BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE--MINNEAPOLIS - 2000
What makes the Birchwood stand out in a city lousy with neighborhood cafés is attention to detail. The dried-cherry scones contain cornmeal, which somehow seems to make them moist, yet grainy in a very pleasant way. The coconut macaroons are exactly the right kind of chewy. The peach cobbler is neither too sweet nor too mushy, and the key-lime pie delivers exactly the proper amount of pucker. Most days this mostly vegetarian Seward favorite offers two individual-pizza selections in the under-$6 range (one typically sporting roasted peppers and goat cheese) along with several entrées and well-seasoned, often grain-based salads. If temperatures permit, grab some Sebastian Joe's and take it to one of the picnic tables outside. Check out the boulevard a neighbor has painstakingly turned into a gardening masterpiece, slurp up the last drops of the flavor of the day, and, if you're lucky, walk home along the river.