Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
When chef J.D. Fratzke took over culinary operations at the ambitiously expanding Artisan Plaza in Cannon Falls, a thought struck him: Oly’s Roadhouse, the plaza’s casual dining operation, had a rippingly hot stone oven, and there’s no reason such an oven couldn’t crank out burgers in a flash. The restaurant’s new signature dish is the Curd Burger ($9), a mix of Metz Creamery cheese curds folded into a housemade ground beef patty on a kaiser roll.
You might think that this sort of burger would be a Jucy Lucy taste-alike; you’d be wrong. Rather than spraying the diner with a river of molten cheese, the Curd Burger is a complete fusion of cheese and meat into a single substantial new entity. The burger does have some of the chew and lactic mellowness of cheese, but it’s firm and stable as you chew your way through its carbon-kissed bulk.
Certain food is said to “stick to your ribs”—this sucker sticks to your ribs. The addition of lettuce and onion helps lighten the load a bit, but the Curd Burger is first and foremost a hunger slayer—a big, rich, savory bomb of a burger on a beautifully baked roll that shares with diners the power of the oven in which it was forged.
If you’re in Cannon Falls, there’s a massive (and soulful!) burger that’s calling your name.
THE DISH: Curd Burger, $9
THE PLACE: Oly’s Roadhouse at Artisan Plaza, 1223 4th St. S., Cannon Falls, MN
THE REASON: This cheesy, substantial burger is stick-to-your-ribs comfort food in the best possible way