Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cafe Zentral

Café Zentral just opened this week in the Soo Line building in Minneapolis at the corner of 5th and Marquette. It is affiliated with Brasserie Zentral on the first floor of the same building, but Café Zentral offers quick service breakfast and lunch to the skyway dwellers. There is even some seating on stools at counters around the edges of the space, as well as windows with a view of the plaza below.

I stopped by the other day after seeing a few tweets in my feed about it last week. The menu offers salads, grilled cheese and Panini, crepes and Munchen dogs. The Munchen dogs offer a variety of choices: bratwurst, frankfurter or smoked Slovakian in a pretzel bun with a variety of sauces to choose from.

For my first visit I went with a frankfurter Munchen dog with sauerkraut sauce and spicy brown mustard inside. The pretzel bun is excellent, very soft with just the right amount of salt. The frankfurters had a nice snap and the sauces are served inside the bun. I think the sauces soaked into the bun a bit, so I did not get a lot of flavor from the sauerkraut sauce, but the spicy brown mustard sauce was good. I was almost wishing the sauces ere served on the side though. The top of the dog needs something to dip it in.

So far Café Zentral looks like an interesting addition to the skyway lunch scene. I will have to go back and try a few more menu items and do a few more posts on it I think. I want to try the salads and the Panini. The fresh bakery items such as croissants, blueberry muffins and other pastries are also intriguing, though it is a bit far from my office to get there in the morning.

Café Zentral
505 Marquette Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lake & Irving

John and I went down to Uptown for a food truck fair awhile back, but the lines were so long and insane that we ended up going to Lake & Irving for lunch instead. We had been tossing around the idea of going there for awhile anyway, so it worked out fine as the restaurant was not that busy on a Sunday afternoon.
I started with a margarita, which had El Jimador Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier and a li-Hing mui rim. The li-hing mui on the rim is a red powder consisting of ground plum skin that was pickled in a combination of licorice, food coloring, salt and sugar and sometimes aspartame. (Yes, I had to look that up!) It added an unusual, but very flavorful sweet and salty taste to the drink. This was one of the best and most unique margaritas I’ve ever had.  

The brunch menu was still being served when we arrived and we did not feel like breakfast food. We both ordered the buttermilk chicken sandwich with fried Kadejan Farms chicken, Patisserie 46 sourdough, Compart Duroc bacon and pepperjack. This was a great chicken sandwich. The chicken was so crispy and juicy and cooked perfectly. The bacon and cheese added just the right amount of saltiness to the sandwich. The fries were also very good, very crisp and fresh.

 The service was fine and the ambiance was relaxed. The room has lots of large windows in the front and wood floors for a somewhat bright and rustic feel. The food was ordered was excellent and I think we need to go back again for dinner to try more items on the menu.

Lake & Irving
1513 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 354-2453

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Al's Breakfast

It's been awhile since we've been to Al's Breakfast. Yes, it is still there. Yes, it is still great food. Yes, it is worth the wait. Just go!

 blueberry pancakes
 regular pancakes
spring special

Here's a link to a previous visit from a couple years ago: http://whereshouldwegomsp.blogspot.com/2012/01/als-breakfast-update-1712.html

Al's Breakfast
413 14th Ave SE 
Minneapolis, MN 55414