I enjoy a fancy restaurant as much as the next guy. Don’t tell Julie, but sometimes I don’t even mind getting dressed up and heading out to a nice place with real silver and fine china. All these things can make for a memorable evening with family, friends or spouse.
But sometimes you want to go to a simple place where you don’t have to speak a foreign language, the beverage of choice is a beer and you don’t have to worry about dressing up. If this is the case, and you are in the Twin Cities, you need to head down to the corner of Cedar and 35th in Minneapolis to a neighborhood bar called Matt’s.
I found out about Matt’s while living in the Twin Cities when my boss said, “If you break $20,000 in sales today, I’ll buy the Juicy Lucy’s. If you don’t, you’re buying.” I told him it was on and I have to say that the burgers tasted all the juicier because I didn’t have to pay (Thanks, John!)
Matt’s is the classic corner bar. When you walk through the door, it’s like taking a step back in time to the 1950’s. Dimly lit, not a lot of room to maneuver and a real, honest to goodness bar that you can belly up to, Matt’s is a piece of our culture that is slowly fading away. It’s not a family place, it is an honest to goodness bar. Don’t miss this, Matt’s is a place where you go to enjoy a cold one and a hot burger.
And does this place have a burger. As the legend goes, a patron came into Matt’s one day many, many years ago and asked the cook to put some cheese between two beef patties. After he was served, the customer exclaimed, “Now that’s one juicy Lucy!” The rest, as they say, is history.
Pair your Juicy Lucy with an ice cold one (or two) and a big basket of fries and you are set. Matt’s is a comfortable old friend, like that pair of jeans or old sweatshirt you can’t bear to part with. It’s a place that makes no assumptions and puts on no show. You know when you go to Matt’s, you will find the same menu you had 10 or more years ago. And you know what? That’s okay by me.
Every town has a place like this – what’s yours? Let us know in the comment section below and come back next week where we look at another classic type establishment, this one a little closer to home and a little more international in flavor.