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The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

French Meadow food coverage

French Meadow Bakery, the oldest continuously serving organic bakery in America, now has a Grand Avenue location.

The Grand Avenue location will have the same menu as its flagship restaurant in Uptown, but with a larger selection of twenty beers on tap.

The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as feature weekly specials: fish, handmade pasta and vegan dishes.

“Our food has to say ‘eat me,’ co-owner and founder Lynn Gordon says, “and it’s compelling, sustainable food that respects our local farmers.”

Milkyway Tarts, Berry Cream Tortes and Chocolate Dipped Cakes crowd the Uptown location’s display case. Banana chocolate chip muffins and scones join in for slightly less decadent fare and mini-cupcakes line the case’s top.

Each item has been made from organic and fresh produce—the eggs are freshly cracked every morning for batter—and the majority of bakery items are gluten free, vegan, or often, both.

Gordon founded French Meadow Bakery in 1985 with co-owner Steve Shapiro and points to a review by Minneapolis-based food & wine writer Dara Grumdahl as “putting perfectly” what motivates the restaurant.

Grumdahl writes, “French Meadow Bakery has led, articulated and demonstrated everything right and good about food in America in the last several decades championing organics before there really was such a thing.”

For Gordon, providing healthy and delicious food is at the core of French Meadow Bakery’s eating philosophy.

“It is inhumane what some places will do to food,” Gordon says. “Serving food that is fresh and good is the only way to do it here.”

Gordon tells me this as we sit in the busy Uptown location. By nine o’clock on a recent Saturday morning, the line to order from the café area was already almost out the door (like the Grand Ave location, Uptown’s Bakery has a sit-down dining room as well as a more casual space for breakfast and lunch).

For my breakfast, I order the Cornmeal Waffle (GF, V, $9) with a side of House-made Organic Hash Browns (GF, V, $4). I realize I’m going to have a hard time going back to Café Mac’s waffle machine as the Cornmeal Waffle appears, beautifully presented with house-made maple syrup, organic walnuts and bananas.

The cornmeal adds a hearty flavor and texture to the waffles and the hash browns, crispy and well seasoned, are the best I’ve had in a long time. People’s Organic coffee—all the coffee comes from Gordon’s organic and fair-trade coffeehouse franchise—completes the breakfast.

And because dessert is appropriate for any meal, I also get a slice of the Rose Cake (GF, V, $6). The cake’s frosting, swirled to resemble petals, adds a light sweetness—“I absolutely love frosting,” Gordon says. “I used to make it with my mother and would eat all of it if I could.”

Gordon orders Lynn’s health breakfast ($7), her own creation of organic brown rice, apples, raisins, toasted sunflower seeds and steamed rice milk, all served with a side of organic sourdough toast.

If lunch or dinner is more your style, waiter Jimmy Sammartin recommends the Zen Salad (GF, V, $12) with house-made guacamole, hummus, organic micro-greens, kale, kalamata olives, steamed organic brown rice, radish, cucumber, roasted tomatoes, scallion, harissa, toasted sunflower seeds and lemon-herb vinaigrette.

“I can eat a lot but oh my god,” Sammartin says, “that salad is so filling and rich, it’s a perfect combination and [it’s] healthy too.”

French Meadow Bakery expects to be opening its doors on Grand Ave soon, but if you can’t wait, their 2610 Lyndale Avenue address in Minneapolis is open: 6:30 am-10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursdays, and until 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday nights.

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