Hall of Fame
Last year's roundup of Burger Friday greatest hits included dazzlers from HauteDish (119 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-338-8484, www.haute-dish.com), the Kenwood (2115 W. 21st St., Mpls., 612-377-3685, www.thekenwoodrestaurant.com), Nightingale (2551 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-7060, www.nightingalempls.com), the Sample Room (2124 NE. Marshall St., Mpls., 612-789-0333, www.the-sample-room.com), Victory 44 (2203 44th Av. N., Mpls., 612-588-2228, www.victory-44.com), Wise Acre Eatery (5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, www.wiseacreeatery.com), Vincent (1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-630-1189, www.vincenta restaurant.com) and the Convention Grill (3912 Sunnyside Rd., Edina, 952-920-6881, www.conventiongrillmn.com). Find the story at startribune.com/taste.
Previously, on Burger Friday
Chef J.D. Fratzke funnels scraps of his stellar New York strip steaks into fantastic burgers ($11.75 and $15) at the Strip Club (378 Maria Av., St. Paul, 651-793-6247, www.domeats.com).
At Harriet Brasserie (2724 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2197, www.lakeharrietbrasserie.com), chef Fernando Silvo ventures into instant-classic territory with a Cheddar/bacon/mushroom burger ($14) that wisely begins with beef from Peterson Limousin Farms in Osceola, Wis.
The burgers ($5) at the Rookery (4124 W. Broadway Av., Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131) are slightly larger than a typical slider, but smaller (albeit much taller) than a standard fast-food iteration, and about 1,000 times more delicious, thanks to a thyme- and onion-scented brisket/aged rib-eye grind.
North Dakota-based JL Beers (24 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-208-0400, www.jlbeers.com) launched a Minneapolis outlet earlier this year, and the beer-obsessed chain turns out a more-than-decent bar burger ($3.79).
For the bruiser of a burger ($12.95) at BoneYard Kitchen & Bar (2841 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-6688, www.boneyarduptown.com), chef Jason Bush taps his grandmother's recipe, inserting plenty of finely minced onion into the beef, a flavor that really comes alive when the patty hits the grill.
The bison burger ($15, with fries) is a cornerstone of the menu at Chef Shack Ranch (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-354-2575, www.chefshack ranch.com). Every detail is so spot-on that chef/co-owner Lisa Carlson could generate a healthy side income teaching Ph.D.-level courses on the subject.
The massive, wonderfully sloppy burgers ($4.50) at Slim's (6901 Brooklyn Blvd., Brooklyn Center, 763-512-2000, www.eatslims.com) are definitely a four-napkin experience — in a good way — and beg the question: When will this quick-service gem spawn more locations?
The paean to excess that is the Bacon Burger ($14) at Pat's Tap (3510 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-822-8216, www.patstap.com) is a Lipitor-defying grind of lean beef and fatty, teasingly smoky cured pork, proof that bacon really does improve everything it touches. No wonder chef Matt Gray sells nearly 300 of them a week.