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Matt’s Bar – Minneapolis

I went to college in Minneapolis and lived there for several years before moving to Iowa. While I waitressed at several very nice (meaning expensive) restaurants in the cities, I couldn’t afford to eat at them very often. Matt’s was more my kind of place.

Matt’s Bar, located on the corner of E 35th St and Cedar Ave. S. in south Minneapolis, is a true neighborhood gem. Although it’s been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel (most recently on Man vs. Food) and now is much more of a foodie destination, back in the day it was just another little burger joint.

Matt’s claim to fame is the Jucy Lucy – a burger with the cheese inside the meat patty instead of on top, resulting in a molten core when cooked. You simply order one with or without grilled onions – i.e., “I’ll have one with.” The scalding hot cheese tends to gush out at the first bite, so you’re often warned by the servers at Matt’s to let the burger cool for a minute before chomping down. But it’s so hard to wait.

On a recent trip up north, I planned a stop at Matt’s so Grant could experience his first Jucy Lucy. Not much about Matt’s has changed in the years since I was regular – they still pour a good cold beer, the place is always crowded, and the grill is still really small. Oh wait, I know what’s changed – the prices! I used to be able to get a Jucy Lucy and a beer for 5 bucks. Not any more.

But what truly hasn’t changed is the awesomeness of the Jucy Lucy. When our food finally arrived I was so excited I could hardly wait to bite into the cheesy goodness. But I didn’t want a big cheese burn down my chin so I held myself back.

Grant’s cheesy insides kind of all pooped out on his first bite, but even so, he enjoyed his first real Jucy Lucy. Mmmmm....wish I had one right now.

So, should you find yourself in south Minneapolis, stop in at Matt’s Bar. Fancy food shows aside, it’s still just a great neighborhood burger joint.

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Reader Comments (4)

Wow, this looks delicious! I never knew it was possible to have burger with cheese inside the patty! I've been missing out.

I had the pleasure of eating a Jucy Lucy at Matt's last Summer. It wasn't by any means the best burger I have ever had, but it was a great experience and should be on every foodie's "To Do" list.

My favorite line in this article: "Grant’s cheesy insides kind of all pooped out on his first bite" - Ha!

Jan 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@firehouse25

@firehouse25 - I think you're right, it's not that the Jucy Lucy is the burger to end all burgers - it's just that Matt's is such a cool divey place to have one! And yeah, I'm such the eloquent writer, aren't I? Not. :)

Jan 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I agree with it being a cool, divey place! And it's tucked away in an older neighborhood rather than in a highly commercialized/developed area, which adds to the overall ambience.

Another place on my list in Minneapolis is the 5-8 Club, which also claims to have the best "Juicy Lucy" (note correct spelling of juicy). Will be interesting to compare!

Jan 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter@firehouse25

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