Minnesota BBQ

Minnesota (August 2010)

Written by Eric Herbach

Hello, Barbeque seekers. This is another in the series of BBQ Trips around the US by Eric and Al. We periodically take a trip somewhere just to sample the BBQ of the region.  We do research before we go to find the best according to reviews and then make our own ratings.

If you think about BBQ and name the hot spots, Minneapolis is probably not on your list. The noted big BBQ from the Cities is Famous Dave’s and, since we eat there every once and a while here, decided that was not the place to try since we were looking for new food. As a side note, Famous Dave’s is great, but we already knew that. Anyway this trip started as a way to see the cousin and nephew of your narrators and blossomed into something quite tasty and surprising. Here are the events attended and restaurants dined at in the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

We start off driving into the Twin Cities and trying to decide where to eat. Rudolph’s was close and on the list of things to eat on our look for list. So we popped in. Now Rudolph’s is a sit down restaurant with movie themes pretty much splashed on the wall. It even shows on the menus which have movie names. Now before our listing of food, let me explain our grading. Awesome is the highest and then going down from there is Great, Good, Average, and finally Poor.

Rudolphs, 1933 South Lyndale Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612) 871-8969
Food Eric Al
Rib Tips Great Great
Pork Great N/A
Brisket Great N/A
Mashed Potatoes Good Good
Slaw N/A Good
Sauce Good Good – Typical KC Sauce

So after this we toured through the sights at St. Paul and Minneapolis and saw Target Field and the Target Center (Target rules Minneapolis) and finally found our cousin/nephew, We slept over at his apartment and after a night talking we decided where we’d go the next day for lunch and after a late wake up we headed to, where else, BBQ.

We decided to go to Dixie’s and let me tell you, this is no BBQ joint as we had been led to believe. It had a southern feel but that doesn’t deter us from good BBQ. If it sells ribs, pork or brisket we will give it a try. Another sit down place, that had a bar and TV’s to watch the game. Now onto the food.

Dixie’s on Grand, 695 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105 (651) 222-7345
Food Eric Al Jeremy
Pork Great N/A N/A
St. Louis Ribs N/A Average N/A
BBQ Beef Brisket N/A N/A Good
Slaw Good Good N/A
Mashed Potatoes Great-Awesome N/A Great

A side note I want to add is that putting mashed potatoes under awesome might be kinda crazy but I suggest a try and you’ll see for yourself.

Next is a place that had gotten a lot of publicity for a burger named the Juicy Lucy. It was featured on Food Wars on the Travel Channel. Now the Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy as known by some) is what Minneapolis has contributed to the burger industry. The Juicy Lucy is a cheese burger that, instead of having the cheese on the top, has its cheese in the middle of the burger. Many places have burgers similar to the Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis, but we found the 5-8 Club first. Now, this isn’t strictly a BBQ joint but we were curious about the famous cuisine of Minneapolis so we decided to give it a try.

5-8 Club, 5800 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 823-5858
Food Eric Al Jeremy
Juicy Lucy Good Good Great

Note (Eric): Despite its fame, I found the Juicy Lucy bordering good and heading to average which was disappointing. Also, we waited a long time, had very inattentive waiters, and the seating was seat yourself which made it hectic during busy times.

After that, we called it a night and we headed back for sports discussion and a movie we barely watched due to sports discussion back at the apartment. However, we figured out where we would be going the next morning.

We had actually tried to eat at Ted Cook’s 19th Hole BBQ on Monday but realized they were closed so we had decided on Dixie’s. This time it was Tuesday and we went to pick up our food. Ted Cook’s is a dive; a small place where you have to order food and take it out. We decided on the very good idea to find Minnehaha Park (a few blocks away), eat outside and throw the baseball around a little. This was the food selection.

Ted Cook’s 19th Hole, 2814 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612) 721-2023
Food Eric Al Jeremy
Pork Sandwich Good N/A N/A
Beef Sandwich N/A Great Great
JoJo Potatoes (potato slices) Good Average Average

Now we had some time on our hands. We dropped Jeremy off at the Target Center (where he works) and we decided to explore a bit. Our explorations ended up at the Mall of America which is so huge there are two of the same stores in the building just on different floors. Plus it has a huge Nickelodeon theme park and a big center for electronics where we learned about the then-new Kinect which makes your body into a controller for video games on the Xbox. We also got into a session with a travelling demonstration event with the EA Sports guys showing NHL 11.  During a spirited game, Eric was this close but lost in the last seconds to the instructor. We then went to the Target Center, met Jeremy and got ready to watch our first WNBA game. The Minnesota Lynx faced the Chicago Sky as we watched a pretty decent game, especially with both of us used to watching the Bulls. In the end, Minnesota won a close game and we decided to head home with Jeremy after a long day. However, we had to get one more BBQ joint in before we left. And we have saved the best for last.

So our last BBQ choice was Cap’s Grille. This place had military service patches all in the front by the register which made me feel patriotic by just coming in. The place itself was very open and felt like any other place. Little did we know…  If you are in town and don’t have a car, Cap’s is right at the light rail station on 50th Street Station, no muss, no fuss.

Cap’s Grille, 5000 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 722-2277
Food Eric Al Jeremy
Brisket N/A Awesome Awesome
Pork Awesome N/A N/A
Beans Good N/A Great

Note (Eric): The Stacker’s Pork, a huge platter of tenderly smoked meat, without sauce was awesome and juicy. With sauce, it was heaven. Also the service is quick.

Note (Jeremy): If you get take out like I did, you get extra sauce in the take out box which is always a plus.

So ends our BBQ trip in Minneapolis and St. Paul and it was definitely worth it. As we love to say, enjoy the tastes of the world, especially if they have ribs and sauce.

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