Eleven Observations on the Burger Jones Menu

The menu for the new Parasole upscale burger joint, Burger Jones — which has its soft launch this Sunday — is posted and it’s an intriguing document. Some first impressions:

The Burgers Remind A Guy of Bulldog NE

Flavors like wasabi and aged gruyere bump head-to-head with Velveeta and chicken-fried bacon. It’s all in the execution, but the menu does seem to run the class spectrum from working class to hoity.

Faribault Creamery Cheese Curds

Not only will Burger Jones be offering beer battered cheese curds… they’re from a reputable local cheesemaker. A recent visit to Faribault Dairy revealed that they’re skilled makers of curds.

$10 Fries Are Available

Seriously? $10 for fries? Well, let’s look at what you get: hand-cut russet fries, waffle fries, and sweet potato fries in a tower, with a choice of dipping sauces. Seems likely that this’ll fix a table of four pretty nicely.


Please, Enough with Entrendre-Laden Drinks

The Wet Dream. The Up All Night. The Nut Buster. Haven’t the Sex on the Beach and Donkey Punch already driven this category of drink names into well-deserved obscurity?

There’s a Michelada!

The Mexican classic style of beer cocktail makes an appearance on the Burger Jones menu: Pacifico beer over ice with lime juice, hot sauce, and a salted rim.


Happy Hour Runs from 2-5pm and 11pm-Close

Perfect for everyone, so long as you happen to be unemployed and/or an insomniac alcoholic.

Want Dipping Sauce With Those Fries? That’ll Be an Extra Dollar

Moderately interesting choices though: bourbon BBQ, bleu cheese, bearnaise, smoked tomato ketchup, etc. etc.


Want Your Burger Animal Style? That’ll Be an Extra $4

This really doesn’t make much sense. In-n-Out fans know that the mustard fried / extra sauce / extra condiment “animal style” burger has a different taste to it, but none of that taste is predicated on anything particularly expensive or time-consuming. Unless Burger Jones is doing something really different — in which case, why steal the expression “animal style”? — this is a hell of a pricey upgrade.


Holy moly: Canada’s classic cheese curds + fries + beef gravy favorite is here, with bacon, no less. If it’s a good interpretation, this is big news.

Salted Caramel Shakes

Practical experience with salted caramel anything indicates that this could be a gastronomic home run.

And a Chocolate Egg Cream!

If you don’t know the chocolate egg cream, get aquainted with it. It’s not entirely clear what this East Coast deli classic is doing at a Midwestern mid-range burger concept restaurant, but to hell with it. It’s good eats.

Update: Read our full review of Burger Jones.


  1. brian

    OMG, just wait until the sanctimonious trolls get their hand(s) on this post. Will they find new and inventive ways to put-down the tasteless Midwesterner who enjoys eating and paying for a burger now and then? Hopefully they’ve been jotting their insults on the bedside pad while their umbrage over the offending tastebuds keeps them awake at night.

    Anyway, the Burger Jones disappointments are twofold: 1) they refuse to reveal the makeup of their blend and 2) it appears you can’t get anything rarer than “some pink.”

    I guess I’ll have to take the trolls’ advice and just make my own, or better yet head to the Nook.

  2. Adam Platt

    James, I’ve tasted the Burger Jones meat blend, which is already being served at Manny’s and Salut, and perhaps Figlio and any other Parasole joint that serves a gourmet burger. Phil Roberts told me it’s a mix of 80/20 chuck, hanger steak, and brisket. I don’t know the proportions, but their intent is to aggressively season the burger as well, believing most local burgers are under-seasoned, which I generally agree with. This grind is going to hit some folks, accustomed to lean chuck, as a flavor bludgeoning, but true meat freaks will dig it.

    I think the risk at BJ is the typical Parasole trap: they put so much emphasis on presentation and “wowing” the diner with excess that a most important aspect, the proper balance of flavors and toppings, is going to be tough for them to pull off. I don’t want a wedge of blue cheese or half a dill pickle on my burger.

  3. Lee

    The cartoon sign outside convinced me that Burger Jones was an upgraded Fuddruckers-like national chain. Thanks for a great article that set me straight. I appreciate you highlighting good burgers in town. And salted caramel, whenever possible.

  4. brian

    @Adam — thanks for the info regarding the blend. Sounds delicious, but perhaps makes it even more disappointing that they won’t cook it rare, at least according to the menu.

  5. geoff

    I’m with Adam. Tried a Manny’s burger one happy hour. Didn’t bother to say “hold all the extra crap” and it was loaded with so much extra crap (seem to recall a mouthful of onions fried ala hotdish topping) that the burger was overwhelmed.

  6. Adam Platt

    You know, I asked them the question about cooking rare, and I think they will do it, if you specify and let them know that you really, truly want it rare. It seems to me that what most servers need in this town is a second, reaffirmation of your preference, as most places default to med-well when you say “medium.”

    They are going with a “pink, no pink” system to simplify things in the kitchen and get around all the confusion about doneness in this town. It’s a bit of a copout, but this is an issue of such deep ignorance on the part of most diners and such deep indifference on the part of most burger grillmasters, that I suspect it makes some sense.

    Swanson Meats will do all of BJ’s meat grinding on a daily basis, so I think the risk of ordering a rare burger (bacterial contamination) is diminished.

  7. Bill Roehl

    Ugh, seriously? Another way to tell people how they want their burger done? Yuck.

    Listen up. There is no way to eat a piece of beef other than medium-rare or rare. If you want it another way, just get a bag of charcoal and put some ketchup and mayo on it and let the rest of us enjoy the meat the way that God intended. Raw.

  8. Steph


    I have it on good authority that the “animal style” designation was to indicate the Make-It-A-Double option. $4 gets you an extra patty. And also … they’re changing the name from “animal style” to something else …

  9. ryanol

    I am pretty sick of burgers already…everybody and their brother is rediscovering burgers. Of course I may be a bit slanted due to how poor a recreation the golden nugget turned out to be.

    I don’t want french cheeses on my burger and fried onions better not be the stringed version.

    I was at Bulldog for Art-A-Whirl and I saw their burgers are American Kobe beef….What a freakin joke.

  10. doweneedmoreburgers

    With all the great burger options out there already, this seems overdone and overpriced. Leave it to the corporate guys to ruin a good thing. Grumpy’s and Bull Dog, here I come!

  11. eric

    @Bill Roehl:

    Obviously, you have never had e. coli poisoning. It causes your colon to bleed. It sucks.

    Burgers cannot be eaten raw. A burger is not a “piece of beef”. Eat your steak however, but burgers, no.

  12. DJ

    Pretty disappointing. Service was slow and our food was cold when we finally got it. The server never checked back in to see how it was, nor did he ask before he brought the bill. Even though the add-ons (cheese, sauces, etc.) cost extra, you’ll need them for this bland burger and fry joint.

  13. rob

    first, i never post about restaurants unless i have a very strong opinion, good or bad.

    second, this place is not good…the food has no flavor, none. I had the bison burger, comes with Gruyere, and a onion marmalade. tastes like nothing. the meat is flavorless, the guyere, not strong enough to overcome the bland meat, and the bun is so think and flavorless that it merely distracts from the poor burger. i also had the waffle fries. I’ve had then before, from every other place that sysco serves. In addition i ordered the dipping sauce, sweet chili to be exact, ive had that before too, at every lame Chinese restaurant ive ever been too.

    everything about this place is bland, even the service.

    i was so pumped for this place to open, but i wont be returning. the bulldog NE is much, much better. hell edina grill’s burger is better

    dont waste your time

  14. Tarzan

    I love burgers. I was greatly disappointed in Burger Jones. The first problem is the burgers were bland. The meat may have been fresh but not hand-pattied. That burger was so machine pressed it had the consistency of a meatball (a bland dry meatball). The burger tasted the same as Hooters. I agree with the above post even the bun, which looked so good, tasted so bland. I ordered my burger pink, received it well- since you’ve eliminated the choice of meat temp (A COWARDLY MOVE) how can you still screw it up! My friend ordered the White Trash burger that is the worst burger I’ve ever tasted! The Country Fried Bacon was horrid!

    The fries were good. Fresh hand cut-NO. Fresh hand cut by SOMEONE yes – by Burger Jones-NO. If you’ve had fresh hand cut fries at the State Fair you’ll be disappointed. If you’ve had Five Guys fresh hand cut fries you’ll be disappointed. If you compare it to typical crinkle cut fries you may be impressed.

    A few last thoughts: the prices are HIGH!!! Quality is LOW!! Design is COOL! The GIGANTIC picture of the guy shoving a burger in his mouth is DISGUSTING (here’s a clue-RETOUCHING-bad skin, ear wax and ear hair won’t make me hungry!), I love the way when you use the men’s room urinal and someone opens the door the whole kitchen pantry can watch!, the only thing cool and original at Burger Jones is the logo!

    As they say in Texas, “All hat, No cattle!”

    A lot of talk no action with Burger Jones. A truly soulless creation. The food was clearly the last thought in development.
    I’m sorry I was so disappointed (and wordy), but Burger Jones you stole 90 minutes of my life.

  15. Burgerking

    I have cooked in some of the best kitchens in America. I have worked with some of the finest chefs the U.S. has to offer. I am a firm believer that in order to become a food critic you should have to work in a restaurant as a chef or at least 2 full years. Not 1, because no good kitchen will give you the time of day or training you need in this period of time to help you understand and appreciate this wonderful business. Burger Jones is a good concept with good burgers and fair pricing for what they offer. Half of Burger Jones is their bar. Most people are so focused on the burger they miss out on probably the cocktail of the year in the twin cities (The Hillbilly Hooch) and the great selection of beers on tap. The Bulldog is a wonderful concept as well. If you visit either place be sure to ask the server what it takes to get the full experience. Too often we can be narrow minded and focused on getting a cheap quick meal. If thats what you want… go to Five Guys or Mcdonalds. Those two are great concepts for their nitch!

  16. A

    Burgerking is dead on. I live on the east side of Lake Calhoun, and frequent all the neighborhood restaurants. I can tell you, hands down, Burger Jones is TERRIBLE. I wasted 90 minutes of my life as well….not to mention nearly $20 for a burger and a beer. I will never return there again. Believe all of the reviews (check out maps.google.com)…..these are not isolated incidents. In a recession, $20 is a lot of money, and it’s straight up highway robbery if you’re not providing value for that kind of money.

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