BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ--ST. PAUL - 2000
Capitol View Cafe
Retired Irish-American meat cutters mow lawns beside twentysomething Mexican immigrants; African-American youths shovel driveways for elderly Asian ladies. This vibe of peaceful coexistence that has made the West Side a model multicultural community spreads to the Capitol View Cafe. Where else could one find the "Norm Coleman" (kosher-salami-and-cheese omelet with hash browns and a bagel with cream cheese, $6.25) sandwiched on a menu between the Cajun breakfast and the huevos rancheros? Or banana-nut pancakes, every bite bursting with chunks of banana and giant pecan halves, at a place with a wine and beer license? The pleasantly decorated dining room (think mauve wallpaper and plenty of little fake flowers) is an excellent spot to wax political over the Pioneer Press with old-timers and newcomers alike, pausing only to guzzle a thick chocolate malted. The Capitol View cures social discord and promotes neighborhood unity the good old-fashioned way: with big helpings of comfort food from kitchens around the globe.