There is something disconcerting about going to your neighborhood burger joint and discovering that they’ve taken a page from the McDonald’s playbook. The Cease & Desist Blucy ($8.50) at the Blue Door’s Longfellow location is a smirkingly transparent clone of a Big Mac, bringing pickles, onions, cheese, house “‘Merican” sauce, and lettuce to the table in carefully calibrated proportions.
But when you back up a second, there’s a thick vein of logic supporting the dish. Set aside your feelings (pro or con) about the various satanic bargains that massive burger chains make to bring their dishes to the table. A burger like the Big Mac doesn’t become a global icon by accident — it’s a beautifully composed dish, with bright pickles, crisp onions, unctuous sauce, and ooey-gooey cheese supporting one another almost to the extent of demoting the lead ingredient, beef, to the level of supporting player. (Not a bad idea when you’re pushing industrial meat through a complicated international distribution system.)
The Blue Door’s fresh ground beef is more of a presence in the Cease & Desist, which makes for a bolder, meatier spin on the McDonald’s classic. But otherwise, the familiar formula rings true and makes for a delicious burger: complementary textures, contrasting flavors, and a whole lot of sauce-and-meat umami oomph make this a seductively balanced meal on a bun. And for St. Paulites (and Edina residents) in search of a similarly successful reinvention of a much-maligned but gastronomically powerful fast food icon, there’s always Salut’s Leetle Beeg Mac ($8), a smaller, taller, more bun-focused spin on Big Mac’s winning formula.
The Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406; 612.315.2470