The French Hen Café was a rather impulsive selection for this morning, as it was a fairly new addition to the ‘to go to’ list. Usually venues sit on that list for weeks and weeks, waiting for us to give them the time of day (morning, of course), but this venue did not have such an experience. With a few unique menu items and a couple of rave reviews from other blogs, the hen won us over.
We entered this little café through a flower shop, priming our senses with floral scents before entering the cute little mini café with small tables and intimate seating. We were shuffled to a table in the corner, giving us a great view of the whole place. Our waitress brought me a gloriously strong and nutty cup of coffee, but failed to fill it quickly after I downed the whole cup before we were even ready to order.
When she did come back, I requested more coffee and she only then brought some more after casually taking our orders. Off of their short yet diverse menu I ordered the Omelet a La Florentine ($10) and my breakfast companion selected the Bacon Cakes ($9). Though my gluten-free, dairy-free order was complicated (it always is), I couldn’t help but notice that our waitress seemed busy and distracted without being very busy. I did not care for that.
I tried to drink my next cup of coffee at a slower pace since I wasn’t sure how soon I’d have the chance for another. Lucky for me, we didn’t have to wait long for our food and I still had some of my remaining cup available to accompany my meal.
I give my entire meal a thumbs up followed by a side smile. My omelet was packed with spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. It also came with a side of vegetable hash (sweet potatoes, onions, and potatoes with a kick of zesty spice) and a cup of fruit. I’d say my omelet was a pretty average omelet (although the mushrooms were GIGANTIC and so yummy I would have just eaten a bowl of them). But the real shining star of my meal was the award-winning vegetable hash. YUM. The white potato, sweet potato, and onion were mixed with some secret spices of deliciousness. It definitely had a little kick, but I basically shoveled it into my mouth so the spice failed to matter much. My mini bowl of fruit was also incredibly fresh and diverse, making me realize how easy it is to ruin a fruit cup with canned, syrupy crap and how challenging it is to perfect a cup of fruit with natural, fresh, and plentiful not crap.
My breakfast companion’s breakfast was only pretty good. Her whole-wheat pancake had house smoked bacon packed inside and was topped with real maple syrup. Though the cake had nice, thick chunks of bacon inside, the cake itself wasn’t anything special. But her fruit on the side was a nice complement to the meaty cake. All in all, yummy bacon inside the cake, but only an average breakfast meal.
The French Hen Café was pleasant enough. It had a casually upscale atmosphere with good coffee and average food (minus the vegetable hash, which soared above average). If you’re looking for a drawn-out morning with bottomless (yet slowly refilled), delicious caffeine and good conversation, the hen that is French is probably a safe bet.
Coffee Quality: 8
Food Quality: 8
Quality of Service: 7
Menu Variety: 8
Overall Satisfaction: 7
Parking: street parking
Average Score: 7.5
Have you been to The French Hen Cafe? Share your experience with me below!
OR…want to experience French Hen for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
The French Hen Cafe
518 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55102