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Food review: Anchor Bar and Grill's Anchor Burger

The burger boasts two-thirds of a pound of quality, juicy beef. After a second to plan my route, I dug in.

anchor bar anchor burger.jpg
The Anchor Bar and Grill menu features this beefy creation called the Anchor Burger. It has two-thirds of a pound of meat, with tomato, cheese, lettuce and onion (upon request).
Melinda Lavine / Duluth News Tribune

SUPERIOR — Sitting at the Anchor Bar and Grill , random memorabilia adorns every nook and cranny: globes, model ships, a deflated life jacket, and is that a prosthetic leg hanging from the ceiling?

A simplified menu oozes with character in its descriptions: "Lots of S & M"; "Not blueberries, liver and truffles"; and "You are still in Wisconsin."

Anchor Bar and Grill
Patrons enter and leave the Anchor Bar and Grill on July 1, 2010. Food Network was filming a segment for "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram

During my visit, I ordered the bar and grill's namesake, the Anchor Burger. Not as intense as the Gally Buster at 1 pound, this here boasts two-thirds of a pound of meat.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Adam Anderson, owner

When it arrived, the open-faced burger’s largess was fully on display with thick slabs of melted American cheese. I placed the tomato and lettuce on my requested cooked onions, and after a second to plan my route, I dug in.

The Anchor Burger boasts two large slabs of quality, juicy beef. The bun is an ample frame for this beast, fresh, squishy and strong enough to hold without disintegrating.

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melinda lavine at anchor bar and grill food review.jpg
The Anchor Bar and Grill in Superior oozes character and local flair. And, it's cash-only, friends, so be prepared.
Melinda Lavine / Duluth News Tribune

My side of fresh-to-order fries was crunchy perfection on the outside, scrumptious on the inside.

I reached my fill before the burger’s end, and the only change I’d pitch would be to add more tomato and lettuce to even the ratio.

The Anchor Bar has been open for 45 years, and they started serving food in the 1980s.

“We’re fortunate to have a little bit of a niche. We put out a good product for a good price,” said owner Adam Anderson.

The Anchor was featured in a 2011 episode of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” They still get referrals from the show’s replays.

Although Food Network already featured several restaurants it filmed in the Northland in 2010, some folks at the Anchor Bar and Grill said the show saved the best for last.

"It's like “a nationwide commercial for free,” Anderson said.

At the Anchor, ingredients are delivered daily, including beef from Stokke’s Meat Market in Duluth and buns from A Dozen Excuses in Superior.

Anchor Bar
Adam Anderson (foreground), co-owner of the Anchor Bar and Grill, watches Food Network star Guy Fieri talk about the Superior burger joint on an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on Jan. 31, 2011.
Lisa Baumann / File / Duluth News Tribune

Their top sellers are the Basic Cheeseburger and the Bacon Burger. Coming in close behind are the Cashew Burger and the Olive Burger, said Anderson. More people like to challenge themselves with the Gally Buster, Anderson said.

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His favorite right now is the Hawaiian Burger (that comes with a pineapple slice and Swiss cheese), to which he adds jalapeno cream cheese for a combo of spicy and sweet.

In the past 35 years, they’ve only added a couple menu items and a few modest kitchen updates, like upgrading two fryers and two grills. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Anderson said.

more by melinda lavine

Melinda Lavine is an award-winning, multidisciplinary journalist with 16 years professional experience. She joined the Duluth News Tribune in 2014, and today, she writes about the heartbeat of our community: the people.

Melinda grew up in central North Dakota, a first-generation American and the daughter of a military dad.

She earned bachelors degrees in English and Communications from the University of North Dakota in 2006, and started her career at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald that summer. She helped launch the Herald's features section, as the editor, before moving north to do the same at the DNT.

Contact her: 218-723-5346, mlavine@duluthnews.com.
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