The Burgers of Minnesota
Hello again my friends. As those who have been here before know it is National Hamburger Month and we are celebrating with all burgers, all month long. Today we head north to Rochester, MN which is a place I visited last Fall while on a road trip that took me thru six different states. I had never been to Rochester but it was alot more than I thought it would be. With the Mayo clinic, IBM building and a university along with a population of 100,000+ I was quite pleased with it and happy to be staying there that Friday night. We stayed downtown which is near the clinic and really well taken care of and vibrant and alive on the Weekends, especially the night we were there, people were out. We took a stroll around town and stopped in for drinks at some bars and are options were a few spots with no appeal and Newt's.
A popular spot for burgers in Rochester, MN
One of the nice people we met while walking around mentioned that Newt's was the only place in Rochester mentioned in Minnesota Magazines best burgers in the state and has been the locals favorite burger basically since it opened in 1980. Its a bar/restaurant housed on the 2nd level of a building complex, you walk thru the outdoor dining area of another restaurant and into the back and then up some stairs and into Newt's. I really liked the place upon my entry, it was dimly lit and had groups of people throughout at the tables that were out enjoying the start of the weekend and it had a really nice vibe inside. They had tables with stools and a nice bar section which is where we sat to take a look at the menu.
My view from the bar
The burger in itself was enough to get me there but then when my friend with me read off her iPhone that they make everything fresh including freshly ground on site beef, an everchanging selection of homemade soups, fresh baked breads and everything fried is hand dipped including the mozzarella stix, chicken sandwich and fish and chips and I was really sold. Along with all that they have a nice tap beer list and a really chill and funny bartender, my type of place. We started off with a small order of the mozzarella sticks, something I usually never get since they're all the same. These were the best I have had and although that's not saying much since they're almost always frozen, I would eat mozz stix more often if they were all fresh cut and hand battered like these. Good stuff indeed.
Hand dipped mozzarella sticks from Newt's
Next up was the burger. They had a nice selection of different options and I had my eye on the 'Todd' Burger which came with bacon and two fried eggs. So then after asking what was the most popular burger and the bartender telling me it was the Todd, that's what I got. Remember the beef is ground fresh, the burger is hand patted and cooked to your request, meaning it's a nice size and it goes on a fresh homemade bun which is buttered and then grilled. I was very excited when the burger came out and brought a wonderful aroma along with it.
Todd Burger (double bacon, double egg and choice of cheese) from Newt's
In the end this was a fantastic bar burger with the beef and bun being top notch and then the bacon was cooked to a perfect crispness. I saw quite a few reviews about how the service was bad and burgers overrated but not on my visit. So if your ever in the area and want a burger and beer this is most definitely your spot if they give you what I got. Rochester was just a stopover on our way back but I really enjoyed the place. Please do stay tuned as June is travel month here at S'C'&C and the entire trip that took us thru six states and a whole bunch of roadfood regional eats and a few other ideas for some fun this summer can be seen then.
216 1/2 1st Ave SW
Rochester, MN 55902