Exciting news: we’re back on the breakfast track. The real breakfast track. As in, every single Saturday, we will be getting up in the (moderately) early morning hours to go to breakfast. Today, we are reunited with The Great Minnesota Breakfast Tour. And it feels so good. And, honestly, it would feel so good no matter how good the breakfast ended up being this morning. But, lucky for us, the reunion brought us to one of the best, if not THE best, venues of the Tour: Tavern 4 & 5.
Though the Tavern, located in Eden Prairie, is quite the hike for us North Suburban folk, it was well-worth the drive. More on that later (the worthiness, not the drive, cause who wants to hear about the stupid drive to a breakfast venue anyway…unless it’s to Tilia, of course). When we finally arrived and stomped into the restaurant, we were greeted by a sharply dressed and pleasantly spoken pair of middle-aged women who carefully discussed our seating options amongst themselves before escorting us to a small wooden table tucked right around the corner from the hostess stand. Seriously, it was approximately, no, exactly, seven steps from the front door. And yet, I wasn’t cold from the front door air draft. Magical.
Before we could even arrange all of our winter gear on the open seats of our four-person table, a spunky, well-tanned lady dressed in all black elegance strode toward us and asked for our drink orders. We, okay, I, demanded (nicely) a cup of coffee and proceeded to examine the menu for about 45 seconds, at which point our coffees arrived. Before I could take a swig of the steaming cup of coffee that was filling my entire self with the overwhelming aroma of what I imagine heaven smells like, our waitress showered us with questions, quickly discovering that it was our first time dining at the Tavern. She took that knowledge and ran, enthusiastically gushing about her favorite menu items and making suggestions from each section of the menu, complete with specific, mouth-watering details. I listened with appreciation while also silently cursing her for making all of the things I cannot eat sound so divine.
After the thorough run-down, she trotted away to give us a few minutes to weigh our options. Their breakfast menu fits on one large menu page, but that doesn’t mean it’s stingy. Packed with a variety of options that range from traditional favorites to Tavern specials, the menu offers something sweet, something savory, and something all over the in-between. After searching the menu and deciding on the Garlic Spinach & Rotisserie Chicken Omelet ($10) for me and the 4 & 5 Benny ($9) for my breakfast companion, I indulged in my first sip of bold, flavorful coffee. The coffee was perfectly strong with a hint of vanilla cascading throughout. I couldn’t get enough, (casually) gulping down the whole cup before setting it down. And the moment the white porcelain grazed the table, a waitress who didn’t even belong to us swooped in, restored my cup to full, and disappeared. And this happened over and over and over again throughout the morning. Each time I sat wide-eyed in amazement, but complain I did not.
After ordering our meal and getting complimented on our selections (oh, stop), we leaned back into our chairs and surveyed the area. The Tavern was quite nice – upscale and modern with simple and clean decor, while still managing to make the several middle-aged men rocking their Nikes look like they fit in. It was suburban hometown dining at its finest. And with two expansive dining areas and a roomy bar, they could have accommodated half of suburbia.
When I could analyze the hypothetical lives of suburban families no more, my food came. I snapped the quickest, ugliest Instagram photo in the history of Instagram because I couldn’t wait another second to dive into my food. My meal, defined by the menu as one that was gluten-free, automatically replaced the usual side of toast with a side of fruit for no extra charge. Points for both not making me feel like a food outcast and for giving me a baby bowl of fruit that contained a true fruit medley from the tropics. That satisfied my sweet tooth for the month (if you didn’t know, I can’t eat sugar beyond fruit – have a cry for me). My perfectly firm yet fluffy omelet was stuffed with seasoned pulled chicken, spinach, and fresh herbs with a stack of baby broccoli to mix in myself. Though the omelet itself was cooked to perfection, the real treat was the plump, fresh pulled chicken that burst out of omelet. The chicken was moist and boldly flavored, but balanced beautifully with the fresh basil seasoned throughout.
While chowing down on my delectable omelet, my fork hit an unexpected crunch. Deep into the glorious egg fluff lived a tiny little chicken bone, looking up at me in shame. Though not ideal, I quickly overlooked the bone, deciding that the heft and freshness of the nearly full chicken breast outweighed the annoyance of the tiny lil bone. So I tossed it to the edge of my plate and proceeded to plow through the rest of my meal. The last item on my plate was a small blob of Tavern potatoes, aka hashbrowns oozing with melted gruyere (which, as a dairy item, is something I’m not supposed to eat, but given the small portion, I went for it and was rewarded in the moment and never suffered post-meal). I finished my meal completely. And nearly licked the plate.
About mid-way through our meals, a jolly man sporting a festive green plaid button down stopped at our table. ‘Good morning, ladies!’ he bellowed. ‘Are your eggs cooked perfectly this morning?’ I returned his warm smile, noting that my entire meal was perfectly delicious. He grinned a Goofy Movie grin, thanked us for dining with him today, and skipped away. What a pleasant manager! Assuming that was his title and he held some sort of actual position at the restaurant. If that wasn’t the case, I’m sure he and his other jolly, plaid-shirted friends had a hysterical laugh about it later.
Anyway, on to the next glorious meal. My breakfast companion ordered a Benedict, which is her go-to breakfast option, but the Tavern’s dish was a slightly new spin on the classic. Ciabatta bread replaced the English muffin and homestyle holiday honey ham took the place of a Canadian bacon slice, but the dish was drenched in the traditionally thick hollandaise sauce, which is housemade daily. The few slight alterations on the traditional ingredients really made the meal. The bread was firm enough to hold everything together but soft enough to easily cut through with your fork. The sweet honey ham was reminiscent of the thick, bold slices you indulge in at Christmas dinner. The eggs were poached just right, with a perfectly runny yolk and a correctly contained egg white. It was easily the best Benedict on the Tour. My friend also enjoyed the Tavern potatoes on the side, which she agreed were cheesy and creamy and perfectly-portioned for their richness. All in all, my friend agreed that the Tavern deserves a tip top ranking.
After we both completely devoured every last morsel of our meals, we sat back, bellies and hearts both full. Moments after our plates, which passed TCPCT (The Clean Plate Club Test) were cleared, another man slowly sauntered toward our table. Gee were we popular this morning! This time the man approaching us rocked a fitted black sport coat with sleek dark jeans and looked official. He introduced himself as the restaurant manager and showered us with a detailed and heartfelt apology for the chicken bone that was in my omelet. Hey, fitted sport coat man, how did you know about that?! He explained that they had found the chicken bone on my empty plate and that, in all of his years of working there, he had never seen something like that happen. And, after apologizing for the umpteenth time, he cleared my entire meal off our bill and invited us to come back again soon. Sir, the bone of a chicken may have snuck into my omelet, but I forgive you because you treated the mistake as seriously as a bomb threat and treated me as elegantly as a queen. I’d come back again even if you purposefully put another chicken bone into my food.
Friends, Tavern 4 & 5 served up the best overall experience of the Tour thus far. When you walk into a classy breakfast joint and are met with exceptional service, extraordinary food, and incredible coffee and your tab still racks up an astonishingly reasonable price, you have a winner. A winner that you tell all of your friends about. A winner that you go back to again and again. A winner that you think about for days afterward. A winner that reminds you what breakfast should be. And here, ‘winner’ and ‘Tavern 4 &5’ are just plain synonymous.
Coffee Quality: 10
Food Quality: 9
Quality of Service: 10
Menu Variety: 10
Overall Satisfaction: 10
Parking: street parking
Average Score: 9.7
Have you been to Tavern 4 & 5?
Share your experience with me below!
OR…want to experience Tavern 4 & 5 for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
Tavern 4 & 5
16396 Wagner Way
Eden Prairie, MN 55344