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.
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.
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.
The one that was just right was Eggs Swoon Over Salmon. Here we had perfectly poached eggs served over silky smoked salmon, covered with a much more flavorful hollandaise. Theoretically, the only difference with this hollandaise was the addition of dill, but there was an underlying tanginess that was missing from the hollandaise on the basic Benedict. The table agreed: the salmon version was by far the best.
As for the sides, the Café! Potatoes were basic diced potatoes sauteed with herbs. In our case, they were more than a tad underdone. Much better were the cheesy hash browns, which were both greasy and crisp — in a good way — and not overly drenched in cheese. The fruit cup was welcome after the heavy Benedictions, especially because it contained in-season fruit with much more flavor than you might expect from a lowly fruit cup.
12750 Nicollet Ave S
Burnsville, MN 55337
Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Ask
ENTREE RANGE: $7-$15
PARKING: Small adjacent lot, public ramp nearby (free)