By Rick Gion
It’s Mick’s Office vs. Vic’s Lounge for best beef over in spud town. How will these fierce competitors stack up, and which will come out on top?
Because it’s legendary, let’s start with Mick’s. On weekends, this college bar is home to many Concordia and Minnesota State University Moorhead students. I’d guess that the amount of burgers slung over the years at Mick’s would make for an interesting conversation in a college math class. At least one that I’d like to be in.
After placing an order for a bacon cheeseburger with the friendly folks at the counter, I closely watched the griddle as my burger was being cooked up. Mick’s has an open kitchen, which makes it fun to watch the items sizzling on the flat top. To me, it looks like Mick’s uses quarter-pound, pre-formed beef patties. I also noticed a vast arsenal of fresh toppings and sliced cheeses.
The Mick’s burger came out on a toasted bun, alongside some crispy tater tots. The bacon was thick and the addition of caramelized onions was a good decision. The pickles were good, too. I noticed that the burger was a little pink in the middle, which I prefer. I hate well-done beef in pretty much any capacity, even if it’s ground. Dry red meat should be a crime. This burger was cooked with care.
Now, let’s travel a few blocks west over to Vic’s in the Moorhead Center Mall. I think Vic’s could be considered a “Cheers” type drinking establishment. They’ve had various affordable burger specials over the years. However, they’re now getting much more serious about burger offerings. Just take a look at the menu. I would guess that it’s to compete with Mick’s and keep up with the current burger trends.
The kitchen at Vic’s is closed off to the public, so I couldn’t watch any sizzling action. When the bacon cheeseburger arrived, it was seated on a nicely toasted bun alongside a few onion rings. There could have been more rings, in my opinion. The burger was very good though. The patty was significantly larger than the Mick’s burger and was hand-pattied. That’s what I like. A good hamburger needs to be fresh and hand-pattied. It was also juicy and not dry.
Both burger baskets were around $9. In my opinion, Vic’s won for best beef. They make a good burger. However, Mick’s won for overall platter performance. I tried both the fries and tots at Mick’s and then the fries and onion rings at Vic’s. The fried items at Mick’s were better. Also, the burger toppings at Mick’s were of higher quality.
Both bars have a dark ambiance and probably could fit into the “dive bar” category. Mick’s has more of a college vibe, and Vic’s is more of a place for established regulars.Both are definitely unique to Moorhead’s bar scene.
Stay tuned for the next local food battle. There are plenty of food fights to pick in the area!
Rick Gion administers a Facebook group page called “Fargo-Moorhead Eats” that’s dedicated to the area’s great cooks and cuisine. Check it out, join, and feel free to post items about your local culinary adventures and home cooking.
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