My Burger in West Calhoun, Minneapolis
You might think that Burger Jones, with its cusp of Uptown / Lake Calhoun / St. Louis Park location, might corner the market for burgers in this part of town, but the November opening of My Burger makes a case that there’s room for more than one burger joint near the Lake Street-Excelsior Boulevard junction. Expanding from its downtown skyway lunchtime hot spot, the newish My Burger serves up fresh burgers and crispy fries in a fast-casual atmosphere that more closely evokes Smashburger or Five Guys than Burger Jones. In fact, starting at $5.45 for a classic hamburger and fries, My Burger beats all three on price. But flavor? That depends on the burger.
My Burger offers its basic burgers ($5.45 for a single, $6.75 for a double) two ways: “original,” with ketchup, mustard, fried onions, and sweet pickles, or “California,” with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. Both feature a well-seasoned patty on the thinner side, with a crust that draws some comparisons to Smashburger, and a hefty golden bun that deftly holds in the inner layers without smushing to bits under your fingers. While it’s a satisfying patty on its own, the meat’s true purpose is to host the variety of toppings you can choose — we liked the addition of pepper jack cheese (50 cents), but you can also select blue, cheddar, American, or Swiss, as well as mushrooms, bacon, a fried egg, and various sauces.
With patties that lean toward the bland side on their own, the non-beef burgers benefit from those toppings big time. The turkey burger ($5.95) features a forgettable round of ground turkey, but adding lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, and ketchup helps it sing. The veggie burger ($5.75) is the same Gardenburger you’ll find in the freezer case at the grocery store; it’s perfectly palatable but won’t inspire you to order it again. Breaded and fried chicken and fish burgers ($5.75) round out the menu, but your best bet is to stick with beef.
Whoever mans the fryer at My Burger gets a double thumbs-up for the tasty, surprisingly non-greasy fries and onion rings (75 cents extra to substitute for fries). The fries offer the ideal contrast between their pillowy potato center and crunchy exterior, making them the ideal carrier for ketchup or a shake. (I know I’m not the only one who likes dipping fries in shakes, right?) Though the rings could use a touch more salt, we dug the crispy batter and sweet onion interior. Definitely choose them over the coleslaw if you want to swap out your fries — the overly sweet, runny slaw dressing did little to pep up the cabbage and carrot.
If you’re grabbing your burger to go and want a frozen beverage to accompany it, you can’t go wrong with a shake or malt ($2.45 small / $4.45 / large). Available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry with several mix-ins, the treats please with their Frosty-like texture and flavor. But if you’re dining at My Burger, skip the shake and head next door for dessert at The Yogurt Lab for a greater variety of flavors and toppings.
With its simple yet eye-catching, orange-tinted decor, designed by local brand agency FAME, My Burger provides a level of sophistication to your burger binge that others in town can’t match, and neighborhood touches, like the wooden beams featuring the names of nearby streets and landmarks, cement the restaurant’s foothold in the Lake Calhoun area. And foodie voyeurs will enjoy the seats under the “Um Yeah” sign to watch the action in the kitchen.
The rule of thumb at My Burger: Stick to the classics and you’ll leave happy. Your wallet will be, too.
Burgers and fries in West Calhoun
3100 Excelsior Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
MANAGER: John Abdo
HOURS: 10:30am-10pm daily
BAR: Beer and wine
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
ENTREE RANGE: $5.45-6.95