My Favorite Things -- Matt's Bar

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Matt's Bar - Home of the Jucy Lucy. There's a long-standing debate in Minneapolis over what restaurant has the best Jucy Lucy: Matt's or the 5.8 Club. I fall squarely in Matt's Bar camp. For a variety of reasons. One Matt's is an authentic neighborhood bar whereas the 5.8 is more of a restaurant. Also there is only one Jucy Lucy at Matt's and you can order with or without fried onions. The 5.8 has a variety of Jucy Lucy's, with different cheeses etc. Also Matt's fries are awesome and the wait staff, bartender and cook have been the same for years. Matt's even has a decent jukebox, although it isn't used very often.

Matt's plain and simple is a Minneapolis institution. It's home to drunks, hipster dudes, frat boys, Abbott Northwestern nurses, and South Minneapolis families. The Grain Belt Premium flows freely and you can buy a pitcher of Coke for the kids. Prices are right too. A Jucy Lucy is still under $5.00. But the reason you go the Matt's is the Jucy Lucy, there is nothing like piping hot goo of cheese squirting out of your burger and burning your lips as you grab your beer to cool off your mouth. Fried onions and coagulating cheese drip on the fries and the wait staff is that perfect combination of world weary and wise-crackin'. The regulars don't mind that the new-to-the-scene are honing in on their turf and for the most part the rookies are respectful to those who have gone forever.

The best thing about Matt's however is that it is timeless. I have a feeling that it's pretty much the same as it was 40 years ago. In these days where everything has be to New and Improved! (and especially in Minneapolis where everything old seems to have been replaced) its comforting to know that there are still places that are cozy, where it's o.k. to have a burger with oozing cheese washed down with a cold beer. There are too few of those places left in this City and we should celebrate and embrace those that still exist.

7 Comments

You know, I've never been there yet...we should hit them up soon some Thursday evening when you need to fuel up before your fasting day.

Places like Matt's are hidden gems. I agree with you Free, that Minneapolis doesn't seem to have enough of these types of "real" bars. St. Paul has a few.

By the way, did you happen to read Pat Ruesse's story on Lee's Liquor Lounge a few weeks back? Here it is:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/39597317.html?elr=KArks:DCiU1PciUoaEYY_4PcUU

you want the best Jucy Lucy go too the 5.8 club you have more then just american cheese too get but you get more cheese in it

It's amazing how the debate between Matt's and the 5.8 so closely mirror the Pat's v. Geno's Philadelphia Cheese-steak debate.

In each case one place is no nonsense with a limited menu and a certain weather-beaten charm, the other is a flashier more diversified place, a little tarted up.

I think Matt's is superior for the same reason Pat's is superior; no nonsense always wins out for me. Then again, maybe it's just the wallpaper at Matt's...who can say. Frankly, Matt's Jucy Lucy is superior to any cheesesteak I've had.

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This page contains a single entry by Freealonzo published on March 2, 2009 8:52 AM.

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