Not Your Typical Burger

The variety of local burgers shows that there’s more to a patty than the beef.
The salmon burger at Lucky’s 13 Pub.

2016 has been the year of the burger, with red meat options dominating local menus and new gourmet toppings created seemingly every hour. There are clever and novel burgers with a full rainbow of colors piled high inside the bun. More doesn’t always mean better, and new doesn’t mean the classics are old hat. Here’s a look at eight local burgers that provide something for every taste, from the mini Wedgie burger at Red Robin to the massive breakfast-for-lunch Countryside at Peg’s. There are big beef burgers like the Jucy Lucy, alongside salmon, bison and turkey.

Salmon Burger

Lucky’s 13 Pub

Looking for an alternative to your usual beef burger? Not all burgers come from the cow. It’s the shape and delivery method that makes the sandwich instead. Lucky’s 13’s salmon burger is pattied with breadcrumbs, giving a meatloaf-like texture that’s topped with cucumber relish, making it a hearty sandwich but less dense. General manager Ben Yau describes it as “like a salmon carpaccio,” but in sandwich form. The burger is inspired by an Alaskan trip that a company founder enjoyed years ago. It’s made completely from scratch and gives a burger option to all the salmon lovers and pescatarians out there. $12.99. 3000 Harbor Lane N; 763.746.0071

Cowboy Bison Burger

Cowboy Jack’s

Healthier and leaner than beef, bison burgers are firmer and a touch drier than the standard burger. Cowboy Jack’s knows that to counter that element, the best thing to do is to top it with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce. The fatty bacon and sweet and tangy sauce add moisture and a flavor profile befitting their Western name. Not suprisingingly, it’s one of Cowboy Jack’s most popular sellers. Plus, as manager Kailey Link points out, the bison is raised on a Wisconsin farm and is entirely grass fed. $10.50. 4120 Berkshire Lane N; 763.559.0257

Tot Burger

Rock Elm

Burgers always come with a side of potatoes. Why not just put them together? “People love our burgers and our tots,” says Rock Elm owner Troy Reding. “It was a natural winning combination,” to try them together, he explains. The tot burger is topped with Rock Elm’s custom tater tots, soft and melty fontina cheese, bacon, ketchup and lettuce. The extra cheesy burger is a mouthful (and quite filling), but it gives an added depth and texture to an already delicious patty. On the side is still a hearty helping of fries. $15. 16605 County Road 24, Suite 211; 763.208.4451

Wedgie Burger

Red Robin

Red Robin’s carb-lite wedgie shows it’s not all about the size of the burger, it’s the perfect match of toppings and taste. This six oz. burger comes in a “lettuce wedge bun” devoid of bread but piled high with bacon, guacamole, tomato and red onions. Served with a side salad, the Wedgie is another way of looking at lean burgers where it’s not just the patty, but the buns too. “Guests love the wedgie burger because it leaves them satisfied without feeling guilty,” says Plymouth general manager Patricia Gunville. $10.49. 2669 Campus Drive; 763.559.7576

The Juicy Lucy

Sunshine Factory Bar & Grill

A classic Minnesota burger made in-house. Sunshine Factory hand patties all their burgers, pressing a mix of cheddar and Colby jack cheese between two quarter-pound patties for the cheese-in-the-middle saucer-shaped juicy lucy. “The fact that we make them here is a strong argument for why ours are so good,” explains April Hanson, general manager-partner. “The preparation is a little tricky,” she says, to make sure the cheese doesn’t explode before it reaches the customer in this classic burger. Order it plain or dressed up with onion, lettuce or tomato. $10.95. 4100 Vinewood Lane; 763.535.7000

California Turkey Burger

Jake’s City Grille

Forget the red meat. Jake’s turkey burger is made of lean Jennie-O poultry produced in Minnesota. Jake’s creative cook staff has dressed it up a bit: hummus, roasted red pepper and more are blended into a hearty patty and then topped with Monterey jack cheese and chipotle mayo. The pretzel bun gives a chewier texture while the blended ingredients and spices give depth and complexity. “Jake’s is bold flavors,” says corporate executive chef Pauly Fohrenkamm, and the California turkey burger fits the bill. It’s lean, healthier and accessible, yet it sings with extra flavors. $13.50. 3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595

Chipotle Black Bean Burger

Broadway Pizza

Broadway dresses a Morningstar black bean burger with salty black olives, fresh avocado and spicy jalapeños, making it a burger with a little bit of everything. It’s a lighter, fresher burger, says Tiffany Downing, explaining the unique combination of toppings on this meatless patty. It’s less filling, which makes it well suited to lunchtime or for those who want to avoid the food coma of a gigantic burger. The burger comes topped with a creamy ranch sauce to balance the salty and the savory. $11.99. 13705 27th Ave N; 763.551.0155

Countryside Burger

Peg’s Countryside Cafe

Sirloin beef topped with breakfast: a fried egg, bacon, hash browns, plus cheddar cheese, lettuce and a tomato. To keep the breakfast concept rolling at the 55-seat breakfast-lunch only restaurant, Countryside uses a ciabatta bun that brings the burger and breakfast concept together. There’s a lot on this enormous sandwich, nearly double the size of other burgers on Peg’s menu, and people love it, says floor manager Stephanie Zwerk. “The hash browns give that crunch you’re not used to and you get the smoothness of the egg.” $9.95. 842 Hwy 55, Hamel; 763.478.6869