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Norske Nook

In a word: There's no place like home cooking.

The specs: #00990   
100 E Holum St., DeForest 53532
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JM ate the open-faced beef sandwich with a slice of Butterfinger pie.
John ate the chicken sandwich with a slice of coconut meringue pie.
Nichole ate the turkey BLT with split pea soup and a slice of after dinner mint pie.
Rose ate the open-faced beef sandwich with a slice of sour cream raisin pie.
The bill was $, or $/person, plus tip.
JM, John and Rose gave Norske Nook an A-; Nichole gave Norske Nook an A (see our grading rubric).

When JM first ate at the Norske Nook, he pooped his pants.

Before you fear for his health or sanity, it should be noted that he was an infant at the time. You see, JM was born only four blocks from the original Norske Nook location on Seventh Street in Osseo. This was before Letterman; this was when the farmers would come to the coffee counter after milking, and shoot the shbreeze until it was time to get on the tractor. Myhre pies figure as strongly in JM's memories as the one of the kid who tripped him on the ice and gave him a scar on his chin, and his first grade classroom's orange carpeted bathtub meant for reading.

When we were newly wed, trips up north were common, and many pies were purchased both hither and thither.  We know from Norske Nook pie. We've sampled nearly every one, in a separate food quest that predates this one. We know that many people feel the pies are overrated (a little true!) and expensive (a lot true!). But never, did we ever think, we could get a Norske Nook slice within an evening's drive of our home in Madison. 

Norske Nook pie

JM's parents, who were as adult now as they were on his first visit to the Nook, also joined us on this trip down memory lane.

First: let's get the bad bits out of the way right now. The Norske Nook closes at 8 PM, which makes a drive from the city for dinner a "right after work" thing. It also, somewhat arbitrarily, limits their hours and forces more people through when they are open. This makes the Nook busy-busy at all times. Our server had to disappear for long stretches, though she was warm and responsive to concerns. The food took a very long time to reach our table. 

Split pea soupSalad

But whatever: this food is worth it (just don't go hangry).

Hot turkey sandwich

Rose and JM both got a Nook standby: the open-faced gravy-laden beef sandwich. It took JM right back to listening to Huey Lewis & The News. Rose, who is picky by way of choosy, says that the mashed potatoes at this Nook, like the others, are "to die for." JM was a little worried that the homemade bread lost some its nuance under the weight of the gravy.

John's chicken sandwich was very nice, served on a quality bun that he enjoyed. Nichole's split pea soup had hyuge pieces of ham, while the triple-decker turkey BLT came with Miracle Whip (look, the Nook uses the same stuff you do: Cool Whip on many fruit pies, Miracle Whip on sandwiches; you make the call on whether this is a pro or a con). Nichole's homemade bread was much easier to notice and held up well.

Turkey BLTChicken breast sandwich

We could talk about the pie for hours. We will mention that the meringue that we got at this location may have been a bit overdone. Hopefully, they'll get their head in the game. Otherwise, the pies were as sweet ("they'll make your teeth long"), filling and tasty as remembered. Indeed, the pies arrived as soon we ordered ours, so we suggest you just order them first and consume them while you wait for you hot meal. You may think this is backwards, but it is rather a little backwoods. Pull up a fork, pardner. 

At this point, we were so full we couldn't even think. Have Deforest trip and enjoy Norske. It's like as if... such a good piece of Butterfinger pie. Condensery Road... yeah. Yeah.


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I was excited to learn they were opening a Deforest location but, but, but, no breakfast sandwich on the menu. I might cheat and have a lefse wrap. (I really just want pie).

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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