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Apr 26, 2011 04:29 PM

Barbette - Nice French Breakfast

They open at 8:00 a.m., and being the first one at the restaurant has its privileges: You get to pick your table, and you have the undivided attention of the waitress. But that changes quickly as people start arriving. There’s free parking in the back.

The setting looks like a bar that happens to serve food. I imagine it’s a fun place at night. The feeling is casual, with a mix of businesspeople and locals.

But for breakfast, the coffee’s outstanding….. rich and full bodied French roast. It really gets the old ticker ticking.

The offerings are French, ranging from croissants to quiche to crepes. They also offer normal eggs, bacon and potatoes, as well as waffles and fruit. They also have fresh bakery goods like scones, etc.

I picked the buckwheat crepe with spinach, tomato and chevre. As I selected it, the waitress gave me a knowing smile.

Let me just say that the texture of this crepe might get me ordering crepes more often. My biggest complaint with crepes is the texture. They often seem soggy, molding themselves to the filling and not providing much in the way of anything other than a sweet cover for the ham, cheese or whatever is inside.

But this was different. I don’t know if it was the buckwheat, or the cooking method, but the crepe was firm, and held its shape. And it wasn’t sweet at all. This was a pleasure to eat, almost crispy, and filled with just the right amount of filling to balance everything out. The tomato made it moist, and the acid offset the creaminess of the chevre. And the spinach added body and earthiness to keep the whole thing from getting too rich.

It was served with a small mixed green salad, a little heavy on the dressing, but that’s how I like it. The greens were very fresh, and good roughage.

Overall, a very nice breakfast, for about $15 before tip.

1600 West Lake Street (at Irving)

1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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  1. Would just like to second this review . . .I have been obsessed with Barbette's brunch for a long time. Great variety on the menu, reasonably priced, and everything I've had has been stellar.

    Some standouts:
    -The Chai
    -The eggs benedict (some of the best in town . . .soft, folded ham I can't find a match to anywhere)
    -The scrambled eggs with truffles served on a baguette (my favorite)
    -The Croque Madame
    -The Buckwheat crepe (explained above)

    Only brunch spot I like better is Meritage in St. Paul.

    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    1. Thumbs up for the eggs benedict -
      Steak Frite is still my go to order at Barbette.