This morning, a perfectly dreary, drizzly spring morning in Minnesota, I pulled on my wellies and headed to The Freehouse. Recommended to me by a friend who boasted of its perfection, The Freehouse was a venue I’ve been waiting to try for weeks. We breezed through downtown and into the North Loop, joined by few other early risers. After comfortably parking in a roomy lot, we sauntered into an overwhelmingly modern restaurant.
Greeted calmly and pleasantly by a stunning hostess, we were escorted through the venue, squeaking our shoes on hardwood floors, passing their glass-encased home brewery, and arriving at a trendy wooden table with plush chairs. The menus were just as chic as the venue, presented on slabs of dark wood and bound with a thick rubber band. We were seated beneath a swarm of hanging kegs, disguised as artsy, minimalist lamps. I definitely wasn’t cool enough to be having breakfast here.
Our bubbly waitress, sporting flame-red hair and a wicked grin, brought us a couple of awesome cups of coffee and gave us a few moments to check out our breakfast choices. The ‘breaky’ menu had an lovely variety of unique gourmet breakfast items. There were incredibly unique twists on old classics, offering a great variety of choices. Though everything was priced quite a bit higher than your (or, I suppose, my) average breakfast venue, the delectable choices were well worth the cost. I excitedly opted for the Grilled Steel Cut Oats ($9) while my breakfast companion selected the Lobster Toad in a Hole ($16).
We waited what seemed like only moments for our food, quickly admiring our fellow diners, who were clearly a lot cooler than we were. I quickly forgot that slight feeling of inadequacy as soon as I eyed my breakfast. My meal looked so beautiful it almost hurt. One look and my mouth instantly filled with saliva. My grilled steel cut oats came topped with blackberry jam, homemade cream, and mint leaves. A side of charred grapes shared the plate. I started by picking at the charred grapes – a form of preparation I never would have considered. I’m not sure I would have anticipated that a soft, smoky-tasting grape could be delicious, but it was incredible.
I then moved on to the slab of grilled oats, ensuring I included a touch of blackberry jam and homemade cream in my first bite. The cream was light and frothy while the jam was fresh and tart – a perfect topped combination for the crispy-on-the-outside-yet-tender-on-the-inside grilled oats. Baked within were sweet apple chunks and a light, mapley center, adding even more unexpected perfection to an already perfected dish. With each bite, though I died a little inside knowing that I was getting closer and closer to my meal being over, I also contrastingly became more and more alive, enjoying one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in my life.
My breakfast partner’s breakfast looked just as absolutely fantastic as mine did. And it tasted just as divine, too. Her meal of poached eggs, bearnaise, bacon, spinach, brioche, and asparagus was just incredible. The brioche never hit either extreme of soggy or crisp, but maintained a dense, soft, and delicious taste throughout. The dish was sprinkled with thick, flavorful bacon and plump slices of lobster, not overtaking the meal, but enjoying its place as a key ingredient. There was also a nice proportion of spinach and asparagus, not overwhelming the meal with vegetables, but just adding the necessary touch. Finally, the bearnaise was perfectly light – a topping that topped off the meal delectably.
Eating such insane deliciousness while interjecting dozens of ‘This is SO amazing’s left us exhausted and we were thankful that Ms. Flame Red Waitress invited us to remain content chatting and coffee-sipping and worry about the check only when we were ready to leave. But I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready to go. Though the decor made my own house look like a cardboard box and my fellow diners made me feel socially inadequate, the eating experience made me feel like a queen. My food was nothing less than fantastically fabulous and, put simply, I had just had so much fun. The Freehouse experience was worth every penny I spent today and is worth every penny I will inevitably spend there in the future.
Coffee Quality: 9
Food Quality: 10
Quality of Service: 10
Menu Variety: 10
Overall Satisfaction: 10
Parking: parking lot available
Average Score: 9.3
Have you been to The Freehouse? Share your experience with me below!
OR…want to experience The Freehouse for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
701 N. Washington Ave., Ste 101
Minneapolis, MN 55401