Cafe Berlin (Columbia, MO)

Despite the many changes in Columbia, most of my favorite spots to visit are still alive and well (Flat Branch for on of my favorite brownie sundaes anywhere and Shakespeare’s Pizza, to name two), some parts of town have seen a lot of nice development. The North Village part of town has seen a lot of recent development, such as the very excellent Logboat Brewing. Indeed, on the way to Logboat, we found a relatively new place in town (from my perspective), Cafe Berlin, and decided on our last morning in town that we’d try them for breakfast.

I think back to previous visits and I think Cafe Berlin used to be a convenience store, of all things, but the interior has primarily been done over to make a somewhat hipster-ish restaurant. While having plenty of tables, it obviously has a lot of live music in the evenings, since about a quarter of the space is actually taken up by a stage. Despite the healthy crowd (between it being a weekend, and unusually large numbers of visitors for the eclipse) with a line out the door, the staff was pretty efficient and we soon found ourselves looking over a pretty large menu.

Carol went for a classic: breakfast tacos with eggs, onion, tomato, pepper, jack cheese, and sausage. These ended up being rather nicely done, if somewhat overstuffed (hey, restaurants: if you’re going to put lots of stuff in a taco, that’s fine, but double-stack the tortillas to prevent blowout!) tacos with a nice chipotle sausage, a good fresh veggie selction, and some good cheese. We’d be happy getting those again…

…but for me, the real attraction was an unusual breakfast selection that I’m not sure I’ve seen elsewhere on a breakfast menu, the simply named “Apples and Sausage”. To paraphrase the menu: apples, garlic, onion, cinnamon, cayenne, sugar, and andouille sausages cooked into a reduction, served over your choice of pancake, French toast, grits, or a waffle (I opted for the pancake). The result was an interesting, and fairly bold and spicy (due to the cayenne and andouille) take on “fruit topping” that worked quite well: each bite of the substantial, thick pancake would get a good spoonful of the sauce with a few bits of apple and a chunk of sausage, and this combination, well, worked. It worked quite well indeed. The nice combination of sweet and savory is something that I’d love to come back and try another time, perhaps paired instead with French Toast or a waffle instead.

Really, that’s what I liked about Cafe Berlin. There are a lot of good breakfast places around Colubmia (indeed, for a basic breakfast I still highly recommend the nearby Ernie’s as well), but if you’re looking for a unique breakfast? They’ve got several nice options on their menu. I’d love to return.

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