CLARKFIELD?-?Nothing is more quintessentially American cuisine than the hamburger, so when Trevor Suckow, owner of the Friendship Cafe in Clarkfield, was looking for something to draw people to his restaurant, his thoughts turned to burgers.
"I was sitting back and looking at our menu, seeing what sells," Suckow said, "and it was our burgers. I thought, 'What could I do no one else was doing?' So I asked the sales rep from our supplier what they had and he came up with a list of 101 burgers."
Suckow sat down with the representative from Apperts Food Service out of St. Cloud, and winnowed the list down to 20 burger varieties. Then Suckow started tweaking the recipes, substituting toast, English muffins, croissants, or tortilla shells for buns on some, and playing with various sauces.
Photo by Steve Browne
Trevor Suckow, owner of the Friendship Cafe in Clarkfield, recently poses in his restaurant, which includes 20 varieties of burgers, such as the Cowboy Burger, the Caesar Burger and the Classic German Burger.
The list starts with a set of fairly conventional combination of beef patties, cheese, and bacon, with pickle slices, tomatoes, and lettuce condiments in the Friendship and Clarkfield Burgers. The Cowboy Burger adds a western flavor with barbecue sauce. The Fried Egg Burger piles on the protein, and the Sticky Burger ventures into uncharted territory with a melted peanut butter sauce, served on the side for those who are curious but unsure.
The Caesar Burger introduces a garlic and ground black pepper sauce and adds avocado slices to the condiments. The Blue Moon Burger features blue cheese, the Worcestershire Burger uses mushrooms and onions cooked in the signature black sauce, and the Classic German Burger of course, uses sauerkraut as a condiment.
Suckow and his partners, his mother Jean and brother Adam, bought the restaurant at a location which had been closed for a few years, and will celebrate their three-year anniversary on June 18.
Chelsea Richter has worked at the cafe for about a year-and-a-half.
"The Sticky Burger is one of the top ones," Richter said, "and of course the Jalapeno Burger. With the Sticky Burger the peanut butter is on the side. So they might just try a bit, but some people load it on."
According to Richter, nowadays more people order off the burger menu than the regular menu.
Suckow said some of the burgers are definitely selling better than others.
"We may take the 'dogs' that aren't selling well off," Suckow said. "But heck, I've got 80 more to chose from."