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DeRusha Eats: Revival

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In a time when just about every new Twin Cities restaurant opened by a chef has a burger on the menu, one burger has been getting some of the strongest buzz.

And it's a burger at a fried chicken restaurant -- Revival.

"We like burgers," owner Nick Rancone said.

"We love burgers," chef and owner Thomas Boemer underscored.

Boemer and Rancone first teamed up to run the critically acclaimed restaurant Corner Table. They knew their second menu would have a burger.

"It's so fun. Because [the burgers are] on the plate and they're little. So people think, 'Oh, this isn't gonna hurt me,'" Boemer said. "Half way through they're just grabbing the table, starting to sweat a little bit."

"They usually swear," Rancone said.

Their burger has just meat, cheese, pickles and mayo. No fancy toppings. No flourish on top. Just a burger packed with flavor.

"It's like "going to the diner" style. Classic American, thin-patty on a cast-iron skillet or flat top, you press it down and get it crispy," Boemer said.

His team grinds the beef every morning, a blend of chuck flap and grass-fed brisket. It's 70 percent lean and 30 percent fat.

"This flat top is seasoned with bacon every morning," Boemer said.

This gives the beef just a little extra kick of flavor. It's also salted way more than you or I would salt our burgers at home.

"You have to season the meat. It's really important!" Boemer said.

Then each patty is smashed thin. Without the smashing, the burger gets steamed instead of crispy.

"That's where all the flavor is. With two patties, we get to double that," Boemer said.

Two patties, American cheese, topped with a small number of house-made bread and butter pickles.

"They have the sweetness and a little bit of crunch that kind of cuts [through the burger] just enough to balance it out," said Boemer.

"And the acid just to perk everything up," Rancone said.

The bun is three-and-a-half inches instead of a more standard four inch bun. It leaves the beef pouring over the sides.

"It's gotta squish. It has to hold the juice without falling apart. That's so important," Boemer said.

People love Revival's chicken, but the buzz over the burger even surprised these guys. Boemer said people come in with high expectations.

"They take that first bite, and then they just sit there and look at it," Boemer said.

Revival has created a burger just like the chef and owner wanted to eat.

"We would want to go out for lunch and have that, and we just couldn't find it," Boemer said.

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