Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Restaurant Review :: Birchwood Cafe

Marathon weekend has come and gone!  After getting a perfect dose of carbs courtesy of some simple pasta with tomato sauce and garlic bread the night before, I managed to rock out another personal record and drop 13 minutes off last year's time.  The race itself was fun and the roads were lined with spectators cheering and willing us runners on to the final miles.  I was in a lot of pain afterwards and felt completely justified in grabbing two beers at The Liffey in downtown St. Paul.  That night though, I couldn't fathom eating anything except plain rice.  Yup, plain rice.  That's all!  So the next morning I took a vacation day and my friend Lindsay and I went out for a delicious breakfast.

How have I never heard of Birchwood Cafe in the Longfellow Seward neighborhood (thanks reader!) of Minneapolis?!  The menu is full of tasty offerings made with locally sourced, organic, and sustainable ingredients.  Birchwood Cafe also features more than a single vegetarian option...plus they have vegan and gluten-free options!  The breakfast menu actually had an omelet featuring tofu.  Tofu!  Again, how have I never heard of this place?!   Birchwood serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it has a pretty excellent display of pastries and desserts. I also scoped out that Birchwood has half-priced wine on Monday and Tuesday nights. Awe-some.

Besides being one of my new favorite restaurants for the fabulous food, Birchwood Cafe is adorable.  This restaurant is tucked away in a quaint Minneapolis neighborhood, surrounded by big trees, unique houses, and it is conveniently located near one of the new bike sharing sites.  There are tables outside for enjoying lovely Minnesota weather as well as a bar table set against the large windows, perfect for sitting and watching the day breeze by.  I could have sat perched on that bar stool all day watching the fall colors, drinking my coffee, and avoiding anything involving walking. 

can you see the beautiful fall leaves reflected in the coffee?
Since I'd burned a bazillion calories the day before, I indulged in the waffles along with a side of two scrambled eggs.  The waffles came drenched in a fresh berry sauce that dotted my waffles with sweet blueberries and negated any need for syrup.  I was surprised at how well the waffles held up to the berry juice, but each bite was still filled with waffle-y substance and delish berries.  I took a few of the berry-less corners of the waffle and dipped them into the syrup just to see what it tasted like.  Ummm, full of maple flavor but without all of that sickly sweetness and over stickiness.  It was like maple juice.  Mmmmmm.  Berry maple waffles of joy!  The side of scrambled eggs was similarly perfect -- light, fluffy eggs cooked to perfection. 

Lindsay's omelet came with a side of roasted potatoes that were unlike any breakfast roasted potatoes I've ever seen.  They were little round potato crisps with a hint of salt and rosemary.  Perfect for dipping into ketchup or great edible plates for some eggs. 

Birchwood Cafe was firing on all cylinders for our brunch.  It was the most perfectly AWESOME place to celebrate my fourth marathon finish.  And you can bet I will be back there...frequently.  Like tomorrow.  And the next day.....and the next.....


  1. You highlighted all the greats of Birchwood wonderfully! Pretty much made my mouth water, and the coffee mug pic brought me right back to the moment. I am so proud to have been mentioned on the blog, AND to have been your company for your first Birchwood experience. Next time we should ride our bikes there... when it is not the day after a marathon. :)

  2. Thanks Linds!! We should hit up Birchwood on our bikes for half-priced wine night :) And thanks for "liking" my blog on the facebook! xoxo

  3. You've never heard of "Birchwood Cafe in the Longfellow neighborhood" because it's in the Seward neighborhood. So you're excused... :-) But now that you've discovered it, be sure to get back often. It's a wonderful treasure!

  4. Ahh thanks for the correction!! I wouldn't want to misdirect anyone looking for this charming restaurant! :)

  5. Always one of our favorites for many years now, and it gets better as time goes by....