Matt’s Bar | Molten Cheeseburger of Minneapolis

Review by: Michael Stern

Beware of the Jucy Lucy

Matt’s house specialty, called the Jucy Lucy, arrives at the table with a warning. “Don’t burn your tongue,” the waitress says when she sets down the paper-wrapped cheeseburger. She is delivering some good advice. An unsuspecting diner might look at the fairly thick, glistening, crisp-edged patty and sink teeth deep into its center. Bad idea! You see, that rotund hunk of ground beef fully envelops a large pocket of molten cheese. Look at it and you see no cheese whatsoever. But when teeth cut through the meat, cheese inside flows like hot lava. Tongue, lips, and fingers all share the risk. Potential burn notwithstanding, the molten cheeseburger of Minneapolis is a fun, tasty package — an essential Twin Cities burger, right up there with hamburgers at the Convention Grill in Edina.

The Burger’s Back-Story

Matt’s Bar claims to have created it. Supposedly, the moment of invention took place when a customer sat down at the bar and asked for a slice of cheese between two hamburgers. He bit into it and exclaimed, “That is one Juicy Lucy!” As for the curious spelling — Jucy, not Juicy — Matt’s explains that the original menus came back from the printer misspelled. “Customer demand grew so quickly, we forgot to add the ‘i’.” … Matt’s also warns, “If it’s spelled correctly, you just might be eating a shameless ripoff.” In fact several Twin Cities eateries now serve their own version of the original stuffed burger and a nearby bar, the 5-8 Club, also claims to have invented it.

Mischievous Satisfaction

The burger patties that make up a Jucy Lucy are the old-fashioned sort. They’re plenty fatty, grilled to have good crunch at the edge, thin enough that you don’t specify how well you want it done. Combined with cheese, either inside, Jucy Lucy-style, or in a more traditional way, on top, these short-order patties deliver mischievous satisfaction very different from high-end hamburgers.

Old-Fashioned Bar

Despite having gained media fame for inventing the molten cheeseburger of Minneapolis, Matt’s remains a no-frills corner bar. Menu choices are limited to burgers, French fries, grilled cheese, and chicken sandwiches. Seating is at booths and tables and on a few stools at the counter. Bring cash; credit cards are not accepted.

What To Eat

Jucy Lucy

DISH
Cheeseburger

DISH
French Fries

DISH

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