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Insanely Good Eggs Benedict and Brunch at Meritage

27 Jul

Whether you want to fuel up for a Saturday full of erranding, or you’re looking for a leisurely start to the weekend,  I recommend one of St. Paul’s best French restaurants, Meritage, for brunch.  I met my mom, two aunts, and uncle for brunch there this past week for an amazing meal. Here’s what we ate:

In one word: Rich

Location: 410 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, Minnesota

Food:It was one order of blueberry pancakes ($9) and for the rest of us, Eggs Benedicts all around ($11)–including one Eggs Florentine.

If you like your pancakes on the sweet side, try these. As though blueberry syrup isn’t enough, they’re coated in a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Very delish, but if you’re a pancake purist, and you prefer maple syrup to different toppings, you’re probably better off trying something else.

Mmmm, blueberry goodness.

If you do elect to try something else, I heartily recommend Meritage’s Eggs Benedict–regular, or Florentine.

Hollandaise sauce for the Hollandaise Hall of Fame.

The hollandaise sauce was knock-your-socks off good. I’m talking butter-tastic good. And the eggs were cooked very well–soft, with a rich, runny yolk–a great contrast to the crusty English muffin. A small salad of simple greens and vinagrette, plus a few pieces of seasonal fruit, cut the richness of the dish.

I loved the spinach in the Eggs Florentine--slightly "healthier" and just as tasty.

Drink: I really enjoyed my cappuccino ($4) while my mom and aunts got regular coffees and  treated themselves to Meritage’s Classic Bellini with peach nectar and prosecco ($8).

We were very happy with our service at Meritage. Our waiter was friendly and attentive–we always had a full glass of water and coffee cups were frequently refreshed.

Scene: We sat outside and had a fabulous time soaking up some sunshine while we enjoyed some good people watching. The old-school French music being played in the background will make you feel a little like you’re in a sidewalk cafe in Paris. The crowd was varied–couples, small groups of friends, one or two families with small children. I think this would be a great location for a first date. It’s casual, but special.

Dress: Jeans are perfect for brunch. Feel free to dress comfortably and casually. In fact, a couple next to us arrived at Meritage on their bikes in their bike shorts, and they fit right in.

Cost: My wonderful, generous uncle treated us all to brunch–thanks, Uncle Van! So I’m not 100% certain of the final tab. But, by my estimates it was about $25 per person after tax and tip. On my budget, it’s not something I could repeat every weekend, but without a doubt I’ll be back next time I have that kind of money to devote to brunch. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day!

If you like, try: Bistro Zinc in Chicago, Bon Vie in St. Paul