City Cafe

I met a dear friend downtown a few weeks ago for an early morning breakfast (it was snowy, I was the first one there, and I walked in before the “open” sign had even been turned on) and it was a great choice.

I’d eaten here almost seven years ago (and my dining companions were far less enjoyable that time around) but remember being impressed by the huevos rancheros.

This time around, I was so torn between the French toast (which Desiree ordered and loved) and something that allowed me to have a little bit of everything, so I went for the scrambled eggs, “tater tots”, and grilled ham with whole wheat toast. Perfect for a snowy morning.

The ham was lean and perfectly salty (a rare treat I allowed myself, if you know how I eat) and the potatoes were crispy on the outside, mealy and warm on the inside, and not the least bit greasy or oily (read: just how I like them). Our server (the owner, incidentally, and a wonderfully welcoming and personable man) kept the coffee mugs full and forced me (yes, forced me) to take home a peppermint brownie. Really. He forced me. God bless him.

One of the other things that was so enjoyable was the exhibition of work by local artists that adorned the walls. The decor is unassuming and plain (you come for the food) but the prints and paintings make City Cafe really feel like a local establishment. I felt particularly in-the-know when I spotted prints by an artist whose work is also available at the IMA. Small world.

I would assume that my brekafast partner and I will be back, since there are only so many places downtown that are mutually convenient and open at 7am. I look forward to going for the French toast next time (dipped in corn flakes before grilling!) or maybe the breakfast burritos. Or the huevos rancheros. Or a custom-built omelette…

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