Jucy Lucy in MSP

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joanie881
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2006/05/24 07:16:03 (permalink)

Jucy Lucy in MSP

If I could only eat one of these on my trip to Mpls/St. Paul, where should I go? I'm leaning toward The Nook but other's say Matt's for this local specialty, also heard the Groveland Tap serves a decent one. Any thoughts?
#1

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    Dipstick
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 08:32:57 (permalink)
    I used to coach a softball team years ago that always made the post-game stop at the 5-8 Club. They claim to be the originator of the Jucy Lucy.(like everybody else)It is a great burger and I would recommend it. The 5-8 Club is located at 5800 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. I have also heard awesome reviews for Matt's. Have a good trip.
    #2
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 13:44:11 (permalink)
    I haven't been to Matt's or the Nook. I have been to the 5-8 Club for their pork tenderloin sandwich not their Jucy Lucy. 5-8 Club has a speakeasy history behind back to the 20s. It has a lot of neighborhood bar ambience. Matt's historically has gotten the most Jucy Lucy pub.
    #3
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 14:17:45 (permalink)
    Jucy Lucy? Enlightenment, please.

    Buddy
    #4
    QFan
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 17:12:54 (permalink)
    We have a smallish chain of hamburger drive-thrus (named Juicy Lucy) down here in SW FL (Ft Myers and nearby vicinity) that serves a pretty good burger at a good price. They use a special condiment/sauce on their burgers that adds a somewhat unique taste and the quality is better than average for the money. I have no idea if they're related to the Minneapolis Jucy Lucy burger.
    QFan
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 17:39:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BuddyRoadhouse

    Jucy Lucy? Enlightenment, please.

    Buddy

    I was curious, too, so I went looking. It seems that a Jucy Lucy is a burger made with two patties with cheese between them. The edges are sealed and the cheese is melted during cooking. Apparently, the cheese reaches a temperature of 160 degrees, and is capable of inflicting first-degree burns. According to what I read the Jucy Lucy was created in a Minneapolis tavern when a customer asked that the cheese on his cheeseburger be placed in the burger, not on it. It seems that when he bit into it he burned his tongue as the hot cheese leaked out, and he said, "That's a juicy Lucy." Although no one knew what it meant, that's what they began calling the sandwich. Somewhere along the way,the i was dropped from juicy.

    That's the story. I have no idea if any of it is true.
    #6
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/24 18:46:40 (permalink)
    Thanks for the background Michael. It doesn't matter if the story is true or not. If it has passed through the Michael Hoffman filter, it's good enough for me.

    Buddy
    #7
    mhill95
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2006/05/25 08:12:41 (permalink)
    Matt's is the best!
    Many have copied the Jucy Lucy. I know Matt's has been frying it on a griddle at the bar for probably sixty years. The fries are great,
    hot shoestrings. I suggest you have a cold draft Grain Belt or Summit
    Pale Ale while you wait for the Molten cheese inside the Jucy Lucy to
    cool. Don't Let the appearance stop you, this is a true neighborhood tavern. I would affectionately call it a "Dive". Those that have tried the others always return to Matt's
    #8
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/03 17:24:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by QFan

    We have a smallish chain of hamburger drive-thrus (named Juicy Lucy) down here in SW FL (Ft Myers and nearby vicinity) that serves a pretty good burger at a good price. They use a special condiment/sauce on their burgers that adds a somewhat unique taste and the quality is better than average for the money. I have no idea if they're related to the Minneapolis Jucy Lucy burger.
    QFan
    Bonita Springs, FL


    The MN store was a franchisee of Juicy Lucy's, Inc. of Ft. Myers, FL. The name came from the fact that their burgers were hand-pattied from fresh ground meat, loosely packed, and still juicy when served on a toasted bun, as opposed to, say, McDonald's burgers which are machine packed, dense, and dry. The seasoning was a proprietary dry mix made only by the franchisor principals.

    I was the owner of their New Carrollton, MD store before I got sick and tired of the constant thievery of the local employees and found myself some Koreans with cash!
    #9
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/03 18:47:01 (permalink)
    I doubt if the Minnesota restaurants were a franchisee of Juicy Lucy's in Ft. Myers. It is pretty well established that the Jucy Lucy started in Minnesota and more than likely some Minnesota migrants to Florida took advantage of the name because the three primary bar/grill/dives with the most prominent reputation for them are independent neighborhood places--Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, 5-8 Club in Minneapolis dating back to prohibition and the Nook in St. Paul. They definitely are not franchisees of a Florida company. The Jucy Lucy burgers are simply two patties that encase the cheese in the middle. They have nothing to do with a loose pack. Note Minnesotans spell it Jucy Lucy without the "i" and the burgers have been around a long time.
    #10
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/03 18:49:18 (permalink)
    BTW, since my previous post in this thread I have been to the Nook several times even though it is 30 miles from my house. It is the neighborhood bar/grill every neighborhood could only wish they had.
    #11
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/06 09:16:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    I doubt if the Minnesota restaurants were a franchisee of Juicy Lucy's in Ft. Myers. It is pretty well established that the Jucy Lucy started in Minnesota and more than likely some Minnesota migrants to Florida took advantage of the name because the three primary bar/grill/dives with the most prominent reputation for them are independent neighborhood places--Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, 5-8 Club in Minneapolis dating back to prohibition and the Nook in St. Paul. They definitely are not franchisees of a Florida company. The Jucy Lucy burgers are simply two patties that encase the cheese in the middle. They have nothing to do with a loose pack. Note Minnesotans spell it Jucy Lucy without the "i" and the burgers have been around a long time.


    Juicy Lucy's was a franchised fast food with double drive-thru's. They had 20 or so stores in West and Central Florida and franchises in MD (my ill-fated venture), CO, WI, and MN. All were out of business by 2000.

    The MSP "Juicy Lucie" seems to be ground beef wrapped around cheese and then cooked. Sounds delicious, but we did not serve that treat at the franchise.
    #12
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/06 15:46:40 (permalink)
    There was a "Juicy Lucy" franchise on I-94 south of Milwaukee. They went out of business about 5-6 years ago.

    Also, on our last trip to Minneapolis/St.Paul we stopped by Matt's for the real thing and had a fine meal. Great old time tavern atmosphere and good honest tavern food. The Jucy Lucy was pretty darned tasty. If there is a better version than that, I sure would like to try it!

    Buddy
    #13
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/06 21:34:42 (permalink)
    Buddy,

    Two other places make a claim to the best and they are the 5-8 Club on Cedar in Minneapolis, a place that dates back to prohibition as a speakeasy and the Nook in St. Paul that also dates back to at least the 40s judging by the sports stuff hanging on the walls. I doubt you can go wrong in any one of the three places. The Nook and the 5-8 Club have pork tenderloin sandwiches as well. That's why I go. I'll have to try Matt's soon. I doubt any of these places have a thing to do with the Florida Juicy Lucy, Inc. That Florida company probably stole the name from these independents and marketed it unsuccessfully evidently. They obviously didn't have the real goods.
    #14
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/07 14:07:16 (permalink)
    Davydd, both of these places sounds like winners. We checked out Matt's during our previous visit, on our last day in town as we were getting ready to hit the road. I think we'll do the same thing on our visit next week, trying either The Nook or the 5-8 Club for a last meal before jumping onto I-94.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Buddy

    P.S. Hope to see you sometime while we're in your fine metropolis. I'll post the full schedule early next week.

    B.
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    2005Equinox
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/09 02:03:21 (permalink)
    I have made this kind of burger before. Its not really hard. They are especially good if you mix the meat with some onion soup mix. This is making me hungry for some. I have never seen it in a restauraunt around here though.
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    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/07/26 15:00:52 (permalink)
    I went out for lunch today with some of my former co-workers. I had promised I would drive downtown to Minneapolis to show them how I now live the good retirement life with my Sprinter Camper Van. Since I couldn't find a suitable place to park on the street I picked them up and gave them a rare noontime luncheon treat--a trip out of downtown to south Minneapolis and Matt's Bar at 35th and Cedar. Matt's is the claimed home of the Jucy Lucy in that it has been served there since 1954. So much for those Florida claims. Ft. Meyers had to be a tiny burg back then.



    There is not much of a menu. There is a regular hamburger, a chicken sandwich and a Jucy Lucy. The Jucy Lucy is an unpretentious burger served in a wrapper in a plastic basket. It is not overly huge or special looking. This place is a neighborhood bar, not a fern, yuppie place. When you bite into it you have to start by nibbling around the edges. If you take a big bite the hot cheese and hamburger juice will squirt out onto you and down your hands. You have to eat leaning over the table. The Jucy Lucy was delicious, not because of the cheese juice but because it just seemed right in taste and hit the spot. Here's the Jucy Lucy. Like I said, not much to look at...


    #17
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 07:44:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    Buddy,

    I doubt any of these places have a thing to do with the Florida Juicy Lucy, Inc. That Florida company probably stole the name from these independents and marketed it unsuccessfully evidently. They obviously didn't have the real goods.


    They didn't.

    The founder of Juicy Lucy's was the late Bob Massey who was a principal in Country Kitchen before they sold to the Carlson Group. Bob was from Minneapolis and had a franchise there. He told me that the franchise "Juicy Lucy" took the name because our burgers were hand pattied from fresh ground beef and thus when cooked, were "loose and juicy" as opposed to the hockey pucks McDonald's serves.

    We did not serve any sandwich that was fried with cheese inside.
    #18
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 08:17:16 (permalink)
    I just have a hard time grasping the Jucy Lucy as a "regional speciality" from Minneapolis- To me, all it is, is a cheeseburger in disguise...

    it's not something I would go out of my way to try, especially if I was short on time.
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    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 11:24:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    I just have a hard time grasping the Jucy Lucy as a "regional speciality" from Minneapolis- To me, all it is, is a cheeseburger in disguise...

    it's not something I would go out of my way to try, especially if I was short on time.

    They are different than a cheeseburger. For one the cheese inside is molten and ready to erupt all over you if you are not careful on your first bite. It is an entirely different experience.

    They may not be solely unique to Minneapolis/St. Paul but the name probably is and the company in Florida obviously and unoriginally via a Minnesota connection copied and adopted the name but not the sandwich. Also, there is a pretty good local rivalry between Matt's Bar, The Nook and the 5-8 Club as to who has the best Jucy Lucy which makes for a lot of local discussion.
    #20
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 11:35:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    I just have a hard time grasping the Jucy Lucy as a "regional speciality" from Minneapolis- To me, all it is, is a cheeseburger in disguise...

    it's not something I would go out of my way to try, especially if I was short on time.

    They are different than a cheeseburger. For one the cheese inside is molten and ready to erupt all over you if you are not careful on your first bite. It is an entirely different experience.

    They may not be solely unique to Minneapolis/St. Paul but the name probably is and the company in Florida obviously and unoriginally via a Minnesota connection copied and adopted the name but not the sandwich. Also, there is a pretty good local rivalry between Matt's Bar, The Nook and the 5-8 Club as to who has the best Jucy Lucy which makes for a lot of local discussion.


    Davydd,

    I'm not doubting that the concept could perhaps be unique to Minneapolis St Paul, my reference to a cheeseburger in disguise was referring to the ingredients itself- which appear be be inside vs outside!
    Personally I'd rather have a plate of Walleye with a cup of Cream of Wild Rice Turkey Soup on the side! or Perhaps a Plate of Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries...
    #21
    saps
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 11:51:04 (permalink)
    I'd have to consider it a regional specialty just as much as I would a steamed cheeseburger in Connecticut. If you want to set tight parameters, walleye is readily fished and eaten in Canada, Wisconsin and Ohio as well Minnesota, and maybe other places as well.
    #22
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 12:06:27 (permalink)
    saps, Walleye is a revered fish in Minnesota and a fried walleye sandwich in just about uniformly in every restaurant in Minnesota that serves a fish sandwich. You cannot even say that for Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. They all have walleye but they all have a higher percentage of other local fish to fry so to speak. That is the main difference.
    #23
    saps
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 12:32:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Davydd

    saps, Walleye is a revered fish in Minnesota and a fried walleye sandwich in just about uniformly in every restaurant in Minnesota that serves a fish sandwich. You cannot even say that for Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. They all have walleye but they all have a higher percentage of other local fish to fry so to speak. That is the main difference.


    I'm aware of that, seeing that I lived there for a while, my wife is from Bloomington (St. Thomas grad), and I graduated from the U of M. I used to go to Scanlan's before it became Tavern on Grand. I think walleye is a regional specialty, as is the Jucy Lucy, as is the steamed cheeseburger in Connecticut. Looking back at my post, I didn't do a very good job of clarifying my stance.

    I still hate the Vikings, however, although they do look pretty good right now (I'm a Bears fan; the team with the bad Adrian Peterson).
    #24
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 12:47:06 (permalink)
    Davydd,

    Since this thread has been reopened, let me chime in briefly. Based on your recommendation we visited The Nook on our last trip up your way. It was vastly superior to Matt's, which we had tried previously. The quality of the burger itself was better, the size was bigger, the cheese inside was more plentiful and, the ambiance was amazing.

    Nothing against Matt's; we enjoyed our visit to that classic bar as well. The Nook was just better on so many levels. Thank you Davydd for sending us there!

    To wanderingjew, I understand how you might perceive the Jucy Lucy as nothing more than a "cheeseburger in disguise", but once you've had one you will realize it is so much more. The melding of cheese and beef in the Jucy Lucy is sublime. I'm not sure I would make a special trip to the Twin Cities just for a Jucy Lucy, but if you're ever in town anyway, it is not to be missed!

    Buddy
    #25
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 13:41:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Personally I'd rather have a plate of Walleye with a cup of Cream of Wild Rice Turkey Soup on the side! or Perhaps a Plate of Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries...
    Just curious, but did you mean to say meatballs and not pancakes? I've never seen them that way, but I guess it's not all that different from cranberry sauce on turkey...

    Brad
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    wanderingjew
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 14:16:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Brad_Olson

    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Personally I'd rather have a plate of Walleye with a cup of Cream of Wild Rice Turkey Soup on the side! or Perhaps a Plate of Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries...
    Just curious, but did you mean to say meatballs and not pancakes? I've never seen them that way, but I guess it's not all that different from cranberry sauce on turkey...

    Brad


    Yes, it seems the meatballs are traditionally served with Lingonberries.

    http://www.tasteofscandinavia.com/store/home.php?cat=7&sort=orderby&sort_direction=0&page=2

    Although, now that I think about it, I can go with the Swedish Pancakes too, or perhaps wild rice pancakes, or maybe a wild rice omelet. While I'm at it I'll go with some lefse and maybe a tater tot or tuna hot dish and some swedish potato sausage- sorry, I would go with these things first before considering a juicy lucy.
    #27
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 14:40:11 (permalink)
    I'll stick with that old Minnesota standby, lutefisk. Why, did you know that Madison, Minnesota is the Lutefisk Capital of the World. And here in Ohio all we have is Port Clinton, the Walleye Capital of the World.
    #28
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 14:46:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    I'll stick with that old Minnesota standby, lutefisk. Why, did you now that Madison, Minnesota is the Lutefisk Capital of the World. And here in Ohio all we have is Port Clinton, the Walleye Capital of the World.


    You're right- I can't forget a big ol' plate of that luscious lutefisk!

    #29
    Davydd
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    RE: Jucy Lucy in MSP 2007/12/19 15:42:58 (permalink)
    I'm in Minnesota. I'll stick with Walleye. If I ever had lutefisk it had to have been 26 years ago at the Sons of Norway Lodge annual Christmas White Dinner. Everything on the plate had to be white.
    #30
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