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Peoples Organic Café

6 Apr

Peoples Organic Café
Visited Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

peoples exterior

Ryan
Minneapolis has to have the highest number of organic brunch joints per capita in the nation by a wide margin. Every few weeks Lauren has found a new organic/natural place to try. These places continually annoy me because of their poor price-to-portion ratio. But as long as Lauren was paying, I was along for the giving it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised first of all to find out that we wouldn’t be waiting in a line of any sort, and that there was plenty of open seating. I had in my head visions of Good Earth, where we wandered around the Galleria for 35 minutes with a buzzer in hand. This place was quiet with no wait time at all.

peoples mocha

I found an item on the menu, the Peoples Organic Breakfast, that looked like it would be filling and cost-effective. For just $7.95, I received scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, and ciabatta toast. It came out in fast fashion, everything tasted good and fresh, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t full at the end of my meal!

classic breakfast

Not much else to say about Peoples Organic Cafe, other than it was good and I’d do it again.

ryan at peoples

Lauren
This past Sunday, on the heels of a marathon 8 straight days of working for my beloved, I suggested a trip to the suburbs for some brunch. I had to pull a few teeth, though, because Ryan senses danger whenever I suggest going to a restaurant that has even a slight natural/locavore bend to it.

Surprisingly, for around 10am on a Sunday, Peoples was empty save for about a half-dozen occupied tables. This was a very refreshing change from any other time we have tried to go to brunch at that time, ever. I wonder if they were expecting a larger crowd at some point because they seemed almost over-staffed for the number of patrons.

peoples inside

We entered from the parking lot side, which made ordering kind of confusing; had we entered from the Galleria we would have walked past the build-your-own yogurt and oatmeal stations and the deli case of sandwiches (which aren’t listed on the menu chalkboards). I found this confusing, but I located them eventually and ended up ordering the egg/bacon/swiss croissant, which came with a side of potatoes, and a coffee.

peoples coffee

I love the mug that my coffee came in something ridiculous. For starters, it’s a decent size, not so small that it’s two sips and done, but not so big that the coffee gets cold before you can finish. But I really love the handle! See how nice and substantial it is? It really felt secure as I carried it from the ordering station to the table. Note to self: Find mugs with thick, sturdy handles, and don’t bring them out when company comes over.

After only a few minutes of sitting and admiring the decor – I really liked it, kind of a pleasant cross between a Starbucks and French Meadow. I love the chartreuse green – our food arrived.

people breakfast croissant

My breakfast sandwich was pretty good. It was very rich; I think the croissant is overkill. For one thing, when a buttery pastry is topped with egg, rich cheese and bacon it naturally all sort of coalesces into one big pile of richness. I think something a little bit sturdier (and, therefore, easier to pick up) would be advised. The potatoes were a real disappointment. They were just, blah. A throwaway side dish.

For what it’s worth, I think Peoples should take note from its big sister French Meadow, and serve a side of lightly dressed greens with their rich eggy breakfast dishes. People in Minneapolis go bonkers for French Meadow’s quiche with spring greens and toast, would people in Edina react negatively to salad for breakfast?

We had a Groupon ***, so Peoples was worth a shot. I don’t see myself returning any time soon — there are too many better options.

Ambiance – Very cute, light and bright with lots of green + brown to reinforce the “natural” feeling. It was very quiet when we were there but I think it would be uncomfortably loud had it been busy; they have a ton of tables jammed into a pretty small space. If I was in the area and had time to kill I think it would be a nice place to sit with a cup of coffee (or a Surly, hello) and use the wifi.
Service – Not really much to speak of; like French Meadow, you order at the counter and your food is brought out to you. The guy who took our order was exceptionally cheerful and eager to help.
Food – So-so. My breakfast sandwich did have the hidden surprise of roasted tomatoes, which provided a nice punch between the rich cheese, bacon and pastry. More would have been better. I think with some small adjustments, it could be much better.
Overall experience – It was fine. I liked that it wasn’t super busy and that we didn’t have to wait to be seated, which is a small miracle on a Sunday. But perhaps everyone else already knew what we didn’t – that Peoples doesn’t quite stack up. It’s better than average, but when you’re asking the customer to pay the “organic” price tag, you have to really deliver on the food.

The Necessities
Peoples Organic Café
3545 Galleria, Edina, MN 55435
952.426.1856

Have you eaten at Peoples Organic Café? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below!

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Good Earth

21 Jun

Ryan

On the morning of Father’s Day, June 21, Lauren and I went looking for a new place to try breakfast.  We originally stopped at the Original Pancake House, but it was backed up for 55 minutes, so we went across the street to the ritzy Galleria and tried Good Earth, a restaurant known for its natural and organic ingredients.  Our wait was about 20 minutes, but that was to be expected at 11am on Father’s Day.  Our waitress kept saying things like “I hope you don’t think I’m ditzy” and “I’m not normally so uncoordinated!”  I thought she did a good job, but she kept apologizing to us for various things!

To be different, I started out with one of their specialty juices, the Watermelon Wahoo, which includes watermelon, pineapple, and apple juices.  This drink was small and expensive, but very tasty, healthy, and frothy.  Lauren opted for a latte.  Since I was wildly hungry, I opted for a caramel roll before the main course.  Good Earth’s hyper waitress informed me they had none left, but they made me something sorta like it and gave it to me for free!

Father's Day breakfast at Good Earth

My breakfast at Good Earth

For my main course, I ordered the Turkey Sausage Scramble, which was a moderate-sized serving that included turkey sausage, roasted potatoes, tomatoes, scrambled eggs, purple onions, diced peppers, and green onions.  (I asked for no cheese and minimal sour cream.)  My initial thought was this was not enough food for $9.50, and it was a little bland.  But like always, a healthy dose of Tabasco sauce really brought this dish to life!  I also found something hard and black in my food, but later discovered it was a huge piece of unground peppercorn.

Lauren ordered some 10-grain hotcakes and turkey sausage.

Lauren ordered some 10-grain hotcakes and turkey sausage.

Lauren

I love Good Earth. As one of three children with food allergies, my family was extremely limited in our selections for a night out at a restaurant when I was young. Thankfully, the majority of my allergies dissipated as I came into adulthood, so I am not so limited now — but I do try to eat as naturally as possible.

As Ryan said, we attempted to go to OPH but were driven off by the incredibly long wait, so dashed across the street to the Galleria and put our names on the Good Earth list. I was actually a bit surprised by the crowds as I tend to think of Mother’s Day as a brunch holiday, whereas Father’s Day is more of a holiday to throw a couple hunks of meat on the grill.

I went for an unusual breakfast choice… that is, unusual for me! I never order pancakes. I just don’t really enjoy them at that much, truth be told. They are always much too sweet, much too filling, and the texture is never satisfying like a good piece of toast is. However, the Good Earth boasts 10-Grain Hotcakes, which sounded heartier and more satisfying than your typical Aunt Jemima variety. And they were! I ordered a side of turkey sausage for some protein.

As Ryan noted, I ordered a small latte. Our waitress was slightly flustered, and took nearly ten minutes to bring me a packet of raw sugar, but to my surprise I discovered that I needed no sweetener. I almost never drink coffee without something to sweeten it just a bit, but perhaps due to the natural milk the latte was naturally sweeter than I expected.

Ratings

Ryan: For me, my Good Earth experience was just okay.  Though the ingreidents were fresh and healthy, I thought it was slightly overpriced and slightly bland.  2/5 Noms.

Lauren: I knew Ryan wasn’t going to be wild for the Good Earth. I think we would have had a slightly better experience if we had been seated on the patio – the atmosphere in the dining room is only slightly better than a Perkins. The Good Earth has been an Edina landmark for most of my life so I would say it’s time for the Parasole group to give it a face-lift, non? It’s on the spendier side, but not at all unreasonable for a natural restaurant for breakfast. 4/5 Noms!