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BEST BURGER Minneapolis 2007 - Napa Valley Grille - CLOSED

Who comes to a white-tablecloth restaurant for a burger? Much less to this lacquered and upholstered, high-end California wine-lover's destination restaurant, which happens, oddly, to be located in a busy wing of the Megamall. No, people come to Napa Valley Grille in search of rich and sweet blue crab cakes. They come for the array of unique, wine-friendly cheeses. They come for locally sourced ingredients (five-spice Wild Acres duck, anyone?). But we daresay the lunchtime-only burger gets ordered—a lot. Maybe it has something to do with the gantlet patrons must run to get here, through a fluorescent frenzy that will destroy any pretense to a dainty appetite. But more, Napa Valley Grille's burger, USDA Choice beef topped with aged cheddar and, on request, Nueske's bacon, is that elusive miracle: meat that's so meltingly tender, it would never hold together if it weren't for a perfectly seared crust. At $10.50 ($12.50 with bacon), this burger only runs a few bucks more than it would at Applebee's or your local bar—which is why we're not calling it "gourmet." But we think you should wash it down with a cult Cab anyhow.
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