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Grand Café – Minneapolis, MN – Brunch

We were in the neighborhood and knew that the Grand Café served brunch on the weekends so we decided to give it a try.


My last trip to the Grand Café was not bad but it was not great either. Of the 4 entrees we tried one was amazing and the others were average. My assessment was that the service was so slow that the food sat out too long. For a pan seared duck breast this is not good thing.

I am not one that enjoys rushing a meal, in fact I do really enjoy a break between courses to take a few breaths, sip some wine and enjoy the conversation. But service at this restaurant has been consistently slow both times I have been there. The wait staff was very nice and knowledgeable, just not all that efficient when it comes to empty wine glasses and getting the plates from the kitchen to the diners.

The food for brunch this time was stellar. The Huevoes Rancheros were magnificent. Their version is more French inspired and features Quesadillas filled with Berkshire Pork Confit, Oaxaca Cheese, Two Eggs Your Way (I had mine over easy), Mole, Black Beans, Cilantro, Sour Cream. Out of the kitchen the dish is actually fairly mild, the mole is nicely balanced and not too spicy. Mexican and southwestern food lovers might find this dish on the bland side. They bring you some condiments if you feel the need to add more heat.
Grand Café – Minneapolis, MN
I was really impressed with the preparation and attention to detail. The dish was nicely layered and all the ingredients were fresh (except the pork) and high quality. I would highly recommend this if you go there for brunch.

We also tried the steel cut oats. This is a dish that I would normally not order in a restaurant because after all it is oatmeal. This was not your run of the mill oatmeal. It came with a side of apples and Devonshire cream. Mixing these into the hot oatmeal was divine.

I am excited to go back there again soon for dinner and brunch for that matter. I really like their dedication to high quality local ingredients. I am hoping the service will become more efficient as time goes on.


Grand Café – Minneapolis, MN

I was looking forward to my visit to the Grand Café, knowing that the concept was similar to its former incarnation as Bakery on Grand. I was a big fan of their rustic, fresh, understated approach to both their menu and wine list. Grand Café is similar but different.


We made a reservation at 7:15. When we arrived the place was busy. The restaurant itself is a nice, warm space. They have made some nice improvements, but kept the overall layout and approach.

My first impression was that they were unorganized. It took us a while to find someone willing to help us get to our table. Not a single employee would acknowledge that we were obviously waiting to be seated. Finally the host showed up and brought us to our table after about 5 or so minutes.

Like I said earlier. I thought the environment was really nice. They have thought about the details to make it a nice dining experience. The flatware, and plates are well thought and fit with their theme in an appropriate, not trying too hard way.

It was way too dark for me to take any iPhone pictures. I have a new policy. 1. If I can’t get a good shot I won’t take one. 2. I will not ever use a flash in a fine dining restaurant. So no picutures this time it was too dark.

We started with several first courses. The warm beet salad was excellent. It is a nice combination of pears, goat cheese, honey and walnuts.  We also tried the Creamy Leek Tart. It was  really good. I especially enjoyed the roasted tomato and poached egg that came along with it. This would be a wonderful brunch or breakfast dish. The leeks were not overpowering. I think diners who don’t care for onions would even enjoy this.  Another star at the table was the trio of Canapés. They change regularly and offer a range of flavors.

For entrees I went with the duck special. It was a pan-seared duck breast served with fingerling potatoes and braised greens. The duck was cold and not all that exciting. The potatoes were good. I think the dish would have been better if it would have been served to me sooner. Overall, it was not nearly as good as the Kobe Brisket. This was great comfort food. Don’t miss this one if you go. It was tender and flavorful served with beautiful porcini mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

The pork loin chop was also good. Not stellar but good. I think this dish also suffered from sitting too long before it was served. I enjoyed the apple chutney with cranberry and rappini it came with. The last entrée we tried was a special containing trout. It closely resembled salmon so I stayed away (allergic to salmon). It was reported that it was OK, but would not order it again.

Desserts were excellent. We tried the pumpkin cheesecake and the Bete Noire. I actually preferred the cheesecake. It was served as a round with the crust more like a cookie on top. The Bete Noir was a dense chocolate cake served with blackberries and citrus crème anglaise. It was just enough for a taste without being overwhelming.

The wine list at Grand Café is appropriate. There are some nice selections and range in terms of variety and price. It is clear that they have taken  time to carefully select wines that work well with the menu.

Service was my biggest complaint along with the entrees. It was very slow. Our server was very nice, but we waited a really long time between courses and my entrée was served cold. I also had to point out to the server that we were not charged for the $50 bottle of Burgundy I ordered. Whoops.

I would recommend ordering off the menu and staying away from the specials. Both dishes that came from the regular menu were good. I would not order the fish or the duck again.