Named one of Time magazine's 17 most influential burgers, Juicy Lucy—also purposely spelled without the "i"—is a twist on the classic cheeseburger in which the cheese is melted inside the patty. Hands down a Minneapolis favorite, the cheese-stuffed Lucy burger is an exquisite experience which actually requires some skill in order to know how to eat it without burning your mouth with a hot shot of the flowing molten American cheese locked between the two ground beef patties.
Apart from the succulent beef, this cheeseburger also carries another quarter-pound of controversy, mostly due to the feud about its origin, as there are two Minneapolis burger eateries claiming its invention. Matt’s Bar & Grill put it on the menu shortly after its opening in 1954 when a local customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle.
Upon biting into this new cheesy goodness, as the hot cheese spurted out, he wiped his mouth and said, "Ooh, that’s one juicy Lucy!", explained the founder Matt Bristol. Customer demand grew "so quickly they forgot to add the i", and so the Jucy Lucy legend was born, although the misspelling was probably merely a typo made by the cook behind the bar.
Up that same street in Southern Minneapolis, the popular speakeasy-style joint called 5-8 Club eventually started making their own version of this burger, also claiming to be the place of its origin. And even though the 5-8 Club offered no historical story to validate their claim, they added the "i" to make it a Juicy Lucy, and the rest is history.
Except for the i in juicy, their take on this meaty Midwestern treat was pretty much the same thing, but unlike Matt’s Bar which sticks to the original recipe, the 5-8 Club today offers Lucy burgers stuffed with a choice of American, Amablu Blue, Pepper, or Swiss cheese.
Interestingly, the true origin of the cheese-oozing Lucy burger remains a heated debate as the two bars keep taunting each other with their mottos: while Matt's Bar says "Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!", the 5-8 Club claims that "If it's spelled right, it's done right." This rivalry continues to amuse the people of Minneapolis and adds just a pinch of that extra spice to make you want to try both Lucys.
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The Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger with a twist. Slices of American cheese are tucked between two four-ounce patties, which are sealed to form a single beef patty with a pocket of cheese in the middle. Once grilled, the patties are served on a hamburger bun with a topping of either sliced pickles or onions. When you bite into one of these, melted cheese should ooze from the patty, so make sure to let your Juicy Lucy cool a bit before taking a bite.