Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
Burgers come in as many variations as there are stars in the sky, achieving deliciousness (or crashing and burning) in countless ways. There’s a lot in play: the quality and size of the bun, the seasoning and fat level of the meat, the variety and proportion of the toppings, the char on the patty, and more still. Making a great burger isn’t rocket science, but it certainly is an art.
As diverse as burgers are, we all probably have a very similar mental image when someone says, “Oh, you know, it was just a classic cheeseburger.” And the thing we have probably have in mind is what they’re serving at the newly opened Home Street Home Cafe and Bakery in St. Paul’s West Side. The Classic Cheeseburger ($12) is a perfectly seasoned patty that sports a healthy char, is thick and juicy without being baseball-sized, and is comfortably cradled in quality toppings including a well-executed housemade ketchup, grilled onions, Bongard’s American cheese, and housemade pickles.
Home Street Home sources its beef (a cow at a time) from Adrian’s Farm in Watertown, Minnesota, and you can taste the quality: it’s a full-flavored, richly textured meat that is satisfying without needing to be entombed in toppings and bread. That said, the burger’s proper seasoning level goes a long way (there are few culinary misdemeanors more irritating than under-seasoning a burger) and the addition of toppings with a point of view and house-made pedigree really completes the package. In short: a classic cheeseburger worthy of the description.
The Dish: Classic Cheeseburger, $12
The Place: Home Street Home, 285 George St. W., St. Paul, MN 55107
The Reason: From the sourcing of the beef to the seasoning, this burger is as classic as they come