It's possible you already have Black Walnut Bakery Cafe fatigue.
Leading up to last week's long-awaited opening of baker Sarah Botcher's Uptown eatery, it seemed like all anyone could talk about. We're no less guilty! Here at CP, we've profiled Botcher, called her then-nomadic bakery 2018's best, and—like everyone else—frothed/foamed at the mouth upon last fall's news that she was getting a location all her own.
Now that it's (finally, properly) open, we dropped in for a quick little mid-week lunch. Here are five things to know before you do the same.
5. You can get a real hearty meal here.
"It has bacon in it, is that okay?"
"It's basically just cheese, bacon, and butter."
"Okay, wow... yes."
You've just read verbatim the conversation we had with a cashier upon ordering Black Walnut's Alsatian potatoes, a treat so gooey and rich even a cup (just $3.95!) is enough to leave you stuffed. Seriously, that and a coffee could make a more than satisfying lunch. The same can be said of the croque monsieur: cheese sauce inside, cheese on top, bread at least an inch thick on either side, available with either mushrooms or ham.
4. But it's not all bacon and butter.
Oh, you don't usually like citrus-y desserts? Yeah, me either. And as a lemon-tart skeptic, I very much suggest you get the lemon tart.
3. The place is an Insta-paradise.
Not just because of the beautiful baked goods—though that sure makes it easy to snap a great 'gram. Thanks to a corner address with wide, tall windows, there's not a bad seat for aspiring influencers in the house, lighting-wise. High ceilings, pendant lights, and an open look into the kitchen amount to an airy and relaxing space to unwind with a tea and a book, if you'd rather leave the phone at home.
2. There are pies now, with more stuff on the way.
If you know Black Walnut from the cookies and croissants and things that were available at Spyhouse and One on One Bicycle Studio, know that there's much more available now that Botcher has a whole place to herself. Tarts, pies, cakes, that croque monsieur, those potatoes, breakfast sandwiches—eventually flatbreads and toasties, too. In addition to the coffee program, there are plans to debut beer and wine as well.
1. Otherwise, it's just some of the finest baked goods in the Twin Cities, available in one place.
There are a lot of arguments about how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but really the answer is: however Botcher and her bakers do it. They're slim, a good five inches in diameter, but never flat—somehow infusing both softness and crispiness into that skinny surface. They're a little salty and not too sweet. Truly, they're the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. (Sorry, Mom.)
That sort of superlative baking has always marked Black Walnut's goods, extending to everything coming out of the kitchen long before Botcher had one of her own. Now that she does, well... the only difference is you don't have to get to the bike shop before they run out.
Black Walnut Bakery
3157 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis