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Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Hope Breakfast Bar

hope breakfast bar st. paul exteriorWe finally made it to Hope Breakfast Bar

After several tries, we finally made it!   Hope Breakfast Bar on a late Sunday afternoon.  No crowd, able to park (well, on the 3rd try) right in front.  Time to give it a try.

The Hope Breakfast Bar's mission: 

Bringing people together for the most important meal, no matter what time of day...starting your day with optimism

Ambiance of Hope Breakfast Bar

hope breakfast bar st. paul exteriorGreat atmosphere, with tall firehouse ceilings, painted black.   Gold vases on each table, adorned with fern tableware, too.  Egg-shaped salt and pepper shakers seem appropriate for a breakfast place, standing in a tidy holder.

hope breakfast bar st. paul Attentive service right away...but disappointment within minutes.   John wanted a Pink Raspberry Passion Lemonade , but they were totally out of lemonade, so he settled for water.

The lack of lemonade was only a slight letdown but John was whiny and made it into a really big disappointment.  Whatever.  Everything else was excellent.

Our choices at Hope Breakfast Bar

hope breakfast bar st. paul cheesy gritsWe ordered the Cheesy Grits as a starter.   They were delish...creamy, not grainy, with plenty of cheese.   My drip coffee was also my side of the table was a winner....wonderful grits accompanied by full-bodied, flavorful coffee, without a hint of bitterness. 
hope breakfast bar st. paul
It was served in a deep cup with an interesting decorative edge....a very enjoyable coffee, including refills.

Many intriguing choices on the menu, so we just needed to pick our starting place today.     A salad and an egg dish were our first test of the food.   How did they do?

hope breakfast bar st. paul brunch salad The Brunch Salad was terrific.   One of our favorite meals a few years ago was at the Fig Cafe in California.  Everything there was California fresh and wonderfully composed.   This salad could have easily been presented to us there.   Mixed, greens, brown rice, lightly 'pickled' sweet peppers and red onion....chopped in thin and interesting
hope breakfast bar st. paul brunch salad
fashion...both colorful and delightful in texture, and, for once, adequate amounts of quinoa throughout.   Nothing is worse that ordering a salad that should have quinoa or wild rice or farro...only to have to search to find the 3 or 4 bits of grain that you're looking for.   Here, the balance was perfect, the slicing was beautiful, the flavor was light and not overdressed.....served in a beautiful deep white bowl that made it easy to fill your fork with your desired selection of ingredients for each bite.   Simply wonderful.

hope breakfast bar st. paul farm grazer John chose the The Farm Grazer.    This hearty bowl of ingredients was overflowing with perfectly prepared heirloom fingerlings....all blue, red, some that looked like LaRatte...not sure...but absolutely perfectly prepared.   There was 'crisped' spinach....John didn't quite like the had been crisped but now was somewhat more 'wilty' in texture.  I thought it was a good texture contrast to the potatoes and egg.   John had
hope breakfast bar st. paul farm grazer
expected over-easy eggs, but they arrived a bit too browned and clearly over-medium.   John said he would have enjoyed a few more root veggies in proportion to the number of potatoes.   I'll have to agree that a few more veggies would have added color, texture, and flavor.   We found the root veggie part a bit overcooked.    But I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderfully prepared fingerlings...I made sure to have one of each color!!

Overall Impression of Hope Breakfast Bar

Overall, we would describe our meal as excellent.   The Cheesy Grits were on par with the grits at Breaking Bread in North Minneapolis (which unfortunately least temporarily in July----we'll watch to see when/if they re-open).  So if you
hope breakfast bar st. paul
want excellent cheesy grits, Hope Breakfast Bar is your best best right now.  The Brunch Salad was fantastic...among the best salads I've ever eaten.   The Farm Grazer was excellent in fell just a bit short in execution.   A better root veggie/potato ratio would make it more desirable, matching the over-easy eggs to what is listed in the menu is necessary, and the root veggies should be cooked as appropriately as the potatoes...they were just a little beyond what was acceptable in texture.

But we'd say, give Hope Breakfast Bar a try.  John had the disappointments of the day, with no lemonade and an unbalanced dish....that needs a bit of tweaking.  I was the winner, with full-bodied delicious hot coffee, a truly wonderful salad that was easy on the eyes and wonderful on the taste buds, plus my share of the well-prepared cheesy grits.   My only challenge was parking the car (plus watching the 'parking enforcement' officer out the front window...trying to figure out if we were, for sure, in a legal parking zone).  Thankfully we were, because having to get out of that parking spot and squeeze into another spot would have been a definite downer to my dining experience).  Fortunately he checked some cars and moved along.

Our server was excellent and we shared a few stories at closing time that made the experience even more memorable.   An excellent meal all around.

hope breakfast bar st. paul
Location:  Google Maps 

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