I was recently referred to another local burger joint here in Minneapolis: The Bulldog Northeast. My cousin Charity had told me about her burger experience there. She was describing a burger that had peanut butter smothered on it and topped with bacon. That was not really the draw for me, but she did say one thing that made my ears perk up: Waygu Beef.
Waygu beef is comes from a specific breed of cattle. The cattle tend to yield beef that has a great deal of marbling. This type of marbling is sought after because it can give a wonderful flavor and texture to the beef.
The Bulldog has been around for quite a few years now. It has won several awards in local publications for its food. So I thought, “Why not give it a try?”
I headed to The Bulldog on a Saturday night with my friend Tyler. Here was our experience:
Bruce: I was impressed with the atmosphere of the bar as soon as we walked through the door. The bar was huge and the place was packed. It seemed to be the place to be in Northeast Minneapolis.
Tyler:*DON QUINN! Don Quinn was there at the Bulldog! The bar is gigantic and takes up most of the main eating area. We were not lucky enough or cool enough to be seated at the bar. When we were seated at a side table I looked over the beer menu and they had a good selection of local and regional beers. I ordered a Summit Winter Ale and Bruce ordered a Dr. Pepper. The drinks came rather quickly considering how busy the bar was.
Bruce: I decided on a bacon cheeseburger with fries. Any good burger restaurant should be able to cook up this bad boy perfectly. This seemed to be the safest choice on the burger list as well. The Bulldog offers several “novelty” burgers to the more adventurous diner.
Tyler: I laughed at Bruce and his simplistic burger while I ordered the Chorizo Burger. Our orders were in and we waited and waited and waited. Keep in mind that the restaurant was very busy (we got one of the last open tables) but during our wait no one came to ask how we were doing or if we needed a refill on our drinks. By the time Bruce had eaten the last ice cube in his long empty Dr. Pepper glass, HIS burger was placed in front of him… it looked and smelled fantastic.
Bruce: Totally. The burger looked nice and buttery and the fries smelled fantastic. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this bad boy. But, not wanting to be rude, I decided to hold off until Tyler’s burger arrived. It seemed strange that our burgers didn’t come out together. As the food runner set my burger down I could see it in his eyes- Tyler’s burger wasn’t coming anytime soon.
Tyler: I stole a number of Bruce’s fries (satisfying fries but they lacked salt) while I waited and before long our waitress came back and said, “How are the burgers here?” I looked at her and then looked down at my invisible burger and said, “I don’t know.” The waitress ran off to find my burger and only ten minutes later it showed up. I started by tasting just the Waygu Beef by itself, it definitely tasted differently than your average burger but not different or better enough to be a big selling point. Upon first bite of the burger itself… I tasted no Chorizo. Chorizo should have a spicy porky flavor but his Chorizo Burger had none. The burger itself was good but nothing that I would order again. Bruce, what are your final thoughts on The Bulldog?
Bruce: It was average at best. The beef was overcooked and there was no noticeable difference in the waygu beef. I’ve had lesser quality beef taste better. To me a burger is only as good as it is prepared. Unfortunately, we hit the Bulldog on an off night. It has won numerous awards for its food, but we did not see that on our visit.
I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a trendy bar to hang out at. The bar itself looks like the place to be with lots of beer on tap. If you are hungry, grab some food, but skip the burger.
* Funny story: As we were leaving, a big group of people were coming in. One of the guys in the group looked me straight in the eye and said, “Sup Don!?” I continued to walk out the door and he just kept at it: “Don…DON! DON QUINN!!!”
The Bulldog (Northeast)
401 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414