Butter IS Better: The Butter Bakery Cafe

Have you been looking for the perfect neighborhood cafe to meet a friend for breakfast? How about a great spot to have a tasty scone and savor a cup of tea? Look no further, I have just the spot for you: Butter Bakery Cafe in Southwest Minneapolis.

tofu scramble

My Tofu Scramble: Seasoned tofu scrambled with veggies, served with potatoes

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Exploring Food & Culture at the Pilgrimage Café

The newly opened Pilgrimage Café is a restaurant that celebrates the importance of food as a connection to culture and history. Influenced by foods that span the globe, they use flavors and dishes to explore other cultures while at the same time reminding you of home. Did someone say comfort food? It certainly was that, and delicious too.

It’s a treat to start your breakfast with an appetizer. When we saw that they had donuts filled with peanut butter mousse, we had to try them.

peanut butter donutes filled with mousse donuts

French crullers served with honey glaze, filled with peanut butter mousse

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Lunch at Broders’ Deli

A snowy winter afternoon can be transformed by a leisurely lunch, especially when it is at Broders’ Deli, the Cucina Italiana.

The neighborhood deli in Minneapolis features fresh pasta, sauces, baked goods, Italian groceries and pastries, deli items  and so much more – all of the food is available for carryout. The Husband and I ate our lunch in their small dining area and enjoyed every bite.

risotto cake

Seasonal Risotto Cake (vegetarian)

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Eating Breakfast in Modern Times

Great Breakfast in Minneapolis

We are lucky to have so many great places to have breakfast in Minneapolis. With such a wide variety to choose from, it’s easy to find something for every appetite at the table. It is a rare treat when those options are targeted to me, however, I’m usually the only vegetarian in the group.

When The Husband and I needed to fuel up before searching for the perfect Christmas tree, we decided to head to Modern Times Cafe. A restaurant well-known for their vegan and vegetarian options, their menu is clearly labeled for dietary preferences but has plenty for carnivores too. I love it when a restaurant takes the guesswork out of my dining experience!

The Husband went with the special, The Croque John Wayne. His two organic poached eggs were served on grilled bison meatloaf and topped with hollandaise sauce. He said that he loved starting his day with meatloaf:
croque john wayne

My Hashbrowns Rancheros with scrambled tofu was good but I can’t wait to try other items on their menu that I think I will love more:
hashbrowns rancheros

Obviously a popular neighborhood joint, we got there just in time to claim the last spots at the counter. I loved the cozy cafe and can’t wait to sample other items in the near future.

3200 Chicago Ave S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Feeling Like A Cheeky Monkey

I love a good name. Coming up with clever names and titles has never been my strong suit, so I have a lot of respect for people that can. When I was looking for dinner recommendations a few weeks ago, I did a double take when The Best-Good Friend suggested The Cheeky Monkey. The cheeky what? I had to learn more.

The Cheeky Monkey is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in St. Paul, historic Cathedral Hill. The dining room’s cozy atmosphere is accentuated by a fireplace and matches their comfort food menu perfectly. Our server was a huge help that evening, telling us her favorite items and pointing out how The Cheeky Monkey makes standard comfort food items their own.

The Husband loved his Mac & Cheese. They make this dish cheeky by adding chicken, montchevré goat cheese, and rosemary:
macaroni and cheese

My entree didn’t seem very cheeky, but I went with our server’s suggestion. She said one of her favorite menu items was the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich, but I should make it into a salad – an option for all of the sandwiches on the menu. I’m glad that I took her recommendation:
roasted vegetable salad

The Husband and I could not agree on one dessert to share, so we splurged and ordered our own. He surprised me by ordering the homemade French Silk Pie:
french silk pie

I did not surprise him by ordering the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie and oh, my, it was good:
pumpkin whoopie pie

The Cheeky Monkey prides themselves on being gluten-friendly, but I would love to see more vegetarian items on the menu. We both had delicious meals and loved the atmosphere, so we’ll definitely be going back. Who knows, maybe the next time there will be a vegetarian comfort food entree on the menu?

Breakfast at The Bad Waitress

We stopped in at The Bad Waitress last year but didn’t stay, it was busy that night and we weren’t sure what we were in the mood for. Over the weekend we were looking for a great breakfast joint in Minneapolis, so we finally headed back to give it a try. Their setup is simple. Each table has menus and an order pad. Simply write your table name on a slip, add your order and its specifications, then take it to the counter to pay. When your order is up, a waitress will bring it out to you! We were all hungry that morning and there were a lot of items that we wanted to try.

The Husband went for THE BAD WAITRESS BREAKFAST BURRITO. He ordered his three eggs scrambled with white cheddar cheese, chorizo and mushrooms; served with hashbrowns:

I had a craving for veggies, so I went with THE AMSTERDAM HASH. I ordered my eggs scrambled with red potatoes, broccoli, red onions, red peppers and mushrooms with their cheddar-mozzarella cheese blend:
breakfast hash

The Mom-In-Law treated herself to a mimosa in addition to THE OUT-OF-THIS-EARTH SCRAMBLE. The rosemary-seasoned scramble included organic eggs and hashbrowns with broccoli, oven-roasted tomatoes, and white cheddar cheese. She said that the tomatoes were fantastic and we all tried the sake-spiked mimosa:
mimosa and breakfast scramble

Our breakfast was really good, I’m ready to go back for more. They have several vegan and gluten-free options as well, so it’s a great Minneapolis breakfast spot for multiple diet types.

The Details:
The Bad Waitress Diner & Coffee Shop
2 E. 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 872-7575

M-F: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Sa: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Su: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 9:30 pm

A Grand Evening at Everest

Sometimes despite my best efforts, my photos are an epic fail. Despite the bad photos, I hope that you will make a stop at Everest on Grand in St. Paul because the food will knock your socks off.

I had a real itch this week for non-American fare, so we headed out for Everest’s delicious Nepali, Tibetan and Indian options. We started with the Veggie Momos. Momos are steamed dumplings made with a mixture of vegetables and served with a house sauce of cilantro, tomato and spices – I would love to take this sauce home with me.


Veggie Momos: Cabbage, spinach & onion mix.

The Husband went for the curry. The Chicken Tikka Masala is marinated boneless chicken breast roasted and then cooked in house tikka sauce. He ordered it “hot” and lived to tell the tale.

chicken curry

Tikka sauce is specialty spices blended in heavy cream with herbs

chau chau

Eek!! BLURRY! #drat

I opted for the Tofu Chau-Chau “medium+” spicy and it was perfect. What isn’t to like about sautéed wheat noodles with veggies?

Not only does Everest on Grand have tons of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, they also do takeout and catering. They can feed every appetite, stop in today!

Sandcastles in the Sun

The Husband and I spent a leisurely Labor Day enjoying the beautiful weather. After a scooter ride on the Grand Rounds, it seemed like the perfect time to stop at Sandcastle and eat lunch on Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis.

Sandcastle has a kitchen on the beach serving fresh, local food. They focus on sustainability by composting and recycling most of their waste. I was impressed to learn that all of their service-ware is either reusable or compostable, even items that look like plastic are made from compostable materials.

In a nod to the last day of the Minnesota State Fair, we shared the Fried Castle Rock Cheese Curds:
cheese curds

The Husband tried the Fish Tacos on two grilled double corn tortillas:
fish tacos

I tried the Big Room Wrap made with sweet pea falafel served with dill yogurt and sprouts:

We weren’t the only ones who liked the food, these clever scavengers were busy keeping the deck tidy!

It was the perfect farewell to summer.

Breakfast at Birchwood

Located in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, The Birchwood Cafe was recently renovated and we finally got there to to see how it had shaped up. I’m happy to report that it was a success and the food was just as good as ever!

We stopped in for breakfast on a busy Saturday morning and I couldn’t wait to dig into the Beans & Rice. The cumin lime black bean puree, tomato cilantro brown rice, poached egg, heirloom tomato, avocado puree, grilled corn tortillas, scallion curls and salsa roja was a gluten free dream. I’m not exaggerating either, the man at the table next to me asked what I was eating and said he’d have to get it on his next visit:beans and rice

The Husband went for the classic Bacon & Egg Sandwich. The Birchwood’s features an open-faced housemade English muffin with sunny-side up egg, bacon, dijon aioli, cheddar and mustard greens:
egg sandwich

With generous pots of tea on the side, The Birchwood Cafe started our Saturday off on the right foot. I can’t wait for seconds.

The Breakfast of Champions

I’m about to make a very bold statement because I have had been to a lot of restaurants this summer. My favorite meal at a new restaurant in Minneapolis this summer was at Tiny Diner.* A lot of restaurants have fed me some really amazing meals, but the one that stands out in my mind is Tiny Diner’s Macro Bowl. Could their breakfast be as good? It just might be better.

When I looked at the menu, a few things jumped out at me. I was disappointed that they were out of the House Made Granola
(hemp, flax , nuts, dried fruit, organic yogurt, or choice of milk) so I scrapped my initial plan of having that with the Bruled Grapefruit. The disappointment was soon forgotten when my second choice arrived. The Tofu Scramble:

marinated tofu, seasonal vegetables, toast (vegetarian)

marinated tofu, seasonal vegetables, toast (vegetarian)

The Husband wanted a little of everything so theThe Breakfast of Champions was the perfect choice. The pancakes were gooooooood.

three eggs, short stack, hashbrowns, maple sausage, toast

three eggs, short stack, hashbrowns, maple sausage, toast

The Tiny Diner and Farm call itself a small place with big ideas. Their menus made with local food and the stuff they grow themselves is worth a visit every time of day.

* Please note all the clarifications in this statement. 🙂

Date Night with The Boys: Al Vento!

When The Boys asked if I had plans for dinner, I couldn’t resist. There’s nothing like lounging on a patio in the summer with good friends, add some great food and the evening is complete. We headed down the street to South Minneapolis favorite Al Vento for some great Italian cooking.

We started with the Brushetta Sampler but were so ready to sample, I forgot to take a picture. Oops! Fortunately we didn’t stop there. To keep our dinners healthy, we shared a salad. This was the Roasted Peach with Mississippi Greens, Radish, Almond and Cherry Vinaigrette:

My third of the delicious salad.

My third of the delicious salad.

When having Italian food, two dishes seem to be the natural choices: pizza and spaghetti. We had both!

House Made Fennel Sausage with Roma Tomato and Herb Goat Cheese Pizza:pizza

Spaghetti with Mother Sauce and House Made Meatballs:spaghetti

My Neapolitan with Tomato Sauce, Fresh Basil and House Made Mozzarella (vegetarian):pizza

Not only does Al Vento have great food, they have great specials so you can make every night date night!

Great Taste in Your Own Backyard: Zumbro

We wanted something special for our breakfast with The Mom-In-Law, so we headed west to The Zumbro Cafe. Located in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, their website says they have been serving great meals from the heart since 1995 and we agreed. We got there bright and early to beat the rush, and their breakfast was worth it.

I have traced the source of The Husband’s love of Eggs Benedict to The Mom-In-Law, if it’s on the menu they are both sure to order it. I heard no complaints on this one, though they discussed the consistency of this hollandaise sauce at length since it was a thinner approach than they usually see. The verdict? They were both members of The Clean Plate Club, so I’m pretty sure they liked it.

The Husband's Eggs Benedict on toasted striato with our own house-made hollandaise. Roasted potatoes

The Husband’s and Mom-In-Law’s Eggs Benedict on toasted striato with our own house-made hollandaise. Roasted potatoes

I indulged my love of tofu with the Tofu Scramble. It was really good but I could have eaten a plate of their potatoes and toast for breakfast. Yum!

My tofu scramble  with tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil pesto. Potatoes & toast. (vegetarian)

My tofu scramble with tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil pesto. Potatoes & toast. (vegetarian)

While Zumbro isn’t exactly in our backyard, we’ll definitely be going back in the future to try more things – I encourage you to do the same!