'Jucy Lucy' / 'Juicy Lucy' - A Burger with a Twist
As I delved into the Minneapolis dining scene, I began my focus on the ‘comfort food’ that this city and the state of Minnesota is known for. Whether it was by word of mouth or through research, the ‘Jucy Lucy’ / ‘Juicy Lucy’ kept popping up as one of the items that one needed to indulge in.
So my husband and I decided to venture out and experience this native delicacy for ourselves. Let me quickly introduce you to it. Essentially it’s a creative take on cheeseburgers. Rather than the cheese being on top of the ground beef patty, it is beautifully sandwiched between two. As you take a bite, a stream of molten cheese cascades out (be careful!). It’s not pretty but it is sure delicious. That said, it is quite decadent, so be sure to pace yourself.
Since the 1950s, there are two dining establishments in Minneapolis (ironically located just a few miles apart on the same street, Cedar Avenue South) that claim to be the creators of this burger with a twist — Matt’s Bar and Grill AND 5-8 Club. There a few main differences between the two. First, the name. Matt’s Bar and Grill spells it Jucy Lucy (story is that there was a misspelling from the beginning and they decided to keep it that way) whereas the 5-8 Club writes it out as Juicy Lucy (the ‘proper’ spelling). Second, the cheese filling options. Matt’s Bar and Grill are purists and only use American cheese, in comparison to the 5-8 Club which offers a variety of cheeses ranging from American, Pepper Jack, Swiss or Amablu Blue cheese. Third, the variations. At Matt’s Bar and Grill, there is only one, the burger is served simply with pickles and you can add sweet grilled onions. At the 5-8 Club, they have a selection of innovative takes on the classic, such as the ‘Thanksgiving Juicy’ or ‘The PB&J’.
Additionally, due to its continued popularity, other eateries in the Mill City have capitalized on this Midwestern treat and concocted their own unique creations — whether it’s Smack Shack’s ‘Lobster Lucy’ (Taleggio and American cheese, caramelized onions, lobster claw and tarragon aioli) or Hell’s Kitchen’s ‘Juicy Lucifer’ (minced jalapeños in the beef patty), so every palate will be satisfied one way or another.
Now, you may be wondering which one we tried out (featured in the photo) … It was the ‘Jucy Lucy’ from Matt’s Bar and Grill! The famous burger definitely ‘sparked joy’ for us BUT before any official endorsements, we need to and will try the ‘Juicy Lucy’ from the 5-8 Club, amongst others for a more well-rounded comparison.
If you’ve had a ‘Jucy Lucy’/’Juicy Lucy’ in Minneapolis, I’d love to hear your thoughts!