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Burger Jones: Striving For Mediocrity


My favorite things about Burger Jones, as I published in my review, were the various Liberty Custard shakes, like the salted caramel milkshake, a scrumptious concoction. I am not the only person who thought so: The last time I was on Kare-11, the morning anchor, Belinda Jensen, was in such absolute agreement with my review (burgers blah, shakes amazing) that we ended up rhapsodizing about those Burger Jones/Liberty Custard shakes for a good 20 seconds. They were great! Yes, were. I was particularly disturbed to pick up the following comment off my review, from the owners of Liberty Custard:

“Thank you for the nice things you said about the shakes at Burger Jones made with our frozen custard. Burger Jones was our first wholesale account and we were exited about expanding our business and customer base. They had approached us in April and told us that they were looking for a local supplier of ice cream and thought that our product made the best shakes. They also told us that they had no problem with our price quote.

Fast forward to this morning. We received a call from the manager of Burger Jones telling us that they found an out-of-state supplier of ‘bulk frozen custard’ at a lower cost and would no longer be purchasing our product. He also said that the new product is ‘not nearly as good’ as our product, that the decision was cost driven, and that his ‘hands were tied.’….”

I called up Burger Jones to see if this could possibly be true – was Burger Jones really 86’ing the one thing on their menu they had aced? (86, in the verb form, by the way, is how restaurant people refer to taking something off a menu.) I spoke to the general manager at Burger Jones, who confirmed that in fact Liberty Custard has indeed been 86’d, but beyond that, “I’d rather not get into it.”

Well, I never.

I never saw a restaurant so dedicated to seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

On the up side… Eh. I was going to put something here about how people with blenders could get some take-out Liberty Custard, a jar of dulce de leche caramel and sea salt and make their own at home while saving money, but that’s not really much of an upside, is it? I guess on the up side, you can go to Liberty Custard. I went there a few weeks ago with my little ones and had a turtle sundae (wonderful), played real pinball, plugged the antique ride-in car with quarters and snapped about 100 out-of-focus pictures on my phone because I forgot to bring a real camera and it was a fiesta of adorable. If I hadn’t already eaten dinner, I’d have gotten a pulled pork sandwich made from meat that Liberty Custard brings in from the local cult barbecue spot across the street, Scott Ja-Mama’s.

Would have been a lot better than a meal at some restaurants I can think of.

Liberty Frozen Custard
5401 Nicollet Ave.,  Mpls.


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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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