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Isles Bun & Coffee's Puppy Dog Tail: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 38

The morning commute is a struggle. With my hair still damp and stomach empty, I head out to catch the bus at Uptown Transit Station. As I sleepily walk down on Hennepin, a sweet and inviting aroma takes hold of all my senses.

I look up and see a sign with a hand holding up its index finger to the storefront of Isles Bun & Coffee. It says, "Puppy Dog Tails."

Puppy Dog Tails?

I'm hungry, but not hungry enough to eat tails this early in the day. Oxtail? Maybe for dinner. Dog tails? No, thank you.

But the cinnamon-y perfume is too good to resist. And I enter the tiny shop, "One small coffee and a Puppy Dog Tail, please."

Isles Bun & Coffee's Puppy Dog Tail: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 38
Kei Terauchi

It's a variation of the cinnamon roll in a form of a darling twist. I'm informed by the cheerful barista that the store's neighboring nursery school children named this trademarked menu item.

And it forces me to use all my good manners and my strong desire to stay as the best behaved rider of 53 LTD to not scarf it down on the bus. As soon as I get to the office, I make eating number one priority.

I tear a little piece from the end, unraveling the fragrant layer of cinnamon sugar. The dough is dense and moist, and pulls like thick injera, the stretchy Ethiopian bread. It's sweet enough to make me smile, but not too sweet to make me concerned about not having dental insurance.

For just $1, this little puppy brightened up my morning like no other.

Isles Bun & Coffee 1424 West 28th Street, Minneapolis 612-870-4466; website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:


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