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Obama visit grills up Minnesota Juicy Lucy debate

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President Barack Obama's widely publicized lunch Thursday at a Minneapolis bar and grill fanned the flames of long-running debates: Who makes the best Juicy Lucy – and who made the original?

Over the years, the Minnesota delicacy – a hamburger with cheese melted inside the meat patty – has become a popular item on restaurant menus and at backyard barbecues.

But who made it first? That question has long burned, with two Minneapolis institutions claiming credit: Matt's Bar (they spell it Jucy Lucy) and the 5-8 Club. So when the president touched down in Air Force One and then promptly ducked into Matt's, Lucy lovers feasted on the news in social media.

The 5-8 Club extended an invitation to the president to try their burger.

Many people took to Twitter to share their stance on the debate.

The Star Tribune launched an informal poll asking readers which restaurant they preferred. Through Friday morning, Matt's Bar was in the lead with 47 percent of the votes, followed by 5-8 Club with 29 percent. Blue Door Pub and "My backyard grill" are tied with 12 percent.

The White House pool reporter described Matt’s Bar as, “small and crowded, even without the addition of POTUS and the pool... The smell of grease hung in the air — in a delicious way," WCCO reported.

Obama himself said Matt's Lucy was a "great burger," Associated Press White House reporter Josh Lederman tweeted.

The president ate lunch with Rebekah Erler, a 36-year accountant and mom who wrote to him in March about her middle-class struggles, before leading a town hall meeting at Minnehaha Falls on Thursday.

The Juicy Lucy earlier this year landed on a top 10 list of "most influential" burgers. Matt's Lucy last year landed on a top 10 list of non-traditional burgers.

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