Friday, February 8, 2013

Casper and Runyon's The Nook - St Paul, MN

Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Minnesota is home of the Jucy Lucy and The Nook is one of the other establishments that competes with Matt's Bar for the title of the best Jucy Lucy.  The Nook also has the distinction of serving one of the best burgers in Minnesota according to USA Today.

On a Friday evening, a 45 minute waiting line packed the entry way. I scored a seat at the bar immediately being a party of one.  The bartender was a little occupied and it took a few minutes to catch his attention.

I was here for the original so the only choice for me was the Juicy Nookie Burger. stuffed with cheddar cheese cooked medium at $8.75.

A 20 minute wait later came my burger with a warning that it was intensely hot in the middle. It was aesthetically appealing but would taste match appearance? The first bite was raw overpowering stinging onion. The onion slices were sliced too big for the burger.  A good burger should never have any component overpowering any other.  The next bite was more patty and the taste was bland and the texture rough and course.  The burger was a perfect medium pink with no hint of blood. Another bite and I was into the cheddar.  It was hot as the server said.  A further bite and I hit a too salty pocket of cheese.  The patty itself continued to be bland but I continued to notice more random pockets of saltiness.  With my attention diverted, a river of molten choose oozed out to burn my thumb.  The stinging onion sensation followed closely by the rough texture of the beef dominated to the end.

  • Bun: Fresh bakery bun
  • Toppings: Raw onion
  • Cheese: ?
  • Meat:  Butcher cut Black Angus chuck
  • Price: $8.95
  • Rating: 6.9. Maybe the cook's attention was diverted this evening, this burger but there's no way this is one of the best burgers in Minnesota.

All was not lost.  The fries were actually much better than the burger and the highlight of the meal for me.  Crispy outside, tender inside perfect with ketchup.

The service was acceptable but with a hint of the haughty "we're famous and you're lucky to get a seat" attitude.

Restroom Rating:  Didn't use.

492 Hamline Ave S
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 698-4347

Casper & Runyon's Nook on Urbanspoon

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