Did you think brunch and I had broken up? I wouldn't blame you...I haven't chronicled a date with my favorite mid-day meal for almost three months at this point! Although I'm making a point to try to eat at home more often, I've still explored plenty of the Twin Cities' best brunch destinations, and am simply shamefully behind in actually ranking them and adding them to my list.
Case in point: when Laura came to town and we went to Crashed Ice and the symphony way way back when Minnesota was covered in snow, we brunched TWICE and I have totally failed to even mention it, almost six months later. FAILSAUCE. What better excuse to eat out than a foodie, coffee-loving friend visiting?!
On Friday of her visit, we had a lazy morning of catching up at the Chateau de Liz and headed to the (then) brand-new Bachelor Farmer Café!
Don't go in these doors.
No, seriously, don't. These are the doors to the real Bachelor Farmer, and I only took photos because I just love that brick and those awnings and that door. Generally aesthetically perfect.
Instead, go around the corner and go in HERE!
Just as playful and bright and airy as the regular restaurant, with bright tile, ample seating and high ceilings. I fell for it right away...it's definitely one of the more Instagrammable brunch places I've eaten at lately, if that's your thing. (It's kiiiiind of mine. Oops.)
As mentioned, Laura is a HUGE coffee addict/snob, so we were delighted when these beauties came off the coffee bar to us!
Hi, be prettier, lattés. They were delectable, and we spent way too much time oohing and ahhing over how lovely they were while waiting for them to cool down from tongue-scalding to just-right piping hot. See below for the face of a coffee-lover in bliss.
The café had just rolled out their "closed" sandwiches, as opposed to "open-faced" which, to my understanding, are just toasts. We tried two...a goat cheese-and-roast beef with perfectly spicy horseradish and mustard, and a pickled-coleslaw and cider-braised pork shoulder. Both were incredible. Had I written this up closer to when we actually dined, I might remember what that tempting cookie was, but I've forgotten everything except that it was really good.
Based on skimming Yelp reviews, it sounds like the full sandwiches, coffee, and pastries are the way to go, and the toasts are underwhelming. I would have to say I thought everything we ordered was lovely, and would urge any future visitors to follow our lead in ordering. Note that the menu IS seasonal, and what we ate in February is almost for-sure not an option in July.
The score for a precious Lizzie-Laura selfie, below? 10/10 of course, who wouldn't give us a perfect ranking?
On Sunday, we headed over to St. Paul in an icy sleet storm for a totally different experience! Amsterdam Bar is the polar opposite of the Bachelor Farmer Café. It is not Instagrammable or light or airy. It IS, however, host to Sunday Brunch Trivia, and we could NOT pass that opportunity up.
Pro: It's near my office, I guess. Not that I'm ever in the office on a Sunday morning...this ain't EY, campers.
Con: pretty much everything. This is not the place to go if you want a stereotypically Millennial, pretty brunch experience. It's quite apparently a bar and music venue that also happens to serve brunch on Sundays.
Score: 2/10 (it was clean and perfectly presentable!!)
While we both had mimosas, the real write-home-to-Mama drink was the perfect French press coffee. Laura was pleased. I was pleased. We had a second press's worth. Entirely lovely.
We started with a Dutch baby, which was practically perfect in every way. For those unfamiliar, a Dutch baby is a hybrid of a pancake and a really puffy crepe that one consumes topped with powdered sugar and lemon juice. We were impressed...it was REALLY good and the perfect little munchie to get us through the first rounds of trivia.
Amsterdam Bar is known for their breakfast hashes, a concoction of potatoes and a ton of toppings all blanketed with a fried egg and served with a ton of side sauces and toast for sopping it all up. I had the "Himalayan Cream," which featured goat cheese, sausage and onion, and Laura went with the vegetarian "Lebanese Red," which was spicy and looked amazing. We both practically mopped the paper-boat containers clean. The food, despite the weird ambiance, was AMAZING.
Score: 10/10 - don't judge this book by its cover.
Trivia was a hilarious fail, in which we got our butts totally kicked. While I knew all the state capitols and we dominated that round, certain other answers got us legitimately laughed at - Desert Fox, for example, and not actually knowing where the Golden State Warriors played. A lot of our answers ended up being total shots in the dark that ended up being unintentionally hilarious. And that in and of itself made that brunch a total, unmitigated win.
To visit the Bachelor Farmer Café, head here, for Amsterdam Bar, here, and for a plethora of other brunch places and/or to organize and plan our next outing, head here, naturally - who's up for bottomless mimosas asap?!