35 years ago, the Green Mill, ensconced in St. Paul’s oldest, licensed bar, a tiny hole on Hamline Avenue in St. Paul, was the “go-to” place for fancy pizza in the Twin Cities. A variation of Chicago deep dish, the pie was known for its quality ingredients, and for taking (by those day’s standards) too damned long to bake, at least if you were like me, and sneaking out on your lunch break from your job at a Twin Cities tv station. A few years later, “Green Mill Too”, was spawned on S. Hennepin in Minneapolis, which was larger, fancier, and had a full menu in addition to their extraordinary pizzas ( at that time, I had not developed my snobbish preference to thin crust pies).
I seem to recall we had a group dinner there prior to my first wedding. Today, Green Mills are spread across half a dozen states in the Upper Midwest, including an outlet in Canal Park, the tourist sector of Duluth, Minnesota.
And that’s where Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia when in pursuit of his quest to find Minnesota’s best pepper cheeseburger. The usual local version of this is a ground beef patty, breaded, deep-fried, with pepper cheese adorning the top. Pepper cheese, in this instance, is usually a mild soft Monterrey Jack with flecks of various peppers inside. Some variations can be found using specific peppers (i.e. Habanero Pepper Jack, et al).
The usual version of the pepper cheese burger does not appear on the Green Mill menu, however, they offer a wide variety of choices via their “build your own burger” selection. One could, for example, should they be so inclined, have a black Angus on a ciabatta with chipotle and buffalo sauce, goat, feta, and blue cheese, onion rings, black olives, and adorned with another meat, like pulled pork and buffalo shrimp. Hey, I’m just saying.
Kawikamedia reported the burger to be up to his standards, and it came with tasty waffle fries. He did not mention whether it was a contender for “best of the best” however. And he would have, if it were.
The complete Green Mill menu and locations can be found online, and Green Mill pizzas can be found in the frozen foods sections of many Upper Midwest groceries (pictured above).