Best Waffle: The Lowry

I blogged about my visit to the The Lowry in July, but I have to post again. In my mind, the primary reason to go there for breakfast is to indulge in this:
peanut butter waffle

The Peanut Butter Waffle is the closest thing to culinary perfection that I have ever tasted. The light and tender waffle is served with crunchy Skippy, vanilla custard, and candied peanuts. Your first impulse is to skip adding the maple syrup, but that is a mistake; adding maple syrup to this delectable feast only enhances each of its flavors. It simply has to be the best waffle in Minneapolis.

I’ve been to The Lowry for breakfast several times since that first visit in July and while all of the food is spectacular, it’s the Peanut Butter Waffle that keeps me going back. I have introduced it to friends and watched their eyes widen in pleasure after that first tentative bite. Then they dig in with gusto, trying to isolate the secret to this wondrous waffle. Trust me. Try the Peanut Butter Waffle and let me know what you think.

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?

The Caves of Faribault

Faribault, Minnesota has one of the best-kept secrets in the state: The Cheese Caves. The first cave was carved into the naturally occurring sandstone thanks to German immigrants in the 1850s. Brothers Ernst & Gottfried Fleckenstein founded a brewery and used the caves for brewing and storing beer. Their brewery Fleckenstein Brewing operated in the caves until Prohibition.

The caves were quiet until 1936 when a cheese maker came to town. Expanding the largest cave and carving additional ones, it was there that the AmaBlu® blue cheese recipe was created by Felix Frederiksen. According to Caves of Faribault,  it was the first blue cheese made in America. Frederiksen’s company eventually came to be known as Treasure Cave, Inc.

In the 1990s, the caves were purchased and cheese production moved to a conventional facility in another state, but in 2001, the Faribault Dairy Company (now the Caves of Faribault®) was founded to bring them back to life. And thank goodness they did. Almost eighty years after that first batch of blue cheese was made by Felix Frederiksen, the caves are back in business. The internationally acclaimed cheese is still made by hand in traditional open vats following Frederiksen’s original recipe. Using only Grade A milk, traditional starter culture, salt and Penicillium rocquefortii, it is hand salted, cured and aged in the caves.

Cheeses and specialty items are now sold at their gourmet artisan cheese shop, The Cheese Cave. A casual cafe is located at the back of the shop and guests can relax over a glass of wine or have a delicious lunch featuring the Cheese Cave cheeses like these sandwiches:

Flatbreads like this Pear Gorgonzola Pizza:
pear and Gorgonzola pizza

And unique cheesecakes made from blue cheese with fruit toppings:

Cave tours are not allowed in person but they can be enjoyed through the internet:

The next time you’re in Minnesota, save room for some cheese and head to Faribault. Can’t get there in person? Not a problem, they have an online shop.

Primary sources used in this article:
The Caves of Faribault
The Cheese Caves

Back in Business: Busters!

It’s been over a year since a favorite neighborhood restaurant closed due to fire and I’m happy to report that Busters on 28th is back in business! We couldn’t wait to see the changes and to get a taste of the new menu, it was like no time had passed at all.

We started with their hand cut tortillas, the guacamole was really fantastic:
chips and guacamole

I was happy to see they had added a veggie burger to their menu:

veggie burger

My Veggie Burger: Butternut squash, wild rice and currants with sage aioli and gouda cheese (vegetarian

Our server said that the Steak Sandwich was her favorite thing on the menu, I didn’t hear any complaints from The Husband:

steak sandwich

The Husband’s Steak Sandwich: Sautéed with caramelized onions and bacon topped with a blue cheese sauce and potato chips

We’re so glad to have this neighborhood favorite back, it was worth the wait!