The burger: Twin Citians with a hankering for a fast-food burger have a near A-to-Z roster of options: Burger King. Culver’s. Dairy Queen. Five Guys. Hardee’s. Soon-to-open Jake's Wayback Burgers. McDonald’s. Smashburger. Sonic. Wendy’s. White Castle.
Still, my inclination is to stick with locally owned My Burger. The Abdo family’s cheery 9-year-old enterprise has just three locations, all in Minneapolis, and while I wouldn’t say that the My Burger burger merits a journey from, say, Lakeville or Maple Grove, it’s certainly worth selecting over the next-closest chain. Or even the next-next-closest chain.
The menu adheres to a simple-is-better philosophy, and it pretty much nails most of the essential burger building blocks. The thick, evenly charred, sparingly seasoned quarter-pound beef patty (cooked to a could-be-juicier medium-well) hugs the edge of the well-made, buttered-and-lightly-toasted bun. So far, so good.
Key condiments run an additional 50 cents (including five does-the-job varieties of cheese) or 95 cents (bacon, or a fried egg). But the freebies (ketchup, mustard, mayo, tomato, lettuce) are enough to nudge this burger into fast-food bliss territory, particularly two harmonious flavor-enhancing vehicles: crunchy, teasingly sweet-tart bread-and-butter pickles (“vinegar’s greatest achievement” reads the jar's smart-alecky label) and a low-rise dome of soft, sweet-savory slow-grilled onions. Toss in a slice of tantatlizingly melted cheese, and you've got a memorable (and value-priced) burger experience from the Little Burger Chain That Could, served in four minutes flat.
Price: $5.75 for a single, $6.95 for a double.
Fries: Included. A generous handful of long, fairly thick-cut potatoes, yanked from the fryer just as they start to attain a golden hue and a gently crisp exterior.
Cold comfort: Don't overlook the super-thick, hand-mixed malts ($2.45 and $4.45), which exist in a completely different universe from their soft-serve McDonald's/Burger King counterparts.
Location, location, location: The mini-chain’s first outpost, on the skyway in downtown Minneapolis, has limited hours (7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays) and limited seating. There are upsides: the restaurant serves a dozen under-$4.50 breakfast items, and it offers delivery service.
October surprise: During My Burger’s Oktoberfest deal -- running through the end of the month -- buy any burger, and pick up any tap beer (including Summit’s Oktoberfest) for $1. Talk about cheap; that’s 65 cents less than a soda. Not available downtown.
Address book: 3100 Excelsior Blvd., Mpls., 952-500-9118 (open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily); 213 Oak St. SE., Mpls., 612-345-4892 (open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily); and 601 Marquette Av., Mpls., 612-436-0330 (open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays).
Talk to me: Do you have a favorite burger? Share the details at firstname.lastname@example.org.