300 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540144.981918 -93.271777
Neighborhoods: Central, Warehouse District
Classy food in a bright, cheery atmosphere – Excellent food. I've been here many times. Owner Brenda has been there several times, seated us, got us drinks, so reviews attacking her confuse me. Waitstaff was knowledgeable about the food. Romantic setting and worked for a group of 6 too.
Owner is simply not a nice person. She's mean to her employees and standoffish with guests. – I've been to Cafe Brenda three times. Once by choice, and the other two during business lunches that I was unlucky enough to have to attend. When the Diva (Brenda) is in, employees seem very tense, which seems to make them jumpy and unfriendly. You can overhear her behind the counter blasting her employees with rhetorical questions. "Does that look like it's mixed?" "Do I sound like I'm joking?" There is nothing wrong with the food, The mock duck being the safest bet. But the vibe in there is too tense. I don't think I'll give it a 4th chance!
Substitution.. no problem. – Went for dinner last week. They had no problem with substitution in the on special dish. Delicious Curry mock duck.
suprise me i'm sure i'll love it – exactly what i told the waiter....... exactly what i got. first time in the city, first time at cafe brenda's...absolutely not the last. highly recommend
Best Vegan friendly – Organic taste! vegan friendly and different! Lunch or dinner, great place to go!! I always go there with my vegan friendly friends to enjoy their touf and mock duck!
The serene cuisine at this natural-foods oasis does for a jaded palate what a massage does for weary muscles. – In Short
Huge windows on busy Minneapolis streets offer sunshine in the day and people-watching after dark. The health-conscious of every stripe, and even some who aren't, will find something in the menu of organic seafood and poultry dishes. Popular starters include shrimp quesadillas and a wild mushroom and pistachio pâté. A tender Thai chicken breast is simmered in green Thai curry sauce. Fresh cod is sauteed and drizzled with a ginger-maple-teriyaki glaze.
It's a MPLS gem! – Face it, MPLS lacks a large selection of small, cafe-style, competent chef-owned restaurants that encourage you to drop in for dinner. However, this place fills the bill! Great location with validated parking is a HUGE draw and the wine list is larger than most with a very fair markup (I have never been to a place that I could say this about so this is a big plus! Every other restaurant in the city could learn from this!) The food is clean, fresh, healthy and tasty. Who would have thought that a vegetarian meal could be so satisfying and downright interesting? Cafe Brenda really hits all the right spots including a nice experience with great food and wine in a good location. A few more spots like this and who knows, MPLS might be a contender for a real food destination!
attitude – The Blue Marlin was quite good and it came very nicely presented. Banana cake with maple cream cheese frosting was super. I also like that everything is not super-sized. I guess this might be a problem for some people but I hate wasting food and don't like taking it home either. Great selection of wine. Did NOT like the server. Someone in my party had the nerve to ask for a diet coke and the server quipped... "we don't have diet anything". Whatever!
Don't forget about Brenda's Cafe – I have lived and dined in Minneapolis for over ten years. Lately, everytime I mention Cafe Brenda's I either hear: "I've been meaning to try there," or "That's a great restaurant, but I haven't been there in ages."
Brenda's has a wonderful wine list-at extremely reasonable prices- and amazing food that costs less than you expect to pay. The waitstaff are all very knowledgeable about food and wine.
And last time I ate there I found out they do validate parking, so don't tell me it's too hard to find parking in downtown Mpls.
I think it's disappointing that Minneapolis diners will pack into chain restaurants for uninspired food, and then only give lip service to local chefs. It's time to support superior local restaurants like Cafe Brenda. They deserve our patronage.
Classy organic food – Great organic fresh, seasonal food from local growers. Great wine list too.
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