Category Archives: Breakfast/Brunch

Grand Cafe – Closing

I just saw the sad news that a favorite restaurant is closing next week, February 5th.  If you have not tried Grand Cafe, you have 1 week.

I’ve had many great meals at Grand Cafe over the last 10 years.  We tend to go there more in the winter as it has such a cozy atmosphere that just calls out during the cold winter days.  We often would meet there after the hubby landed at the airport after a business trip.  I’d get there early and enjoy a glass of red at their tiny bar.

They had a great brunch including the hubs’ favorite, Eggs en Cocotte – poached eggs, puff pastry, Gruyere truffle cream, ham and sourdough.  I didn’t have one “go to” dish there, but everything was tasty.  One evening we were looking for a Sunday dinner option with my friend before she flew back to Arizona.  We tried one place that was closed and then ended up at Grand Cafe for Sicilian pizza night!  We absolutely loved the pizza that night – so much so that we got a second half after polishing off the first half.

I suppose all good things must come to an end, but I am very sad to see this one go.  If you are a Mpls reader, figure out a time to get there in the next week.  You won’t be disappointed!

Happy eating!





It was one of those January weekends where you really wonder what made you decide to live in the north part of the country.  Temperatures not above zero and wind chills in the teens and twenties…below zero.  The sun was shining though, so we ventured out for brunch at a new restaurant in St. Paul.

Heirloom was a great way to take the chill off of a weekend morning!  We made early reservations, but the cold definitely was keeping people away.  We essentially had the place to ourselves for the majority of our meal.  Once people get word of this place, I would imagine those reservations would be more necessary.

We arrived and were seated in a “cozy” two-top away from the door and windows.  I ordered a cup of hot tea “Evening in Missoula” is always a favorite of mine.  Not sure what the hubs had to drink – he’s prone to ordering Mimosa’s and I seem to remember him doing that this time around as well.

We then started with a couple of pastries.  I had the Sourdough coffee cake and the hubs went with the apple and cheddar hand pie.  Both were appropriate servings to have on our own.  Though he did do a second hand pie since it was so tasty!  Both of the pastries were very good.  my coffee cake had some kind of sauce drizzled over it.  It kind of reminded me a bit of a bread pudding.

We then ordered our main entrees.  I had the Buttermilk Biscuits with sausage gravy and soft scrambled eggs.  The eggs were fabulous – buttery melt in your mouth type of eggs.  The biscuits were small and were tasty without the gravy.  The sausage gravy was not your typical white gravy with big chunks of sausage.  The sausage was reddish looking with small pieces of sausage.  The flavor was outstanding.  A very different take on what I think of as biscuits and gravy.  I would totally get it again!

Sadly I don’t remember what the hubs got for his main entrée.  I do know that he really enjoyed it as well.  He did order a biscuit for his dessert since he liked the look of my meal.

I definitely want to go back for both brunch and to try their dinner menu.  The dinner menu looks interesting and if you are not sure how you’d order from it, I think the idea is to order something from each of the different sections on the menu and make a tasting dinner out of the menu.  Never fear, the wait staff is fabulous and can help guide you through the menu if you are unsure.  You will be sure to find something you’ll enjoy and if you are open to it, maybe something new to try!

Happy Eating!

2015 – Off and Running

I didn’t post much in 2014, but never fear – I didn’t give up trying restaurants!  In fact, we had many great meals in 2014.  We did some traveling too, so our meals included restaurants in Helsinki, Finland, Singapore, and Sydney, Australia.  In the States we also ate in Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, Champaign, and of course Minneapolis/St. Paul.

I can’t recap the entire year, but I can let you know that our favorite restaurant of 2014 was selected back in April.  We tried Brassiere Zentral one week after they opened in April.  Our meal was excellent and we were so confident that it would win our favorite of the year that we went ahead and made our New Year’s Eve Reservation for BZ in April.  Nothing surpassed it in the remaining months and so we kept our reservation for NYE.  Right before Christmas, Brassiere Zentral was named Minneapolis Startribune’s restaurant of the year as well.

We enjoyed closing out 2014 with one of our regular dinner companions and good friend Heather at Brassiere Zentral.  The one downside of the night was that we were seated in a booth right by the front door.  We were slightly annoyed as we felt that they should have noted in the reservation book that we were the first to reserve a table and they should have given us a bit of a better table.  We could have asked to move, but didn’t.  The service and food were great, it was a bit cold being that close to the door but we didn’t let it ruin the evening.

2015 has started out very well with new restaurants to try.  We also frequent some of our favorites quite a bit.  Cafe Levain is a solid restaurant that we find ourselves going to when we don’t necessarily want to try a new restaurant and be disappointed.  They recognize us there and know the hubby likes his polenta.

We have become a bit of a breakfast/brunch couple and have tried the following restaurants this year already:

Tiny Diner – We technically ate here in 2014, but it was so close to the new year that I’m going to count it.  We grabbed breakfast here during the week of New Year’s.  I had an awesome Breakfast Burrito with chorizo, bacon, eggs, cheddar cheese, spinach, fingerling potatoes, green chili sauce, and crème fraîche.  It had a bit of a kick to it, but nothing too spicy.

The Ettlins Cafe – We had breakfast on New Year’s Day at this cafe.  Awesome pancakes!  If you go, don’t get tricked into thinking you need the standard 3 pancakes.  These pancakes are each bigger than your head, so don’t order more than 2.

Tongue in Cheek – This east side St. Paul restaurant was a great find!  I had the Chorizo & Potato Hash which was served with scallions, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce.  I asked for the sauce on the side and that was a great move as it really isn’t needed for the dish.  The flavoring of the fingerling potatoes, arugula and chorizo was spot on and the sauce would have just confused the taste buds.  The hubby had the Poached Eggs & Grits with chermoula, Parmesan and grilled bread.  We both managed to completely clean our plates.  We had to wait quite awhile between ordering and consuming, but it was worth the wait.

Looking forward to trying more restaurants this year and sharing reviews on this page.

Happy Eating!