We reviewed it three times!
JULY 20 2007
THE NOOK, 43 SHERBROOK St.
Breakfast at the Nook is nicely predictable. For denizens and locals it’s a great place to go… you’ll more than likely run into friends there, if they’re not the ones serving you. The breakfast special has been a constant in price and quality for as long as I’ve been coming here.
Why is the Nook the place to go for breakfast? Location location location. It’s in the ‘neighbourhood’ and it’s very pleasant to sit on the patio to eat & smoke (if such is your proclivity). The scenery is never boring and it always attracts a unique type of clientele.
My eggs were perfectly over-easy as I requested, the sausage was tasty and split in half to ensure thorough cooking. Unfortunately, the hash browns were mushy, really the only downside. Today mine were burnt a bit on one side (not charcoal-tasting but more than just ‘crispy’) and soft as dishwater on the other (a description one friend has attributed to the taste as well as the consistency). A popular choice is to substitute hash browns for fries, and I almost always forget to do that until after I’ve been served. I had rye toast which came with a jam packet; and to top everything off was a pleasant slice of orange.
Our waitress earns an extra point for saying “Alright guys, rock and roll!” once she had served us. Not sure if it was because we’re familiar faces or just look like hip young go-getters, but the encouragement was appreciated. She said “rock” one other time which just made me smile, but then again, I’ve always had a soft spot for Nook waitresses.
The food at the Nook is good, reasonably priced and is packed with friendly staff. The best diner around, in my opinion. So why only 7 stars? The coffee and the hash browns. Potatoes are always the Achilles’ heel of diners, and the coffee is just not great.
December 29 2009
The Nook, 43 Sherbrook Street
Breakfast Special – $6.35 including coffee, not tax.
The Breakfast Connoisseurs love The Nook. It’s not our highest-rated restaurant by far, but we have a big affection for what is a true greasy spoon in Winnipeg. It has character, fun and nice people behind the counter, a great menu and an excellent location. I love the Wolseley/West Broadway border and the ease of access to both areas.
They’re good, but have some flaws. Their coffee isn’t great – 3.5/5 maybe. It’ll partially kick-start you in the morning, but it’s not the tastiest thing around. Their breakfast special always has good eggs, toast and bacon, but the sausages are straight from the factory in Brandon. One thing they do that I like is butterfly the sausages so all the hard bits get melted. They also give a slice of orange on the side with a packet of jam (you can combine the two if you so desire) and their hot sauce is Frank’s. Not breakfast related directly; but they were playing good jazz on the speakers, and have cheap pints.
The biggest point of contention we have with the Nook are the hashbrowns. They go down easy, but they’re mushy and sometimes taste like dishwater. They boil the potatoes before grilling them, which accounts for this, but we’re not fans. This time around, I ordered the pan fries instead – only available during the week (they take too long for the busy weekends), they are thick-cut hunks of potato, nicely grilled. They were very tasty, and are a great (but not well-known) option to the hashbrowns. Our server let us in on another Nook secret – they can grill mashed potatoes, which they assured us are good. I’m unsure how this would be different than the hashbrowns they already serve, but maybe we’ll see next time.
So really, go to The Nook. It was our standard for years, and we still frequent it. It’s a pretty solid brek for a good price.
THE NOOK (another look)
In which the Pan fries are scrutinized. December 2 2007
Today was our 20th consecutive breakfast review. The original plan was to go to the Campsie Restaurant in the Sherbrook Hotel, but for some reason they were closed, even though I called earlier in the week to confirm their open-osity.
So, given that it was about –20℃ in the morning, we diverted ourselves to The Nook, a mere block away. It seems fitting to return to the place it all began.
Not only was The Nook our first review, but it was the standard to which all other places were compared. Well, we’ve learned a lot since then. Not only have the reviews grown in style and detail but our tastes have gotten much more refined. No longer do we rely on one place as comparison, now we can consider all places together and get a much more accurate review system down.
Thus, I will be doing a meta-analysis of the rating system for the New Year. We will post a year-end round up, which will include the new review criteria.
(We have not done this yet. What we have done is look back over 100 reviews and try to get them all to agree within the same criteria. Eight stars should be eight stars yesterday, today and next year. We hope. Leif January 2010)
When we had finished our first review of The Nook, we knew that we had to come back. The weak point of their breakfast were the potatoes. Their hash browns are not my favourite, as I’d concluded before. They do offer pan fries instead, which are the ideal substitute. Only one problem is that they don’t do pan fries on the weekend. They take longer to cook and apparently gum up the system too much when it’s busy. So, we had to accept the usual less-than-desirable-but-not-at-all-inedible hash browns.
Solely due to this, we strayed from our norm and got omelettes instead of The Special. The omelettes are fantastic, but the Feta and Spinach omelette did not advertise its onion content, a fact not appreciated by the breakfaster who deplores onions. There was lamentation this morning, the morning of Breakfast Roadblocks.
“Can I have some paper towel? I need to dry off my food.” – Leif, describing his Spanish Omelette as ‘watery’. The Spanish sauce is a bit fluid, but still good. This and the soggy hash browns elicited the quote which made me laugh for about a minute straight.
The Nook has great food. I adore their sandwiches… the Reuben, the Clubhouse, etc… all are fantastic. The omelettes are great and they whip up a mean pan-fried potato. Old lessons are reinforced this time around: circumvent the hash browns and make sure you know the ingredients of what you order.
Great atmosphere, excellent location, reasonable prices and friendly staff make this an ideal place to eat for breakfast or otherwise! The potatoes are a weak point in my opinion in the breakfast, but fortunately they come in several different forms so you are never left without choice (even on the weekend).
Their recent addition of the “Cheapest pints in Winnipeg” ingratiate them to me even more, if it were even possible.