Juicy Lucy’s first week

Rich Orris

Juicy Lucy's Burger Bar and Grill on Hendersonville Road opened on July 23 and Xpress stopped the next day to try it out. If you haven't heard the legend of Juicy Lucy, it's a not-so-delicate Minnesota delicacy consisting of a hefty portion of cheese stuffed in a burger. Imagine a chocolate lava cake made out of beef and cheese. It's not exactly kosher, and definitely not for vegetarians, but it's been a Midwestern specialty since the '50s.

Asheville's Juicy Lucy is locally owned by an independent restaurant group that also owns Cornerstone Restaurant and Stone Ridge Tavern. Juicy Lucy's, which has taken over the former Provence 620 location, boasts a pretty creative menu.

Selections include a spicy buffalo sauce burger with crumbled blue cheese and celery; a Loco Lucy burger with jalapeños, pimento cheese and bacon; and a burger topped with grilled pineapple, ham and teriyaki sauce.

If you're hoping that these burgers will be stuffed with gooey cheese (as the name suggests), you may be disappointed. Only one burger per month is cheese-stuffed; the rest have the cheese on top. This month's stuffed burger is the Classic Carolina Juicy Lucy, which is filled with American cheese and topped with chili, slaw, lettuce, tomato and onion for $10.95.

Juicy Lucy has a diverse menu of shakes as well. Highlights include sea-salt caramel, Firefly sweet tea vodka and a Guinness stout float. The shakes are served in plastic take-out cups with skinny straws (no metal cups or big tubes here). A spoon was not provided, and despite efforts to flag down a waitress, my companions and I slurped our shakes bottoms up. There were quite a few shake-covered chins. This was funny among a group of friends, but definitely not a good first-date drink.

The highlight of the evening was the fried food. The fried green beans were fresh and crunchy and the onion rings were the size of a small child's head. The sweet potato fries were perfectly soft in the middle with just the right amount of crisp.

Despite some service snafus (it was the second night open, after all), Juicy Lucy's is a good place to bring friends for a burger, some fried food and an alcoholic shake. But remember to order the special if you want your burger stuffed with cheese. And you may want to BYO spoon, just to be safe.

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