First Look: JL Beers brings a big burger to Northeast

burgerface.jpg

The Twin Cities are full of transplants from the Fargo-Moorhead area, and many of them cheered when they heard that their beloved burger joint chain, JL Beers, was coming to Minneapolis. Known for its simple approach to classic burgers and healthy appreciation for good suds, JL Beers had already amassed a strong following when we popped in for an early lunch last Wednesday.


JL Beers is no stranger to expansion; seven new locations have sprouted up in the Dakotas over the past few years. The first Twin Cities location opened April 23, and already the spot is running like a well-oiled machine. Although it can come off as a bit corporate (we counted over five trademarked menu items), the menu is built around familiar, no-frills, diner-style burgers. The thin patties are full of flavor, exemplified in the JL Burger, a house specialty with two patties, sauteed onions, pickles, cheese, and special sauce. 

frysangle.jpg

No diner burger is complete without a floppy bun, a soft layer that wraps around the meat without demanding too much of the spotlight, and JL Beers does this just right. Thankfully, this joint also dispenses with the pretense of asking how you want your burger prepared; the guy behind the grill knows best, so we let him decide. You can top your burger with any number of add-ons, ranging from the 49-cent jalapeños to the 99-cent egg to the $2.29 extra burger patty. We kept things traditional, but we like having the option to add bacon, cheese, and grilled onions to any burger we want.

The fries were a hit, especially the fresh hand-cut variety, which looked a lot better than the thin-cut McDonald's-style alternative. The restaurant gets extra points for offering up homemade chips as an option, though most folks on our visit stuck with fries. 

taps.jpg

While the menu and the decor both push the beer side of the brand -- 40 varieties on tap! -- our beer snob companion was not impressed. He rattled off four spots within walking distance that have stronger selections. Undeniably, the winners here are the burger fans, as beer aficionados will continue to gravitate toward more brew-centric spots in the Twin Cities metro. 

The most affordable burgers come in below $5 and none of them exceeds $7, but everything is a la carte so be prepared to shell out a touch north of $10 to get some potatoes and leave a tip. 

24 University Ave NE., Minneapolis 
612-208-0400 
Open every day from 11 a.m. to midnight 

City Pages on Facebook | Hot Dish on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Wini Von Bago Johnson
Wini Von Bago Johnson

well just bring your own food and drink to the bar and see how they like that....

Will T. Michels
Will T. Michels

Samntha... bring our own water???? How about this shitty establishment provides tap water??? Im sorry your husband is the cheesedick manager that runs this joke of a restaurant. Can't wait to see who opens up in this space a year and a half from now.

Dan Smith
Dan Smith

It was ok. Might go over well in the suburbs.

Samantha Snell
Samantha Snell

Then bring your own damn water. You whiners. JL Beers does have something to offer to NE Minneapolis.

Angiest Granheim
Angiest Granheim

This is an amazing place! We had them in ND and loved them!

Drew Nelson
Drew Nelson

Pay for aqua? No thanks. Brought my 9-month-old in a carseat and the manager said no kids allowed, even though she was an infant. Had to run her to a friend's (lucky). Also, 50 cents for lettuce, another 50 for tomato? Cripes. Walked out of there with a $50 tab for two burgers and four beers. Tap lineup is the only thing that gets them one star of this was Yelp. Won't be returning!

Jolene O'Rourke
Jolene O'Rourke

Pretty lame for those who like to stay semi-hydrated while drinking. If you want water your only option is to buy a bottle.

Tristan Fuller
Tristan Fuller

Incredibly generic in every way. This is Minneapolis, not Fargo. You're going to have to do much better than C+ burgers and a few interesting beers if you're going to stay in business.

Laurel Richmond
Laurel Richmond

I was not impressed. The burgers are just fine, but paying for water just pisses me off, and it's too chaotic. No less than 4 servers attempted to take my order and give me my bill, and nope, I'm not sending free advertisements to my friends and family aka Beer Mail. Stupid.

Nick Laid
Nick Laid

this was the biggest complaint when the first one opened in Fargo too....

Sara Ullstrom
Sara Ullstrom

Krista Ehrenberg, Bradley Walters, let's go!

Timothy Niccum
Timothy Niccum

You are exactly right. Food is decent, but any place that sells beer should offer free water. I'll never go back.

Matt Beyl
Matt Beyl

A well oiled machine with a line out the door.

Halina Yarr
Halina Yarr

I'm still surprised something like this could go in, very chainy.....only beef burgers served? Gimmicky is right.... NE deserves better.

Jason Whittemore
Jason Whittemore

What kind of bar/burger/beer joint doesn't serve water? Ridiculous. Nice nickel and dime approach... Gotta squeeze the profits.

Dan Woods
Dan Woods

Burgers are fairly small and the cheapest water available is $1.50. Very gimmicky feel to everything there.

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

JL Beers is from the Dakotas. Big fan of their location in Sioux Falls when I lived there. Make sure to send your Beer Mail!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...