Mad Men’s back, and there is a Jucy Lucy connection. Seriously.
While the NY Times didn’t get the spelling right, they did manage to tough on Minneapolis’ contribution to international cuisine in their interview with Vincent Kartheiser, better known to Mad Men fans as Peter Campbell:
EATING I had a Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis. It’s cheese cooked into a hamburger. You bite into it, and molten cheese lava comes out. You can get it at two places in Minneapolis — Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club.
The ongoing debate over where the Jucy Lucy was invented has made its way to Wikipedia, where an anonymous editor recently rewrote history by changing the inventing restaurant from Matt’s Bar to the 5-8 Club. Notice the removals of Matt’s on the left replaced by the 5-8 Club on the right:
It seems pretty clear that the anonymous editor was not writing from a neutral point of view, since they also included this self-promotional line:
That line didn’t last long, but the story of origin remains switched, without citation, 2 weeks later.
Should the 5-8 Club (or Matt’s) have proof that they did indeed invest the Juicy Lucy, they should include a link to that within Wikipedia.
Before the cooking begins, take a thin patty, top it with a wad of yellow or blue cheese, and then another patty. Pinch the edges together thoroughly and tightly so they don’t leak to seal in the goodness. Matt’s in in Minneapolis, MN, is the home of the original Jucy Lucy, and that’s right, there’s no “i” in Jucy. The molten core of the Jucy Lucy is cheese, but some folks use butter, especially herbed butter, and others insert sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, you name it. But those are Stuffed Burgers, not Jucy Lucys.
Andy Sturdevant recently recalled how he spent his first 24 hours in Minneapolis after moving to the Powderhorn Neighborhood five years ago. Frankly, it couldn’t have gone any better for him. Two stops at Matt’s? Perfection.
We pulled into my new apartment, in a two-story house on Powderhorn Park I shared with two graduate students that I never saw again after I moved out a few months later. We unloaded all my personal effects into a pile in the living room. I didn’t have a bed yet; the plan was to drive to the IKEA in Bloomington and buy one there. There was two feet of snow on the ground. A neighbor wandered over to say hi, and told us about the May Day parade in the park.
Dave and I leafed through a copy of the City Pages from a nearby newpaper box to find the closest bar for dinner. It happened to be Matt’s, a few blocks away, where we each had a Grain Belt Premium and a Jucy Lucy. We told everyone in the bar I’d just arrived in town. A woman one table over told us that all the best Italian restaurants were in St. Paul, and we should go eat at Mancini’s. I still have never eaten at Mancini’s, incidentally; Dave and I both liked Matt’s so much we went back the next morning for breakfast. The same waitresses were working in the morning as from the night before, and all found our double-dipping very amusing.
The reviewer is 12 years old, so is getting a nice early start on a long life of Lucy’s.
I agree with “The Kid” that the cans of pop are deceptively small. It’s so uncommon to drink only 12 ounces of pop in a restaurant these days that you can be caught off guard by the relatively reasonable quantity.
Lucies are our Philly cheesesteak, our Chicago style hot dog, our Cincinatti chili, our Brooklyn style folded pizza slices. For those of you that don’t know, a (traditional) Jucy Lucy is a burger that has American cheese cooked into the middle. However, one of the cool things about it is that, unlike those other local food traditions, the Twin Cities foster a spirit of experimentation with the Lucy. Different places offer very different takes, and that’s what I’m going to explore.
Good luck on your journey, Tim. We’re looking forward to your reports.
The line was out the door, and we soon saw why: We’d blundered onto a TV shoot. Starstruck diners watched host Adam Richman ask whether the 5-8 or Matt’s was the sandwich’s true originator, joke about a threeway with a “Juicy Lucy and a Sloppy Sally” and caution a couple out on a date to beware not to get scalded on the first bite (though this last scene may not air, because it looked like the lady balked at the release form).
That hilariously douchebaggy link in the quote to [matt’s bar citypages] is Kevin Hoffman’s work, not mine. For those interested in either location, here are links to the actual websites for the 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar along with links to wiki pages for eachhere at Jucy Lucy Restaurants.