Savory crêpe at the French Hen Cafe

Crêpes — well-made ones, anyway — don't exactly proliferate across Twin Cities a.m. menus, so it's always a pleasure to encounter one that boasts all the right tender, golden, piping-hot attributes.

But this delicious wake-up call is distinguished by what's folded inside: chewy broccoli florets, snappy asparagus spears, colorful chard and plenty of earthy oyster mushrooms. The just-right finishing touches include pops of a quietly pungent Gruyère, garden-fresh microgreens and a fried egg crowned with a runny yolk.

Calorie count? Unknown. But this breakfast ($13) exudes a good-for-you healthiness that feels foreign in a genre often linked with Nutella, whipped cream and other diet-busters. Although all bets are off when the kitchen tosses in bacon or a lively andouille-style sausage ($3). (Rick Nelson)

518 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-222-6201, Open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

Greentox juice at the Dripping Root

A big draw to owner Catiesha Pierson's shop is its built-in cheeriness. The staff is all smiles, the walls are covered in bright graphics, sunshine streams through big storefront windows and there's enough potted greenery to fill a smallish greenhouse.

Go for the mood-enhancing setting, stay for the vibrant cold-press juices ($10), sold in 16-ounce bottles.

I tend to steer clear of green-tinted juices; I've been burned by too many sips of what tasted like freshly mowed lawn. But not here. This imaginative kale-and-kiwi blend sports flavors — cucumber, celery — that recall a late-summer vegetable garden, and they're underscored by a sweet-tart hint of apple and the acidic sting of lime and pineapple.

The results, which maintain their freshness for a few days in the refrigerator, are virtuous and refreshing in equal measure, an all-too-rare combination. (R.N.)

4002 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls., Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thu.-Sun.

Beyond Asian Salad at the Freehouse

As far as fake meats go, I've enjoyed a Beyond Burger once in a while, but I hadn't come across the brand's breaded chicken-esque tenders. The product only launched this summer and is just starting to show up in restaurants.

Vegans take note: One early adopter is the Freehouse. When the North Loop brewpub got an accidental shipment of the faux-chicken from a distributor, they had to figure out how to use it on their new fall/winter menu, which they invited us to sample this week. They came up with a light spinach salad with Asian flavors — shredded cabbage, puffed rice noodles, orange sesame dressing — and sliced meatless chicken tenders ($20).

There's not much you can bread and fry that won't taste good, but texturally speaking, these tenders were surprising. Where a cube of tofu is all sponge, these have a little more going on; pull it apart and it shreds kind of like, well, chicken. Which is more than you can say about most fast food nuggets made with actual chicken.

Craft & Crew restaurants have also added the Beyond tenders to the menu; there, they come broasted with fries and vegan ranch. (Sharyn Jackson)

The Freehouse, 701 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-339-7011, Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-midnight Thurs.-Fri., 8 a.m.-midnight Sat., 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.

Tot and Bothered pizza from Bricksworth Beer Co.

This suburban surprise has a lot to offer. A cavernous space, seating areas with rec-room vibes, a solid lineup of beer (it is a brewery, after all), wine, cocktails and a menu that is worth seeking out, regardless of whether you're a beer fan.

Bricksworth's wings are top-notch: meaty, spicy and ($12 for six, $19 for 12) flavorful with just four varieties — Buffalo, dry rub, honey Sriracha and a rotating flavor. But the pizza is the star here.

Devotees of Detroit-style pan pizza will want to put this on your list. The pizza has all the hallmark characteristics — baked in a 8- by 10-inch steel pan, covered with cheese right to the edges — but with its own twists. Specialty pies run the gamut from pepperoni and pineapple to the Jimmy Buffett (their take on a Margherita pizza). You can also create your own.

But we couldn't resist the rotating special, the Tot and Bothered ($17). Topped with a thin layer of mashed potatoes and a mixture of hamburger, green beans and cream of mushroom, it's basically hot dish in pizza form. And when you add the pizza cheesiness and the smiley-tot topping, it is also comfort food at its finest. (Nicole Hvidsten)

12257B Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville, 952-657-5236, Open Tue.-Thu. 3-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Black sugar boba at Tiger Sugar

Walk into Tiger Sugar, a Taiwanese chain that just opened in Dinkytown, and you're walloped with the scent of brown sugar. Most of the items on the short menu are crafted around the taste of toasty caramel, and the cups are streaked with a dark sugar syrup that takes eight hours to make, giving the drinks their signature tiger stripes.

The top seller is the black sugar boba and pearl ($5.55). I also tried the drink with a ladle of custard, or pudding ($5.99). Even after shaking it about 15 times, as recommended, the ingredients stay distinct, making every sip a surprise.

And yes, with brown sugar at the core, the drinks are sweet. But that's the point. The company's website tries to convince us that desserts you can drink are "relaxing and healing"; after an immediate sugar high, I beg to differ. But take it at face value: brown sugar, milk, tea and a variety of chewy add-ons can be a miraculous combination, and "an unforgettable taste of Taiwan." (S.J.)

318 14th Av. SE., Mpls., 612-259-8998, Open noon-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun.