Top 5 beefless ways to celebrate National Hamburger Month
In addition to being National Toxic Encephalopathy and Chemical Injury Awareness Month and International Audit Month (goody!), the Internet tells us that May is also National Hamburger Month. Far be it from the Hot Dish to dictate which holidays you should and should not celebrate, but we don't have a lot of suggestions on how to go about observing National Youth Traffic Safety Month (also May).
Mo Perry Think outside the beefy box with the Happy Gnome's MN Game Burger
We do, however, have a few ideas on how to celebrate National Hamburger Month. There's no shortage of press on the best burgers in the Twin Cities, so this month we'd like to shine the spotlight on some of the best non-beef burgers you can find in the TC area, for those days when you need a patty between some buns but still want to like yourself in the morning.
1. The MN Game Burger at the Happy Gnome
One of our 100 favorite dishes of 2011, the Happy Gnome's MN Game Burger is a mixture of local bison, elk, and bacon, formed into a patty, topped with carmelized onion and bleu cheese sauce, and served with a side of lingonberry aioli. It's like you have your own team of archers and butchers working to make you the perfect lunch. Voracious locavore carnivores, dig in!
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave, St. Paul; 651.287.2018
2. The Bison Burger at the Bullfrog Cajun Bar
You'd think bison burgers would be ubiquitous here in the Midwest, where buffalo, while not as abundant as in the Dances with Wolves era, are still raised, farmed, and treasured for their delicious meat, which has all the iron and protein of beef, but a fraction of the saturated fat. But it takes a Cajun bar dedicated to the cuisine of the bayou to bring a good bison burger to downtown Minneapolis. Go figure. The Bullfrog's bison burger comes with the usual fixings: red onion, lettuce and tomato, and a side of sweet potato fries.
The Bullfrog Cajun Bar
1111 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.0638
3. The Turkey Burger at Republic
We're pretty sure the turkey burger might be the perfect food. All the satisfaction of a juicy patty on a toasty bun, topped with scrumptious fixins, and all the smug sense of dietary responsibility that comes with eating white meat--especially when that meat comes from local, wholly natural game farm Wild Acres. There are a number of good turkey burgers in town, but we're huge fans of the one at Republic, which does indeed source their turkey meat from Wise Acres, and offers seven different topping combinations that can be paired with any of their three burger options--beef, veggie, or turkey. Whichever one you pick, get it with a side of fries and the house-made ketchup.
Republic at Seven Corners
221 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6146
4. The People's Best Veggie Burger at Peoples Organic
Winner of the 2011 City Pages' Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant award, Peoples Organic Coffee and Wine Cafe knows their way around a chickpea. The house-made veggie burger is fashioned out of cashews, fresh herbs and veggies, organic chickpeas and brown rice. It comes with a sundried tomato aioli, but vegans can sub the house vegan mayo for a totally animal product-free meal. While most restaurants have one token veggie burger on the menu, Peoples Organic also offers a vegan portobello mushroom burger, and another vegetarian red lentil burger.
Peoples Organic Coffee and Wine Cafe
3545 Galleria, Edina; 952.426.1856
5. The Salmon Burger at Burger Moe's
Part of you is craving sushi, and part of you is dying for a burger. Solution? The salmon burger at Burger Moe's. You really can have it all--Omega 3's, a fluffy bun, and some roasted red peppers, green onions and citrus dill remoulade, plus a side of fries, all for under $10. Or if you're feeling Greek, go for the Lamb Kofta Burger. Opa!
242 W. 7th St., St. Paul; 651.222.3100
498 Selby Ave., St. Paul, MN