Back in 2009, when Eden Prairie was mostly home to chains and didn’t have the likes of Gogi Bros, Bay Leaf Indian Cuisine, and Tavern 4&5, Jenny and Mark Jundt opened JJ’s Coffee Company & Wine Bistro. The food offered had some execution issues, but the inviting space quickly drew a loyal following.
Times change, and there are now more independent eateries offering higher-quality food. And people change too, especially when they, as Jenny Jundt recently did, add a baby to the household. Now JJs has rebranded itself as Piper’s Coffee & Burger Bar, named after baby Piper, and the menu has been overhauled. While some of the previous menu items are still present, the focus now is on an extensive, intriguing list of burgers, from the basic cheeseburger to more exotic offerings.
A recent visit found that the rebrand (and, presumably, the baby) seems to have inspired something in the folks in Piper’s kitchen. We tried three burgers and were more than pleased. All of them had thick, hand-formed patties cooked to our specification and served on a rich, buttery brioche bun. The one lament was a lack of salt.
The Hangover Burger ($12) would be an excellent cure for that condition, with generous slabs of oozing sharp Cheddar and smoky, thick-cut bacon, topped with a soft fried egg and hot sauce. It may not be the most original of the burgers we tried, but it was a solid rendition.
More interesting was the Farmer John ($13), which offered more of that thick-cut bacon (it’s on many of the burgers, and who can argue with that?) along with mushrooms and onions cooked in red wine and topped with provolone, rosemary, arugula, and aioli. The sweeter mushrooms and onions were a nice offset to the peppery arugula and pungent rosemary.
The favorite of the visit — by a close margin — was the Whistlestop ($12). This iteration swapped out the bacon for some delicately crispy pieces of speck along with fried tomatoes and onions. There was also a sizable mound of Gorgonzola, not melted, as described in the menu, but as it turned out, that was fine. The sharpness of the cheese was balanced by the smoky speck and zippy arugula, a wonderful mix of textures and flavors. Even the non-blue-cheese fan at our table said she’d order this one again.
Burgers come with a choice of fries: regular, sweet potato, or Buffalo. The first two could have used more time in the fryer, coming out soggy rather than with a crunchy texture, but the Buffalo fries, drenched in Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, chopped bacon, and red onions, earned approval from everyone at the table. They would be a great choice on its own along with some of the tap beers Piper’s is in the process of adding.
Piper’s Burger & Coffee Bar, 7942 Mitchell Rd, Eden Prairie, 55344; 952.974.1000; Mon-Thu 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 6 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-9 p.m.