So apparently Barnes & Noble is experimenting with restaurants in order to draw more customers into their stores.
I think it’s a shame that people aren’t as interested in books nowadays. While I do appreciate technology and all of the wonderful things that does, I am still a sucker for printed literature. You can’t enjoy the musky scent of a book coming out of a cold, sterile tablet or e-reader. It’s not the same without the tactile pleasure of paper caressing your fingers. (Sounds a bit sensual…haha!)
Anyways, this isn’t about all of the neglected books in the world. This is about a new concept restaurant that allows you to dine in an environment surrounded by wonderful tables and shelves full of books!
I remember being devastated a little while back when my mother told me that they had moved Barnes & Noble from the Galleria. I was angry and worried that perhaps it was completely gone due to people’s lack of interest in books. However, she quickly added that they had simply moved the store to a different location within the mall which instantly defused my distraught mind.
Fast forward to today.
My mother wanted to try out the new restaurant within the store after reading about it in the newspaper. Although we have a history of eating out regularly, I still tend to be a bit guarded when blindly trying new places but I was tired and agreed to it without checking the menu prior to going.
One of the things about the new Barnes & Noble location is that the space looks very industrial and reminds me of an Urban Outfitters store. I also noticed a decrease in the overall space compared to the previous which was a bit disappointing.
There isn’t a very distinct division between the restaurant and the store other than it being somewhat separated by a circular coffee/bar area. It’s very open concept (a popular craze that I hear people demanding on HGTV all of the time for their own kitchens).I was taken aback by the prices on the menu because I hadn’t expected them to be in the range that they were but sometimes you just go with it because you’re already there and on the verge of hangry.
I decided to order the brisket burger which is hugged by cheddar cheese along with layers of lettuce, onion, mustard, mayo, pickles and ketchup, or “mmpk” as the menu says. The burger is accompanied by a side of crispy potatoes. I assumed that meant fries but it really was just chunks of crispy potatoes.
Almost right after picking up the burger, my mom went, “This bun is slippery!” I looked up and saw the contents of her burger holding onto in an attempt to stay within the soft carby walls. She was also struggling to maintain a firm grasp. I laughed at her but not maliciously. It was a silly situation.
A moment later, I experienced the same thing.
It made me think about how much I appreciate places like Shake Shack where they wrap paper around the burger. Despite being a bit drippy and slippery, the burger was juicy and had a great beefy flavor. It paired well with the cheddar cheese and all of the other fixings.When it came to the crispy potatoes I was a bit torn. I liked the texture of them but they weren’t salted enough and had a very bland taste. They were covered in what we thought was some type of cheese but it was quite flavorless and hard to distinguish. It would have been nice to have the potatoes seasoned in something, perhaps basil and garlic. At the very least, more salt.
Regardless, it was an enjoyable meal. I am always happy after a good burger. It was fun to try but due to the boring potatoes and expensive price tag, it will be awhile before I return to the restaurant portion of B&N.
Barnes & Noble Kitchen
Edina, MN 55435