Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Newt’s – Rochester, MN

My friend, Tekmet, was in Rochester with family and I told him I’d be happy to drive down to have dinner with him some night. He agreed and I told him I’d check out where to eat. I came across this award-winning burger place called Newt’s, so I suggested that. He was game, as long as they had beer. They did.

It’s a little confusing before you even get to the place, you have to go down this alley next to the City Grille, then up some fire escape stairs to get inside. Once inside, if you’re lucky, there will be someone standing there taking your name for a table. We weren’t lucky and the place was packed. Some other people waiting told us someone would be around to take our name, but no one showed up for about 10 minutes. Yikes. We put in our name and grabbed a couple drinks from this bartender who might have been Yanni’s lesser talented older brother – long flowy grey mullet and looks like he loves Skynrd. Right after someone stood up from the bar and we sat down, they called our name and seated us less than 5 feet from where we were sitting.

The really nice waitress brought us menus and made sure we were alright drink-wise. She said she was going to bring us popcorn, but she never did, sadly. Oh well, she knew we’d be getting full enough, apparently. The menu has like 20 burgers on it, and they all sound delicious, and apparently, they’re all award winning. I was torn between two in particular, but ended up going with Todd’s Burger – 2 fried eggs, 2 strips bacon, ½ pound burger, cheddar on a grilled bun. It came with fries, so that’s what I stuck with.

We chatted about life in general and got caught up and talked about the band we were in, back in the day. And a VERY short while later, our burgers came out. They were serious burgers. There’s a photo on the website that looks tasty, and the burgers in front of us looked EXACTLY like the photo in the ads.

I know I throw out the term “Top 5” from time to time, but this burger is in the Top 5. It was delicious and juicy and all of the flavors of the toppings were perfect. There was just the slightest hint of pink inside the meat, and the bacon was perfectly cooked. The fries were slightly above average as well, so no complaints there. Somehow I got talked into a second Strongbow, but since I’m a tubby guy, I could handle it and still be able to drive back to the Twin Cities afterwards. Seriously, these were both amazing burgers.

The next time I go there, and I sincerely HOPE there is a next time, I’m getting Mike D’s Fatty Melt – two grilled cheese sandwiches act as buns to a burger with onion rings, bacon and Dijon mayo. Best patty melt ever. Now, I’m hungry all over again after typing that description.

The signs on the highway don’t lie. There’s a reason these burgers have won awards. They’re really quite good.

Top 5 things about Newt’s
1. Todd’s Burger
2. Marvin’s Burger
3. Super friendly staff after we got seated
4. Really thorough menu and everything looks good
5. Talking about band stuff from way back when had us both rolling

Bottom 5 things
1. Waited a long time to even get our name on the list to be seated
2. Waitress forgot our popcorn
3. A bit confusing to get to from the street
4. Worst music selection ever
5. I miss Tekmet something fierce. Seriously