BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH Minneapolis 2007 - Victor's 1959 Café
Spanish Caribbean music wafts out of half the restaurant kitchens in town, but can you get a decent order of black beans and Creole sauce with those eggs? Not usually, unless you're talking Victor's, which has added a full Cuban dinner menu and wine and beer in recent years. A shack painted sun-yellow inside, like some Havana House of Breakfast, and covered with photos too idiosyncratic to be random (salsa mensch Larry Harlow, Castro playing baseball, Tito Puente, Hugo Chavez), Victor's feels committed to the Cuban Revolution in the way that some pizza places are committed to the mafia. The memorabilia is nostalgic and iconic, with sincere but gentle anti-embargo slogans thrown in, and a scrawled sign playfully, inclusively dividing the cozy wooden booths into "the left wing" and "the right wing." (Don't share that large table with strangers unless you're feeling especially communistic.) Ask for a second refill on coffee, and you have brunch perfection: sweet plantains and fried yucca, guava jam on toast, mango pancakes, sautéed steak under huevos over-easy, plus standard American fare—all priced for the people, and served with a variety of fair-trade coffees and tropical juices. Decadent, maybe, but nothing's too good for the working class.