Once I got into an Anchorman-style fight on Twitter about Jucy Lucy’s. Someone definitely drew a Twitter trident.
Fighting about Jucy Lucys is relatively easy to do in Minnesota. Many of us harbor lots of strong feelings about the subject.
If you’ve never heard of a Jucy Lucy, it’s essentially a burger stuffed with cheese. Two restaurants in Minnesota claim to have invented it. If you’ve ever seen Jucy Lucys featured on national television shows or travel blogs, you’ll probably find they only feature Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club. This usually has me rolling my eyes because they leave out the Nook (or Casper & Runyan’s Nook, to be exact).
I really haven’t had that many versions of the Jucy Lucy and I haven’t even visited the 5-8 Club which is going to compel some to cry “heresy.” Once upon a time we tried Matt’s Bar and then we visited the Nook. Then, we thought we should branch out and try a different place and the burgers were overcooked and disappointing so we kept returning to the Nook.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit other places. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t either. I’m just saying that the Nook is my favorite.
One week at a time, we’re settling into our new life in St. Paul, Minnesota.
New house, new jobs, a job search, and yard work; it’s all a little much. I’m finding myself considering things I’ve never considered before, like grocery delivery and those meal kit things. Just the other day, someone left me a comment indicating that she thought I still lived in Iowa. I wanted to mock her for not knowing where I lived until I remembered that I can’t always remember either.
Everything else tasted fine, but the pizza fries were really good. They’re “I still think about them today” good.
The pizza fries adventure all started with my mother-in-law. Every time it’s one of her family member’s birthdays, she’s bound and determined to arrange a celebratory dinner at a restaurant. But, not just at any restaurant, or even one our favorite restaurants.
The birthday restaurant must include the name of the birthday person in it.
Some things don’t seem to change and sometimes that’s a good thing.
Technology, fashion trends, seasons, seasonal latte flavors, these are all things that can change. But my favorite Chinese buffet? I don’t mind so much if this stays the same.
In high school, the Highland Park area of St. Paul was the place to meet, at least for our groups of friends. Jake and I didn’t go to the same grade schools and wouldn’t meet for many years to come, but we both gathered at the Highland Park Perkins, Caribou, Jimmy John’s, and Cleveland Wok back in the day.
Finals week and that break between the ending of a school day were special times where we piled into someone’s car and headed to Highland Park. We like to imagine that we crossed paths at some point.
We used to complain about the 3.5 hour commute between Minneapolis and Fargo. When we moved to North Iowa, we still complained about the two-hour commute to Minneapolis. Now, we live a 9.5 hour drive away and remember how we used to complain. The drive takes most of a day, but is still cheaper than flying (and we can take the dog) so we make the best of it. Podcasts, music, and corn nuts get us through.
Friends and readers still ask me for dining suggestions as they prepare to visit the Twin Cities for various occasions. We’ve lived away for about four years, now. Restaurants have come, gone, and changed. It’s impossible to keep up. On our visits back, we often lean towards our old favorites like Broders and Bangkok Thai Deli. Our time is so limited that we have time for maybe one nice dinner out and it’s really hard to decide where to dine.