Going out for breakfast is one of life’s best treats. But it’s even better when you find a cafe that has a menu with breakfast basics as well as ethnic specialties, and does both equally well.
Such is the case at The Ettlin’s Cafe in New Prague. The diner, on the edge of New Prague’s downtown, takes pride in its breakfast offerings, as well it should. This is made-from-scratch cooking at its best. The dinner-plate-sized buttermilk pancakes ($2 each) are tender and mildly sweetened with honey from hives kept by the owners. Bacon is fried up crisp and smoky; eggs over easy are perfectly plated.
Where Ettlin’s really shines is in its Czech breakfast ($11), a hearty plate with a generous portion of jitrnice sausage (supplied by nearby Odenthal Meats), a Czech smoked sausage of pork and beef seasoned with garlic and paprika. While not spicy in a heat sense, it delivers a zippy flavor. The breakfast also includes housemade fried dumplings — little pillows of dough that are best covered in the accompanying rich gravy. Fluffy scrambled eggs finish out the plate, and there’s a side dish of fresh-baked kolacky (although you can swap it out for one of the sumptuous pancakes, if you like).
Another special dish is the Scotch eggs ($9): hard-boiled eggs generously coated with spiced breakfast sausage, then fried and served on a heap of hash browns made from freshly grated potatoes fried crisp, with just a touch of the greasiness that makes hash browns so tasty. The eggs are topped with melted smoked Gouda, upping the decadence level. Freshly grated potatoes appear again in the potato pancakes ($3 each), which are served with homemade applesauce. Everything here is beautifully done, but look to the Czech breakfast and Scotch eggs for a rare treat.
Breakfast is served through the lunch hour. Dinner is served only on weekends. On the first Tuesday of each month, Ettlin’s offers a Czech dinner buffet. The buffet will be offered on New Year’s Eve, and not again until February.
The Ettlin’s Cafe, 208 4th Ave SW, New Prague, MN 56071; 952-758-6772