Egg Benedictions at Jensen’s Cafe in Burnsville

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

Eggs Benedict has been around forever, for better or worse. When done well, it can be a treat — runny egg over crisp ham with a tangy hollandaise sauce, decadent and rich. Yet though so many breakfast places offer the dish, it is often poorly done, a kind of “well, we have to have this, so here it is” addition to the menu. Which is why we were intrigued to see that Jensen’s Cafe in Burnsville not only offers Benedicts, it offer a number of variations, all under the heading Egg Benedictions. Surely they had to be worth a try.

Sarah McGee / Heavy Table
Sarah McGee / Heavy Table

We were further encouraged by our cheerful server, who told us Jensen’s has been around for a decade and makes as much from scratch as it can. The Benedictions are popular, she said, and she encouraged our decision to try different kinds.

We went with three Benedictions: the traditional Benedict ($8.50) as a baseline (Jensen’s calls it Café! Benedict — there are a good many exclamation points on the menu), Eggs Swoon Over Salmon ($9), and Eggs Montreal ($9). All variations are accompanied by Café! Potatoes, but the server suggested we upgrade one of the plates to cheesy hash browns, and with the third plate we chose fresh fruit.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

It turned out to be a bit of a Goldilocks experience. The baseline Benedict had a hollandaise sauce that was disappointingly bland, and the poached egg was overcooked. Presentation wasn’t all it could have been either, with drips of hollandaise along the plate and the eggs not centered.

The Eggs Montreal fared better in terms of how the eggs were poached — the yolks were properly runny. This variation substitutes a sausage patty for the Canadian bacon, and instead of hollandaise sauce, the eggs came covered in sausage gravy that could have used more actual sausage. It was better than the Café! Benedict, but still not fully satisfactory.

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Breakfast at the Amazing Grace in Duluth, MN

Jena Modin / Heavy Table

Last month the Amazing Grace held their first bread pudding contest — it was called “Chip Ahoy,” in honor of long-time owner Chip Stewart, who passed away last year. Chip has left in his wake not only bread pudding but also a mess of eggs that is known as the Amazing Grace breakfast. And, on top of that, a line out the front door of the popular Duluth restaurant.

A pile of turkey, ham, andouille sausage, spinach, tomatoes, red pepper, and onions, with two eggs cooked to order thrown on top is known as Chip’s Egg Mess ($10.29). The eggs are strategically placed on top — the egg yolks drip down and cover the buttery blend of vegetables and meat. The dish isn’t known for its aesthetics, but for its quantity and comfort. It is the type of comfort breakfast food that will send you back to bed on a Saturday morning.

Jena Modin / Heavy Table

The bottomless cup of coffee ($2.29) is the only beverage that will last as long as it takes to eat Chip’s Egg Mess. Roasted by Alakef Coffee Roasters in Duluth, the coffee is dark with a medium body and fading finish. The best part about it is you never see the bottom of your cup.

Another popular entree, Chip’s Search for the Perfect Omelet Omelet ($10.49) tastes like Chip’s Egg Mess made neat and topped with avocado. The size of the omelet, however, doesn’t compare to those at Uncle Louis Cafe, where you get a larger omelet, hash browns, and a pancake.

With Hell’s Kitchen gone (and replaced with HellBurgers), the Amazing Grace remains the main breakfast spot in Canal Park. Uncle Louis Cafe, Pizza Luce, and Chester Creek Cafe all offer breakfasts that can compete, but if you are in Canal Park or looking to taste the legacy of Chip Stewart, you will have to wait in line for a table at the Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe

394 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802
218.723.0075
HOURS:

Sun-Thur 7am-9pm
Fri and Sat 7am-10pm
OWNER:
Marcie Stewart