St. Paul >Food & Dining > Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN | Directions 5510244.946408 -93.120937
Mon. - Sun. 11:30am - 1am
Neighborhoods: Summit - University
Patio on a Sunday – Behold and enjoy the brunch on Sunday. It is sinful and the best food on the Avenue. It is quiet and surrounded by many tress. True fun.
Don't waste your money – I just had dinner there. This is one of those places that has a wonderful sounding menu, but doesn't carry through on the quality.
The 6 ounce $35 NY Strip entree was over priced and substandard. Two of them were ordered. One of the plates had decent qualtiy meat. The other was an extremely grisly cut of meat. It should not have been served. Did the cooks not see the difference in what they put on two plates side by side?
We had to tell the waitress two times about the grisle, pointing it out piece by piece before she offered to replace it or give us a free dessert. Frankly, the dinner should have been comped. We chose the free dessert and found it to be mediocre as well.
For a $100 bill we had two entrees, one appetizer, one coke and one glass of wine.
Good food, great beer – The focal point of the Happy Gnome, of course, is the beer list. It is extensive, and its rotating tap selection has just as much breadth. From local Summits to authentic Trappist ales, it's all there.
While I wasn't expecting anything special about the food, I was pleasantly surprised. The entrée menu is expensive, but be sure to check out the bar menu. Recently, I've become a huge fan of their sweet potato burrito, but they have many other great options.
After visiting the Happy Gnome a half-dozen times, I'm a little surprised at the reviews about its lackluster service. Each time I've visited my server has been exceptionally friendly and helpful; definitely above average. I will return here again and again!
Don't waste your money or time – Three strikes you are out! I had banned the Happy Gnome over a year ago due to the horrible service, but some friends had made plans to go for some drinks on their patio and I decided to give it another chance. My friends had left before I even got there to meet them! They had asked for a patio table that was open, and the hostess said that section wasn't open. My friend said he'd be fine going up to the bar to get drinks as that was all we were having. She said she'd have to check with the manager. The manager said no also as that section was closed. How can a section be closed on one of the nicest days so far this year? AND, we were willing to go to the bar and get our own drinks?! It was one open table and nobody was waiting for it. We left and went to Fern's where we got good service. Our large group of friends eat and drink out a lot, so their loss I guess.
Great Place! – The building was once an old firehouse and they turned it into a cute little restaurant. They have a huge beer selection and excellent food! I recommend this to anyone who likes to eat and drink! Don't forget the ice cream! It is from Izzy's on Marshall.
A sophisticated edge for a typical neighborhood joint. – The Happy Gnome brings a hip, classy edge to this burgeoning St. Paul neighborhood. Sleek and elegant without being alienating or overwhelming, the Happy Gnome brings a sophisticated edge to the typical neighborhood joint. The bar side offers soft lighting, bulbous and comfy booths, a dark-wood bar and a fireplace that dances with warm flames in the corner of the room. And the Gnome classes up the dining side, too, without going overboard on stuffy style. Sure, there are a few modern chandeliers and a fireplace, but the Happy Gnome is all about good food, great drinks and a chat-over-a-brew welcoming vibe.
Price verses quality – Ambitious menu with inconsistent delivery. Huge kitchen and enormous number of staff, but not polished considering the premium beverage and food prices. Prices align with top restaurants, but the setting and service devalues the experience. Beer prices pay the overhead so avoid entrees.
Great Food, Great Beer – The food was spectacular, the beer selection is great, the service was attentive and helpful. The Happy Gnome is a great neighborhood bar.
The Happy Gnome needs HELP!!! – I have been to the Happy Gnome probably 20 times over the past couple years. Since the first time I began my patron relationship with the Gnome, I have been increasingly dissappointed.
The service is average once in a blue moon. Overall, the servers need to learn how to be a good server. You should smile, check in with your tables regularly, offer water, the basics. They are never happy. I have sat for at minimum 20 minutes before anyone even brought menus, waited for a beer for 30...
The menu and price of the food always tricks me into thinking I am going to get a well cooked, nicely prepared, delicious meal. I usually get something slopped together, with gross ingredients, prepared with little culinary knowledge. I think their cooks might be toddlers. The only thing ever worth ordering is a burger, the most basic of bar food. They seriously need to hire some decent cooks back there and a real chef who knows how to make a pasta dish that is worth $14. Don't even get me started on the desserts. They're an abomination. The Gnome also stinks and has fruit flies.
I continually give the Gnome a second chance to reimpress me with service and dining, and this past visit was the last straw. I ordered "Spicy Babaganough", which ended up being canned eggplant with Siracha. They didn't even add Tahini! It was seriously gross and disappointing. The server seemed completely unaware of how to handle a return on food.
The only thing worthwhile about the Gnome is the beer. And really, you can get beer anywhere. It is also a dollar higher than most bars of the same caliber.
I would love to see some new managment and a revamp of the kitchen, rehiring of servers, before I could ever consider giving them my money again. If they want to keep their undeserved title of a nice bar/restaurant, they need a lot of help.
My favorite bar in the cities – I just moved into the Gnome's neighborhood, but I was in love with it even before I moved to Cathedral Hill. Every time I've been there I've had great beer, delicious/inventive food, and friendly/knowledgeable service. It's also a great destination for single-malt scotch lovers, since the selection is 4 pages long. The atmosphere is lovely - I'm especially fond of the booths at the front of the bar. And there's usually interesting, if not always good, music. I try to take all my friends here, and it's a must when I've got company in from out of town. The weekend brunch is delightful too. I have yet to be there in the spring/summer when it's warm enough to sit outside, but I can't wait to try the outdoor seating area.
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