Fabulous breakfasts to linger over around town.
Are you tired of hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Besides which, if it’s so important, why do so few of us bother with it? Maybe we resist because the dictate sounds a little bossy; maybe it’s that an extra hour of sleep is more compelling. But perhaps we should conceive of breakfast as an opportunity rather than a duty. We can wake up anticipating something restorative, energizing or just plain yummy. Try some of these delicious morning meals—we guarantee they will change the course of your day for the better.
Marsh Breakfast Salad
The Marsh is a bastion of all that is healthy; it’s a pleasure to eat here because the food is as nutritious as it is innovative and delicious. Consider the “breakfast salad”—what a good idea! It’s an inspired mix of baby spinach, two poached eggs, haricots verts—that’s green beans to you and me—and caramelized shallots. It’s drizzled with a warm bacon vinaigrette that wilts the greens a bit and suggests a more traditional bacon-and-egg repast. Bonus: It’s gluten-free. $9. 15000 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.935.2202.
Corned Beef Hash
March is also the month of the Irish, which is one more excellent reason to get over to McCormick’s for a quintessential Irish repast. The kitchen here is brilliant, especially when updating classics in a fresh, creative way, like the corned beef hash, which sounds fairly mundane but is amazingly chow-able. The house-made corned beef is tender and moist, and it comes with expertly sautéed potatoes, sweet caramelized onions, fresh, bright herbs and a couple of sunny fried eggs. $12. 331 Broadway Ave S., Wayzata; 952.767.2417.
This sweet little café is a lovely place to linger over a newspaper and a tidy egg sandwich. There are three variations to choose from: ham, bacon and spinach; bacon, brie and roasted onion; or queso fresco with black beans, corn salsa and guacamole. They’re all filling without heaviness—a 318 egg sandwich won’t make you want to go back to bed. The brie and bacon is our favorite. It’s smoky and creamy; a good runny egg yolk makes it heaven. $7. 318 Water St., Excelsior.
S’more Doughnut with Single-source Dark Roast
What could be more traditional than good ol’ doughnuts and coffee? YoYo Donuts is no drive-through; these might be called artisan donuts, with coffee to match. You’ll want to hang out here and enjoy cute coffee cups, whimsical doughnut-themed decor and colorful books with titles like The Tiny Donut with a Big Heart. The seasonal specials are eagerly awaited and ravenously received; this time of year you might find something in the hue of Irish green. You can always rely on classic raised glazed like the black-and-white-striped chocolate zebras, or the ingenious s’more doughnut: a raised doughnut with chocolate icing, graham cracker crumbs and a gooey marshmallow heart. YoYo is as serious about coffee as it is about doughnuts. Local roaster Dogwood Coffee Co. delivers direct-trade fresh beans every week, and every cup is ground and brewed to order in a very impressive clover coffee machine—ask for a demo; the barista is always happy to oblige. S’more doughnut, $2.03; coffee, $2.13. 5757 Sanibel Drive,, Minnetonka; 952.960.1800.
Steak Kabob and Eggs
Our favorite fancy steakhouse is now open for breakfast! The menu is spare and straightforward, which is fine because there is steak, and that’s Gianni’s raison d’être. Steak and eggs are a classic breakfast combo, a double whammy of protein that will keep your engine humming all day. A kebab of prime meat cooked to order is just the right amount of beefy richness heightened by egg; Gianni’s also excels at sides like crispy-edged hash browns. $20. 635 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.404.1100.
Chilaquiles, in case you haven’t heard, are the champions of the oh-so-essential essential hangover breakfast: spicy, greasy in the best way, and full of interesting tidbits. At Lago Tacos, a mess of corn tortilla chips are tossed in a lively salsa verde, then baked with shredded, tender chicken tinga and scrambled eggs smothered in melted Monterey jack cheese. Don’t forget the obligatory hair of the dog; we suggest the Devil’s Advocate margarita with fresh jalapeno. $8.95. Margarita, $9.50. 30 Water St., Excelsior; 952.300.8495.
Weekender Bloody Mary
Head over to Ike’s for a killer bloody Mary that’s more like a salad bar than it is a drink. Called the Weekender, this version of the classic brunch quaff is a nicely spiced mix of tomato juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and horseradish, with the following accoutrements: shrimp, American cheese cube, pickled green bean, celery, pepperoncini, a black olive, a green olive, a beef stick and last but not least, a tart wedge of lime. It’s only available on Saturday and Sunday brunch. One of these babies will set you up for a luxurious afternoon nap. $9.75. 17805 Highway 7, Minnetonka; 952.681.7099.
Specialty French Toast
The menu declares Red Rooster’s specialty French toast as the “best-kept secret,” so you better get in on it and order some. Besides, French toast can be a pain in the tush to make at home. Red Rooster’s is made with generously battered and golden-fried caramel apple bread, which has been sliced by hand, i.e., in fat slabs. It’s drizzled with lots of butter and comes with maple syrup. Add a choice of bacon, sausage or ham. $7.45. 1832 Wayzata Blvd., Long Lake; 952.473.4089.
This brunch classic is especially satisfying after, ahem, a late night out on the town. At BLVD Kitchen, two poached eggs recline on crispy-fried corn tortillas swathed in ham-studded pinto beans and rustic roasted salsa. The beautiful mess is adorned with a dollop of sour cream, a mound of fresh shredded lettuce, velvety avocado slices and a generous shower of cilantro. The lime garnish adds a vital tang of citrus, and the eggs are just runny enough to pull it all together in a golden cloak. Don’t be surprised to find yourself licking the plate—though you might want to save room for the complimentary “monkey bread,” gooey with cinnamon caramel syrup. You’ll feel satiated, restored, and ready for a lazy weekend. $14. 11544 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka; 763.398.3200.
Ultimate Breggfast Pizza
The Ultimate Breggfast pizza sounded like a mad scientist’s experiment on the menu, but proved to be a brilliant invention on the palate. Luce’s signature chewy-and-crispy pizza crust is evenly spread with a layer of hash browns, strewn with crumbles of sweet fennel breakfast sausage, chunks of applewood-smoked bacon, sliced green bell peppers and diced red onion, all held together with soft scrambled eggs. Melted cheddar and pepper jack cheeses nailed it down, making the side of jalapeno ketchup redundant. It’s “personal-sized”—meaning it’s suitable for a lumberjack heading into subzero weather. It’s only available for Saturday and Sunday brunch, until 2 p.m.—we’d snarf it down day and night if we could. Enjoy it with a spicy bloody from their bloody Mary bar, which boasts enough condiments to create a meal in itself. $10.99. 210 North Blake Rd., Hopkins; 952.767.0854.