Today, after picking my parents up from MSP, we headed to Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis for what we assumed would be lunch, but ended up being brunch. I want to make the statement right now that I will be back for lunch and/or dinner in the future–just so you know.
We walked in at two minutes to 11 AM because my parents’ flight landed 30+ minutes early. Even so, at 11 AM on a Saturday I expect lunch to be served at a restaurant, not breakfast. Seeing that they do not start serving lunch until 11:30, I asked if lunch menu items were available and were told it was “brunch” only. Not being a breakfast food fan, this was incredibly disappointing for me. I quickly changed my predetermined choice to something else and placed my order along with everyone else.
My mother ordered their sourdough french toast which has nectarine sauce, maple syrup and toasted nuts for $8.75. My father ordered their farmer’s breakfast which was your fairly standard two eggs, fresh herbs, with American fries, toast, and turkey sausage for $8.50. I ordered their quiche which was described as leeks, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, greens, and parmesan for $9. I also picked up a cup of pasta with balsamic roasted shallot vinaigrette (I don’t remember what it cost). My wife wasn’t very hungry after a late breakfast and just ordered a side of potatoes. My parents both ordered lemonade, my wife picked up a strawberry-banana smoothie (bottled, not made in house), and I just went with water.
After ordering, we went and sat down in the front of the restaurant. I watched as many people happily poured in through the door and ordered a variety of different items while others sat in the sun beaming through the windows playing on their laptops or reading books from the library. A nice space that’s comfortably decorated and offers seating at heavy wooden tables with chairs that don’t feel like they will crumble under the weight of a waif. I had plenty of time to soak in the atmosphere as we waited–and waited–and waited for breakfast. After 31 minutes we finally received our food, something which I found to be extremely ridiculous for the simple items we ordered.
The balsamic roasted shallot vinaigrette pasta was given to me at the counter so at least I had that to eat while waiting for the rest of the food. The pasta was doughy, undercooked, and tasteless. The feta cheese was the best part of the dish and almost made up for the fact that the side was basically awful. After all the raving that I have heard about how great Common Roots was I hoped that this was some strange fluke and not an omen of things to come. Unfortunately, after the 31 minute wait for breakfast foods, it proved to be all too true.
We’ll start with the good. My mother’s sourdough French toast was good. You could definitely taste the citrus in the syrup and the nuts, while not my thing, were a nice touch. I prefer very little syrup on my French toast or pancakes but even though my mother doused the bread with it, it was the only decent item on the table. My father’s farmer’s breakfast was just a bit above mediocre. The turkey sausage patty had too many different things in it (carrots, really?) but wasn’t anything to write home about. The eggs apparently didn’t taste any different to him than normal old eggs that he’s used to (organic, cage free eggs generally taste better to me but since I didn’t eat them, I couldn’t tell you). His biggest complaint was the ketchup. First, it came in a small side container that isn’t nearly enough for him (he likes to use ketchup like people drink water and expected a bottle) and it was heavily spiced–inappropriately. They apparently make this in-house but it was absolutely miserable to eat. It was similar to Annie’s natural ketchup that’s sold out there but it wasn’t even as good as that. My father also complained about the bread and told me it tasted like rye (it tasted like white bread to me and I thought it was fine but…) My quiche (pictured above) was fucking terrible. I mean, seriously, when the only thing you can taste is a single sun dried tomato and the rest of the dish is nothing more than a pile of soft and tasteless mush, there’s not much else that can possibly be said about it.
I was extremely disappointed in my meal and the length of time that it took to be served. Unfortunately the entire experience along with Common Roots’ food reinforced to my unknowing parents that organic means tasteless and terrible. What an absolute disappointment today. Ugh. That said, I do plan to return for lunch as that’s what I wanted in the first place and my mother kept saying that she really wanted to try the caprese–something which she will absolutely not do after our experience at brunch. A really poor first impression after hearing so many great things about this place :(
Have you eaten at Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis? If so, what did you think? While their menu is new for September, what do you enjoy eating there? Is the service always so very slow or was this a one time thing? Whatever you have to say about Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis comment on as I’d love to hear what you think!
Common Roots Cafe
2558 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Monday to Friday: 7 AM – 11 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 8 AM – 11 PM
See all the pictures on Flickr here.