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Spotlight on takeout: All about breakfast

22December 2020

Going out to breakfast is such a civilized thing.

Many ideas are hatched over a steaming cup of coffee and a plate of pancakes or eggs.

The experience is different at home, but some of the city’s best breakfast food is available to go, so this week, we’re focusing on that all-important first meal of the day.

Please consider ordering as much as you can from local restaurants during this time. If not the ones we mention, then your favorite place. Have you had some great takeout lately? Tell us about it (we love photos, too!) at [email protected].

Hope Breakfast Bar

I was recently thinking about cheering up my teens, who are mired in the murky waters of distance learning, with breakfast for dinner. At about the same time, I saw photos of the pancakes from this sweet little breakfast spot and started perusing the menu. Lo and behold, Hope offers its pancake batter to go! Which meant I could buy carrot cake pancake batter and cook it for my kids at home. It was really the best of both worlds. For $20, you get a quart of batter, which resulted in enough fluffy, flavorful pancakes to serve five of us, along with candied walnuts, cream cheese syrup and whipped cream. By the way, my plan totally worked.

1 S. Leech St., St. Paul; 651-330-8996; hopebreakfast.com

— Jess Fleming

Downtowner Woodfire Grill

Buttermilk pancakes and Moe’s Cajun Breakfast from Downtowner Woodfire Grill in St. Paul. (Nancy Ngo / Pioneer Press)

Perhaps it was because it was National Maple Syrup Day that I was beckoned to have pancakes last Thursday. I was running errands near West Seventh Street in St. Paul, so what better place to grab takeout from than breakfast hotspot Downtowner Woodfire Grill? Like many restaurants, Downtowner has reduced its hours and menu during the pandemic. The menu being offered is breakfast items only and available from 7 a.m. to noon daily. There was no hesitation ordering three house-made buttermilk pancakes from the griddle as a base for that maple syrup. And why not add bananas, pecans and whipped cream? It was a great call. Not only are the bananas and pecans sprinkled on top of the pancakes as anticipated, but it was a delight to find they were both in the pancake batter, too. I was a newbie to pecans rolled into pancake batter, so this delicious discovery made my day — and more happy breakfast pancake days to come — as this now will be a regular order. There are plenty more breakfast items to choose from — French toast and crepes as well as omelet and eggs Benedict varieties galore. I love a house special, so that meant also ordering Moe’s Cajun Breakfast ($12.95), a veggie hash layered with cheese, Cajun sausage and eggs over easy and then doused heavily (yum, no complaints here) with “Moe’s special Hollandaise sauce.” This item off the breakfast menu under Classics is also one to order again — a true classic unique to the Downtowner.

253 W. 7th St., St. Paul; 651-228-9500; downtownerwoodfire.com

— Nancy Ngo

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