Need a good brunch spot in Minneapolis or St Paul. Thanks!
When you say brunch, do you mean cloth napkins, mimosas, and a slice of cantaloupe at the end, or do you mean breakfast any time of the day on a weekend? Is this for a special occasion? I think there might be different answers depending on the occasion.
My three favorite breakfast places in Minneapolis are:
1) Lucia's - great atmosphere. Rotating slection of fritatas and pancakes/waffles. The baked goods are also great.
2) Zumbro - Really good neighborhood spot in Linden Hills. I am particularly fond of their take on Huevos Rancheros and their corn and blueberry pancakes. They also have the best bacon in town - very smokey and meaty. A little more casual than Lucia's but still nice.
3) Al's Breakfast - This is more breakfast than brunch. Great greasy spoon atmosphere -- just a counter with 14 stools. Their blueberry pancakes are excellent. The long wait attests to the fact they are doing something right.
Per Alice's response, if you meant cloth napkins and a made-to-order omelet station among the buffet lines, Nicollet Island Inn leaps to mind.
YMMV: Others may posit that buffets and good chow are mutually exclusive.
I love Al's but I also feel the subtle pressure not to linger talking over coffee. People are lined up waiting -- staring holes in your back, in fact -- and they want to turn those 14 stools as much or more than the staff do. Ditto for Zumbro and one of my other favorites, Maria's Cafe.
So I'll chime in with a related question: where are people's favorite places to go where they can get eggs and waffles or pancakes cooked to order, and can spend time at a table with friends or a newspaper? Must have EXCELLENT coffee. In Minneapolis I like being able to read the whole newspaper at Anodyne (43rd & Nicollet) enough to order the oatmeal or the special scramble. But in St. Paul?
(And yes, when we monopolize a table we tip extravagantly in return. Thanks for asking.)
Last winter my husband and I had occasion to sample several weekend breakfast/brunch spots around the Twin Cities. Here are our favs:
The Uptown Diner on Hennepin in Mpls. Great Andouille and huge breakfasts, no pressure to hurry, free parking and reasonable prices.
Victor's 1959 cafe at 37th and Grand in Mpls. Mango pancakes, need I say more?
The New Uptowner on Grand Ave in St. Paul, huge breakfasts and great sausages.
Hell's Kitchen - wild rice porridge, crab cakes with poached eggs, rosti potatoes, thick sliced bacon, huevos ranchers and servers in their jammies. pricy but great.
Key's Cafe - everything made to order, amazing Italian hash, great value. There are several locations in the twin cities, though the original on Raymond Ave in St. Paul, just north of University is my fav. Try the Eggs Florentine covered in their homemade hollandaise sauce.
Last but hardly least:
The Uptown Bar and Grill on Hennepin in Mpls. - get the Gyro breakfast, a heaping mound of gyro meat accompanied by cucumber sauce, 2 eggs to order, crispy hashbrown and toast. Pair it with one of their signature bloody mary's and you get to keep the glass (they actually give you a clean, new one to take home)
My new favorite spot is Zeno's in Uptown at the corner of Lagoon and Hennepin. They have a good variety of brunch foods, and you can also order lunch. Great tea and coffee, drinks if you want them. You can purchase entrees or their brunch which consists of a breakfast entree, a basket of mini muffins (I think you get 1/2 dozen.), and a mimosa.
Great food, fun atmosphere!