Editor’s note: Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Trax Burgers and Bar is temporarily closed.
There’s a new burger-and-shakes opera- tion in town, but never fear: It won’t put White Castle out of business. In fact, you could probably dine at the Castle for an entire week for the cost of a single patty here. Surgeons ought to be on call to provide the arm and a leg your tab may cost you; yet still patrons will flood the street, pleading for a table, because of that real estate requisite — location, location, location.
Trax Burgers and Bar is situated aside the Target Field light-rail station, serving the ball- park behind it and the new Fillmore music hall next door. It’s a cozy, 80-seater done in warming copper hues and clad with oriental-style rugs, sporting a compact menu orchestrated by long-time Twin Cities chef David Fhima (currently operating Fhima’s Minneapolis).
That’s probably why you may not find the proverbial ballpark hot dog on the food list, but you will discover bone marrow — one of the few kitchens in the entire state to feature that foodie-forward delicacy, $14, on the app list (mostly $10-$16). New Yorkers will know the drill. A primer for flyover land: A roasted shank bone is split to uncover a trickle of creamy, rich, ivory marrow to spoon onto toasts (three puny slices provided here). Deco- rate it, if you like, with a spot of highly flavored, crunchy bacon jam and a sweet-sour spritz of broiled Meyer lemon. Gives you braggin’ rights at the water cooler tomorrow.
Or order ghost wings, chicken meatballs or a Scotch egg. That single, sausage-coated egg, a typical bar snack in the British Isles, will run you a sticker-shocking $10 here.
Never mind. It’s the burgers that will fly off the griddle, leading off with the best of the bunch, the Wagyu Marrow number at (ouch) $18. It showcases a tasty blend of brisket and ribeye topped with Gruyere, sweet-tingly strands of pickled onions, a swipe of cheesy Mornay sauce, a slim trickle of bone marrow, bits of Nueske’s bacon-onion jam and a hint of truffle aioli — all piled onto a generic bun and abetted by a handful of house-made chips. Yes, it was cooked properly and properly delicious.
The Chili Grind burger ($13; others $12-$18) features, this time, a brisket/short rib blend visited by cheddar, bits of Anaheim chili, a scoop of interesting anti-tomato-sweet chili and a bacon aioli. Another best-seller, according to our accommodating server, is the Drunk Chicken sandwich, which provided a thick, ideally juicy slab of crunch-coated white meat accompanied by bourbon butter, wispy strands of sweet coleslaw and also-sweet-and- crispy bread-and-butter pickles. These compositions exhibit Fhima’s magic touch, offered in too-fleeting hints, however, rather than full-frontal displays of flavor.
A Caesar salad runs $14 but is yours for $5 if ordered in tandem with, say, a burger. And it’s a work of art. A fan of gem lettuce, leaves still attached to its core, lounges atop a plate dressed in a light, filmy, IPA-spiked Caesar dressing, studded with sturdy, dice-size, garlic- enhanced croutons, a lively lemon zest and flutter of Parm, anchovy optional. It’s a bit ungainly but decidedly gorgeous and generous enough to share.
We also shared a Brussels sprouts composition that’s a real winner: a heap of robust nuggets tossed with a sweet and vinegary mustard sauce, snowy flakes of brown butter powder and — the winning trick — a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Other sides to consider include fries, mac and cheese, tempura cauli- flower, tomato bisque and more, $5-$14.
Desserts? Choose between two ice cream- based flamboyances, $8. Or follow our example and split one of the quartet of shakes on offer. Best of the bunch: the All Grown Up, spot- lighting Woodford Reserve Bourbon, pecan praline, maple syrup, Ghirardelli caramel and whipped cream, $12. Nice local beer list, too.