The other day my fiance, Jenna, sparked the idea of doing lunch one day, so she looked through our Chinook Book and saw a coupon for Hazel’s Northeast. About a year ago, we had gone to Northeast to roam around and look at some of the wonderful shops in the area. We wanted to visit Hazel’s for lunch but on that particular day, it was intensely busy and so we went elsewhere as the wait was far too long. The most recent visit however was busy but we got in just before the big lunch rush.
Hazel’s has been open in the Audobon neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis since 2010 when it opened in what was the Pop! Restaurant. The closing of Pop! was a very mournful time as it was a loved neighborhood favorite. Brothers Adam and Andrew Sieve opened the restaurant naming it after their Grandmother Helen (lovingly called Hazel by the grandkids). The restaurant has successfully flourished in the past 4 years and I have a strong feeling it will continue to do so.
Upon entering, the vibe is that of an old school diner, not a boxcar or Mickey’s style diner, but more like how a neighborhood diner should feel. I was seated immediately and waited for Jenna to join. I requested to get started with the Cajun Fried Pickles. These dill chips were breaded, deep fried and very lightly seasoned. The ranch dip that accompanied had a sprinkling of cajun seasoning on top of it. These were served at just the perfect temperature, not too hot, just right. The last piece to eat was about 4-5 chips that were all in a little batch and stuck together and upon biting into it, the breading batter was not completely cooked through and was very doughy.
We both ordered the Turkey Burger, mine with hand cut french fries and hers with no tomato and sweet potato fries. They came out in a very timely manner, and were absolutely delicious. The Turkey Burger is topped with 2 hearty bacon slices, cheddar (that seemed like aged cheddar), roughly 1/2 of an avocado, crisp lettuce and tomato, a little dab of mayo and a fresh croissant bun. The key highlight for this burger were two things, first the bun had a bit of a spiral to it, such a subtle thing that drew my attention and frankly I thought was really neat to look at. The other thing was the bacon, it was thick cut, quality bacon; not cheap, fatty bacon by any means. The turkey burger patty was pretty big, it was definitely thick and very flavorful. Jenna was forced to cut hers in half to make it easier to eat. The fries were very good, no need for ketchup really, well salted.
Overall, Hazel’s is a wonderful, family friendly restaurant right in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis. Friendly staff, terrific food, warm ambiance, and a great stop for a shopping day in this Nordeast neighborhood.
2859 Johnson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Photos courtesy of the Hazel’s Northeast website.