Rave reviews and lines extending out the door made Blue Door Pub too tempting for us. On a sunny weekend in March we simply had to stop in. The truth is, we'd tried stopping before, but the line around the block was too long for our growling stomachs. We picked 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, and headed to St Paul.
A short line of about 6 people was gathered right inside the door. 9 tables, a bar, and a window bar seat roughly 35-45 people.
Among other pub fare, the Blue Door Pub serves Juicy Blucys. Here's how they describe them: "Our twist on a culinary and cultural phenomenon! We pay homage to our brethren across the River with an incredible line-up of original Juicys - a Twin Cities favorite burger in which the cheese is stuffed inside the fresh ground beef patty."
It's also worth mentioning that they serve some decent beer, Spam bites (Spam, cream cheese, and pickle breaded and deep fried), a Jiffy burger (a burger topped with peanut butter, pepper jack, and bacon), and deep fried pickle spears. They also offer veggie burgers and grilled cheese - for the veg heads out there.
We waited about ten minutes for 2 seats to open up at the bar. I ordered a Dirty Farm Girl (Belgian-influenced ale) from Left Bridge Brewery in Stillwater. Gerg ordered a Coca Cola. Then we reviewed the menu. After a lot of deliberation, we selected two Blucys.
Gerg ordered a Blue Door Pub daily special: the Merriam Park Blucy. This was a burger stuffed with bleu cheese, garlic, and bacon, and topped off with red currant jelly. I was sure the garlic and bleu cheese would be too powerful, but overall, based on the bite that I had, the flavor was well balanced. I couldn't really taste the red currant jelly in my bite, so I tried a bit on my fork. It was slightly tart, and sweet. The fried tater tots were fried until crisp.
I ordered the Blue Door Pub Bacon Blucy: a burger stuffed with American cheese and thick cut bacon, with pickle slices. I ordered mine with grilled onions because I like burgers with bacon, cheese, onion, and pickles. The burger was charred, tender, and juicy. The thick-cut bacon was cooked to a crisp before it was stuffed inside the burger. The bun was soft and unsubstantial, which meant napkins were definitely required. I had fried green beans on the side, and they were crispy and served with ranch dressing.
Blue Door Pub offers 10 variations of their Juicy Blucys. After you've enjoyed all 10 of their Blucys you receive a complementary t-shirt. We saw a guy receive one while we were there. He was pretty pumped about it.
As we ate at the bar, the line continued to grow, and was out the door by the time we left. Good timing on our part, but probably just luck. We had a line of people standing next to us, either with their arms folded over their chests - or sipping a decent beer. They were trying not to drool as they watched the burgers being served and devoured, and I got the impression that people just can't get enough of these burgers.
"Was it better than a Juicy Lucy at Matt's?" I asked gerg after we finished eating.
"It's hard to say because they're different. Matt's burgers crisp and well-charred, and more puckish. These are thicker and less charred," explained gerg.
I guess it's not about who makes the best stuffed cheeseburger, for gerg. It's more about appreciating all the variations and enjoying a well made burger, and I totally feel that.
I bet you'll find a burger you appreciate at Blue Door Pub.
The Blue Door Pub
1811 Selby Ave
St. Paul, MN 55104
Post Script: For the record, my favorite burger is still the King Burger at King's Place in Miesville.
[where: Blue Door Pub, Juicy Lucy, Minneapolis Burger, 55406]