If you have driven I-94 from Chicago to Minneapolis (or vice versa), you have seen the signs for the Norske Nook Restaurant & Bakery. If you have never stopped, you are missing out on some of the best pie you will ever encounter.
I grew up in Osseo, Wisconsin, and when I was a child, the Norke Nook was a small diner that had the feel of a school cafeteria. Truth be told, I didn't eat there much. My parents and I went out for fried fish every Friday night (I really dislike fried fish, so I usually ate chicken), but otherwise, I frequented the local A&W Root Beer stand.
When I was in high school, things started to change. All of a sudden, cars from outside the state of Wisconsin started to appear in downtown Osseo. They had read about the Norske Nook in Jane and Michael Stern's book Roadfood, which rated the Norske Nook among the ten best roadside stops in the US. When I was in high school, the only reason someone from outside of Osseo would have heard of my hometown was ... well, there really was no reason to know about Osseo. Now, when I tell people around here that I grew up in Osseo, they immediately recognize it as the home of the Norske Nook.
So later today, on our way to visit my parents, who have moved further north to Eau Claire, we will stop at the Norske Nook for dinner and some pie. If you find yourself there and are confused about which pie to order, here's a tip from an insider: Sour Cream Raisin. I know what it sounds like, but just trust me on this.
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