Bravo! Cafe and Bakery
Bravo! Cafe and Bakery all began when Tina Lin moved from New York to Minneapolis and decided to put her own spin on the classic cream puff. Since 2005, Bravo, a tiny four-table shop that bears the trappings of a neighborhood Chinese joint, cranks out cream puffs using pate a choux (a cooked, egg-based pastry). Each surprisingly light puff has a pretty, cracked exterior and a barely-there crunch. In contrast, the filling is a silky custard with the delicate flavor of whipped cream, plus a little more body.
The cream puffs are sold individually (for just $1.50), as are thick slices of the bakeryâ€™s various occasion cakes. They can also be ordered in rounds or sheets, and each one is slicked in a not-too-sweet whipped cream and garnished with flourishes of fresh fruit. Thereâ€™s a flavor to suit any passerby, from kiwi to green tea to taro.
Beyond cream puffs and cake, Bravo provides for those unfortunate souls who make a habit of eating gooey sweets on a sad, empty stomach. For such ravenous folk, the bakery offers an extensive Asian-influenced vegetarian and vegan lunch menu, as well as espresso, blended coffee, bubble tea, and tropical smoothies to wash it all down.
1106 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No / No
BAR: Coffee and tea
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Yes
PRICE RANGE: $1.50 for a cream puff, $2.50 to $3.99 for a slice of cake. Larger cakes run from $7.50 to $130 (a full sheet). $5.50-$6 for entrees.