by Bob McClain
Café Twenty Eight
An Above and Beyond Bistro
Fine food can make the soul sing. I’m sure most of you consider that a given. However, enjoying that food in a light and airy, sun-dappled dining room, built in a lovely old converted firehouse, brings the whole sensual experience into focus. That’s what I discovered enjoying a long chat with Linda Haug, owner and general manager of Café Twenty Eight in Linden Hills.
Linda recently hired a new chef, Nick Cronin. Nick and Linda’s philosophies seem to be intertwined with the idea that supporting local farmers who raise animals in a healthy and humane manner should be a center point of the restaurant. That means grass-fed, free-range beef, organic eggs and free-range chicken, and naturally raised pork from local farmers committed to sustainable agriculture. And that means wonderful flavors from healthy food.
Linda is a hoot. She’s charming and quirky and that plays through the whole restaurant. Take for instance the Friday Night Wisconsin Style Fish Fry for $11.95. When Linda moved here from a small town in Wisconsin, she couldn’t find a genuine Wisconsin-style beer-batter fish fry. So she’s started the tradition in her Bistro. It’s become so popular that you can only get in with reservations. Linda also worked as a wine rep in her former life so you can guess for yourself what the wine list is like. Excellent choices at reasonable prices. Another treat is the outdoor patio in this quiet neighborhood that is available in fair weather.
Linda is also a huge fan of Belgian beers. And the selection continues to grow as Linda finds more intriguing beers to add to the list. There is also a smattering of domestics for the less adventurous. Food prices are reasonable with appetizers running from $5 to $10 dollars. Lunch averages around ten dollars. Entrees are anywhere from $9 to $18 dollars. And, of course, you don’t want to forget the Sunday Brunch. Prices range from approximately $4 to $9 dollars and the tantalizing selections include Organic Egg Scrambles with Smoked Salmon, Spinach, Cream Cheese and Dill topped with Tomatoes and Onions. Another fascinating treat is the French Toast with Black Mission Figs & Apples in a Brandied Pan Caramel Sauce for $6.95. It comes with bacon or pork sausage and real maple syrup. And that’s just the tip of the Brunch iceberg.
Café Twenty Eight is open Tuesday thru Thursday 11 am to 9 pm, Friday & Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm and Sunday for Brunch from 10 am until 2 pm. They are closed Mondays. They are located just a short walk from Lake Harriet at 2724 West 43rd Street in Minneapolis. 612-926-2800.
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