Monday, July 16, 2012

Vincent A Restaurant

Vincent A Restaurant is a French-inspired restaurant in downtown Minneapolis that has routinely won accolades for its burger. Dig this: a ground beef and braised short rib patty combined with smoked gouda, Jucy Lucy-style. Are you hungry yet?

The burger is only available in the bar area of the restaurant, which is fine -- a Jucy Lucy, even a fancy one, doesn't really fit the white-tablecloth aesthetic of the main dining room. Normally, the burger is $14, but if you go during one of Vincent's two nightly happy hours, the price drops to only $8! I ordered mine with a side salad, but if the fries are the same as the ones that come with the poutine we ordered as an appetizer, they're also a good choice. The burger is only cooked one way: a little past medium to ensure the cheese inside is fully-melted.

The first thing I noticed when the burger arrived was that the patty was quite a bit smaller than the bun. I didn't take a cross-section cut before eating it because that would have allowed the delicious cheese to leak out. Unlike at Matt's Bar(and I'm aware that it's a little ridiculous to compare Matt's Bar to Vincent), Vincent's take on the Jucy Lucy is immediately edible without scalding the inside of your mouth with napalm-like melted cheese, which to me belies the attention paid to the cooking process. And those bites are truly glorious. I am a big fan of smoked foods, and the smoked gouda in this burger is fantastic. The meat itself was perfectly seasoned in the first half of the burger that I ate, but veered towards too salty as I got to the end. One unexpected surprise was the nice crust on the outside of the patty that made the whole experience a textural pleasure. On the other hand, the bun was soft and fresh but nothing exceptional, and the tomato was also, sadly, a bit mealy and lacking in flavor.

Despite the partially-errant seasoning, overall the flavor of this burger is great -- there's a reason it wins all those awards. It's worth a trip to downtown.

Vincent A Restaurant
1100 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 630-1189

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