1190 16th St. SW, 507-424-0080
What they say about themselves: “Hot Chip is a ’90s-themed burger bar, and it’s got kind of a grungy, hip atmosphere,” says chef Justin Schoville (you may know him from Porch and Cellar). “The music is louder. The burgers are based off of kind of a greasy, diner-style burger.”
Call Me The Dude. Hot Chip’s burger names each have a story behind them. Or a pop culture reference. Usually both. Think Big Lebowski elements, like mushrooms and smoke in the burger named for The Dude, or sushi-grade tuna, fried nori (seaweed), pickled ginger, and a soy glaze on the Superbad-inspired Hawaiian Organ Donor. Feeling adventurous? Try the Chef Burger, which changes every month or two (recently, it was Dat Haas, which put deep-friend avocados and bacon mayo on top of the usual grass-fed beef burger). And wear your schlubbiest duds if you plan to order the Mess My Sh#rt up (with Fritos, chili, and onion). “It’s Texas-style, it’s basically a walking taco, so it’s gonna get messy,” Schoville says.
Keep it classic. The first option on the menu, The Classic, is your best bet as a newcomer, Schoville says. “It’s just introductory, a simplistic burger in what’s on it, but the technique behind it is what makes it more unique.” Looking for something off-the-wall? Check out that Chef Burger or the Gang Lamb Style with mint, Persian feta, and kimchi sauce. And the shakes are “phenomenal” to end with. Try the classic chocolate or an “adult” shake (their top-seller is the Banana Hammock with spiced rum, angostura, and banana liqueur).
The Pickleback… is back. Porch-goers will recognize a box on the menu, advertising a shot of Jameson, followed by a shot of pickle juice. Picklebacks are a popular, gimmicky drink among the Brooklyn, NY hipster crowd, Schoville said, and they sell well at Porch. At Hot Chip, the rebranded “Chip’s Shots” are only medium-popular. Still, the restaurant’s practice of serving pickles with every burger demands they offer them anyway. “We just kind of have a lot of pickle juice because we go through at least three or four entire five-gallon pickle buckets a week at Hot Chip,” he says. “So we have all that juice left over, and it’s kind of semi-sweet and it’s not overly vinegarized. It just matches what our theme is—it’s a two-dollar shot and here’s the pickle juice—try it and see if you like it.”