Convention Grill's classic burgers
Convention Grill's classic cheeseburger
I promise that the classic cheeseburger is still alive and well despite the over-sauced, mega-topped and pretentiously priced burger world we live in. Yes, there are still old-school burger joints throughout the city. Places where all you need is beef, cheese, a bun and the accompanying smile to go along with your simple little sandwich. There aren't a ton of them left, and the Convention Grill in Edina may be one of the finest.
It's impossible not to notice the lunch counter overlooking the grill. The old and well-worn circular seats are testament to thousands of classic burger experiences over the years, enhanced by the nostalgic smells pouring off the flat top. If that doesn't give the place enough cred, then the pre-Reagan wallpaper and seasoned waitstaff will. They haven't needed to change a lot over the years, and that's likely why the place is so darn good.
I went with a classic cheeseburger ($5.90). Why mess around, right? Simple, fresh beef is placed on a screaming hot grill until a brilliant crust sets on the outside, preventing the lovely juices from escaping. A mound of smoky cheddar adds creamy interest on top of the salty beef, and a bit of raw onion provides the crunch and bite to prevent the salt and smoke from overwhelming. The burger is presented on a hefty bun that creates a chewy counterpoint to the fall-apart beef, further proving that this sandwich was built for purity and not theatrics.
Sandwich Rating: Killer. Meat, cheese, bun and a whole lot of history. They don't get too crafty beyond that, and I think that makes for good eats. Serve it with a chocolate banana malt and some of their fries and you've got a blast from the past for lunch, and a three-hour nap on the agenda.
Epic Sandwich copyright 2010 by Teddy Hobbins
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.