Let’s Fight About Jucy Lucys

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.

The Nook was busy before we moved to Fargo and it’s still busy. I’m guessing Guy Fieri’s visits haven’t hurt anything. At the Nook, the Jucy Lucy goes by the name “Stuffed Burger.”

When the host estimated our wait time at 45-minutes, we accepted the buzzer and hunkered down on the bench by the door. The upstairs dining area is rather limited and the bar is relatively small. People hovered over people showing promise of vacating their bar stools. Also, there is bowling in the basement. Somehow, we managed to miss the bowling on previous visits.

You won’t find hard liquor here, but there’s a delightful selection of beer in cans.

The Paul  Molitor is my favorite burger. This pepper jack-stuffed burger is the only one I’ve ordered. Burgers come with real, fresh-cut french fries and your choice of sautéed or raw onion. I love that the Nook doesn’t serve burgers with those annoying kettle chips and then try to uncharge you for fries . These burgers just come with really good fries. You can swap-in sweet potato fries or waffle fries for an up-charge.

Here’s what I love about the Nook’s Jucy Lucys: The bun is really good and perfectly supports the burger in size, flavor, and texture. The meat patty is cooked so that a little pink still remains and the cheese remains gooey. Other Jucy Lucys that I’ve ordered suffered from overcooked beef and cheese that liquified to the point of practically evaporating and seeping from the burger. Don’t settle for these.

Lastly, the wings are also worth ordering. The skin is crispy and the meat is tender. Blue cheese dressing is thick as concrete with blue cheese and clearly homemade. Life is good here.

Feel free to share any thoughts about Jucy Lucys below!


  1. Feisty Eats

    Stuffed with pepper jack sounds like a great option. I’d love to try some authentic versions. None I’ve had in ND have are worth repeating.

    • Jeni

      I think the key is just not messing it up – which is usually overcooking.

  2. Katie

    Overcooking is a real Minnesota thing…my dad used to order our burgers “anything but a hockey puck” aka overcooked. I’m blanking on the name..but the nook has another location with a full bar on west 7th….the fries are equally amazing, but they also have fried cheese curds drizzled with honey that are insane! …it’s some kind of Irish name, this is going to bug me. (I broke down and googled, its Shamrocks).

  3. Beth Ann Chiles

    I have never had one but I would opt for the same version you had, i think. It sounds really yummy. Overcooking stinks. It ruins the entire experience. Now I am hungry. Really hungry. Send me a Juicy Lucy, STAT.

  4. Docrailgun

    It is heresy, as you say… there is only the 5-8 Club.

  5. Chris

    100% agree. I always recommend the Nook for a Jucy Lucy burger, and the Paul Molitor is my favorite burger there as well. I am salivating as I write this. I think it is time for a visit. Great review!

    • Jeni

      Thanks Chris! Looks like we’re on the same page:)

  6. Road Tips

    I’ve had Matt’s (inconsistent the times I’ve been there) and I’ve had the 5-8 Club (overrated). The two I like in the Twin Cities are the Blue Door Pub in St. Paul and the Nook (I do like the Paul Molitor burger, as well). It’s tough to beat either one of those. Adrian’s Tavern in Minneapolis makes an OK juicy lucy (only because it literally exploded all over me when I took my first bite), and I have yet to go to the Groveland Tap (but it’s on my list to try).

    • Jeni

      I like Matt’s too – Jake’s a big fan. I like the burger cooked a little less which is why the Nook’s my preference, but it’s a fun experience. Haven’t been to the Groveland tap for a jucy lucy for a long time, but still liked the Nook’s better. Their other bar food is pretty good.

      • Road Tips

        I’ve had great burgers at Matt’s and I’ve had a couple bad ones (overcooked). You really need to try the Blue Door Pub sometime. I call the Blue Door No. 1 for my favorite juicy lucy with the Nook 1A. I haven’t been back to the Nook since they reopened after the fire. I hope it’s as good as it was before.

        • Jeni

          I think there’s a couple Blue Door locations – we tried to go closer to when they just opened and the wait was so long so we left. Will have to try again. The Nook seemed to be just as good as it was before:)

  7. Josh

    That sounds good, pepper jack, I’m totally down for that. Besides homemade I’ve only had Matt’s. I like them alright but agree they are over cooked. Unfortunately we always meet my aunt there. She’s in her nineties, and I doubt I can convince her there’s another to try anywhere. Gotta pick your battles.

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