100 Favorite Dishes: No. 38, Matt's Bar's Jucy Lucy
As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes.
It's all well and good that cheeseburgers are marketed as gourmet food in new wave gastropubs, but Matt's original Jucy Lucy still sets the gold standard for bar burgers, with a trademark sandwich they've been serving up from that busy corner griddle for 49 years.
The Jucy Lucy patty is formed around a cheese center, so that once that burger comes flying off the griddle, it's crispy, juicy, and filled with a core of molten hot cheese -- so hot, in fact, that Matt's Bar's motto is "Fear the cheese."
The inverted cheeseburger has made its way from beefy novelty to a game day menu at Target Field and has spread across the metro in varied formats. However, for every bleu cheese or bacon-stuffed concoction, none bears that magical, simple touch that Matt's serves up, wrapped in paper and dripping grease onto the plastic tray it's served in. Every time a satisfying rendition of the Jucy Lucy is eaten elsewhere, it's almost always followed with the thought, "but how did it compare to Matt's?"
No. 43: Grand Café's fondue
No. 42: Saffron's Heart Beets
No. 41: Chatterbox's pork and waffles
No. 39: Broders' quadrucci con pollo