VENUE DETAILS

Birchwood Cafe

Price:

$

Cuisine Type:

American, American casual, Vegetarian

Serves:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Rating: One Star One Star No Star No Star

REVIEW

The couple ahead of me are pushing all my buttons.

In the few minutes that we have been in line at the Birchwood Cafe, I have read every word on the wall of chalkboard menus. Twice. Mr. and Mrs. Oblivious have been chatting, and now having reached the counter are completely clueless about what to order. Endless discussion ensues. Samples are nibbled. The guy behind me clears his throat in a way that suggests, "You people are losers."

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, it's my turn. I order, pay and take a seat. I'm fidgety with hunger. Six minutes later my dinner arrives, and after several soul-restoring bites I glance at the talkative couple. Suddenly I can imagine them as my new best friends.

That's the effect the B'wood has on me, and I'm grateful. Owner Tracy Singleton's 11-year establishment has always been a refuge of simple food made well. Lately, particularly following the addition of chef Marc Paavola, its ambitions have grown, and this anchor of the Seward neighborhood is better than ever.

Vegetarian with flavor

One of the kitchen's most admirable traits is its We Take Vegetarians Seriously mindset. Take the pizzas. Where other, lesser restaurants would be satisfied to offer a four-cheese or, if they're feeling generous, a Margherita pizza, Paavola and company turn crisp, nutty brown crusts into showstoppers: a crimson swipe of red beet hummus was dappled with sweet roasted cipollini onions, nicely mellow chèvre and a handful of fresh arugula, and a golden butternut squash purée was topped with chunks of Camembert, tart apple and caramelized onions.

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Where:

Birchwood Cafe
3311 E. 25th St.
Minneapolis, MN
612-722-4474

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