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Has anyone been to the Blue Door in St. Paul?

How is it? (On Selby near Fairview or Cleveland.) They seem to specialize in Juicy Lucy's and other sandwiches.

Recommended?

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  1. Here's the thread on the Blue Door Pub:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/558335

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTFoley

      Thanks for this thread. I had searched for it but somehow didn't find it. I heard they have a Widmer seasonal beer on tap that I like in bottles (called Brrrrrr, appropriately enough). So that piqued my interest in the place. Thanks.

    2. awesome burgers, awesome fries, friendly staff.

      the current Burger Of the Moment is ridiculously good.

      can't wait to get my T-shirt.

      2 Replies
      1. re: getgot211

        Has anyone had a chance to try the new Bangkok Blucy? It sounds interesting from the description. http://thebdp.com/2009/06/14/bangkok-...

        1. re: stephs7

          Friend of mine had one last thursday. She loved it. Said the coconut milk was hard to taste but the rest of the flavors were divine.

      2. Any first hand reports from Jiffy Blucy? it was tempting but i passed the last time i was in, and now im off meat for a while. pb and meat, anyone?

        4 Replies
        1. re: tex.s.toast

          For burgers - great! Burgers are not my norm, but the Blucy with blue cheese (good quality - maytag's?) and garlic was fabulous. Atmosphere, service fine. In my limited burger world, I would say it's on par with Shamrock, Bulldog, slightly under the bar when compared to Happy Gnome.

          1. re: rp1760

            I personally think the food at the Happy Gnome is not great, so I have to disagree with the above poster.

            We love the Blue Door. We've been there 4 times already. I HIGHLY recommend the Breakfast Blucy with cajun tots.

            The only downside is the wait, but then again it's more time to enjoy the fabulous beer list.

            1. re: LizzieB_MSP

              I know this thread isn't about the Happy Gnome, but I have to agree that the burgers are subpar. The two I have had have been painfully underseasoned.

              I'm actually thinking about going to the Blue Door for lunch today, so I might have a report later.

          2. re: tex.s.toast

            I tried the Jiffy burger a couple weeks ago and loved it. I also wasn't sure about PB on a burger but it was quite tasty. The PB was melted and the combination was great. I would definitely recommend it!

          3. I have been a number of times. Loud room, but cheery. I've had a couple of the the Lucys (I especially liked the coarse chopped garlic in the Blucy. The Jiffy Blucy was a lot better than it sounded),the Cobb Salad, the pub sandwich, and even some bean soup. I personally prefer the cajun tater tots or the fried green beans to the fries, but it isn't like there's something wrong with the fries. All has been delightful, the help is genial, the beer selection good to this beer ignoramus. The worst feature about the room is the way the door opens directly to the outside, which can be unpleasant in the winter.
            Overall, a boisterous and generally gleeful little neighborhood joint, not unlike the Nook in terms of the atmosphere, that delivers satisfying chow at a fair price.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ajs

              I've been to Blue Door twice. Once on a Tuesday, once on a Friday...The place is BUSY and like a pub, small in size. On the Friday, we happened to be there during happy hour - $2 tap beers (including blue moon) and $2 baskets of tater tots. Hmm...Tater tots are deep fried...as opposed to baked and you can get cajun-style. They're pretty good-but not "hot" just a little kick.

              I don't mean hamburgers..but my GF loves their burgers. She's had the jiffy burger and said it is surprisingly good. It is the balance of the sweet and salty so as long as you dont have major issues with texture (juicy, thick hamburger with gooey cheese in the middle, some on the top, with fixings and then PB) you're going to probably like it. Last time, she just had the breakfast blucy and dug that as well. I always get the pub sandwich. It's nothing excellent but it's reasonably priced and always satisfying.

              They only serve beer and wine. Thus far, we've been lucky-never had to wait.

              1. re: snoboardbabe77

                OMG 2 dollar Blue Moons is enough to get me in the door. I've had just about every good/great burger in the twin cities. I can't believe I haven't been here yet even though I only live slightly closer to the nook in distance. Is this place 2 yr old friendly?

                1. re: Fudist

                  Yes, absolutely.

            2. I just went to the Blue Door today (for about the third time), and I have to say I like it more every time. The burgers are very yummy (burgers are definitely the reason to go), and my husband loves the beer selection. What makes me really warm to it, though, is the attitude of the staff. Even though it's busy and loud, the staff is consistently friendly and welcoming. On our way out today, two servers and a bartender called out cheerfully to say goodbye and thank us for coming. Just makes you feel good to give them your business, you know?

              I would suggest going at "off" times, however. We went at 3pm today and every table was filled (we didn't have to wait, but the 3 parties that came in right after us did).

              1. We did stop by to check it out last Saturday night. We kind of knew that timing was unrealistic but were still surprised how crowded it was. Packed to the gills and very noisy (doesn't work with sweetheart's hearing problems.)

                I will try it again but aim for an "off" time (if there is one).

                3 Replies
                1. re: karykat

                  Went at about 1pm last Tuesday and I wasn't that impressed, The burger could used some salt, I had the cajun stuffed burger, it was stuffed with pepperjack and canned jalapenos, and it had pickles on it as well, so it tasted like a pickle burger. The fries where so-so as well.

                  1. re: robertsscotty

                    We had a chance to stop in yesterday, we ended up waiting a good 20 minutes for a table for 4. Meanwhile we had the chance to notice a couple things that really need improvement. We watched several couples with their bills in hand and their cards ready wait up to 5 minutes for someone to come back and run thier cards, we also watched one table sit for a good 5 minutes menus down waiting to order thier food. It's obvious the place was crazy busy, (though the servers weren't THAT busy) I wonder if the could move a few more people and expedite the service with little more than just paying some attention to your tables. I personally hate nothing more than wait to pay so we can leave, more than a couple servers in their day have seen significant reduction in their tips.

                    Alright all that being said it was totally worth the wait ( I expected a wait, and it was perfectly acceptable), the burgers were perfect We got a blucy, a classic lucy and kids chicken fingers, the burgers were well cooked and very good, I'd put the on par with the nook. The fries were also good, the grenn beans were good, but lacked salt, we were able to add it ourselves. The chicken fingers are real chicken battered and fried, not store bought stuff, nice especially for $4. Overall we experinced good service, and did not end up waiting to order or for our check.

                    Parking is a bit of a challenge, but there is parking, something both the nook and now shamrock both have issues with.

                    We talked about it, overall we go here to bluedoor over the nook, by the slimest margin.

                    Great place thanks Hounds for sniffing this one out for us.

                    1. re: mnxd9

                      I've raved about Blue Door in the past-and I still like it and will support it but if there are employees or owners of Blue Door reading-take note - love the food but lately, the service has been really slow. I went there a few Sundays ago - seated relatively promptly - but it was over 10 minutes before we even had a server great us. I love the fact that it's busy but c'mon, the place is so SMALL...things like this should not happen. I finally stopped the girl seating people to ask who our server was---and could we put in an order of spam bites-turns out the server was that was ours had been past our table 6 times! He kept looking at us but never stopped by.

                      Additionally, the mnxd9 - I waited more than 10 minutes with card in hand to pay--took forever.

                2. I went once and wasn't impressed.

                  My juicy lucy wasn't put together well, so the cheese had oozed out of the burger and was all over the basked by the time it reached the table. Call me crazy, but if I order a juicy lucy I expect the cheese to be inside the burger when I start eating.

                  It was also very loud, and too crowded to be comfortable.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: BellaMN

                    Very much my experience as well Bella, except the cheese must have ended up on the grill, not even in the basket.

                    1. re: BellaMN

                      I will third this opinion. I went Friday at ~1pm and it was almost full when I got there. I grabbed a seat on the window bar (whatever you want to call that area) and I felt cramped/in the way the entire time. I got the 'original' juicy lucy, and I was not impressed. The seasoning seemed off, and there was as much grease coming out of it as there was cheese. I'd have to put their Lucy last behind The Nook, 5-8 and Matt's. The only good thing there was the cheese curds.

                      1. re: BellaMN

                        I think the niche Blue Door fills best is "neighborhood pub you can walk to." It doesn't meet the "would you drive across town for it" test. If you live in the neighborhood, great. If you don't, I'm not sure I would encourage you to drive across town to try BDP, unless you are just dying to try every juicy lucy in the metro area.

                        If I had to rank BDP against the other neighborhood burger joints you might be able to walk to if you lived in the neighborhood (depending on where you lived), I'd rank the Nook first, Highland Grill and Blue Door about the same (with the former having more variety in menu, but more of a corporate feel; noise factor about the same), Groveland Tap, Goby's, then Shamrocks.

                        My limited experience with BDP was that the cheese in the lucys was where it belongs and it was juicy, but crazily greasy. I thought it was fine, not amazing.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Technically, I live in the Como area but to me, BDP, etc. are close enough..from CH friend standpoint and CH hubby, They rate the burgers as such: Nook #1 (though even at off-peak times, he's found it difficult to take friends there b/c it's so busy...better busy than not though), 5-8, Shamrocks, then Matts. I know TDQ hasn't had the best experiences at Shamrocks-but that one is on the list b/c of the lucky charms too. :) I still like BDP and I've never had any complaints from my burger-loving pals about how greasy they were (I always get the pub sammy and am pleased), and the spam bites are really good. But lately, I've been unimpressed by the service.

                          1. re: snoboardbabe77

                            Lucky charms? At Shamrock's (which, yes, is the very bottom of my list, after nearly a dozen visits, I've given up.) But, you've piqued my curiousity. What's this about lucky charms?

                            I'm trying to think what neighborhood burger place would be closer to you than BDP and am drawing a blank...

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Oh, I know what would probably be closer. Gabes. Nothing special there.

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Lucky charms are apparently these ham and cheese balls that are deep fried (of course) that come with a sauce. My chowhubby likes them. Honestly, the spam bites at BDP were REALLY tasty - heavy on the cream cheese which I am sucker for - it was a small little disc of spam inside of cream cheese and sliced pickle, in very good bread crumb coating and fried. Came with a sweet-sour-little spicy sauce. Not greasy - the spam bites were BIG and golden.

                                I don't find BDP/Grand Ave area far from me..and no Gabes is nothing special at all-even with their restaurant change last August.

                                Off burger topic-drove by Connie's Creamy Cone the other day-she's open!

                                1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                  I LOVE CONNY'S! WOO HOO!

                                  Urbanite that I am, I define a neighborhood pub as something I can walk to, which is why I compared BDP to the Nook, Groveland Tap, Highland Grill, and Goby's (and, I should also have probably added Chatterbox pub in there--it sinks directly to the bottom of the list, however) because these are all places that you might also be able to walk to, if you lived within walking distance of BDP. Of course, it depends on where you live in the neighborhood and how far you're willing to walk. For me, 20 minutes, maybe 1/2 hour max, walking is what I consider the limit. So, when I say I think BDP fills the "neighborhood pub" niche pretty well, that's how I envision it. I'm not sure I would drive across town for it.

                                  Now you're in a situation where you don't really have a neighborhood pub walkable to you, (which, I think sounds like your situation) then maybe you would be willing to DRIVE 10-20 minutes to it. I wouldn't go farther out of my way than that to go to BDP or most "neighborhood" pubs.

                                  Those lucky charms sound cute. I'm imagining them in various shapes, hearts, starts, and diamonds!

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    In that case, it's not my neighborhood. Too far for me to walk...I'm on the other side of 94...so the walking distance areas for me are Connie's, Gabes, Maverick's, John's Pizza Cafe, Chung's Chow Mein, and few others (including unmemorable Ol' Mexico).

                                    If you ever make it to Shamrocks again, then you could forego the burgers since you've been unhappy, order the lucky charms and something else and you'd probably be a happy camper. :) My chow best friend lives 2 blocks from Matts-and 6 blocks from Quaraxlow or whatever that place is called. That is next on my list since everyone has been raving about it.

                                    1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                      Connie's and Maverick's, you lucky duck!

                                      Qoraxlow is a definite experience. There's a chowdown report floating around out there if you decide you want to read up before you go.

                                      P.S. I'm sure BDP and Shamrock's are delighted to have you as a customer, even though you can't walk to them from your home. ;-).

                                      ~TDQ

                      2. Jfood ventured to SP for another leg of his "Hamburger Across MSP Tour" and found himself at the Blue Door. As a solo diner he decided that a window seat was best since it was available and there was a line for a table. He ordered a Root Beer, a Bacon Blucy with fries and fried onions.

                        The root beer was delivered and jfood poured and drank as he continued reading his book. The root beer was not as deep a flavor as he likes but it was rich and creamy.

                        The Bacon Blucy arrived with the fries. The first negative is there is no place to squirt ketchup to dip the fries into. So being and inventive eater jfood grabbed another napkin, folded in half and squirted a mound of ketchup. He grabbed a few fries, dipped and ate. OMG, who let in the salt. These fires were way oversalted, but he moved onto the main event.

                        He wanted to add ketchup to the burger so he picked up the bun and gave a good squirt. Then he meneuvered the meat and bun from the basket and most of the fried onions fell out. First thing he noticed was that the fried onions were a red onion which is a good thing, the second thing he noticed was that they had a quick trip over the flattop to give them some color, not a good thing, no TLC here like at Matt's.

                        He took his careful first bite through the bun and the pickles. The meat was cooked to a MR-Med doneness, that was good. Then the flavor, which did not overwhelm jfood. But he continued through the burger. The cheese was an OK cheddar but the becon had no flavor at all, it added texture but no taste. As jfood plowed his way through a burger that could use more flavor, cheese that was OK, bacon that did not taste like bacon, fried onions that could have been cooked longer and oversalted fries, he was somewhat disappointed.

                        But this is a family, neighborhood place where the people looked like they were having a great time in the nighborhood, the service was very good and the atmosphere was pretty lively. So as another poster said, it is probably a good very local place, but to go out of your way to drive here, not so much.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: jfood

                          I would have gone with one of the bleu cheese stuffed burgers. The Merriam Park burger (which has made it to the main menu) is outstanding. They have solid apps at BDP, which are worth a shot.

                          I'd be interested to hear your take on the Perfect Burger at Victory 44.

                          1. re: kevin47

                            Oh man K, jfood thought he had two places left on the tour, Vincents and 5-8. Now he has three with Victory 44 and he may add Strip Club as a last stop. He took a break last night at Oceanaire and tonight was Barrio (he really liked Barrio).

                            1. re: jfood

                              City Pages (our local equivalent to the Village Voice) also sang the praises of the Perfect Burger. Given your criteria, I think it would be a great fit. But I wouldn't dare dissuade you from Vincent.

                              Would that my "breaks" would include visits to the Oceanaire.

                              1. re: kevin47

                                I know it's early but I think I've discovered the perfect time to head to the Nook (we chose it over Blue Door Pub this time) - 5:25 on a Wed!

                                3 tables left. That's pretty good. Walked right in and sat underneath the big t.v. (only 2 of us..didn't want to take up a 4 person table). Prompt service.

                                Chowfriend had the bourbon burger. She loved it. Cooked perfectly inside. Bacon could've been crisper. Thinks these are one of the best places for sweet potato fries.

                                I actually asked for a chicken sandwich with swiss n' mushroom. I know it's a burger joint but they did a fairly good rendition of a chicken sandwich. Here are my only two minor complaints-I want that crisper bun. I want it to pick up my sandwich and no the bun has weight to withstand deliciousness inside. Yet, still have that soft bun texture when I bite in. Didn't get that as much as I'd hoped for. Maybe off night. Other times-better. And what gives? Seriously like 5 small slices of mushroom? That's not cool! I've been to chains that slather on my mushrooms. French fries were piping out and spot on.

                                I ordered hubs a mushroom swiss over his standard Paul Molitor to take home. Same deal with the mushrooms. It needs at least 4-5 sliced mushrooms (when I cook, one mushroom alone yields 4-5 slices!)

                                WIth a glass of wine and ice tea - 3 meals plus extra for sweet potato fries - $43.21 before tip. Comparable to Blue Door in terms of price.

                              2. re: jfood

                                Have you had the burger at Good Day Cafe yet, jfood?

                            2. re: jfood

                              I would just point out for the record (even though I know this is not a factor for jfood) that one of the additional incentives the Blue Door offers is a great beer list. That's one of the reasons that my wife and I _will_ in fact drive to the BDP, even though it's not in our neighborhood.

                              1. re: jfood

                                I completely agree that the BDP's JLs are quite bland.

                                1. re: jfood

                                  I have to admit the bacon cheese was the worst of their burger's I've had there... I had them make me another after they served me the first one without any cheese, of course at some point it had cheese in it, after looking at the burger I noticed a large hole where the cheese leaked out, I hardly believe the cook didn't notice.... Then to top that off the said it happens "quite often" ... highly unamused.... (the second wasn't much better, but better, wouldn't order it again)

                                  But their regular juicy Lucy, when cooked to maintain a bit of pinkness was indeed in the best of the burger's I had.

                                  I guess I'm kind of a fan of the minimalist approach myself, if you take some good meat and cheese and cook it perfectly, It shouldn't need to be a flavor explosion in my mouth. I do expect at least proper salt and pepper.

                                  Not to discount your experience...

                                2. I was at the Blue Door once, last summer. Never again. The food and beer were good enough that I would go again. But... the service was just about the worst I've had. It was around 2 p.m. on a weekday. I sat in the restaurant area to the left of the bar. After two other parties left I was alone there. Before more people arrived about 3 p.m., the other patrons were seated at the bar.

                                  I was ignored for 10 - 15 minutes as the bartender/server chatted on and on with those at the bar. I got my beer and food. The bartender/server didn't stop back for refills without being prompted, nor did he ever look my way. I signaled on of the people at the bar. He alerted the bartender, who chewed him out for telling him what to do and didn't come to my table for a while. Absolutely no excuse for such poor treatment.

                                  1. I love the Blue Door for their food and beer. I hate the Blue Door for their small seating area, and the fact that everyone else loves this bar that is technically my neighborhood bar. It's the only neighborhood bar I never go to. I like the fried green beans, and of course the burgers are unique and on days, very good, and I like their pub sandwich and tater tots. Tonight once again, I drove by after the gym at 8. Packed as usual so dinner at home for me!

                                    1. Yikes, this looks good:
                                      http://www.vita.mn/story.php?id=84627...