Monday, February 16, 2009

Harvey, You're the Bread Master!

Turtle Bread Company
4762 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN

Open Daily from 6am to 9pm. Additional locations in Linden Hills and the Minneapolis Downtown Skyway. Although I used to adore (and work at) the Linden Hills location, the newer Chicago location is definitely bringing in the business. And sadly I feel the Linden Hills location is losing it's flair, still great, but I'll stick to Chicago.

Next door is the new and improved Cafe Levain also owned by Turtle Bread great Mr. Harvey McClain. I visited Levain about 2 years ago before it was recreated into a more casual dining restaurant. I will have to go back soon...I'll tell you all about it. But back to TB...

Inside you'll find an open dining area and a fully exposed bakery area. There are lots of tables and a couple bakery racks displaying an array of pastries and freshly baked bread. In the deli case are cakes, tarts, sandwiches, salads and quiche. Walk up to the counter with your bread in a bag (you can ask for it sliced) or to order from the breakfast and/or coffee menu. Around the dining area are additional refridgerated cases containing spreads, cheeses, take home soup, soda, meats, pasta salad, etc.

I love the seating area because it is very open and casual. The windows face towards Chicago Ave where you can see the boutiques and shops across the street. There is lots of sunlight. It makes you feel like you are somewhere else, it makes me happy.

Turtle Bread offers a great variety of breakfast and lunch items. Since my and Mr. B's recent move from Ames we have been looking for a place to fill the Cafe Beaudelaire void. Turtle Bread has done it, or at least is a close second. Their medium sized breakfast menu is reasonably priced and offers items to satisfy anyone's breakfast needs. I of course have my favorites, but I am pretty sure everything will be a hit. Also, if you make it around the brunch hour there is homemade soups, sandwiches, pastries, quiches and salads to choose from. Fresh bread, cured meats, cheeses, soup, spreads and cakes are also available to take home. Oh, and don't forget the coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice (also lemonade and grapefruit).

Salmon Benedict $9.50 (mine and my pa's)
This is definitely one of my favorites and a favorite of my dad's. If you like eggs benedict you will love this. Two poached eggs sit on top of several pieces of sliced smoked salmon. The bread is a brioche made fresh daily in the bakery. The whole thing is covered in a rich and creamy hollandause sauce. The sauce just does it for me, because it is just the right amount of richness and sourness. This dish is served with your choice of breakfast potatoes or salad greens in a light and tangy vinegarette. Salad for breakfast? Oh, how I love you Turtle Bread.

Veggie Frittata $7.95 (for the mum)
An egg frittata topped with an assortment of vegetables including mushrooms, onions and spinach. Sprinkled with fresh ricotta cheese and served with a thick slice of Striato bread and breakfast potatoes or salad greens. Warm, fresh and healthy. Lots of flavor and texture.

Salmon Scramble $7.95 (Mr. B's)
Seems we like the salmon in this family. The salmon at Turtle bread is so rich and smokey, once you try it you'll understand. The salmon scramble is eggs, spinach and smoked salmon folded together and served with Striato and breakfast potatoes or salad greens. Simple but quality ingredients make the dish extraordinary.

Add a couple buck for a fresh cup of coffee or fresh squeezed orange juice and you have a amazing, filling meal that is also affordable. Turtle Bread has a great atmosphere and a wonderful clientele. It is simple and graceful, understated yet bold, relaxing and is something you won't find anywhere else.

# of People: 4

Reservations: No. You cannot make reservations at the bakery/cafe, but you can at Cafe Levain. If you go to the bakery for brunch especially on a Sunday I recommend getting there around 10 or earlier to grab a seat.

Day/Time of Visit: Sunday, February 15th - 10:00 am

Will I be back: I go as often as I can, but it's a little bit of a drive.

YAYs!: Everything...more specifically: lots of free street parking, lovely dining area, lots to choose from, friendly staff, fresh items, stuff to take home.

Nays: Sometimes is a little crowded. As I mentioned on the weekends getting there earlier is better than later.

Notes: Their fresh soups, especially the chicken wild rice are a must. Try TB for lunch as well.


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