “i” and with a recent visit to Minneapolis I decided I had to try the 5-8 Club, the other claimant to the origin.

Brews, Bacon and a Burger at Freehouse

Bury the bottle.
Bury the bottle.

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.

Brats and More at Butcher and the Boar

Total brats.
Total brats.

In the Twin Cities for a whirlwind couple of days, I found myself at Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis. As a James Beard Semi-Finalist last year, I was expecting some good things. After seeing they had Take the Back on tap, I knew I was in for something good. Since I was with a couple of other people that supported my unvegan needs and the menu seemed made for sharing, we decided to go in on a few things together.

The Best of 2013

Trying to make the cut.
Trying to make the cut.

2014 is here, but my 2013 may have been the best year of eating in the history of the world, so it’s time for another Unvegan Best of. The past year included a honeymoon, an epic month-long road trip and a move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, so my list has broadened beyond LA and narrowing down the awesome was quite the process. Nonetheless, I encourage you all to go back through my Reviews section to see what didn’t quite make the cut. Remember that the list only includes places new to The Unvegan and bear in mind that Honorable Nods this year would probably be winners any other year. Without further ado:

Devouring the Black Sheep

A salami in every family.
A salami in every family.

Apparently, the Twin Cities are about more than just Jucy Lucys. And while some may question that, Black Sheep in St. Paul gives reason to believe in life beyond cheese-stuffed burgers. A coal-fired pizza place, Black Sheep still relies on cheese, but in quite a different manner. Walking in to the below-ground-level spot, I was immediately inundated with the scent of garlic, a smell that signaled good things ahead, as well as a scent that would remain with me for the rest of the day.

Fulfilled by Matt’s Bar

It's what's on the inside that counts.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

There are few regional food items that become so popular that they take on a life of their own outside of said region. And I’m not talking about Mexican food leaving Mexico or pizza making its way into the US from Italy. No, I’m talking Buffalo Wings, New England Clam Chowder and Chicago-Style Deep Dish. Now, there’s a new one that seems poised to join that elite club: the Jucy Lucy. This creation has gone as far to inspire a restaurant dedicated to the Jucy Lucy in LA called Juicy Lucy (note the different spelling) and Jucy Lucy’s can be found on restaurant menus all around the nation. So it may be surprising that the Jucy Lucy, a cheese-stuffed burger, came from a little dive bar called Matt’s in Minneapolis.

Eating Verde at Rojo

More like verde. Zing!
More like verde. Zing!

Out in the suburbs of Minneapolis is a place called St. Louis Park. Within that park is the West End, a mall containing, well, you know what malls have. This one, though, had a restaurant called Rojo. Mexican in theme, the place was slightly upscale and was kind of what is expected from Mexican restaurants so far from the border. Nothing was particular creative or exciting-looking, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Feeling Blucy at Blue Door

A newer Lucy.
A newer Lucy.

The Twin Cities may have a few claims to their name, but none so big as the Jucy Lucy. This burger stuffed with cheese may have originated at Matt’s Bar, but many other Lucy spots have grown from there and tried to make improvements to an already incredible creation. Despite my desire’s to visit Matt’s Bar, I was convinced by a lawyer (typical) to head to Blue Door instead, as Blue Door is one of those places that supposedly took the Jucy Lucy to the next level.

Apparently, I was Thinking Arby’s

-
Is this what I was thinking?

Arby’s has always been kind of a fringe fast food chain. You can find it all over the country, but it isn’t exactly on every corner. Perhaps this is the reason it has taken me so long to review them. Or perhaps the reason is because I once heard their meat begins its life as a liquid. Whatever the case, a golden opportunity to chow down on some potentially formerly liquid meat presented itself at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.