Just because you're stuck at home Friday night, while your friends are experiencing the coolest bands, hippest new restaurants, and banging hangover that follow, doesn't mean you've turned in your cool card entirely. Having kids changes things, but if you're passionate about food, it also gives you an opportunity to share new discoveries and shape your own adorable hummus-loving mini-you.
The problem is that the low-blood-sugar epic meltdowns are a specter that strikes terror into the heart of every parent. No one wants to get stuck with that kid. So how to find an elegant morning meal that you can spend together with your favorite little people? Here are a few spots where you can all eat and enjoy a meal beyond the usual corn-syrup-soaked kid's menu options.
5. Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
Tucked into a neighborhood that's a bit short on fine-dining options, Ngon's elegant food and sunny room are a welcome refuge any weekend morning. Parents can slurp hearty bowls of traditional pho while kids can happily scarf down one of the finest croque madams to be found in town. The patio is a little oasis--you wouldn't know you're right off University Ave.--and a great spot to soak in a little early sun. Best of all they source from local farmers whenever possible, adding a little lesson on the ethics of food to your breakfast table. The only drawback is having to wait until 11 a.m. for them to open, which might be a little late for the Super Why-set.
4. Swede Hollow
Not only does it have a delightfully gooey, cinnamon-scented, nut-encrusted cinnamon roll, there's also the wedges of meat-and-cheese-studded hot hashbrown pies, ginormous cups of coffee--including what they tout as the best mocha in the Cities--but they also have a sprawling, lush garden dining space. Let the kids play near the fountain while you thumb through your favorite independent weekly. Open at 8 a.m. on Saturday for breakfast, it's easy to get there way before imminent meltdown. Unfortunately, they are closed on Sunday.
3. Brasa Rotisserie
Now open on Sundays beginning at 11 a.m., Brasa offers a brunch menu featuring its sustainably sourced foods from James Beard Award-winning chef Alex Roberts. Enjoy a little hash cooked up with meat as tender as an Elvis Costello love song, sauces as thunderingly spicy as a Reverend Horton Heat hook, and indoor/outdoor dining as cool as--well, you get the point. With two locations, one in each twin city, a full vegetarian menu, and a kids menu that doesn't dumb it down, they have something to please everyone.
It's always a little startling to witness the parting sea of hipsters inside this Uptown institution and notice a tiny person across the room. Nothing about the place screams, "Bring your kid here!" and yet many local residents do. The weekend brunch begins with coffee so strong it would peel back the eyelids of even the most sleep-deprived among us. Daily quiche and bakery specials are always full of seasonal ingredients and baked with loving care. The fries are always a hit, and the eggs Benedict a delight. Best of all, it serves breakfast every day beginning at 8 a.m.
1. Wilde Roast Cafe
The new location on the river officially brings some fine food to an area deprived for so long. Families of all stripes have always been welcome at Wilde Roast, but the expanded seating and access to the outside makes this an ideal location. The excellent service is another draw. Sugar up on the creme brulee toast and a couple of their fantastic lattes for the adults and run it off on the trails outside, or follow it up with a family exploration hike around Nicollet Island. There is so much to see and eat and appreciate in and around this gem. Open every day from 7 a.m.