With a name like Butter, you expect a space bathed in warm, yellow sunshine that offers whiffs of sugar and flour as you stroll past its big picture windows. And thanks to a recent relocation from 35th St. and Grand to 37th St and Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis’ Kingfield neighborhood, Butter Bakery Cafe can live up to the promise of its name with a larger, brighter space for neighborhood residents to gather for a cappuccino and one of the best scones in town or a hearty meal. Owner Daniel Swenson-Klatt raised more than $16,000 to build out the new cafe with a 2012 Kickstarter campaign, and the money helped to create a new space that emphasizes natural and reclaimed materials, such as tables and counters made from discarded trees via Wood From the Hood. The resulting renovation offers a friendly vibe akin to the nearby Sun Street Breads or Common Roots Cafe.
Also to be expected: Any item featuring the cafe’s namesake succeeds brilliantly. The mammoth scones ($2.75) put most in their category to shame with their moist crumb and rich flavor (thanks, Hope Creamery butter). No hockey pucks here, that’s for sure – instead, picture the largest muffin top ever, but with slightly more heft and structure. The triple chocolate is irresistible, but the blueberry beckons from the bakery case as well.
The buttermilk biscuit sandwiches ($4.75 for egg and cheese) draw immediate comparisons to those at Sun Street just 11 blocks south. Both are crave-worthy: Butter’s version imparts a stronger butteriness (shocker) and delicate texture, while Sun Street’s biscuits are a smidge denser with more neutral flavor. Cheese lovers will favor the Butter biscuit, though, with the healthy slab oozing over the sandwich’s edges.
Those nursing a wicked hangover or struggling with a seriously starving stomach should order the huevos burrito, a bargain at only $8 for the immense amount of eggs, potatoes, cheese, and salsa stuffed into a flour tortilla and topped with a heaping ladle-full of black bean chili. There’s no wonder why it’s served with a steak knife. The wrap gets a surprisingly sweet touch from the fragrant chili, which would be better balanced with some additional heat in the salsa. A healthy platter of cinnamon-spiked french toast ($5.50) also fills the belly well but could benefit from some more time to soak up the eggy custard so each bite is rich and moist instead of slightly dry and bready in the middle.
In an era when brunch can often set you back as much as a casual dinner, it’s refreshing to see a place like Butter that combines budget-friendly prices with generous, high-quality food. The menu tops out at $8, and kids’ items, such as mini-pancakes, french toast bites, and a PB&J biscuit, are only $2. Any restaurant that leaves extra money in your wallet to grab a cookie for the road gets a thumbs-up in my book. Here’s to hoping the revitalized Butter Bakery Cafe keeps churning out its treats for many years to come.
Butter Bakery Cafe
Brunch favorites and sandwiches in Kingfield
Learn more about this business on Heavy Table’s Atlas of Ethical Eating and Drinking.
3700 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55409
OWNER / CHEFS: Daniel Swenson-Klatt / Erik Dietrich and Amy Kovacs
HOURS: Mon-Sat 7am-9pm
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Can substitute tofu for eggs in some dishes
ENTREE RANGE: $4.50-8 for brunch