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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Best Burger of My Life & Trying Serve

I'm taking a minor break from Christmas cookie posting to tell you about another brief getaway Ryan and I had. I wouldn't call Minnesota in December a vacation, but we found ourselves in the Twin Cities to visit my brother Quinn, so I sucked it up (or rather, bundled up) for the weekend and endured the cold temperatures.

We ended up having a rather fantastic weekend full of quality time with the brother and some seriously good food! Thanks to Taylor and Madison, we knew just where to go. Friday night we stuffed ourselves with Punch Pizza, Neapolitan pizza baked in a wood-burning oven. I failed to take any pictures, but if you find yourself in MN, I recommend giving Punch a try!
Saturday, however, beat out Friday night's meal when we found ourselves in the very tiny and very crowded Blue Door Pub. Known for their "Juicy Blucy" burgers, we almost walked out, too impatient to wait 45 minutes to sit. The smell of the burgers around us and the sheer madness inside the restaurant convinced us it'd be worth the wait and we stuck it out.
The verdict? Best burger of my life, best burger of Ryan's life, best burger of my brother Quinn's life, and best burger of Jay's life. I didn't think anything could beat the burgers at Burger Up in Nashville, but I have seen the light. Though I love and appreciate a good burger from time to time, they are Quinn's very favorite food, not counting ice cream. The boy has had more than his fair share of burgers and for him to call this the best is really saying something!

Lest you think this is just a regular hamburger, let me set you straight. These are the biggest, juiciest burgesr I've ever seen. Even better, they have some fantastic flavor combinations. Mine, for instance, featured coconut milk-soaked mozzarella stuffed inside the burger topped with pickled vegetables and a curry sauce. Ryan's, the winner of the night in my opinion, included bacon, blue cheese, and currant jelly. Check out the menu if you want to really drool.
Also incredible? Their fries, tator tots, and, best of all, beer-battered green beans...my attempt to get A vegetable in my meal that night :)

We cleared our plates and then headed to Izzy's Ice Cream because stuffed as we were, my brother convinced us there is a separate stomach with room for ice cream...and when have I ever turned down ice cream?! Turns out our gluttony was worth it, as this ice cream was the real deal--creamy and fatty and perfect. My favorite feature was their "Izzy" scoop, a mini scoop in addition to your regular scoop...a brilliant idea since I'm usually forced to get 2 large scoops in an attempt to enjoy as many creative flavors as possible!
The trip actually fell at the perfect time...Foodbuzz paired with American Express and offered me the chance to try out their new Serve system, which allows for a new method of payment. You set up an account, connect it to a bank account, and it allows you to easily transfer money from one person to the other. The idea is that you can easily pay back your friends by wirelessly transferring money to them, instead of dealing with split checks or cash in the restaurant.

Because my brother is still a poor college student, something I remember all too well, Ryan and I wanted to spend the weekend treating him and his friends. Rather than having him set up a Serve account (pretty sure he doesn't have enough money in his bank account to cover all of us for meals!), Ryan instead set up one so that we could test out the software and how it works. I personally loved the app and hope that it catches on--it would make it so much easier to pay back or receive payment from friends. We often go out to eat with others and are always asking the server to split the check...Serve allows one person to pay the full bill and has calculators to determine who owes what, which can then be sent to the payer by logging into the Serve app or the Serve website. Setting it up was simple and using it was even easier...if we can get our friends on board with using Serve I think it will be widely used by Ryan and me!

I think you should try Serve too! Thanks to Foodbuzz and American Express, you have a chance to...read below for details and a chance to win $100...then I recommend getting yourself to MN for a Juicy Blucy!

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a $250 stipend to try Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use.  Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found here: http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/4622317-win-serve-dollars-giveaway-official-rules

One Year Ago: Green Tea Sugar Cookies