As a result of my mother-in-law’s love of brunch and my dad’s affinity for breakfast, J and I have had the opportunity to check out quite a few places in the Twin Cities for breakfast. Here’s J and I’s favorites — the ones that we’ll head to frequently on a Sunday or Saturday for brunch — with or without our parents.
The menu changes frequently, so be prepared that the thing you loved on your last visit might not be there or the same on your next visit. However, I’ve also never gotten anything less than amazing for breakfast. Their biscuits and gravy is awesome, usually includes some kind of veggies under the gravy (I’ve had kale on one occasion, leeks on another, and spinach on yet another occasion.), and usually paired with surprisingly good scrambled eggs (and neither J or I even like scrambled eggs all that much — but theirs are delicious). Last time, I went I had chicken and waffles with delightfully crispy chicken, a crisp-gooey waffle with hot sauce butter. Amazing!
2) Bread and Chocolate – Grand Ave in St Paul
Their white mocha might be my favorite in the whole Twin Cities. And the breakfast pastries have spoiled me for just about any other bakery. I can’t even describe which is my favorite. The Florentine – a warm buttery, fluffy croissant filled with spinach and cheese. Or the sweeter pastries: a raspberry-cream cheese stuffed croissant, an apple croissant with icing drizzled over the top, the chocolate croissant tender and oozing with chocolate, or the chocolate-cream cheese stuffed croissant. And then there’s the croissant we can’t leave without ordering, and we will rarely share. The hot ham and cheese. I don’t even like ham and cheese sandwiches, and this croissant is amazing. Flaky and gooey with cheese dripping out, and a good balance of salt from the ham. They sell quick, and it’s not uncommon to have to wait 5-10 minutes for the next batch to come out of the oven. One note of caution: I don’t care for the panini sandwiches. Stick with the pastries.
My favorite place to get a waffle. Crisp on the outside with a chewy center, and the malt added to the batter gives a nice robust flavor. Also, I dig the biscuits and gravy; the sausage is heavy on the sage side, so it’s not for everyone–but I’m a fan. The Drunken Banana French toast, while being not a super healthy choice, is a caramel and sugar dream to eat; so much sugar, but so, so delicious. Prepare for a sugar high, and for you and your dining partners to fight over the rum-soaked raisins. Worth the splurge. J’s a big fan of the chicken fried steak and gravy, and this platter is huge. I was flabbergasted at the size of the steak that came out.
Tucked by the Mississippi River near St Anthony, Wilde Roast’s new location is charming. Located on a brick road, diners get a nice view of the Mississippi. And the coffee shop inside has cozy wingback chairs and a fireplace if you just want to curl up with a book and coffee (or tea — they’ve an amazing selection of teas too). If you’re here for food, we dig brunch the best. I almost always get the creme-brulee french toast. Gooey and creamy with peaches and cherries on the bottom, and a nice sugar-crunch on the outside. Probably my favorite thing on the menu. J gets the eggs benedict every time, and he loves the cheesy hashbrowns as well. Also, their coffee and cocktails are delicious. Bloody Marys here are fabulous!
Located downtown, Hell’s Kitchen has a semi-creepy ambiance due to its decor — what else can you expect from a place called Hell’s Kitchen. They’ve live music occasionally, and generally is hopping place on weekends for brunch (though they also serve lunch and dinner). I don’t like restaurant pancakes, but the lemon ricotta hotcakes are phenomenal. It’s my choice whenever we go. The other awesome thing here is the house-made peanut butter; one of us usually orders a side of toast just so we can get the peanut butter and house-made jam. So worth it! You can also get a jar of it to take home.