MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mark Reese of B-52 Burgers and Brew knew he made a great burger. But competing against The Nook, MyBurger and The Gold Nugget?
“It was very intimidating,” Reese said.
But a panel of chefs and food critics judged the B-52 burger as the best in the Twin Cities Burger Battle.
“We were very excited, we had no clue,” he said.
Reese’s burgers are not your average Minnesota fare.
“It’s a spicy burger. It’s got roasted jalapenos, banana peppers, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo on it,” he said. “We’re constantly trying to spice things up. I think people are sick of that bland, barbeque sauce. They want it to be chipotle barbeque.”
Reese opened B-52 near his Inver Grove Heights home three years ago. He and his buddy Brandon wanted a name that incorporated nearby Highway 52.
“I called him back and I said, ‘What do you think of B-52?’ He said, ‘I was just gonna call you and say what do you think of B-52,'” Reese said. “So that way we could incorporate some fun decor, we could incorporate the military aspect of it.”
The bomber and military theme is more than just decor, though. Mark is in the Minnesota National Guard.
“When they know that you’re a part of the National Guard, they really support you. And on the back end, we also give our full support to them,” he said.
Many of the burgers use Pat LaFrieda beef.
“You got to get high-quality beef,” Reese said.
It’s ground from whole cuts of short rib and chuck, a blend from a New York butcher known around the world.
“It’s very legendary,” he said.
The MOAB – Mother of All Burgers – will soon be featured on Travel Channel. It consists of four 8-ounce cheeseburgers on a 15-inch loaf of French bread, topped with barbequed pork, bacon, two eggs and onion tanglers.
“Pretty much everything that we got,” Reese said.
He says many have tried to eat a whole MOAB, but few have succeeded.
It’s the suburban underdog that’s already popular near home. The trophy gives B-52 Burgers and Brew the street cred that Reese knew they’ve always deserved.
The B-52 burger is just $9. And the restaurant also has a food truck that comes to downtown Minneapolis.
They’re trying to become more well-known, and they’re looking to open another location in the metro.