Update on 4/15 - PARKVIEW HAS CLOSED - see our updated post here.
Erin and I wanted to go out for breakfast on Saturday and we had loosely settled on the Bad Waitress in Minneapolis, but decided at the last minute to go with a recent recommendation and try the Parkview Cafe on Raymond & Hampden in St. Paul. We got there a little after 10am and got a booth in the back. Parkview Cafe is a pretty small place with about seven or eight tables and probably less than 1000 square feet of dining area. It's also decorated simply with not a whole lot on the walls.
Erin had told me they have two kinds of coffee here - Dunn Bros. and Folgers, so you can take your pick, and they actually print this right on the menu, which I thought was kind of funny. When our server came over and asked for our drink order, we both asked for coffee. As she turned to walk away I said "I'd like the Dunn Bros coffee, please" and she kind of gave me a weird look and said "Ok." I felt like an idiot, but what the hell? The menu has TWO choices for coffee and she didn't even ASK me what I wanted. I'd rather look like an idiot to the server than get Folgers instead of Dunn Bros, so whatever.
She came back with the coffee and it was delicious, I can never seem to make our coffee at home taste as good, but I'm working on that. I wasn't quite ready to order yet, I wasn't sure if I wanted a big breakfast or something small. I decided on a small breakfast of two pancakes, knowing I could get a couple bites of Erin's eggs benedict.
When the server came back again Erin was taking some pictures at the table and the server gave her a look and Erin said that she likes to take pictures when we go out to eat, but the server just looked at us blankly, waiting for us to place our order. I was annoyed at her coldness to us, we hadn't done anything to piss her off, but she sure didn't seem interested in making us comfortable.
Our food came out 10 - 15 minutes later and I didn't touch anything so Erin could photograph my food (I waited this time, so I didn't get yelled at again :). I threw some butter and syrup on the pancakes and dug in, and it was fantastic. Erin and I both agreed that these were probably the best pancakes we'd ever had. The flavor was great and they weren't dry, like pancakes can get sometimes. I had some of Erin's eggs benedict and they were also fantastic. They used poached eggs (not over easy), homemade hollandaise sauce, and real cuts of ham (not pre-cut circle slices). In typical fashion Erin couldn't finish all her eggs benedict, so I ended up eating nearly a whole egg in addition to almost all my pancakes (she helped me with my food too).
We let our food settle for a little while after we were done eating and Erin got another cup of coffee. I couldn't have any more otherwise I wouldn't have been able to drive, I would be too damn jittery, not to mention having to piss like a racehorse. I went up to the counter to pay our bill, where the server watched me write in her tip (I hate that) on the credit card slip, and we were outta there.
One thing I heard that I loved was this interaction with our server and another patron:
Patron: "I'll have white toast with margarine."
Server: "All we have is butter."
All they have is butter. I love it. Parkview is saving people from having a tasteless breakfast, one margarine pad at a time.
- Service: The server wasn't mean, but she definitely wasn't nice. We got served quickly and she brought coffee refills though.
- Food: Awesome.
- Drinks: The coffee is fantastic and I saw malts and root beer floats on the menu.
- Ambiance: The atmosphere was friendly here, not from the waitress but the other patrons were having lively conversations and were enjoying themselves. This is really just a quiet, neighborhood cafe.
- Price: The eggs benedict was $10 and two pancakes were $5.50. Not cheap in my book, but it WAS delicious.
- Convenience: Parkview is tucked away about a half mile north of University on Raymond. It's near 280 & 94, so it's not terribly inconvenient and there's plenty of parking on the street.
Well, Ben's review is pretty comprehensive... so I guess I'm not really sure what else to say other than a huge THANK YOU to Kate and Kyle for recommending this place. I wasn't super excited to go to the Bad Waitress first of all because of driving there in the damn snow, and they don't have eggs benedict (at least I didn't see it on their menu on the website).
I do believe that I have to give Parkview Cafe a tie for #1 at the top of my list of "best eggs benedict in the Twin Cities" with the Egg and I - I'll have to go back to the Egg & I to compare because I haven't been there in awhile. Ben summed it up pretty well in his review - but holy cow were these awesome. Some people may not like the sheer amount of hollandaise sauce they give you (it is bordering on excessive) but I figure if I'm going to get the most fattening thing on the menu, might as well go all out and drench my hash browns in the deliciousness too.
The pancakes Ben had were so good I kept eating even though I was stuffed. I literally couldn't help myself, they were that good. I don't even know what it was - they were perfectly sweet and just amazing.
Aside from the oddly cold waitress, this place is great - and maybe she just didn't like us. She certainly did her job fine - got us our food and refilled our coffee, etc, but she made both of us feel very uncomfortable. Oh well - the food more than made up for it! I think it was probably because she was totally weirded out that I was taking photos of everything - I'm sure that doesn't happen very often there.
We will DEFINITELY be back - this place is only about 5 minutes from our house, which makes it that much better for us.
930 Raymond Ave
St Paul, MN