Ever try an elk burger? Is elk lean?

My quest to find lean meat options brought me to the Twin Cities one recent weekend and a restaurant my daughter-in-law and son recommended that serves something called a Game Burger.

The Game Burger at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul is a mixture of bison and elk, two red meats known to be leaner than most beef cuts. I had eaten deer sausage at the Berghof in Chicago years ago and not liked the taste or smell. Elk and red deer are the same species and what restaurants sell as elk is often farm raised red deer, I later discovered. But I was willing to try a blend, hoping it would satisfy my taste for a juicy burger on a Saturday night.

MY Game Burger. Tasty and, hopefully, leaner than beef.
MY Game Burger. Tasty and, hopefully, leaner than beef.

The good news is it did. I enjoyed the game burger immensely. I had it done rare, as I would do for a regular burger, and had the accompanying sauce on the side. I did get caramelized onions on top, which added to the flavor. I also asked it be cooked without any added salt, something I’d forgotten to do the night before at another St. Paul restaurant to my chagrin.

My diet app LoseIt! has elk listed as having only 2.2 grams of fat per four ounces. Other sources I’ve found since it list much higher, though, so I’m guessing the cut of the animal matters in elk as it does with beef and even chicken when it comes to fat content. LoseIt! lists various fat content for different cuts of bison as well, so I’m not sure if my Game Burger had less fat than a regular beef burger would, but I am sure I enjoyed it. I can only hope it was lower in fat.

Happy Gnome on Urbanspoon


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