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Post Bulletin, July 24, 2009


The folks at Creative Cuisine Company have reinvented themselves again — this time taking an existing concept and modifying its delivery to reach the high-volume, in-a-hurry lunch crowd in the middle of Mayo Clinic’s downtown campus. Now at Newt’s Express, you can have an authentic Newt’s burger even if you only have 30 minutes for lunch.


“A key focus for Newt’s Express is that it is always fast," says Denise Villeneuve with Creative Cuisine. “It takes most people one to two minutes to get from the cash register to picking up their burger."


Walking into the skyway location (between the U.S. Bank Building and University Square), you’d swear you were just a couple blocks over, in the historic building that houses Newt’s and City Cafe. Making use of the brick-and-wood ambiance built in to its setting in the historic Oddfellows building, you’ll also find the same heavy tables and glass light fixtures as the original.


Walk up to the counter and order off the simple menu on the wall: hamburger, cheeseburger or cheeseburger with bacon. Extra toppings are free, and you can order chips, a cookie or pop for $1 each. Pay, then get your color-coded poker chip. Bring it to the guys at the grill, drop it in the appropriate cup to signal your order, and wait just a few minutes for a hot, fresh-off-the-grill, half-pound burger for around $5.


To add a punch of variety to its short-and-sweet selection, Newt’s Express also “borrows" one specialty burger from its big brother for a weekly feature.


“You’ll see the Marvin Burger in rotation frequently," Villeneuve says. They’ve also been talking about the Todd Burger, which has a fried egg, bacon and cheese on it, and the ’Shroom Burger with Swiss cheese and mushrooms.


I went in for an early lunch break this week to check it out. Of course I had to order the weekly special, which was the Marvin Burger. This creation combines the Newt’s beef patty with American cheese, bacon and spicy chipotle mayo. It has just enough spice, and paired with a juicy, medium-thick burger and crispy bacon, I have to admit I almost downed the whole thing before I knew it.


Newt’s Express is open weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is set up to accommodate larger orders for office meetings or parties.