Last year we tried to get into the Nook on randolph avenue in st. paul only to be amazed at the long line outside the door.  it was featured on an episode of diners, drive-ins, and dives and the already popular site became even busier. the narrow restaurant most likely seats about 48 with another 18 standing in the aisle waiting for seats. if you decide to go, poke your head inside the door and let the bartender add your name to the whiteboard wait list on the wall. (more…)

SOME COMMENTS ON THE PLACE

Often referred to as “Gasthof’s” this NE establishment is much lauded by many for it’s selection of fine German beverages and large platters of meat product.  Having frequented Mario’s Keller Bar (in the basement) for weekend excursions in the past I was not unfamiliar with the look.  The dining area emits a middle European feel with it’s wood work and large tables.  We were seated in a massive booth with a round table that appeared sufficient to hold a kingly feast.

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SOME COMMENTS ON THE PLACE

USUALLY BUSY AND OFTEN WITH A SHORT LINE THE PLACE IS BETTER LIT THAN MOST. THE BAR AND BAR SEATING IS THROUGHOUT THE RESTAURANT. CROWD IS A MIX OF AGES WITH MANY THAT LOOK TO HAVE WALKED IN FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD. COMMON TO HAVE ENTIRE SPORTS TEAMS ARRIVE AND PACK THE PLACE.  OUTDOOR AREA HELPS WITH THE CROWDING IN THE SUMMER. AN ACTIVE EAGLE’S NEST CAN BE SEEN FROM THE PATIO. (more…)

SOME COMMENTS ON THE PLACE

This is another of our favorite places. A neighborhood place that defies stereotypes. People fro at least four generations fill the place nightly. A wonderfully alive place this corner of Minneapolis often has music and always has character. Of the many corner bars in our reviews this one is the closest to a landmark. Doug remembers the original owner and has nothing but salivary memories of business lunches in the polish part of mighty Minneapolis.

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The first chili bake-off, appropriately named the “Minnesota mild” chili bake-off by Trevor, was a great success. Our intrepid judge, pictured below pondering an entry , was Scott our sometimes-available participant. A great variety of chili’s were represented with Kyle winning in the overall category and Doug pulling the honors in the restaurant-style category.

Chili entries covered the entire range of possibilities from hot and savory to suspiciously Hormel-like.

Strategies varied but heat seemed to be the key. The group will ponder what to do next year.

A bit of a local legend this place is as friendly as it gets.  Seems a bit minimalist while you’re there but the overall experience is good.

Some comments on the place.

This is a great place for a quick burger and fries with a beverage of your choice. Often busy and requiring a wait we went later in the evening and had no problem getting a seat. There is a real family feel to the place.

Some comments on the help.

Helpful and quick enough the staff was more pleasant than we have seen lately. Nothing out of the ordinary on the night we visited but then, nothing to complain about either.

The food, the food.

Imagine a hamburger that is red in the middle. Fresh ground burgers are way good on any planet. Don’t know how they do it but the taste was great. Side dishes were not exceptional but adequate.

Other things we think you should know.

Paper plates!  Often very busy during meal hours.

Some comments on the place.

You walk in the door and the long line of men at the bar lean forward to get a look at you. After a flashback from the first star wars movie you make it through the entryway and see the large restaurant filled with friendly looking people. The place is jumping and the smell is wonderful. A quirky place on a quirky corner of st. Paul this is the pizza destination in the twin cities. At least it is if you’re not looking for some uptown goat’s-cheese tofu creation. I know we weren’t as we settled down in the booth.

We returned recently with honorary GNO fellow Scott (brad’s brother in law by attitude) and continued to find the place wonderful. How can a joint that serves its pizza on cafeteria trays be wrong? And again, we have yet to miss on waitresses. Ours was fabulous. – tipped out at 20%- she was that good.

Some comments on the help.

It is always refreshing to see staff that runs the full range of ages. You just know that some of these people grew up working in this neighborhood and others are working to move on. I’m pleased to report that all staff had some form of grease on their aprons.

The food, the food.

Remarkable pizza. Savory sauces, chewy cheeses, mouthwatering meat, crispy crust. Damn it was good! Not for the faint of blood vessels. We recommend beer by the pitcher to keep the arteries open.

Other things we think you should know.

A small tight lot behind the place often has a space open. On-street parking after hours is plentiful. Just up the road (Payne) is the Yarusso Brothers Italian place. Look for a review sometime in the future.

SOME COMMENTS ON THE PLACE

This one brings Brad back to his old stomping grounds. Born and raised in Stillwater he used to make deliveries to the restaurant from Thompson’s Hardware and once helped re-key the place with a local locksmith. The Gasthaus of his youth burned down in a fire but was re-built. More recently, Brad and Joan stopped by the place one evening with several other couples- they were not impressed. The guys were looking for improvement and a return to the great place that Brad knew as a strapping youth. (more…)

SOME COMMENTS ON THE PLACE

This one was a pleasant departure for us. We met for lunch at this classic burger and malt joint. You walk in and see the grill and the original 50’s (40’s?) Seating. The line is constant but the wait is not too long. Doug tells us that this is a place his parents would frequent when dating! (more…)


Some comments on the place.

Jt’s is a legend on the south side of St. Paul (it’s actually called West St. Paul but trust us, it’s south). It’s what places like Mcdonalds would have been if they didn’t need to serve billions and billions of hamburgers. Great burgers in the white castle style but with the Lion’s Tap place appeal. Not much seating at the cafeteria-style booths and tables but we easily found the non-smoking booth and had a quick burger. This must be a great place to get a burger or six in warmer weather. We initially had planned to spend the full evening here but due to the lack of brew and lack of seating we had a few burgers as an aperitif before heading to Red’s Savoy again for a savory pizza.

Some comments on the help

These people are remarkably friendly. We saw many locals stop by to pick up some burgers to go and we were pleased to see that they have a burger delivery service. A happy place with a simple mission, keep it real but not too raw.

The food, the food.

Simple burgers and supporting fried food. Very good and very cheap. Makes you wish that this place were on your way home from work!

Other things we think you should know.

This place is small. Looks like a tiny rambler from the 50’s. Look for it on the east side of the road with a clearly 50’s style rocket-post and star near the road. After eating you might get the temptation to find the last drive-in picture show in town. Note- no beer here.