This week’s burger blog led Brooke and guest burger critic, Brady, to the yummy burgers at Ummie’s Restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota.
Earlier this week, I had the great priviledge to attend the Young Leaders in Agriculture Conference in Brandon, South Dakota with young people like myself who share a passion for agriculture. We kept busy networking, attending workshops (including a fantastic presentation from Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine blogger and South Dakota beef producer) and gaining firsthand experiences on industry tours.
In between all these activities, I took the opportunity to consult some of my beef-lovin’ ag friends for great burger stops on my way back to the Twin Cities. Their suggestions landed myself and my guest burger critic/boyfriend/carpool buddy/fellow conference attendee Brady at Ummie’s in Mankato, Minnesota!
Located in the heart of Mankato, we found Ummie’s with a sign proudly sporting the words “Burgers, Sports, Cheers”. It was good to see they had their priorities in order. (Get it? They listed burgers first…)
The inside of the restaurant features brick walls, a multitude of TV’s, tables with tall, black chairs and exudes classic Midwest sports bar vibes. However, we chose to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the sunshine. It was a beautiful summer day, and we had been in a conference room for the last three days!
Now folks, I’m warning you – arrive early if you’re bringing the indecisive friend along. Ummie’s offers 20 BURGER OPTIONS. That’s right, I said twenty. (Now I’m beginning to think that these ag kids really do know a thing or two about finding a good burger joint…)
Hidden behind catchy names like Popeye, Herman the German, the Cowboy and the Itallion Stallion, is a menu with a burger for everyone. Toppings on these twenty creative burger options include, but certainly aren’t limited to: BBQ ranch sauce, apple cider bacon, sautéed mushrooms, green and black olives, peanut butter (I’m told it’s delicious on burgers), Cajun seasoning, pizza sauce, avocado, nacho cheese, fiesta poppers… you get the idea. Ummie’s also offers a Sirloin Steak Dinner and Philly sandwich. You’ve got some beefy options here, people.
Brady ordered the UMMIE’S Burger, an Ummie’s specialty with two beef patties, BBQ ranch sauce, apple cider bacon, and both Swiss and American cheeses. Just look at that thing.
I chose the Italian Stallion Burger. This wonderful creation consisted of the beef patty, Ummie’s signature pizza sauce, pepperoni slices, cheese curds and melted Swiss cheese. (I’m still not sure if I chose this because of the cool name or the cheese curds calling to my Wisconsin roots, but hey, I couldn’t go wrong here.)
Oh, did I mention that each hamburger patty is a HALF POUND? These burgers meant business.
Because fries are too mainstream, I chose tater tots with my burger, and Brady chose chips. Ummie’s serves their chips with a magnificent chip dip made in house. We asked our server what was in this glorious concoction and learned that it consists of cream cheese, ketchup and a house blend of spices.
<<< It’s all in the details.
After a bit of a wait, we got our food and took the ever-so-important first bites.
The Italion Stallion burger was a unique and delicious change of pace from a traditional burger. The pizza sauce combined with just the right amount of cheese curds and pepperoni provided adequate Italian flavor – but not enough to overpower the fantastic half-pound beef patty. I appreciated that the bun didn’t undermine any of the burger’s contents but had a somewhat sweet flavor and almost chewy texture. Also, the tots were a fun side instead of fries!
Brady’s thoughts:[SIDE NOTE] In case you forgot, the UMMIE’S burger he ordered had, not one – but two – of these half pound patties. Halfway through his burger, I asked him for an update and this is what I got: “Ooof, this is a lot of beef.” <<< Pretty insightful for his first burger blog appearance, right?
But actually, he said, “the BBQ ranch sauce and apple cider bacon were awesome,” and he appreciated the smaller size of the bun. Otherwise it would have been too big to take a bite of the whole burger at once! The chips and dip made for a tasty complement to the burger.
All in all, we gave Ummie’s a 9/10. The many burger options, fun sides, great tastes and fun atmosphere made for a fantastic stop. If you’re ever in the Mankato area, don’t miss out on Ummie’s. You won’t be disappointed.
Also, I’d like to give a quick shoutout to Brady for being a great guest burger critic and also for eating an entire pound of beef because obviously there can be #nobeefleftbehind.
For a full menu and directions to Ummie’s, head to their website.
Until next time,