The “juicy lucy” — a hamburger filled with molten cheese — has been popular long enough that the Minneapolis specialty now has become an opportunity for chefs to get creative. One of the most compelling revisions is the “blucy” at the Blue Door Pub, a mini-chain of Twin City gastro-pubs. In a blucy, blue cheese stands in for the American cheese that usually fills the beef patty. The result is salty, tangy, and delicious. It doesn’t have the same gooey, lava-like mouth feel as one filled with processed cheese, but we don’t mind the difference. Stuffing blue cheese inside a hamburger patty is a wonderful idea, even if other cheeses ooze better. It’s better than crumbling blue cheese on top of a patty because it melts and combines with the meat more harmoniously than a topping. If you love blue cheese on your burger, the Blue Door Pub is worth a special trip to the Twin Cities just to experience the bluest burger on the road.
We were at the Uptown location of the Pub and also tried a juicy variation created especially for this branch, the Lyn-Laker. It is a tribute to the Scandinavian influence of the region, with white cheddar cheese stuffed inside the patty, lingonberry jam on top and marinated cucumbers instead of full sour pickles. It is a novel burger experience, and the flavors work well together, but it doesn’t entirely satisfy the simple juicy lucy craving for salty meat and cheese. In addition to unique burgers at every location, every month the pub invents a new variation on the juicy lucy for customers to try.
Even before considering wacky variations, the burgers are distinctive at the Blue Door Pub because they are ground more coarsely than at other juicy lucy places. This results in a more steak-like consistency and richer beef flavor. We also very much appreciated the offering of deep-fried green beans in place of French fries. These beer battered green beans bring much appreciated vegetable character to the table in the midst of a burger tour. The beans themselves are just as juicy as the lucys with a crunchy beer batter coating to make them an appropriate burger side. Tots sprinkled with Cajun seasoning also are available.
Besides bringing variety to the juicy lucy, the Blue Door offers other upgrades to the lucy experience: late-night hours, a full bar with cocktails, and an ambitious menu of non-burger options.