Philadelphia has the cheesesteak, Chicago has deep dish pizza, and Minneapolis has the Juicy Lucy. Who initially had the delicious idea of making a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the meat? The world may never know. However, depending on which side of Cedar Avenue you visit in Minneapolis, you may hear different opinions on which restaurant should claim its fame.
Matt's Bar, on the north side of Cedar Avenue, was founded in 1954. The founder claims that the burger, spelled "Jucy" not "Juicy", was created after a customer requested two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese placed in the middle. On the other side of Cedar sits the 5-8 club. The bar originally opened it's doors in 1928 as a speakeasy during the prohibition era, but today it prides itself on being the "Home of the Juicy Lucy". Although the 5-8 club does not have an official story behind how they created the Juicy Lucy, they do not disappoint when serving this midwestern treat.
When I visited both restaurants this weekend, it wasn't my mission to crack the unsolved mystery of who deserves the title "Creator of the Ju(i)cy Lucy". To be honest, I don't care who created it! All I wanted was a big ol' bite of that cheesy, melty, goodness!
First stop, the 5-8 club! This placed was so busy, there was a line out the door of customers waiting to get a table. Not the most appealing thing to see when it's 4 degrees outside, but goes to show how committed people are to these burgers.
Of course, I ordered the classic Juicy Lucy with a side of cheese curds (good thing I'm not lactose intolerant). After cutting into the molten hot burger and taking my first bite, I'd say it was good, but I made a rookie mistake. I would highly recommend not cutting the burger in half in order to minimize any cheese loss. Lesson learned.
Next, I headed to Matt's Bar, and I have to admit; this place was a winner. It had a small, cozy atmosphere, the menu was simple, and the place wasn't overwhelmingly packed (if you get there early enough).
Your Jucy Lucy comes hand wrapped and served with a side of fries that were, no lie, some of the best I've ever eaten. However, the burger was perfection. I took one bite and there was cheese everywhere. It was melty, messy, and won me over for the best Jucy Lucy on Cedar Avenue.
There was a clear winner in my books, but judge for yourself and let me know your favorite!
You can check out the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar located on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis.