Colossal Cafe’s Breakfast Sandwiches

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

It probably goes without saying, but we love breakfast sandwiches. Really, who doesn’t? When done right, they’re like a supergroup — outstanding individual ingredients that produce an even better whole. And they’re portable!

And Colossal Cafe is one of our all-time favorite spots to nab some breakfast sandwiches. We fell for them back before there were two Colossal locations. On weekends (and even some weekdays), the wait for a table in the tiny Minneapolis spot was (and is) incredibly long — the patience of diners a testament to the quality of the food. So we’d grab a couple sandwiches and cups of coffee, find some wall to sit against, and chow down. (In the winter, we’d hustle back to a heated car for grubbing and glugging.) Before long, we’d order one of the half-dozen or so sandwiches even when we lucked into a table.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

We recently headed across the river to check out Colossal’s newer, significantly larger and shinier, location in St. Paul. We’re happy to report that the sandwiches we’d come to love taste great in both of the Twin Cities.

Egg and Cheese on Biscuit ($4.50)

One of our diners described this filling and delicious treat as “the most satisfying meal you can get for five bucks.” The main components — scrambled eggs, thick cheddar cheese, and a crumbly homemade biscuit — are all first class. Together, they’re top gun. After a couple bites it’s difficult to imagine eating them separately.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Grilling the sliced sides of the biscuit gives the bread a slight crunch and takes the sandwich up a couple more notches. We’d be remiss not to point out that, on one visit, there were some stray pieces of meat in the eggs, which we viewed as an added bonus, but would rightfully piss off strict vegetarians.

Egg, Prosciutto, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Swiss on Toast ($6.50)

Much fancier than egg, cheese, and biscuit, this sandwich delights in a different way. It starts with the bread (thick, perfectly toasted, amply buttered, and chewy), which soaks up the runny yolks of the skillfully fried eggs. The concentrated flavor of cooked prosciutto, however, overpowers the sun-dried tomatoes and Swiss cheese. Since we enjoy the cured pork’s salty, meaty flavor, that’s not a problem for us, but others may resent the lack of tomato and cheese flavors.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Colossal Cafe’s motto is “Made from scratch.” Although quality restaurants shouldn’t have to advertise that they actually make their food, the motto is fitting for Colossal. The food tastes distinctly homemade (that is, made in homes by good cooks) and, with the exception of the meaty eggs, the dishes are made with great care. The owners apply similar conscientiousness when procuring ingredients. When combined into a hand-held meal, these skillfully cooked ingredients become, indeed, a supergroup.

Colossal Cafe, 1839 42nd St E, Minneapolis, MN 55407; 612-729-2377, and 2315 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108; 651-797-4027.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

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About the Author

Joshua Page

Joshua Page became fascinated with food as a young latchkey cook in Southern California. He developed a passion for eating out while working in “the industry” in college and procrastinating (and accruing debt) as a graduate student. Now a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Joshua also loves to write— when it’s not about crime, law, and punishment, his musings are about Twin Cities eateries.

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2 Comments

  1. While not quite in the Mitch Hedberg-esque realm of “banana bread, pastrami, and cottage cheese”, I love their encouragement of ingredient experimentation within their sandwich menu. My fave: scrambled eggs and Swiss, with their sublime flappers as the bread. Then douse the whole operation in butter and authentic maple syrup.

  2. Josh Page 04/22/2014 Reply

    Todd, that sounds awesome. I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

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