|Now open for brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner|
A huge wall of windows lends a modern feel to the new Mill Northeast, but around the corner the sleek bar and booths have a cozy neighborhood vibe. Where the old Mill City Cafe was all dimly lit exposed brick, this spot is wide open and filled with natural light. There are a few menu items that are holdovers (hello, wild rice pancakes and bloody Mary pitchers, we have missed you!) However, with Matt Kempf and Tommy Begnaud in the kitchen, there are plenty of new items to explore as well.
|The egg bake is actually baked eggs|
Brunch is served well into the afternoon. The so-called "egg bake" is actually three eggs over hunks of hearty caraway rye bread with cubes of haloumi cheese baked until the eggs are just set. At $9 it was a beautifully simple dish, with the golden yolk seeping into the crusty bread and nubs of salty cheese.
|That's a cheesesteak?|
For lunch, they did another play on a classic. A hoagie bun stuffed with thin shreds of Moroccan spiced beef with spinach, red onion, tomato, haloumi cubes, and a swipe of walnut mayo was called a cheesesteak. Haloumi isn't a great melting cheese and we missed the satisfying gooey-ness of the traditional cheesesteak. But with those expectations set aside, the heavily seasoned beef was tender and the Moroccan spices played nicely with the snappy onion. This is a serious meal for $9.50.
Their wonderful mess of a burger, nicknamed "The Jack" is topped with cheese, bacon, and an egg. This bad boy is massive and a whole juicy mess. We counted five napkins from start to finish. The beef was perfectly seasoned, cooked to order, and the cheddar cheese served as foil to the just barely sweet, smokey bacon. The gently cooked egg created an extra sauce that blended perfectly with the juicy beef -- and all for $12.
|Chicken upon chicken and dumplings|
The chicken and dumplings is a carb-lovers delight. Seared gnocchi is served with creamy chicken, carrots, and peas, and topped with a chicken egg and a hunk of crusty bread. It's $12 and a rib-sticking, ready for winter hibernation kind of dish.
|Bellied up to the bar|
The bar has several desirable seats and is well stocked. They're serving wine, beer, and cocktails. For those not looking for a stiff drink, they're also serving a selection of teas from the Tea Source in St. Paul.
1851 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Hours: Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
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