Hometown originals

Juicy Lucy, Holly Cow and the Sound of Silence

With beautiful cityscapes, friendly people, delicious local cuisine, and attractions around every corner, Minneapolis, Minnesota is often one of the most underestimated tourist destinations in the US. The city also holds some intriguing pieces of history and hidden mysteries as well.

While Juicy Lucy burgers are now commonly found in New York, Mexico, California, and many other places around the world, Minnesota locals just outside South Minneapolis will argue that there is no burger like the original. Then again, Sports announcing legend Halsey Hall happened to created one of the most famous Minnesotan expressions and changed live radio- forever. And if you like peace and quiet, the Microsoft Anechoic Chamber is one of the quietest places on earth. It’s all here- from a tasty local dish, to a famous expression and one place on earth where you can feel the hush, Minneapolis has many surprises up its sleeve.

A Very Tasty Hamburger

Juicy Lucy BurgerFeatured on several food networks and the spotlight of eating challenges such as Man vs Food, Minneapolis holds the rights for the famous Juicy-Lucy burger innovation. The exact origin of the Juicy Lucy is unknown since two different bars have been battling over that claim since the 1950’s. Some may say that competition is a good thing despite who made it first, so for both locations it may be good business either way. For the Matt’s Bar owner: Tony Stanton is currently one of the cooks who flips over 400 Jucy Lucy burgers every day. The name is even spelled different but luckily there are other variation choices to order. However, only a short way down the road, the 5-8 Club also serves a Juicy Lucy and several patrons swear that this is the original place where the Juicy Lucy burger was born.

The story at Matt’s Bar is pretty convincing however the fact that a hole-in-the-wall pub with a small grill stuffed behind the bar is responsible for this invention cannot be denied totally. The 5-8 Club is obviously a larger diner that offers a visually stunning burger but has suffered the wrath of critique over the years. As the recipe goes: A half pound of locally grown ground beef with basic salt and pepper for seasoning, has a simple chunk of cheddar cheese stuffed into the middle of the patty and is grilled to quick sealing the cheese inside. It’s then served on a simple bun with pickles and optional fried onions on top. The result is quite shocking as the cheese and meat cook together- creating a very juicy effect that has often left folks with slightly burned fingers and lips if not careful. Thus the Juicy Lucy legend itself, but don’t take our word for it- you will ultimately find your own favorite when you go to either Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club to try those claim-to-fame Lucy’s yourself.

A Famous Expression

Holy Cow!Mention the name Halsey Hall in Minneapolis and everyone knows who you’re talking. One of the most famous sports reporters and announcers in Minneapolis, Halsey Hall is the son of Smith B. Hall, a turn-of-the-century reporter and publicist and May Hall, an early silent film actress. By the time Halsey had entered the journalism world, no one knew he would eventually change the face of radio and the tradition introduced to other announcers around the United States. Hall became well-known during his announcements for being one of the most colorful (during his time), and is arguably known as the first announcer to say, “Holy Cow!’ over live radio at a time when a well-known explicit street slang expression was obviously something you can’t say on-the-air. While there are others claim the right of being the first to use this expression, sports historians have ultimately traced the origin back to Hall. Minnesotans can often be heard using the phrase frequently, carrying on a Halsey tradition. On a side note- Hall’s great-uncle Harlan P. Hall co-founded the St. Paul Pioneer Press in which Harlan was employed. The expression has been used by this publication on many occasions whether it referred to a home run or not.

A Super Soundproof Chamber... Say What?

Minneapolis may have taken the saying, “Silence is Golden" to an extreme. Located in southern Minneapolis is the world’s quietest, super soundproof chamber owned by Steve Orfield of Orfield Labs, and dubbed the Anechoic Chamber. It was previously used in the same building that houses the recording studio who recorded famous singers including Bob Dylan and Prince. Receiving the title of World’s Quietest Room by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2015, it is currently used to test hearing devices and aids and measures at nearly -9 decibels. The Lab is open to visit for tours twice a week for schools and personal visits but unfortunately, if you are looking to enjoy peace and quiet in this room, you may be sorely disappointed. Because of its super quiet nature, the room naturally amplifies any sound that is created to the point where people have often claimed to hallucinate or hear their own heart beating to a point where they cannot stand to be in in the room. The room has proven to be useful a therapy tool for the autistic and also post-tramatic stress disorder patients. There is even a similar room that NASA created to test headset volume since sound in these environments mimic the very same properties of a sound vacuum since everyone knows: ‘ In space no one can hear you scream’…