All week, as I anticipated heading to The Zumbro for breakfast today, the excitement was building. This venue shares a neighborhood with a favorite, Tilia, and I’d heard great things about it from friends in the Linden Hills area. I was thankful to be driving through the slim streets with minimal snow in sight and took a quick, non-slippery turn when I spotted the little cafe.
Though there appeared to be a small parking lot for Zumbro guests, ‘small’ was the operative term of description, so we opted for a street spot a few blocks away. We stepped into the tiny lil cafe, at first dreading the inevitable wait time on a Saturday morning in a mini venue. But, to our delighted surprise, we were immediately greeted and immediately seated. Yay! We were tucked away in the cafe’s wooden corner booth, snugly close to other cheerful diners. A beautiful waitress (not Vogue, artificial beauty, but natural, I’m-not-even-wearing-make-up-and-I-look-this-amazing beauty) sauntered over, dropped off some menus, and went to fetch our coffee, which she brought back almost immediately, in thick ceramic mugs with spoons carefully balancing atop each cup.
We sipped deep, bold cups of coffee while exploring the menu. The weekender breakfast menu is relatively small, but has a solid variety of items. Though all week I’d been excitedly planning to branch out from my oatmeal order to try the Tofu Scramble, the Zumbrola Oatmeal ($6.95) beckoned me and I caved. My breakfast companion opted for a Stack of Two Big Buttermilk Pancakes with bananas ($7.50) and added a side of scrambled eggs ($2.50). We ordered quickly and I was happy to return my focus to my coffee and my surroundings.
After spending a few minutes admiring the conversation of a neighboring elderly couple who were sharing Diet Cokes over breakfast, we were ready for our meals when they promptly arrived. My oatmeal looked incredibly unique and exciting. Though it was smothered with a familiar variety of fresh fruits and came with the traditional brown sugar and cream, the thick, granola-like consistency was a sight I’d never seen before. And it was also unlike anything I’d ever tasted. The oatmeal was plump and flaked, tasting like what I would describe as granola steel cut oats: a dish with the thick, soft consistency of oats combined with the individually flaked, nutty and grainy taste of granola. And man, was it fantastic. I added minimal brown sugar and lots of cream for tasting perfection and felt almost like I was eating a bowl of dense, warm cereal. Never once did I question my breakfast choice – this was one of the best oatmeal experiences I’ve had on the tour.
My breakfast companion excitedly dove into her giant cakes, which were infused with bananas. The pancake batter had also been doused in cinnamon, creating two cinnamon-banana delights that were fluffy and flavorful. But the real fan favorite was the side of eggs, a seemingly simple and generic addition. She described them as the best eggs she’s ever had. The organic eggs were incredibly fresh tasting, exuding a ‘realness’ that can’t be described any better than, ‘They tasted exactly how real eggs should taste.’ They weren’t soggy, they weren’t overly fluffy – they were just perfect.
The Zumbro was a quaint, relaxing retreat from the chaos of everyday life. The venue had a trendy small town feel, effortlessly amazing staff, and really fantastic food. Before my meal today, I decided I’d make myself come back to try the Tofu Scramble. But after my experience at The Zumbro, there’s no need to resort to force to ensure a second visit. I’ll willingly dine at The Zumbro any day.
Coffee Quality: 9
Food Quality: 9
Quality of Service: 10
Menu Variety: 9
Overall Satisfaction: 10
Parking: street parking and small lot available
Average Score: 9.3
Have you been to The Zumbro? Share your experience with me below!
OR…want to experience The Zumbro for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
2803 West 43rd Street
Linden Hills, MN