I'm going to say it at the beginning: This is a great burger, and one that I can unreservedly recommend. See addendum at end of review!
Lyndale Tap House is a relatively new establishment on the 2900 block of South Lyndale (duh) Avenue, near Lake St, occupying the former space of jP American Bistro. Their focus, in terms of food, is on so-called "pit beef", which is basically a hand-rubbed, long-marinated, and slow-roasted hunk of beef which is then sliced thin and piled onto sandwiches. I've had their pit beef sandwich before and it's pretty good, but on this particular occasion I decided to try their burger.
They have a few different variations around a basic theme, but I decided to go with their basic cheeseburger (cooked medium) which comes equipped with lettuce, tomato, and battered-and-deep-fried onions on a kaiser roll. To this I added white cheddar cheese and asked them to hold the pickles. Total cost, with the included side of fries: $9.50.
The burger arrived a short while later with a steak knife impaling the whole affair rather than something wimpy like a toothpick. The first impression was great: the burger was clearly hand-pattied, with an irregular shape that couldn't be replicated by mass production. The meat had a nice sear on it and the cheese was fully melted. Cutting it in half revealed a burger cooked perfectly medium all the way throughout. Impressive.
But the really impressive part was that this burger just plain tasted good. The seasoning was spot-on. I mean, perfect, and regular readers (all two of them) will know how fussy I am about that. And the fried onions: some places put onion rings in burgers, which is certainly delicious, but often causes problems with actually eating the thing. The thin fried onions avoid the logistical issues often inherent in onion rings on a burger (such as the whole onion pulling out from inside a deep-fried 'sleeve', uneven burger coverage, and construction-related instability due to the extra height, not to mention that it makes it harder to get in your mouth). In this case, the fried onions added a nice crunch and flavor without any of the drawbacks of full-on onion rings. The bun (actually a kaiser roll) was nicely toasted and had pretty decent flavor and texture, but it wasn't as remarkable as, say, the Common Roots sourdough bun. Still, that doesn't detract much, if at all, from an otherwise excellent performance all-around.
I'd say this is the best burger I've had so far. Go get one, you won't be disappointed.
Lyndale Tap House
2937 South Lyndale AvenueMinneapolis, MN 55408
Addendum 6/6/2013: Last time I had this burger, it wasn't as good as previous times. It was overcooked and dry, and not nearly as well seasoned. Sad.