The newest Blue Door Pub opened in the Como neighborhood last week, giving employees at the University of Minnesota an instant lunch favorite, judging from the number of sport coats and ties on display two days after the restaurant’s debut. BDU, as it has been dubbed, expands the options on a block that already includes Black Coffee and Waffle Bar and Obento-Ya.
It’s all about the burgers here, with lots of variations on that Minnesota original, the Juicy Lucy. Blucys, as they’re called here, come in a variety of creative incarnations. There's the original, filled with blue cheese and garlic — from whence the name, which has come to refer to the restaurant's entire class of stuffed burgers.
Then there are choices with so many ingredients you wonder how they can be contained between two beef patties. Case in point, the Cease and Desist, a lightly veiled (and so much better) take on McDonald’s Big Mac, with American cheese, pickles, onions, shredded lettuce, and house-made ‘Merican sauce. It is a messy but oh-so-tasty monster that will dribble down your chin and require a mountain of paper napkins.
Blue Door is also known for its award-winning Jiffy Burger, a don’t-knock-it-til-you’ve-tried-it combination of unlikely bedfellows. Pepper jack cheese, bacon, pickles, chunky peanut butter, and mayo come together to hit all the right taste buttons. Instead of duking it out like cage match combatants, the flavors play nicely together; the spice and smoke get mellowed out by the peanut butter and mayo, and there’s crunch and creaminess in every bite.
There are a number of appetizers on the menu to help delay the effects of the dozen or so beers on tap, but those in the know go for the totchos, available as nacho totchos, buffalo chicken, or hella totchos with mojo pulled pork. Every Monday the kitchen puts together a specialty totcho available for one day only. There are also salads, and a tasty fish taco, but really? Going for the salad at a burger joint is like wearing your Green Bay jersey to a Vikings game.
The newest Blue Door is also the most open and sun-drenched of the three restaurants, with an entire bank of windows facing Como Avenue. The wall opposite the windows is home to a small bar; the other two walls are lined with booths, and there is a smattering of tables in the middle of the room. The decor is refined steampunk, with vaguely Victorian pink wallpaper, a small mirror anchored to the wall at each booth, and exposed pipes and ductwork. There are a few TVs mounted on the walls, but they don't dominate the space.
Happy hour happens twice a day, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with special prices on select tap beers and wine as well as a full basket of fries or tots for $3. The beer selection is heavy on local favorites like Surly, Steel Toe, and Indeed. The late night happy hour, from 9 p.m. to close, offers deals on many of the menu’s appetizers.
Blue Door Pub
1514 Como Ave. SE, Minneapolis