I think I disliked Aster Cafe more than is fair. What I’ve learned from the Tour is that I have really specific personal preferences for breakfast and those preferences do not waiver. I like what I like, and boldly so. And, unfortunately, the Aster experience included too many characteristics on my ‘do not like’ list.
The Overall Experience
We just so happened to dine at Aster on the morning of the Get Lucky Half Marathon & 7K, and Aster just so happened to be a venue along the route of the race. So, though watching the runners flow by was highly entertaining (and many tripping on Main Street’s cobblestone, which was even more entertaining), all of the tables within Aster’s small space were reserved for post-race munching. This meant that we were forced to sit at the bar. And not only do I not like sitting on chairs that force my feet to swing free, but I also do not like being at the mercy of a chatty bartender, being forced to quiet my loud conversational voice to a normal volume as to not be overheard, or sitting in front of giant stacks of liquor when the sun has only just recently risen. It was us and the bartender. The bartender and us. Good thing the bartender’s voice was strikingly identical to George Clooney’s. No, seriously you guys, HE WAS GEORGE CLOONEY.
The Venue and Service
George Clooney’s service was good, albeit overbearing, because we were at the bar. And even if we weren’t forced to be there because of reserved tables, we would have likely ended up there on a normal day anyway because the venue is so small. But it’s kind of cozy and pub-like, so I think generally I wouldn’t mind the size. George Clooney was accommodating, though he did call us ‘girls’ approximately nine times (okay, exactly nine times) and took about as long to bring our check as it takes a turtle to run a marathon, but HE WAS GEORGE CLOONEY. So I forgave more quickly than the usual me does.
The Food and Coffee
The Aster brunch menu is quite small. And it’s very brunchy. And it’s basically a grouping of hangover food, which, I’ll give them credit, they actually point out themselves directly on their menu. At least they’re self-aware. I got the Pesto-Roasted Veggie Hash ($10) and a side of homestyle potatoes ($4) and my breakfast partner ordered the Golden Malted Waffle ($10) and a side of scrambled eggs ($4). My food was a strange hash salad that consisted of scrambled eggs, potatoes, and some roasted veggies on a bed of uncooked arugula. It was a strange dish that didn’t make sense, but if I were hungover, I guess I wouldn’t have noticed.
My breakfast companion didn’t care for her waffle either. Topped with peaches, glazed pecans, maple syrup, and cinnamon whipped cream, the waffle was kind of soggy and the unnaturally sweet and drippy peaches didn’t really help matters. Also, it didn’t actually come with any pecans, so they lied on their menu and as did I in my above description. I should also note that this not super great food was expensive. Four bucks for six homestyle potato wedges?! I know how much a sack of potatoes is, Aster. You ain’t fooling me.
I think Aster is a trendy little place that is better suited for people who want to sit at the bar for happy hour or a nightcap and make bar small talk with George Clooney. Don’t worry, you’ll know him by his red bandanna and the fact that HE IS GEORGE CLOONEY. You’re welcome.
Coffee Quality: 8
Food Quality: 7
Quality of Service: 8
Menu Variety: 7
Overall Satisfaction: 7
Parking: street parking
Average Score: 7.2
Have you been to Aster Cafe?
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OR…want to experience Aster Cafe for yourself?
Check out their website or pop their address into your smartphone:
125 Main Street Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414