Berries in Cuba

Hello, neglected little blog! Who would have thought I would return to you after a trip to Nokomis to get my taxes done? Here, I learned not to underestimate a smiling tax lady who played 1980s music, and managed to keep a conversation going while filling out the dreaded form  in an embarrassingly short time. Nor to disdain the neighborhood breakfast joint next door, which rejoiced in the name Berry Sweet Café.

It turned out to be a sunny brunch restaurant with an enticing selection of Cuban and Mexican offerings, plus the waffles and pancakes with whipped cream that some people seem to insist on eating for breakfast. The neighbors were certainly a more varied bunch than in Uptown, where I usually get brunch. An African-American family, young Af-Am woman in military fatigues, and a Mexican family speaking Spanish filled out the tables, and  I couldn’t believe how it felt like LA. I think the nearby military base had something to do with the mix of people, so I suppose I should thank the army for being more egalitarian, ironically, than many other local employers.

I was tempted by the Cuban breakfast (eggs, plantains) but the memory of the late lamented La Rosita in Morningside Heights made me crave black beans to go with the eggs, and they had none here. Not even with their huevos rancheros, which I would happily have ordered too. So I reasoned that it was close enough to noon to get a Cuban sandwich instead – and it was a good call. The roast pork squished together with ham, cheese, and pickles in the sandwich was perfectly cooked. The whole thing was a lovely balance of textures and mild flavor, just right with coffee for brunch. I did experiment with a shot of flavor through the selection of hot sauces, trying out the Bufalo red jalapeno sauce (a bit bland) before settling for the reliable Tapatio, which gave my palate just the wake-up call it needed.

So, I recommend getting taxes done by a pro instead of stressing about them for an entire weekend, as well as venturing out into unknown Minneapolis neighborhoods with cheesily-named cafés. Both can brighten up your Saturday.

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