MOORHEAD - With summer winding down and classes beginning, school spirit in the Fargo-Moorhead community is alive and well.
With Concordia College and North Dakota State University classes starting last week, and Minnesota State University Moorhead today, local college bars are gearing up to feed thousands of hungry students.
Here are three burgers that pay homage to the local universities, and no college ID is required.
The Red Dragon
J.C. Chumley's, 1608 Main Ave., Moorhead, is noted for being the "MSUM Bar." From regularly hosting "Study Night" for the Dragons on the eve of the college's study day to celebrate the end of another semester, to catering sporting events like MSUM track meets, Chumley's gives the Dragons a home-away-from-home, while feeding their hungry bellies.
In honor of their close ties with MSUM, the folks at J.C. Chumley's have created a special welcome back burger of the month for their fire-breathing friends.
The Red Dragon features a glazed buttered bun with a cajun-seasoned, fresh ⅓-pound charbroiled burger on a bed of crisp lettuce and homemade pico de gallo.
The Cobber Royale
Less than a mile away, Mick's Office, 10 8th St. S., Moorhead, is serving up burgers sure to make any Cobber smile from ear to ear.
Megan Anderson, marketing director for Mick's Office, says the bar is rich in tradition.
"Mick's is such a legendary bar and is very strong in tradition, especially with Concordia," Anderson says. "Alumni and college kids all know who Mick's Office is and what it's all about."
And what Mick's is all about is serving food, drinks and memories to all - not just Cobbers. They've created burgers for each of the three area colleges (Concordia, MSUM and NDSU) in honor of homecoming, and, in true homecoming tradition, have even come up with a friendly competition among them.
"One week it is Cobber (homecoming), one week Dragons and one week Bison," Anderson says. "However many we sell - Cobber Classics, Fiery Dragons or Bison Burgers - whichever sells the most, the next week the college kids from the specific campus that wins get a ceiling tile to sign."
A coveted ceiling tile is prime real-estate for any Mick's Office-goer. And with only a few open ones left, they go for a hefty price.
Opening the 2018-2019 college-school-year burger of the week will honor the college that calls Mick's home: Concordia. The Cobber Royale features a fresh burger patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and Mick's signature creation: awesome sauce.
"When we first came up with the recipe for awesome sauce, we attributed it to Concordia because every item that went into it were the colors of Concordia," Anderson says. "It just made sense - the Cobber Royale."
Frisco-Style Herd Burger
Over the river, on the north end of Bison territory, Labby's Bar and Grill, 1100 19th Ave. N., Fargo, is a family-friendly establishment offering up burgers, wraps, sandwiches, drinks and more.
With its close proximity to the Fargodome, the bar offers a convenient place for concert-goers and fans alike.
"I think that with the proximity to the Fargodome, if (fans) are going to to the game and don't have tickets, where are they going to go?" says Al Honzay, manager at Labby's. "They come over here and have a good time. This place is night and day difference from regular day-to-day stuff to Bison games. It's fun."
In honor of the NDSU's successful football legacy, Labby's rolled out it's Frisco-style Herd Burger, featuring a burger patty with its home-smoked, home-roasted brisket and pepper jack cheese on Texas toast with a choice of chipotle barbeque sauce and chipotle aioli sauces. Add a side of spicy coleslaw and six onion rings - "For the six rings the Bison have won the past several years," and the burger is ready for game day.
"There aren't many barbeque places up here on the north side," Honzay says. "So we are getting the Texas-style burger with the brisket and coleslaw. Hopefully, if Klieman and the boys do well, we can get down to Frisco again this year, get three more games for all the fans to enjoy, and hopefully get another ring."
Or onion ring.