Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Red Cow – Edina, MN

D.Rough and I needed a date night and we had heard good things about Red Cow – a new fancy burger place in Edina. And I read that the parking lot for Wuollet Bakery next door is available in the evenings, which is awesome and helpful since it gets busy here. We knew there would be a wait, so we rolled in with our patience at a pretty high level. We put our name in for a table and headed to the bar. The bar is fully stocked and has tons of wine and beer. The wine is in those fancy sealed refrigerators with built in taps to keep it fresh, so you can get a lot of different wines by the glass. Very smart.

A couple got up and left that we were standing near, so we grabbed their barstools and ordered some drinks and an appetizer. I got a New Belgium Shift and D.Rough got a Domaine S. Michelle Blanc de Blanc (basically a champagne because she’s baller like that). And D.Rough had been fantasizing about caramel-bacon Puffcorn all day at work, so we had to get that.

Drinks were up right away and the puffcorn showed up right after that. Then, instead of our 45 minute wait, we were being seated after about 15 minutes. Fantastic! We brought our drinks and corn to the table and dug in. I’m not a fan of puffcorn, so I honestly was expecting to eat just a couple of bites and move to the next thing. But I was soooo wrong. These things were delicious. The perfect amount of caramel and just a sprinkling of bacon on these made them a really nice version of sweet-gummy delicious. I’m a new convert of this, apparently. Who knew?

The server was really patient with us as we debated and argued over which appetizer we would get next and which burgers we wanted. They all sounded amazing, honestly. We asked the server for her opinions and looked at what other people around us were eating and eventually decided on the Scotch Eggs (I’m a major fan of these crazy things), and for burgers, D.Rough went with the Royale and I got the Barcelona – I’ll explain these in a second. Instead of fries, we had to decide between truffle-parmesan fries or sweet potato crinkle planks: Sweet potato!!!!! Duh.

The scotch eggs arrived and were presented much classier than any scotch eggs I've had. There’s something about eating one on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair that plucks my heart strings, but I didn’t need it this time. The scotch eggs at Red Cow were the best I’ve ever had – including in England. The sausage was fully cooked, and didn’t have a thick greasy aftertaste – that’s key. I really don’t like mustard at all, but the beer mustard dipping sauce that was on the plate was really quite good. I only had one bite without it and then once I tried it, I was hooked. Well played, Red Cow.

Another glass of wine for D. These are fancy glasses. They’re large, but sadly, they don’t fill them up all the way. Hahaha. (I also got a Delirium, so you don't think D was drinking alone.)

The burgers arrived and looked serious. They don’t skimp here. There was a significant pile of prosciutto on the Barcelona burger and after sampling a bit of it on its own, I gave it the thumbs up. The burger itself had the best flavor of any burger I can recall right now. Seriously juicy without giving you the dreaded grease-throat. The manchego cheese was the perfect match for this and the bright flavor of the piquillo pepper added a nice pop. The smoked aioli was a nice finishing flavor in my mouth at the end of every bite. And the bun itself was supremely moist and sift, even with a tiny bit of grill char on the inside. Loved it. This, my friends, is how all other burgers should be judged. I’m going to rave about this for a LONG time.

The sweet potato planks were even better than I expected. A dusting of parmesan and fried just-to-crispy. Perfect. The dip, smoked pepper aioli, was the perfect accompaniment to these fries and my complements go to the chef for pairing these.

D.Rough’s Royale burger was also delicious in a completely different way. Wildly different flavors. Still the same perfectly cook generous angus beef patty, but they put slices of pork belly on top and covered that with brie, arugula, and a tomato jam. The flavor combination is quite good and worked better than you can even imagine. I was surprised at the arugula flavor coming through in this, but it worked really well. This place nails it. All of it.

I’m already trying to figure out how we can go back here right away. There are a ton of other things on the menu that I want to try. Burgers, sandwiches, and even a ton of appetizers. Their happy hour has a handful of appetizers at a discount and some discounts on wine and beer. But frankly, after you take a bite of the food here, you aren’t going to complain about paying full price. Sure, it’s a “fancy” burger with fancy burger prices, but you’re paying some culinary mad scientist to create magic in your mouth. Think about that, cheap-o complainers.

D.Rough and I were completely unable to finish our burgers. And I can eat a LOT. Keep that in mind and consider sharing or scaling back the appetizers when you go here. That simply means I got to eat these burgers TWICE – once again at lunch the next day. And for the record, the Barcelona reheated better, mainly because of the pork belly on the Royale got a little limp. Both were fantastic to eat again, though.

And, because I talked to D.Rough about it being in my Top 5 of all time, I thought I’d better actually create a Top 5 list for that…

Top burger places (mostly not in any order, but maybe a little bit):
1. Red Cow (Edina, MN))
2. American Burger Bar (St. Paul)
3. Kuma’s Corner (Chicago)
4. Bar Lurcat sliders (Minneapolis)
5. Newt’s (Rochester, MN)

Other noteables
6. Joe Rouer’s (Green Bay)
7. Blue Door Pub (St. Paul)
8. Anchor Fish and Chips (Minneapolis)
9. Red Mill (Seattle)
10. Eli’s Donut Burger (Food Truck in Minneapolis)
11. Zombie Burger & Drink Lab (Des Moines, IA)
12. Burger Jones (Minneapolis)

Top 5 things about Red Cow
1. Barcelona Burger
2. Caramel Bacon Puffcorn
3. Royale Burger
4. Large selection of wines and beers
5. Scotch Eggs
(6. Really fantastic staff – thank you, Forough!)

Bottom 5 things
1. It isn’t cheap, but it’s ok, I promise
2. You will likely have to wait
3. They had some awesome sounding chorizo soup (special of the day) that I didn’t have room to try
4. They don’t have their own dessert chef – but they DO use Wuollet Bakery – but don’t worry, there won’t be room for dessert
5. Some people will complain about the noise there – I call it energy



Ruby James Vita said...

I am surprised The Nook didn't get a mention. I know it's pretty hyped, but I've rarely had a better burger. Though I have not been to most the places you mentioned!

spike said...

hey! thats right by my house!

was there tuesday and tried one of their poutines - the shredded beef (aka shredded pot roast) and cheese sauce one... super good. and to make sure we had the traditional poutine, we also got fried cheese curds...