GLENCOE, Minn. (WCCO) — Depending on which part of Minnesota you’re in, you might call it an open-faced sandwich, a hot beef or a beef commercial. But the basics are the same: Bread, meat, mashed potatoes and lots of gravy. So who makes the Best in Minnesota?
Thousands of you weighed in on this one. And your votes sent me to Glencoe, to Bump’s Family Restaurant.
And in Glencoe, it’s making just about everybody in town feel good.
“We serve well over 10,000 a year. So, it’s by far our number one seller,” said Mike McGuire, who co-owns Bump’s.
Despite the sandwich’s popularity, the name “commercial” still conjures some confusion.
“Where the name “hot beef commercial” comes from, I’m not exactly sure,” McGurie said. “But you know if they’re asking for a hot beef sandwich, they’re not from the area.”
One theory is the sandwich is named after the people who ate it. Traveling salesmen were once known as “commercial travelers.”
Often traveling by train, they needed something fast and filling before the train left the station. Bread, meat, potatoes and gravy are quick to assemble, and even quicker to eat.
But just because the food comes up fast doesn’t mean it’s not made with care. Especially at Bump’s.
Not only do they slow-roast the beef overnight, they hand mash the potatoes and make the gravy from scratch.
And if you ask me, it’s the gravy that sets this sandwich apart.
Patti Simons has been Bump’s “Gravy Queen” for 20 years. She makes the gravy all on intuition, which means: If you want the recipe, you’re out of luck.
But at under an hour from the cities, Bump’s is worth the drive.
“People understand ‘made from scratch,’ they understand it, that’s what they grew up with, that’s what they want, and that’s what we try to provide for them,” McGurie said.
Next week, I’m looking for the Best Coffee Shop in Minnesota. So send me your picks on Twitter @Matt_Brickman or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.