St. Clair Broiler vs. Mac's Industrial: Tuna melt down
Sean McPherson The tuna melt from Mac's Industrial
Ah, the humble tuna melt. One can find tumblrs, blogs, and a surfeit of articles about the grilled cheese or the Reuben, but where is the love for the tuna melt? We pitted two of the finest Twin Cities tuna melts against each other to give this classic sandwich the attention it deserves -- and to see who gets our Golden Albacore award.
Sean McPherson The tuna melt from St. Clair Broiler
St. Clair Broiler and Mac's Industrial are situated in two very different sections of the Twin Cities. The Broiler is the go-to spot for families taking a visit to nearby Macalester College and is a classic diner through and through, though they do serve beer and wine. Mac's Industrial has a neighborhood bar vibe even if it sits in the heart of a commercial area. While the food at Mac's is no slouch, this spot is pretty well known for being a drinking man's bar. So with its diner credentials, St. Clair Broiler seems more like a spot where one might find a well executed tuna melt.
St. Clair Broiler has been part of the Rudolph's Bar-B-Que Empire since 2006, which brought plenty of welcome improvements to the restaurant's offerings but also brought slightly higher prices, which ruffled some feathers in the neighborhood. Mac's Industrial has a reputation for a delicious but erratic, overstuffed menu with a surplus of entrees, sides, and appetizers. Heading into this competition, our money is on Mac's: Even with the large menu we haven't heard of many duds on the list and we've heard next to no complaints about prices.
Round 1: The Sides
St. Clair Broiler serves all its sandwiches with the choice of french fries, tater tots, or coleslaw. While the fries and tater tots were pretty standard, the coleslaw was a pleasant surprise, with a strong vinegar that didn't overpower the creaminess. But starchy side options are key when it comes to enjoying a tuna melt, and the Broiler didn't quite measure up to Mac's, where one can choose from onion rings, tater tots, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and more. The tater tots and french fries at Mac's are crispier, better seasoned, and come in larger portions than those at the Broiler. Mac's wins on side options.