I’m a food tourist. I’ve decided to embrace this. While I love to unwind by a lake front or see the view from a mountain top, one of the most memorable parts of any trip is the food that the region has to offer.
Globalization has made a lot of America look (and taste) the same, and yet when I lived in Chicago, I couldn’t get a decent hoagie and would have gotten strange looks if I ever tried to order one. And when I lived in Pennsylvania, nobody had pizza that tasted quite the same as a Giordano’s deep dish.
So when I travel, I look for food that’s unique to the region. I’m in Florida right now, so that means BBQ, gator meat (it tastes like very juicy chicken, I promise) and authentic Cuban food (I’ve just got to figure out how to make amazing authentic vaca frita- “fried cow”- for an upcoming Lone Star Farm blog article!).
And a few weeks ago I was in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and that meant Juicy Lucys. Before this trip, I had never heard of a Juicy Lucy. Have you? It’s basically an inside-out cheeseburger, with all the cheesy gooey goodness in the middle of the burger instead of slapped onto the outside. It makes the whole burger a lot cheesier.
Our friends took us to Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, home of the original Juicy Lucy… depending on who you ask. Others will say this famous burger got its start at the nearby 5-8 Club. After trying one, though, you’ll just be glad somebody thought to stick some cheese between two thin burger patties because it sure is good. Make it this Father’s Day!
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- ½ teaspoon dried minced onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ pound sliced American cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- In a medium bowl, mix ground beef and seasonings. (Keep seasonings simple so that you don't leave pockets where cheese can seep through the beef.)
- Make 8 meatballs of uniform size and shape. Use a small heavy skillet to flatten each one into a thin beef patty--as thin as possible so the cheese and beef layers will all cook thoroughly.
- Place cheese slices, folded in half, on the beef patty, place another beef patty on top, and close the edges firmly so no cheese pokes through.
- Grill until well done. (If your grill is hard to clean, place aluminum foil on top because you may get some cheese dripping out.)