Apr 122009

Cuisine: American, Burgers
Restaurant Features: Bar, Games
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 492 Hamline Ave. So  St Paul, MN  55116 (651)698-4647
Links: Nook Website   Google Map
Atmosphere: The Nook is tucked into its' Highland Park neighborhood within a little building just across the street from Ball Field of Cretin-Durham Hall.  The dining room of the restaurant is long and narrow, accommodating approximately twelve tables.  There is a variety of local memorabilia framed and hung on the walls, in addition to a handful of nice flat-screened TVs that are also hung up throughout the restaurant.  I am pretty sure I also saw a couple of video game machines at the very back of the dining room.  There is also a bar when you first walk in that seats about eight.

Menu: Appetizers at the Nook include Jalapeno Poppers, French Fries, Runyon Rings, Cheese Curds, Mozzarella Sticks, Mini Tacos, Mini Corn Dogs, Leprechaun Legs (fried green beans!), Nokie Wings with your choice of eight original sauces, Boneless Wings, Chicken Drummies, Chicken Tenders.

Pizza offerings include Deluxe, Sausage, Pepperoni, and Double Cheese.

The salad choices at the Nook are Dinner Salad, Garden Salad with Chicken, Caesar, and Buffalo Chicken.

Sandwich offerings include the Reuben, Bourbon Bacon Chicken, Charbroiled Chicken Breast, Charbroiled Chicken Club, BBQ Chicken, Buffalo-style Charbroiled Chicken, Chicken Tender Melt, Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Half Pound BLT, Battered Cod, Salmon Burger, and Grilled Shamrock's Cheese.  All sandwiches come with fresh cut fries and pickle.

Burgers are what the Nook is known for! With many to choose from such as The Mickey's Original, Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Patty Melt, California, Pepperjack Burger, Shwishmushroom Burger, Bourbon Bacon Burger, Alumni Burger (Worcestershire sauce enhanced), Casburger, Nookie Supreme (Double Decker cheeseburgers with special sauce), Juicy Nookie (stuffed cheeseburger), Paul Molitor Burger (stuffed with pepperjack), Matt Birk Burger (two patties with pepperjack), Lodge Burger, Bleu Cheeseburger, Burger of the Month, and Garden Burger.  All burgers come with fresh cut fries or sub for onion rings just $1.50 extra.

Dinner Entrees come with coleslaw, garlic toast and French fries and include 7 oz Filet Mignon, a Surf and Turf Combo, Steak Sandwich, 8 oz. Ribeye, Fish & Chips, Fried Shrimp, Fried Chicken Wings, and Pork Chops.

Price guide: Appetizers $ 6-8 Sandwiches & Burgers $6-8 Salad $4-7
Weekly Specials: Sunday- Kids eat free from Kids' Menu  One child per adult.

Monday- Dollar Burgers from 8:30-10:00 (smaller burgers)

Tuesday-Bourbon Bacon Burger with fries $5.50

Wednesday- Ribeye and the Works $9.95

Thursday- Breaded Pork Tenderloin $5.95

Friday- Fried Shrimp or Fish Fry $9.95

Saturday- 4pm to close 10oz. BBQ Pork Chop Dinner

What We ordered: My companion and I started with the Cheese Curds.  This was a pretty generous helping of cheese curds, which were all bite-sized with a semi-hard outer breading and hot melted Wisconsin Cheese in the center.  Delicious! They came with a side of ranch for dipping.  I would recommend a minimum of three people share these rich treats.  I love them but can't eat too many at one time and I ate way more than I should have before the main course.


Our server told us that the favorite burger of everyone that works at the Nook is the Lodge Burger, so I ordered that to see what it was all about.  The seasoned beef patty was obviously fresh, very flavorful and juicy.  It had two layers of cheddar cheese, one on each side of the beef, plus bacon, tomato, lettuce and a special chipotle mayo.  I crave flavor and this burger did it for me! I was on cheese-overload from all the cheese curds I ate earlier and could have done without the second layer of cheese on my burger, but otherwise it ranks up there as one of the best burgers I have had.  I opted to sub Onion Rings instead of Fries and received a big portion of the golden rings.  The rings were thick-cut and also thickly breaded.  Good stuff!               


My companion had the Juicy Nookie with fresh sauteed mushrooms.  The medium-cooked burger was stuffed with a mound of melted American cheese that oozed out. My companion loved it and agrees that the Burger at the Nook is one of the best ever consumed.  The big pile of fries were fresh-cut and dense in the middle with just a slightly crispy outside and lightly seasoned with cracked pepper and garlic salt.


Service: Great! I had heard that the Nook is one of the few restaurants in town that consistently has a wait for a table, so my companion and I were pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of tables for us to choose from on a Monday afternoon around 4pm.  Our server did an excellent job of making us feel welcome and took his time to suggest different burgers and stayed on top of the drink refills.  Food was ready in a reasonable amount of time.  It started to get more busy as the hour progressed and by 5 pm every table was filled.
Overall Impression: Some of the best burgers in the Twin Cities, at great prices.

  6 Responses to “Nook (Casper’s & Runyon’s) ~ St Paul, MN”

  1. We ate at the nook last week. I’d never heard of it. We were a group that included a wheelchair bound elder and a three year old. Service was great. Food was delicious and our out of towners appreciated the local summit brewery brew. I am recommending to friends and neighbors.

  2. I saw this place on food network triple D (dinners drive ins and dives) so when i was in town i made sure to make it there, it was closed for reconstruction, but we found out that shamrock is by the same guys and has most of the same food. little different environment, but it was an awesome time. our waiter was always checking in on us, in a good way! we had the cheese curds and they were the best iv ever had! everything for them is made from scratch. i also had the lodge burger, it was by far the best burger iv ever had! and im a cook!

  3. I have been searching the Net looking for a “good” breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. We like them nice and juicy, breaded with sliced raw onions and mustard. If you serve this in your restaurant, let me know. I live in Brooklyn Park but am willing to drive to St. Paul if I can find a agood pork tenderloin sandrich. Thanks. Rosie B.

  4. awesome i always stop there on my way back from the airport. food is excellent and the staff are fun. if it’s good enough for barbara streisand it’s good enough for me.

  5. I enjoy the Nook and the Lodge Burger was truly a great choice and has great flavor. Interesting that you enjoyed the cheese curds as the last time my family was there we got cheese curds that were completely cold, gross.

  6. looks like a classic american restaurant, with good meals and medium prices. keep up the good work, guys. very interesting for a US traveller.

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