Saturday, January 19, 2008

Best Breakfasts on the South Shore

Lake Minnetonka has several excellent breakfast spots surrounding it, but unfortunately for us on the South Shore they tend to be clustered in Wayzata. Sunsets and the Original Pancake House, just to name two, are reliable and high quality places that are sometimes worth the drive.

But for those of us who prefer to keep our business closer to home, there are a couple smallish breakfast places that have every bit the quality of our neighbors to the north. Here is the South Lake Tonka Blog's first ever breakfast joint honor roll:

1. Beanhaven Cafe, Minnetonka Blvd, Deephaven. This small eatery at near Chowen's Corner offers a creative breakfast menu with high quality food every time. The speciality seems to be omelettes (there are many to choose from) and other egg dishes, but you won't go wrong with something as simple as french toast. If the place has a downfall, it is the limited seating capacity -- there is room for 30-35 max and it is not oncommon to have quite a wait for a table. However, as with many neighborhood places, the small size is also what gives it its charm.

2. 318 Cafe, Water Street, Excelsior. In what was voted the Best Neighborhood Eatery in a recent Twin Cities publication, 318 continues to create tasty and unique dishes for all three meals. Breakfasts are excellent, with high quality and a step-up in thoughtfulness from your basic pancake and sausage menu. The scrambled egg sandwich and breakfast burrito are personal favorites. This author also believes they serve the best coffee in the area. They open a little late for early risers -- 8am Mon-Sat and 11am Sun -- but if that suits your schedule you won't be disappointed in the food.

Both are excellent choices!

While Beanhaven and 318 are the only two that make our honor roll as true breakfast places, there are a few places that serve good Sunday breakfast or brunch. Hazellewood Grill on Hwy 19 in Tonka Bay and Maynard's on Minnetonka Blvd. in Excelsior are both worth a Sunday try. Additionally, the Cottagewood General Store serves excellent cinnamon rolls on summer weekends, but can't be classified as a true breakfast place.

For those who prefer an economical if not exciting breakfast, Hilltop Restaurant just off Hwy 7 in Excelsior offers quick, basic, and cheap eats in the morning. In the same category is Perkins in nearby Chanhassen. These places are nowhere near the two that made our honor roll in terms of food quality, but will provide your breakfast fix in a pinch.

The bottom line? Beanhaven and 318 are excellent neighborhood places, but one has to believe there is also room for another choice in the South Lake area without taking business away from the established eateries. It might be a new entrant, or it might be a place like Hazellewood expanding their hours to become a daily breakfast place.

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