Maria’s Cafe (Minneapolis, MN)

During my recent visit to Minneapolis, I needed to take my hosts Bob and Kath out for breakfast. Our long-time standard for a weekend breakfast (Big Olaf’s) closed a few years back, so I asked them where we should go. They suggested Maria’s Cafe on East Franklin, which features Colombian and Venezualan food, as well as some more typical American favorites.

While it was strongly recommended that I try the corn pancakes, I left those for Carol while I tried the daily special breakfast platter (shown), which included beans, sausage, fried yucca, scrambled eggs, and an arepa (basically a small masa pancake). This was an excellent breakfast on all levels: the beans were nicely seasoned with cumin, the yucca was crisp on the outside and tender inside, and the eggs nicely scrambled. The arepa was nicely done as well, but it paled compared to Carol’s corn pancake (which isn’t cornmeal, it’s a regular pancake with corn in it, topped with a dry cheese), which was also very delicious.

I’m also pleasantly surprised at how well that part of town (Philips) has definitely been improving. There was a time not that long ago when this definitely wasn’t a neighborhood that would be sporting a friendly cafe like this.

In short, I liked Maria’s, and it’s definitely on my list of places to return to in my next visit to the city (a list that is getting quite long, indeed, especially since a typical visit for me is 3 or 4 days). Everyone should try this, and make sure to explore the particularly unique food items here instead of the more American items.

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