Weekend brunch may be the fastest-growing segment of the dining industry. But weekday breakfast? It’s not so prolific. Here are 20 ideas that extend the a.m. meal beyond the Tremendous Twelve, the Egg McMuffin and the Grand Slam.
Verdant Tea is the place for what might be the Twin Cities’ most visually stunning breakfast dish. Picture this: a bowl of rice embellished with a flurry of harmonious add-ons, including velvety tofu, mildly sour pickled vegetables, chewy enokitake mushrooms, a veritable garden of microgreens and cilantro, and a steaming, nuanced broth using a wild-harvested black tea from China’s Yunnan province ($8.50). Pair it with an effervescent mimosa ($4), made using the house-brewed lychee or ginger kombucha, fresh O.J. and a splash of coriander bitters.
2111 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-223-8907, minneapolis.verdanttea.com
At chic Truce, the transformation of organic fruits and vegetables into juices yields ultra-fresh, carefully calibrated libations, sold in 16-ounce grab-and-go bottles. Case in point: “Morning Greens” ($9.95). Don’t let its 1970s avocado kitchen appliance-color (that’s a leafy-greens triumvirate of kale, spinach and romaine lettuce at work) be a deterrence. Forget about virtue — although there’s plenty of that here — and concentrate on the prevailing notes of cool cucumber and crisp apple, followed by a refreshing ginger wallop. I felt healthier after one tasty swig.
1428 W. 32nd St., Mpls., 612-825-1684, www.drinktruce.com
The apple soufflé pancake at the Good Day Cafe borrows heavily from both the popover and the apple pie, a brilliant mash-up. The size of a dinner plate and perfumed with an intoxicating amount of cinnamon, this bronzed beauty ($11.95) requires a 20-minute prep time, allowing it to rise to dramatic heights. Once it’s tableside, it eventually collapses under its own weight. It’s also brazenly delicious. Fair warning: There will be a doggie bag. “I’ve only seen one person finish the whole thing, ever,” my server said with a laugh.
5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley, 763-544-0205, www.gooddaycafemn.com
Sun Street Breads baker Solveig Tofte takes her extraordinary buttermilk biscuits to the next level with crispy-skinned fried chicken, a strip of thick-cut bacon and a ladle of gleefully peppery sausage gravy ($7.50). Two words for those who plan to consume this Southern-fried delicacy on a regular basis: gym membership.
4600 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3414, www.sunstreetbreads.com
Those looking for an excuse to consume pastrami before lunch need look no further than Be’wiched Deli, where the kitchen’s truly life-altering cured and smoked brisket ($9) is stacked on house-baked herbed focaccia and smothered with roasted peppers, a rowdy harissa and a pair of runny fried eggs. As breakfast sandwiches go, this one’s a hall-of-famer.
800 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-767-4330, www.bewicheddeli.com
The oatmeal-phobic will be pleased to find their rolled-oats expectations subverted at Anodyne Coffeehouse. Rather than convincing skeptics the easy way — through prodigious amounts of sugar and cream — the kitchen mellows the grains by cooking them in apple cider, then ramps up the color, flavor and texture factors with a handful of like-minded add-ons: dried cranberries, pecans, a hint of wild rice and skinny slices of ripe, juicy pears ($5.25). The sides of brown sugar and half-and-half are superfluous.
4301 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-824-4300, www.anodynecoffeehouse.com