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Jul 10, 2007 06:53 PM

Common Roots Cafe - MSP

Just stopped by the Common Roots Cafe at 26th and Lyndale (the old Sobas -- and older Poulet -- space) for dinner this evening. Apparently, they just opened on Monday.

They have opened up the space and have stripped the walls back to the brick. You order at a counter and then a server brings your food.

Had a grilled sandwich with eggplant and olive spread, thinly sliced zucchini and gouda cheese. The sandwich came with a side of bagel chips and pickled cauliflower and carrot. Very tasty.

I also had a cup of soup, but I'm not sure what kind it was. (I had ordered red lentil, but that's not what I got. When I went up to look at the menu board later, I couldn't figure out which soup I'd gotten instead.)

They also serve beer and wine -- the beer includes two Surly taps (currently Cynicale and Bender).

The sandwich, cup of soup, and a pint of beer ran about $15.

A very earnest place -- they seem to be very committed to locally sourced food and the food is made from scratch. Several types of Peace Coffee.

They also had a beautiful cake, several scones, pastries, and muffins. Oh, and they make their own bagels.

All in all, a nice neighborhood place.

Common Roots Cafe
2558 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

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  1. thanks for the nice review of this place bob s-- been keeping an eye on the reno there, waiting for them to open!

    1. bob - did you notice if they had wifi?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Foureyes137

        I did not notice any indications of wifi but, to be honest, I wasn't really looking for it. The cafe does have the feel of a place that would encourage hanging around for a while so it wouldn't surprise me if they do.

        1. re: Foureyes137

          Today there was a gal on a notebook, so I *think* they have wifi. I didn't specifically ask though.

          I had a roastbeef sandwich with raw milk cheese, onions, and stone ground mustard on honey grain (I think) that was excellent. My small cappuccino turned into something more like a latte (more milk and bigger than a cappa should be), but the espresso shot was ground immediately before being pulled and it had nice tiger stripes through most of it's ~28 second pull (good).

          My wife had a bagel with blueberry cream cheese and slice of banana bread. Both were very good; the bagels were a little "skinny" looking though.

          Overall a good experience on our first visit.

          1. re: Foureyes137

            common roots most certainly has wifi!

          2. I went in this morning and grabbed a toasted sesame bagel w. a bit of butter. I thought the bagel was the best I have had in a long time. And it was the size a bagel should be, not gargantuan like Einstein's. The flavour was so much fresher than Bruegger's. I key getting slightly sweet and then a little salt. Excellent. And the space was like a breath of fresh air after Soba's!

            1. I just stopped by this morning, and you're definitely burying the lede -- Minneapolis/St. Paul now has real bagels. I ate my way through Manhattan and Brooklyn when I was living in Cobble Hill looking for the best bagels out there (my feeling: Terrace Bagels, in Park Slope), so I'm attuned to what sets apart the good, the bad, and the ugly. Common Roots bagels have a nice boiled exterior (but not too tough), a good dense flavorful interior (but not too sour), and a perfect size -- the tire-sized bagel is an abomination, not a goal, because it tends to result in a higher soft interior to delicious crusty exterior ratio than is desirable.

              The cream cheese is definitely something fresh (not off-the-shelf) and the combination of the two is dynamite. Life as we know it has been altered. Slightly. For the better.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jrnorton23

                No lede to bury - I hadn't had the bagels. (I did bury the lede in another review recently of Saffron.)

                What flavors of bagels do they have? As long as they've refrained from raisin/cranberry/bubble gum/etc., I might think they have the real thing!

              2. I'm so excited to stop by for a bagel and soup on my way into the office in a little bit! Will report back on the bagel flavors.

                3 Replies
                1. re: katebauer

                  I'm currently eating my take out.

                  It's a really bright and clean space, and they do have wireless. They had 4 types of bagels - sesame, plain, poppy, and one other savory which I can't remember. I got the carrot ginger soup which is really wonderful and slightly spicy. I had a creamier bowl of it at Riverview Wine Bar last month which was really fantastic - this one is a small step down but still great. They packed the soup in an eco-friendly container which is a little too flimsy. I also got a sesame bagel w/ plain cream cheese. I would prefer the bagel to have a little more definition - crunchier on the outside and chewy in the middle, but it's definitely an improvement to the chain bagels.

                  The sandwiches looked delicious too and I can't wait to go back. They were having some problems with the cash register today so if you go soon bring cash.

                  1. re: katebauer

                    Can you get a dozen bagels to go, or is it more oriented toward eating in? (In other words, do they have giant bins of fresh bagels for sale?)

                    1. re: Jordan

                      Their menu advertises a dozen or half dozen bagels and they definitely do a lot of takeout business. They don't have that many bagels out front (maybe 15-20 of each of the 4 kinds) so I don't think they're expecting to sell a lot of dozens but it's definitely possible.