BEST BURGERS (1998)
For the pure telos of burger, the burger reduced to its essence and apart from all things, just meat, bread, and potato, there's a clear short list: The St. Paul Grill, Morton's, the Convention Grill, the Capital Grille, the Gay 90's. These are places that know that a good burger is made with high-quality meat that must never be manhandled (toughens the burger), and they know it should be made by an experienced chef who can tell just by looking when a burger is medium-rare and when it's medium, to reduce juice-reducing poking and prodding. But then you can expand your definition of a perfect burger: It should be served someplace that also offers adeptly mixed drinks from a wide selection of top-shelf liquors. A place that allows patrons to put their elbows up on the table without making them feel self-conscious. A place with a history as interesting and as real as its burgers. And a place where any friendly, open person can be reasonably assured of digging up an interesting conversation if they want one. At the 90's the charbroiled burgers hold their own with any in town (with a base price of $4.25, they're also a bargain). Maybe that's why 4,000 people come through here on a good night.