Cook St. Paul

I can't believe my last post was on March 1st.  Where did April go?  I have six or seven topics all waiting for me to have the time to write.

Well, this weekend Dave and I ate at a new restaurant that has inspired me to get caught up.

The restaurant is called Cook and it is on Payne on the east side of St. Paul, not far from Ward 6.  In fact it was Bob Parker at Ward 6 who recommended we go.  He told us the cinnamon rolls were fantastic. 

Yesterday morning we decided to try it.  Since our dogs refuse to let us sleep past 5:30AM on a weekend (yesterday they actually had us up at 5!) we got out early.  We arrived at Cook at 6:32.  We were greeted at the door by someone with the number 7 in his hand.  He said he was just going to change the sign to opening at 7 instead of 6:30.  We were welcome to go in and sit and wait but we decided we'd just hit Farmer's Market before breakfast rather than after.

Off to the St. Paul Farmer's Market we went!  It was opening weekend and while there weren't a lot more than the winter gang, we did find some goodies!

We got back to the restaurant at 7:02 and were greeted with a happy "you came back!" from our server, Amanda.  There was one other person in the place.  By the time we left, just a little after 8, it was packed.

Cook is tiny.  Smaller than Ward 6!  It's has a cute diner vibe with great old maps of St. Paul on the walls.

We'd been up since 5 and hadn't had coffee yet so first order of business was coffee!  Unfortunately my silly heart condition requires I drink decaf but Dave always gets the real thing.  The coffee was very good, none of that funny decaf after taste.  Amanda told us it was roasted locally in St. Paul at True Stone Coffee Roasters, which makes it that much better!

The coffee was served in these cool mugs, also locally sourced from Deneen Pottery in St. Paul.  Very cool.

On Bob's recommendation we started with the cinnamon roll.  It's huge.  It's warm.  It's slathered with glaze and it was delicious.  We weren't going to finish it.  We were going to be good and save the calories and the space in our stomachs for the rest of breakfast, and then all of a sudden, the plate was empty.  It was good!  Thanks for the tip Bob!

On to breakfast.  There was a lot on the menu that looked really good, Duroc bacon, in-house made sausage, French toast made on homemade bread and many more.  There were also some very interesting things like Korean Pancakes which are ground yellow beans mixed with sausage, spicy cabbage and bean sprouts.

Then item I couldn't resist was the Short Rib Eggs Benedict, homemade rolls topped with braised short ribs, lightly poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.  This was every bit as good as it sounds.  The homemade roll was perfectly toasted, crispy outside, soft inside.  The short ribs, let's just say my mouth is watering just thinking about them.  They were tender and flavorful, not too salty, delicious.  My eggs were poached just the way I like them, egg white fully cooked but a good runny center.  And then there was the hollandaise.  I will admit that most often when I get something with hollandaise I scrape it off.  It's either too lemony or too cloying or rich.  This was perfect.  Not overly lemony, didn't coat my mouth like some do, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dave, of course, went for steak and eggs, a seared sirloin, two eggs (scrambled for Dave of course), hash browns and toast.  Dave's steak was a good size and cooked to a perfect medium.  It, like my short ribs was tender and flavorful.  With his steak came his scrambled eggs, a good portion of hash browns and toast.  He couldn't finish it all!

I also have to mention that the service matched the food.  Amanda was attentive, keeping those coffee mugs and water glasses full as well as entertaining!

I can't wait to go back for lunch!  Will it be the mac and cheese with asiago and fontina with fresh basil and andouille sausage or maybe the spicy Korean burger, ground chuck with minced jalapenos, garlic and spices topped with house made Korean hot sauce, cheddar cheese and radish relish?  Oh but there is a walleye sandwich, Angry Planet Pale Ale battered fried walleye with creamy dill relish, lettuce and tomato or maybe a Monte Cristo?  Yes, we will definitely be back.

Check them out before everyone finds them and there's a line out the door, there will be a line out the door!  Right now they are open for breakfast and lunch but once they make it through the St. Paul red tape and secure a liquor license they will open up for dinners.

We are thrilled to have another fantastic, independent, local choice in the neighborhood!  I may not have to ever cook again. 

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