Dining

Inside Job

The Juicy Lucy at Dusek's is our new favorite burger

It's time to give a high five to Minnesota. A fist bump to Michigan.

Why? For cheese-stuffed burgers, like the Juicy Lucy at Dusek's Board and Beer ($14). The gushy burgers are common in those upper Midwest states, but not often seen in Chicago.

The versions Dusek's chef Jared Wentworth had tried before were, well, terrible. "They are typically overcooked, and the cheese is maybe going to stay in, maybe not," Wentworth laments. When he tried to make his own, he found "it's really, really hard to get right."

Take the stuffing: A Juicy Lucy is usually made with processed American cheese, which has a low melting point and results in a gooey interior without turning the burger into a charcoal brick--a discovery Wentworth made when he tried using another cheese and got a big old mess.

He turned to science to solve the problem, creating a variation on Mornay sauce using cheddar, adding calcium citrate to lower the melting point.

Now he makes the burgers with two super-thin patties of Slagel Farm beef, adding the cheese in the middle and "crimping it together like a ravioli." Even after all of this effort, he estimates the success rate of the filling staying inside is only about 85 percent.

Diners are blissfully unaware of the Juicy Lucy's issues. All they get is a mouthful of warm, delicious cheese sauce in the middle of their red onion and bacon marmalade-topped burger. Oh, and a side of duck fat fries.

Perfection.

Dusek's Board & Beer 1227 W. 18th ST. Chicago IL 60608

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