Breakfast hotspots

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June 19, 2006 // UPDATED 2:08 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

There’s no need to start the day on an empty stomach.

For Downtown dwellers and workers, there are plenty of stellar breakfast destinations. Whether you’re in the mood for a pile of hash browns smothered in cheese or lighter fare, there are several good menu options to checkout.

In the North Loop, the standout breakfast spots are Cuzzy’s, Moose & Sadie’s and the Monte Carlo.

Cuzzy’s Bar & Grill, 507 Washington Ave. S., serves breakfast during the weekdays. For those mornings you have an especially big appetite, this North Loop hangout is the place to be. The charming bar, notable for its collection of signed dollar bills plastered on its walls, has cleverly named egg dishes, such as “1st Cuz,” two eggs and choice of bacon, sausage or ham, hash browns or American fries, and toast and coffee for $6.75; and “2nd Cuz Once Removed,” two eggs served with toast and coffee for $4, among others. I’m a fan of a side-order item: Cuzzy’s fries — a heaping platter of American fries, cheese and veggies for $4.25. Cuzzy’s also serves a variety of other breakfast items, including omelets, pancakes, French toast, oatmeal and breakfast burritos.

Nearby, Moose & Sadie’s, 212 3rd Ave. N., is a go-to breakfast spot for those looking for a lighter breakfast. Menu highlights include Huevos Rancheros, two soft corn tortillas with refried beans, Jack cheese and avocado for $7.75; poached eggs and ham with grits for $8.95; and a blueberry buckwheat pancake for $5.25. Egg dishes are made with organic eggs and real butter.

Across the street, the Monte Carlo, 219 3rd Ave. N., a Downtown institution since 1903, is known for its Sunday brunch. For $7.95 a person, the restaurant serves up unlimited platters of scrambled eggs, American fries, toast, sausage and Canadian bacon. Guests can also order eggs Benedict for $9.95.

On Nicollet Island, the quaint and charming Nicollet Island Inn, 95 Merriam St., is a good breakfast spot for someone celebrating a special occasion. For someone looking for a decadent dining experience, the Nicollet Island Inn serves a Sunday champagne brunch for $30 per guest. The five-course meal includes complimentary fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee and a champagne mimosa. Highlights include fresh-baked pastries, crme brulee French toast, a French onion bacon tart, pickled beet carpaccio, chicken and cherry sausage, pan-roasted salmon, and honey-chocolate mousse.

The Time’s Bar and Caf/, 201 E. Hennepin Ave., on the East Bank serves up some jazz with its breakfast entrees. Menu standouts include the frittatas, light egg dishes that are open-faced takeoffs of omelets. The Time’s has a variety of frittatas, including one with chorizo (Spanish sausage), veggies and crab. Other menu options include French toast, a breakfast wrap called South of the Border, steak and eggs and a several eggs Benedict options.

In Elliot Park, the Band Box, 729 S. 10th St., a classic diner, serves up a no-nonsense breakfast. One of the more popular items is a strawberry short stack of pancakes with berries, whipped cream and powdered sugar.

Joe’s Garage, 1610 Harmon Place, in Loring Park, has a family-style brunch on Sundays. Adults eat for $11.95 and children under 12 for $5.95. Guests can have unlimited portions of scrambled eggs with spinach and parmesan, Cajun pork chops, apple smoked bacon, turkey sausage links, herbed fried potatoes and French bread.

On Marquette Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen, 89 S. 10th St., has one of the most unique breakfast menus Downtown. The weekday menu features a variety of eclectic entrees, such as the Mahnomin Porridge, a mix of wild rise, berries and roasted hazelnuts for $6.75, lemon-ricotta hotcakes for $9.25, a crab cake with poached egg for $12.95, bison Benedict for $13.50, and scrambled eggs with shrimp for $16.50.

Sarah McKenzie can be reached at smckenzie@mnpubs.com and 436-4371.