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Dining Dubuque: Mining Company and Paul's Tavern

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For this week's installment of Dining Dubuque, we're taking a closer look at a couple of restaurants who many boast have the best burgers in town.

Dubuque Mining Company

The first restaurant we visit this week is the Dubuque Mining Company.

"Best burgers, best drinks," boasts owner Cindy Oliver.

She's been with the restaurant since 1979, buying it outright in the mind '80's.

There's mining gear on the walls of the restaurant--a nod to the mining history in Dubuque.

Oliver says the restaurant has been her life for the past few decades, and is especially proud of the kitchen--one that's pumped out nearly 2.5 million burgers since it opened.

"I'm very proud of that little kitchen. I designed it myself. And some days, we put out almost 450 meals out of that kitchen," Oliver said.

And there's no shortage of variety when it comes to having a burger your way.

They feature 16 types of burgers on their menu, including the almost Reuben, or the western cheddar pepper burger.

Paul's Tavern

Across town at Paul's Tavern, they keep things a bit more simple.

"I think it's probably the simplicity behind it. We do nothing fancy. We don't have deep fryer or anything. We got an old broilator, that was put in here in 1949," said David Koch, manager at Paul's.

That broilator is a unique piece of equipment.  It was built in 1932 and bought and put in Paul's in 1949.

It has a flame on top and bottom, with a front facing door that opens up to allow access to a tray.  All they have to do is put the burger in, season, and let it cook.  No flipping required.

They only sell two different burgers: a hamburger or cheeseburger, served with pickle, onion, ketchup and mustard.

You'll also notice some interesting decor in the restaurant: animal heads hanging from the walls.

Koch said original owner Paul was a big game hunter, and liked to show off what he got.

When the new owners took over, they say they tried to leave everything as Paul had it.

And that's why this restaurant is so much a part of Dubuque's history.

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