Who doesn’t love a good brunch? This past Saturday, I was in the mood for something special, so my friend and I decided to head over to Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis to try out their brunch. After consistently appearing on lists of the best brunch spots in the Twin Cities, it was time to give it a try. Apparently a lot of people had the same idea we did; the place was packed. The restaurant is set up so that you wait in line to order before being seated, and while the line was long, it moved fairly quickly, and we were seated and had ordered in under half an hour.
The atmosphere of the café is amazing. The place itself is small, but there is a lot of natural light from the many windows which makes it feel open. The art on the walls was very interesting and gave the place an overall social justice-oriented feeling, while not being overwhelming. The exhibit being shown was done by a local artist and included photographs of people in the community telling their stories. Birchwood Cafe definitely appeals to a wide range of people, and the crowd was very diverse, which I always appreciate. Lastly, the place was very community-oriented, even having a special community room that can be rented out by individuals or groups for meetings, movie screenings and more.
As for the food, it was incredible. I ordered the savory waffle, which was made of wild rice, kale and feta, topped with cranberry pear chutney, pistachio parsley butter and a sunny-side egg. This seemed to be one of the most popular dishes on the menu, and I can understand why. The hearty flavor that the wild rice, kale and feta provided, while still maintaining the fluffy and light feel of a good waffle, was extremely well balanced. The cranberry pear chutney added the perfect level of sweetness and a little tang to even out the maple syrup and powdered sugar on top. The pistachio butter was rich with flavor and added a nuttiness that really made the flavors combine even better. Lastly, a sunny-side up egg is always a nice way to add protein to a meal and worked well with this dish. My friend ordered the vegetable scramble as a main dish.
Birchwood changes their menu seasonally and uses fresh and local ingredients. The vegetable scramble with cauliflower, sweet potato, sage, fontina and sambal maple syrup was the perfect fall treat. The vegetables were cooked perfectly and blended very nicely with the melted cheese and seasoning to create a hearty and satisfying meal. For a sweet treat, my friend ordered a cinnamon roll as well, which was also excellent. Not too sweet or too dry, the cinnamon roll was a great addition to the meal.
Overall, Birchwood Cafe gets two thumbs up from me. While it does certainly attract a crowd, and you might have to wait a bit, the line moves quickly, the service is great and the food is even better. Birchwood Cafe is the perfect place for a healthy and delicious meal that will leave you feeling full and extremely happy.
Birchwood Cafe is located at 3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406