by Robert W. McClain
Maria's Cafe (612) 870-9842
1113 Franklin Av E, Minneapolis, MN
You know you have something special when you’re invited to open your restaurant in a new building. That’s what happened to Maria Hoyos a year ago when eighteen different restaurants competed to move into the Ancient Trader’s Market at Eleventh Avenue and East Franklin.
Maria’s Café features Columbian food. Whereas most Mexican food is hot and spicy, Maria uses mostly garlic and cumin so the flavor of the food comes through. Maria’s unique blend of North and South American flavors entices regular customers from as far away as Rochester.
Tropical fruit also plays a major role at Maria’s café. Her fruit pancakes, voted best in Twin Cities by City Pages, feature blueberry, mango, banana, raspberry, pineapple, or strawberry with Maria’s homemade syrup. Other pancakes include wild rice, raisin and walnut, and corn pancakes. She also offers alternatives to orange juice including guava, passion fruit, mango, guanabana or papaya.
Another favorite is Maria’s Columbian Huevos Pericos: Three scrambled eggs with diced tomatoes, green onions, white onions, and special seasoning on a tortilla with homemade salsa. Other egg dishes include Juan’s Breakfast Sandwich served on a croissant and Pablo’s Omelet.
For an extra boost with your meal, Maria’s serves espresso, cappuccino, latte or mocha. And for dessert, try the Columbian Flan, a special treat not found elsewhere in the Twin Cities.
At Maria’s Café, service is a priority. Customers are referred to as “guests,” and Maria can usually be found in uniform, bustling about the dining area. Her philosophy is that food can always be remade if the guest is not happy but bad service is almost impossible to fix.
Maria’s is open from 7:00am until 2:00pm Monday through Wednesday and 8:00am until 2:00pm on Sunday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Maria’s is now open until 9:00pm for dinner. She has a singer/guitar player on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am until 1:30pm.
Arriving in the Twin Cities twenty-three years ago from Medellin, Colombia, Maria dreamed of opening a florist shop. Lucky for us, she discovered her true calling perfuming Minneapolis with food instead of flowers.
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