BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH - 2004
Trying to satisfy wholesome churchgoers, bleary Saturday-night partiers, regular customers, and once-a-month restaurant diners with finicky kids--such is the thankless task of the Sunday brunch chef. Anyone who can do it deserves thanks; anyone who can do it really well (and without employing a six-foot steam table) deserves a medal. Fortunately for all of us, the quietly fantastic Brock and Natalie Obee of 128 Café take Sunday mornings in stride, doing what they do best and providing the simple, well-crafted food and unassuming, comfortable atmosphere that makes brunch a pleasure rather than a chore. Tucked away in the bottom corner of an apartment building across the street from the University of St. Thomas, 128's mission has always been to serve fresh, haute-y cuisine at prices befitting its humble surroundings, and the brunch delivers. For the price of your average Denny's artery-clogger, you've got your choice of six or seven reliably terrific and filling entrees. Highlights include a superb red onion, potato, and goat cheese frittata, as well as fluffy-as-all-get-out omelets, crepes, and French toast all good enough to become family traditions. Whether it's 9:00 a.m. services, hungry kids, or a wicked hangover that get you to Sunday brunch, this is the first basement to visit in the morning.