Food & Drink

Grand Central Café reopens, fails to meet expectations

Grand Central Café, a familiar fixture to students exploring Grand Avenue, has recently reopened for business. In search of a Sunday morning breakfast sandwich, a few friends and I decided to check it out just 11 days after its grand reopening.

Conveniently located less than a block from Macalester’s campus, Grand Central recently revealed renovations after almost seven months. The restaurant, which closed in January, was scheduled to open again in February, but improvements were stalled and the business did not reopen its doors to the public until mid-August. The additions of a larger kitchen and a more extensive menu are the most visible changes the restaurant has undergone. The decor is bright and clean, with big tables that lend themselves to studying.

The restaurant was surprisingly empty for a Sunday morning as we approached the counter to place our orders. We were handed a drinks menu and a breakfast menu and quickly decided on the breakfast sandwiches ($7.00). My friend also ordered an iced coffee ($4.50).

After waiting almost an hour and watching everyone around us receive and finish their food, we finally asked a waitress if our order had been placed. As it turned out, our order had not been sent to the kitchen. The waitress kindly provided us with three cookies free of charge: brown sugar, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chocolate chip. Although the wait was inconvenient, the brown sugar cookie was delicious with a soft, sugary, melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Finally, after a wait that totalled approximately an hour and a half, we received our long awaited breakfast sandwiches. The sandwich was advertised as two eggs, sunny side up, between Texas Toast with avocado, cilantro and sumac (a lemony spice), served with hashbrowns. Reality did not quite live up to the menu description. The eggs were not runny, the sumac was almost nonexistent, and the sheer amount of cilantro (6 sprigs!) was overwhelming. Overall, although decently tasty, the sandwich was very much something I could create in my own kitchen for less money and time.

Although Grand Central Café is not somewhere I would visit often for breakfast, it may be worth checking out for its coffee and snacks. The café also boasts what appears to be a large selection of wine and beer on tap. Stop by for a quick snack or a drink, but take my advice and skip the breakfast sandwich.

Grand Central Café is located at 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul.

September 9, 2016

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