The precious lil Birchwood Cafe is a breakfast venue that I first encountered on a whim. My aunt and I randomly used a coupon and enjoyed this place a few years ago. But it had been so long since my last visit that I thought a stop on the official Great Minnesota Breakfast Tour was necessary.
So off we went, entering a lil Minneapolis neighborhood that appeared to be so residential that if I hadn’t already been to Birchwood before I would have thought we were lost. But we found the little place, tucked away between a few quaint homes. We entered the small, packed venue, and pushed our way over to the long line at the counter. It was the day before Thanksgiving, so there were many guests picking up large orders of pies and other baked goods. We also assumed it was more crowded than usual simply because many people were off were that day because of the holiday. All that to say, even though we waited nearly 20 minutes to even put our order in, we took the time of year into account when judging our wait time. Due to the long line, I sent my friend off into the depths of the restaurant to claim a seat for us while I proceeded to wait to order.
Birchwood has both a breakfast menu and weekend brunch menu, but we happened to be dining on a weekday so we took a gander at the breakfast menu, handwritten in colorful chalk on the wall. I decided on a cup of their Steel Cut Oatmeal ($3), adding almonds and dried cranberries ($1.50). My dining partner chose their special Dark Chocolate Waffle ($11) and a caramel latte. Despite the chaos, the woman behind the counter was energetic, polite, and entirely helpful, so points to their staff for handling this craziness. I plopped some cream and sugar into my coffee and weaved in and out of other diners to find my friend sitting at a small table in the back.
We hung out at our small table for a bit, enjoying our coffees and lattes. We observed some really cool and unique art on the walls, all for sale by local artists. Our wait time was surprisingly quick considering the insane number of people dining with us. Our breakfasts arrived and we were ready to eat. My oatmeal was pretty average. I kicked myself for only ordering a cup because it really was a small cup (normally oatmeal portions are so big that I’m always safe ordering the cup instead of the bowl). The almonds and cranberries fortunately added zest to rather bland and sticky oats. They needed a hefty amount of milk to cream up and even that didn’t make them delectable.
My friend’s dark chocolate waffle was topped with whipped cream, pomegranate, and powdered sugar, and offered a caramely syrup to drizzle on top. In theory, the waffle sounds absolutely incredible – an indulgent dessert for breakfast situation. However, the waffle was incredibly stiff and the chocolate flavor almost tasted stale. Combined with the whipped cream and syrup, the first couple of hot bites were quite delicious, but as soon as the steam cooled and the dust settled, the waffle became overwhelmingly sweet and even stiffer. All in all, she named it kind of a breakfast dud.
We finished up our coffees and booked it out of there, cognizant of the fact that there were many other diners waiting for our table. Perhaps we were poor orderers, but our Birchwood breakfasts failed to impress. Perhaps we were poor choosers of day to dine, but the place was packed full and the wait time was endless. Still, perhaps we need to give Birchwood another try.
Coffee Quality: 7
Food Quality: 6
Quality of Service: 8
Menu Variety: 6
Overall Satisfaction: 7
Parking: Street parking
Average Score: 6.8
Have you been to Birchwood Cafe? Share your experience with me below!
OR…want to experience Birchwood Cafe for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
3311 East 25th Street
Minneapolis MN 55406