(Fourth in a series about winter travel)
We all know that old saying – Always start your day with a good breakfast. It’s especially important on cold winter days. The St. Paul Hotel has the M ST. Cafe (the M stands for Market Street where the hotel is location)on the lowest floor of the hotel. Take the winding staircase next to the bellstand down from the first floor or use the elevator. The cafe is open weekdays for breakfast and lunch, closes at Noon on Saturday and has a breakfast/brunch buffet on Sunday. Menu items range from light fare such as Greek yogurt and berries to oatmeal and various egg dishes including Eggs Benedict. Try the Swedish Pancakes ($8.95), a delightful Scandinavian take from St. Paul’s ethnic heritage – three to four large thin light lacy crepes with lingonberry preserves. They offer maple syrup as well, but I recommend keeping it simple and in true Swedish fashion eating them with only the lingonberry preserves. Accompanied with a slice of grilled ham, it was a very satisfying breakfast. Recommended for the hearty appetite is the Northwoods Omelet ($13.95) – three eggs stuffed with sauteed asparagus, forest mushrooms, Gruyere cheese and a side of excellent tasty Bechamel sauce. When asked what kind of toast I’d prefer, upon mentioning that I restrict how much bread I eat, the server offered gluten free toast and also let me know the Bechamel was gluten free as well (thickened with cornstarch instead of flour). Now that’s what I call good service when a server cares about your dietary restrictions. I did not eat at the Sunday Brunch buffet but fellow travelers said they thought it was pricey for the offerings. At $22.95 and considering the variety of food, I would say it isn’t any more expensive than any other brunch buffets I have eaten at in other cities. M ST Cafe was named one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America, for both 2015 and 2013, based on more than 5 million OpenTable Diner reviews.