Butcher Salt Food Truck

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Butcher Salt wants you to ditch the French fries this summer and replace them with another decadent potato side: hash browns. Think about it: Why not? Why is one kind of greasy, crispy, salty potato supposed to be eaten for lunch and another for breakfast?

So, let’s mix it up this summer and get used to picking up a fork with our burgers.

In a food truck like Butcher Salt, every square inch of space counts. If you skip the deep-fryer and figure out how to cook (nearly) your whole menu on the flat-top, you can be more flexible and keep that line moving. And speed alone could be enough to set a good truck apart on the crowded downtown Minneapolis streets this summer.

Butcher Salt has been on the streets for about a month and already has a devoted line of regulars. Their efficient, griddle-based menu includes hash browns, sliders, hot dogs, and lots and lots of bacon. The only vegetables spotted anywhere near the truck are the pickles on the sliders and the peppers on the hot dogs.

The sliders ($9) are the stars of the show: two craggy-edged little patties of Thousand Hills beef, topped with melty Swiss cheese, deep brown onions, a small bright pickle, and — naturally — bacon. Slider skeptics may ask, Why bother with two little patties instead of one big one? These are people who do not appreciate the beauty of the edges: the rough, browned nooks along the edges of the burger. The crispy, buttery edges of the bun. Two burgers is definitely better than one, no matter what the combined weight is.

The hot dogs ($5, which come singly — all the better to mix and match) have a fantastic snap and a big, beefy flavor. They’re made by Steve’s Meat Market of Ellendale, MN, which has racked up a few State Fair wins and something of a local cult following. Have yours topped with peppers, onions, and Jack cheese (called the “Sit Barley Sit”) or with a homemade cheese sauce and (again) bacon.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

The natural thing to have alongside your cheesy-bacony burgers and dogs (or any of the other items that rotate in and out and fill out the menu, like a roast beef sandwich, a quesadilla, and a grilled cheese) is hash browns ($5). Butcher Salt’s signature item is gooey, soft, and dotted with melted cheese and — no points for guessing this one right — bacon. The hash browns are nicely browned, but sadly all the crispy bits are steamed soft by the time you open up their little foil pack.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

And, man, are they salty. Everything, in fact, from the sliders to the hot dogs to the browns to the soft homemade caramel to the creme brulee ($5, so good, in caramel or milk chocolate) is salty — salty in that way that you really appreciate at the time and kind of regret at three in the afternoon, when you’re still guzzling water.

It’s exactly the way you feel after a burger, fries, and a malt in the hot summer sun. Only, you’ve had two crisp little sliders, gooey hash browns, and a chocolate creme brulee. It’s just a new twist on summer.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

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About the Author

Tricia Cornell

Tricia has been called the mother of “world-class veggie eaters” in the Star Tribune (that is patently untrue) and an “industrious home cook” in the New York Times (true, but was it a compliment?). She loves Brussels sprouts, hates squash, and would choose salty and sour flavors over sweet just about any day. She is the author of Eat More Vegetables, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012, and The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook, published by Voyageur Press in 2014.

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