Aug 152012

Here are our current picks for Best Juicy Lucy.  Thanks to my partner Erick for contributing his opinions in this list, which will grow and change as necessary.  I requested his opinion since I do not eat American Cheese under any circumstances, and that is the most traditional cheese within the Juicy Lucy.. If you know of other Juicy Lucy burgers  that we need to try, please leave a recommendation ;)

#1 The Nook ~ The Nook is the best burger joint around and their Juicy Nookie gets our vote for the Best Lucy in the Twin Cities. This classic has two patties formed around a center of molten cheese served on a soft brioche bun.  My #1 companion loves this burger and thinks The Nook has the best one personally tried thus far.  The Nook also offers a handful of stuffed burgers for those who prefer other cheeses including the Paul Molitor (stuffed with pepperjack), The Spanish Fly (50/50 chorizo-beef burger stuffed with Queso), Stuffed Philly (with peppers, onions, swiss) and Guy’s Big Bite (stuffed with bacon and pepperjack then topped with roast beef and cheddar). There is also a Stuffed Burger of the Month. I have had the Paul Molitor burger and the Orchard Burger, the feature for August 2012.  The Orchard Burger is stuffed with cheddar, bacon and apples then topped with an apricot glaze.  Every burger we’ve ever tried at The Nook  has been a winner and they make our future list of Cheap Eats as well, considering the burgers come with fresh-cut fries for less than $8.  Who can beat that?
Juicy Nookie Burger at The Nook ~ St Paul, MN

Tin Cups ~ All burgers at Tin Cup’s are cooked over charcoal and then finished on the flat-top so you get the heavenly flavor of the grill.  It also came on a big toasted bun with coleslaw and french fries.  My companion ordered the Cedar Avenue Lucy, which is the Classic Juicy Lucy stuffed with American Cheese.  Normally it comes with caramelized onions but it was requested to leave them off.  I didn’t try this burger but my companion thought it was awesome, ranking just behind The Nook for best Juicy Lucy in town.  This gets my second place vote because they have several varieties of Juicy Lucy, just in case you’re like me and don’t eat American Cheese.  My favorite Juicy Lucy at Tin Cup’s are the French Dipper (stuffed with swiss and fried onions and a side of au jus) and the Dirty Lucy (stuffed with bleu cheese, jalapenos, caramelized onions and olives).

Matt’s Bar ~ The Jucy Lucy at the famous Matt’s Bar, is only about 1/3 lb, but a whole lot of goodness is packed into this smaller package.  The inside has molten American cheese that could burn your face in .2 seconds if you aren’t careful! The patty was served atop pickle rounds.  Matt’s offers fried onions with the burgers if you so desire. Good stuff, albeit a little greasy.   Shoestring fries are sold separately, by the basket.Jucy Lucy at Matt's Bar ~ Minneapolis, MN

Blue Door Pub ~ The Blue Door Pub is well-known for their many varieties  of  “Juicy Blucys”, which are what they call their version of the locally known cheese-stuffed burgers.   Options include the Blucy (bleu cheese and garlic), The Luau (stuffed with mozzarella and pineapple, Canadian Bacon on top), The Classic (cheddar cheese), Breakfast Blucy (cheddar, bacon topped with fried egg), Bangkok Blucy (mozzarella soaked in coconut milk and topped with pickled carrots, cucumbers, red onions and ginger), Cajun Blucy (pepperjack and jalapeños), Mushroom Swiss, Bacon Blucy (cheddar and bacon), The Frenchy (swiss and caramelized onions with a  side of au jus), and The Merriam Park (bacon, bleu cheese, garlic and topped with red currant jelly).  Fries and tator tots are $2 extra.  The burgers are great but the restaurant is always packed and there is always a long wait for a seat…. be prepared.

5-8 Tavern & Grill  ~ The eastern sister to the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis, home of the original Juicy Lucy, has a variety of Juicy Lucy’s as well.  This 1/2 lb burger comes with choice of stuffed American, Swiss, pepperjack or bleu cheese.  Burgers are served in a  basket with JoJo potatoes or you can upgrade to onion rings.  The quality of beef is excellent but the burger is so big and substantial that the cheese just doesn’t get hot enough to become truly molten, it is more gooey. And there is a LOT of it.  I personally prefer the un-stuffed burgers at 5-8  but they are known for having  many faithful Juicy Lucy followers.

So there you have it….. Twin Cities Restaurant Blog’s picks for Best Juicy Lucy.

Which Juicy Lucy in town is your favorite??  If you know of other restaurants that offer stuffed cheeseburgers (Juicy Lucy), please leave a comment and let us know!

Sep 042011

Cuisine: American, Burgers
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking, Pull Tabs
Location: St Paul, MN (North End)
Address: 1220 Rice Street St Paul, MN 55117    (651) 487-7967
Hours:  Daily 11am
Links: Google Map

Atmosphere: Tin Cup’s is located at the northeast corner of Rice Street and Maryland Ave, in St Paul’s North End neighborhood.  I have worked just blocks from this restaurant for five years and never gave it a second glance until one of my readers recommended it after it was recently remodeled.

The first time I stepped foot in Tin Cup’s was two weeks ago.   I  have no idea what it looked like previously, but I hear it was a very dark and dingy place.  The restaurant closed down for about two years, and reopened earlier this year with a newly remodeled interior.  It is bright, clean and modern.  The bar runs along one side of the room but the rest of the space is occupied with tables and booths along the wall of windows.  There are a few flat screen TVs lined up over the bar and in the back near the kitchen.

Inside Tin Cup's ~ St paul, MNh

Notice the sign below? Man Vs Food Nation recently visited Tin Cup’s to take the Tin Cup’s Lucifer Challenge:  two 1Lb Lucifer burgers plus two lbs of fries in 45 minutes or less for $25 (unless you actually eat it all in which case it is free!!)  The show airs Oct 5th, 2011

Menu: Appetizers at Tin Cup’s include Onion Rings, Memphis Nachos, Walleye Fingers, Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken Wings, Buffalo Wings, Chicken Tenders, and Wisconsin Cheese Curds.

Salads include the Tin Cup House Salad and the Chef Salad.  There is also a Soup du Jour.

Burgers include fries and coleslaw.  Options are the Classic Burger, Smokey Bacon Cheeseburger, Pstty Melt, Mushroom & Swiss, and the Tin Cup Burger (with cheddar, pepper jack, bacon, onion rings and steak sauce).

The Tin Cup is also well known for their Juicy Lucy’s, including the Cedar Ave (stuffed with American), Lucifer ( stuffed with pepperjack and jalapenos with diablo sauce), Dirty Lucy (stuffed with olives, jalapenos, onions and bleu cheese), The Inside-Out California (stuffed with American, pickles and tomato), The Eggcellent Lucy (stuffed with Swiss and bacon, topped with an egg and American cheese), and the French Dipper (stuffed with swiss and caramelized onions, served with au jus).

Sandwiches also come with fries and coleslaw. Choose from Classic Grilled Chicken, Smokey Bacon Chicken, Pulled Pork, The Northender (chicken topped with pepperjack and bacon), Perfect BLT, Reuben, The Governor (steak with swiss, mushrooms and onions), and the Pot Roast Melt.

Wraps include the Minnesota (walleye, lettuce, tomato wrapped in potato lefse), Maryland Avenue (turkey, bacon and cheddar wrapped in potato lefse, and the Chicken Finger Wrap.

Tin Cup’s is also well known for their Fried Chicken.

Desserts include the West 7th (salted nut roll wrapped in cookie and the fried, drizzled with caramel) and Decadent Bites (deep fried brownie bites coated with powdered sugar and caramel sauce).

Price guide: Appetizers $5-8  Burgers $7-9  Sandwiches $6-9

What we ordered: I actually visited Tin Cup’s on two occasions within a few weeks of each other and will be writing about the food on both visits.

Visit #1

We started with an order of Wisconsin Cheese Curds, nuggets of white cheddar cheese curds breaded with a cornmeal mixture and served with ranch dressing.  Very tasty! They were hot and gooey, with an excellent crunchy crust.

We also tried an order of Walleye Fingers.  I personally didn’t care for these at all but my companion liked them.  I thought they were kind of fishy and had obviously been frozen until the moment they hit the deep-fryer just minutes earlier.

I ordered the Dirty Lucy which comes stuffed with bleu cheese, jalapenos, onions and olives.  Each patty is hand stuffed per order, so I was able to order mine without olives (one food I just do not care for).  This burger was awesome!! It exceeded my expectations, in fact.  The burger itself was so tasty and big and it had a ton of peppers and onions inside.  All burgers are cooked over charcoal and then finished on the flat-top so you get the heavenly flavor of the grill.  It also came on a big toasted bun with coleslaw and french fries.

My companion ordered the Cedar Avenue Lucy, which is the Classic Juicy Lucy stuffed with American Cheese.  Normally it comes with caramelized onions but it was requested to leave them off.  I didn’t try this burger but my companion thought it was awesome, ranking just behind The Nook for best Juicy Lucy in town.

Visit #2

My second visit was for lunch with a few of my colleagues.  I loved the Dirty Lucy that I had on my first visit to Tin Cup’s  but wanted to try one of the Juicy Lucy’s that I hadn’t tried yet so I got The French Dipper.  Yum!! This giant burger was cooked medium well and was stuffed with swiss cheese and caramelized onions and served with a side of au jus.  This was so good!  If you like French Dips you would love this Burger.

One of my companions ordered the Dirty Lucy, the same burger I ordered on my first visit.  Check out the size of this burger and how stuffed full  it is with jalapenos, onions, and olives.  The bleu cheese kind of melts into everything and the flavor lingers.

Another companion ordered the Eggcellent Lucy, stuffed with swiss and bacon, topped with American cheese, caramelized onions and a fried egg topped with hot sauce.

A peek inside the Eggcellent Lucy

Another companion ordered the Pot Roast Melt.  It looked wonderful and my companion loved every bite.  There was a hefty amount of pot roast  along with swiss cheese piled between two slices of grilled sourdough bread.  Served with thick gravy for dipping.

Service: We had pretty good service on both visits to Tin Cup’s.  I had a different server on each occasion but both were friendly and quick to respond to any requests.  The food service was a little slow, understandably as the food takes awhile to prepare, especially the Juicy Lucy’s which are all lovingly made-to-order.

Overall Impression: Most under-rated Juicy Lucy restaurant in the Twin Cities!  They have a great variety of huge burgers, and I would love to try the Fried Chicken very soon.  If you are in the mood for a Man Vs Food type challenge, try the Tin Cup’s Challenge of two 1Lb Lucifer burgers plus two lbs of fries in 45 minutes or less
Tin Cup's on Urbanspoon
Tin Cup's Place Reviews in St Paul