Hays Take On is a blog series where we explore the Twin Cities (and more) in order to find the best and most interesting food and drink stops. Check for updates every Wednesday and follow along to see what we find!
We realize we must go where the food leads us to bring you the best Hays Takes, and this week we enter enemy territory at The Nook in St. Paul. Directly across from our old high school rival, Cretin Derham Hall, sits a small little building that contains some big food and drinks!
The Nook is one of the only reasons we get so close to our enemies on a non-game day. You’ll find The Nook just around the corner from Schmidty’s Sports Barber on Hamline Avenue S, just off of Randolph Avenue. When you sneak into the front entrance of the nook you’re greeted by the bar front and center while tables run down the narrow length of the building. At the end of the dining area is the kitchen that releases aromas of the great burgers and fries that are being created. They’ve claimed many awards, accomplishments, and records over the years, and that tradition of excellence is still maintained today. While the layout of the building is your typical bar, dive, hole-in-the-wall special, the food is the main reason for the recognition.
While The Nook may be small in size, their food most definitely is not. Hot dogs, hamburgers, hot sandwiches, wings, fries, The Nook does it all when it comes to bar food, and they do it right. Guy Fieri has also visited the establishment and from that experience they have created Fieri’s own burger/sandwich called “Guy’s Big Bite” which is so stacked with ingredients, we didn’t think we could take it on. With so many other options it was hard to decide, but we’re always in a burger mood so we decided to try one of their specialties as well as one of their stuffed burger to see how they compare to some of the others we’ve had in the past. The first sandwich we tackled was the Chuck Mitch Ham Hamburger, with ham on top of of your burger, with barbecue sauce and swiss cheese, as well as your standard options and condiment choices, this was a tall but delicious challenge. For the stuffed burger we tested out the Paul Molitor, which is your classic stuffed burger, but the change is that it’s stuffed with pepper jack cheese. We paired both burgers with some extra crispy fries to get the full Nook experience and were not disappointed. With well proportioned toppings on both burgers, you still get to appreciate that classic burger taste with some new twists. They also feature plenty of beers on tap as well as cans and bottles to help wash down your meal of choice.
The Nook is based off of many years of tradition, from the food prep, to layout, to how the names of many burgers are based on whose regular order it is. As long as this continues, expect us to be regulars, as the food never lets us down, even if it’s in enemy territory!
Check out The Nook here: http://www.crnook.com/
Or try for yourself here: 492 Hamline Avenue S. Saint Paul, MN 55116
Make sure to check back next Wednesday for the next adventure and if you have any suggestions on places we need to check out let us know in the comments!