The Southwest Metro's Best Outdoor Brunch Spots
Each year when the days get longer and the sun shines a little brighter, most of us are in the mindset of being outdoors every minute we get the chance. Once that mood strikes, restaurant patios are among the most sought-after real estate in town. But it’s not only the after-work cocktail hour and the evening steaks and burgers that are well-served by the alfresco scene. Try open-air dining while the day is still fresh, the sun is just making its ascent, and the griddle is hot for eggs and pancakes.
Eggs Benedict Pizza
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another way to reinvent eggs Benedict, Cuzzy’s Brickhouse does it. The eggs Benedict pizza places toasted and diced English muffin, scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon and cheese over pizza crust, baked in a wood-fired oven and topped with hollandaise ($8.99). Also available at brunch is that legendary pepperoni soup, the slightly spicy, tomato-based concoction made with sausage, onions and herbs, topped with pepperoni slices and Parmesan ($3.99/cup). The Cuzzy’s bloody is also rightfully famous, made with house-infused pepper vodka and a skewer dunked in the glass that’s loaded with pepperoni, salami, cheeses, pepperocini and olives ($5.50). Other staples from the brunch menu, which is served from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on weekends, include a breakfast burrito, veggie omelet and pancakes. 2880 Chaska Blvd., Chaska; 952.448.5594
Owner Bob Dobihal at St. Boni Bistro will tell you that a combination of buttermilk and “sweet milk” are what makes the pancakes so good at St. Boni Bistro, but that’s about all he’s willing to divulge. We’re happy with that, so long as they keep tasting this delicious. The cakes, served with bacon and fruit for $9.99, or $3.99 for a single cake, are popular for breakfast, which is served until 4 p.m. every day, but his pint-sized customers love to eat them at dinnertime too. The juevos rancheros ($12.99), made with refried beans, cheese, eggs and a homemade salsa verde, give breakfast a Latin flair, and the frittatas are fresh and seasonal, with the spinach, mushroom and onion frittata serving as the headliner ($11.99). Outdoor patios flank the restaurant in front and back. 8516 Kennedy Memorial Dr., St. Bonifacius; 952.446.9198
The Southwest frittata at Houlihan’s has been known to spice up the morning, with Anaheim chilis, pepper jack cheese, crushed corn tortillas and cilantro, served with andouille sausage, black beans, fresh fruit and a side of toast ($9.95). If you’d rather keep it mild, there’s classic quiche Lorraine ($8.95) with smoked bacon, onion and Gruyere and Swiss cheese, or on the sweet side, a griddled, cinnamon-battered French toast ($8.95), with orange preserve cream cheese, seasonal berries and maple syrup. The French toast is also served with potato griddle cakes and applewood smoked bacon. We also have a bit of a weakness for mimosas, which are priced at just $2 during brunch from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, along with happy hour drink prices all day Sunday. The outdoor patio is pondside, overlooking a vast expanse of greenery, with a fire pit for cooler evenings. 530 Pond Promenade, Chanhassen; 952.974.3939
White Cheddar and Ham Benedict
The landmark patio at Lola’s Lake House overlooks Lake Waconia, a picturesque spot from which to enjoy the reliable brunch fare, like the white cheddar and ham eggs Benedict with hollandaise and Parmesan chive roasted baby potatoes. Brunch is served from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 318 E. Lake St., Waconia; 952.442.4954
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
How about starting off the day with something light, fluffy and sweet, like the lemon ricotta pancakes ($8.95) at Wildfire, available on the brunch menu from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Eggs Benedict can be ordered like the straight-up classic ($11.95) with hickory smoked ham and hollandaise, or with roasted with crab cakes instead of the ham ($13.95). The patio is located along the front of the restaurant, studded with flowerpots. Eden Prairie Center, 8251 Flying Cloud Dr., Eden Prairie; 952.914.9100
The weekend brunch at Island View Dining might just be the perfect way to fuel up for (or wind down from) a round on the golf course. On Sundays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., the breakfast buffet ($13.95 for adults or $7.95 for children ages 4–10) offers quiche, sausage, seasoned potatoes, fresh fruits and salads, an omelet station, dessert line, and specialty items like eggs Benedict and bread pudding. At the make-your-own Belgian waffle station, pile a giant steaming waffle with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. During the summer months, the shaded patio tables are in demand, overlooking the western edge of the golf course and Lake Waconia in the distance. 7795 Laketown Pkwy., Waconia; 952.442.2956
One of the most decadent, elaborate brunches around can be found at Santorini. A seemingly endless assortment of breakfast and lunch items ranges from carved meats like lamb and prime rib, a hot line with eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes and more, salad bar, and desserts like bananas foster or cherries jubilee with a chocolate fountain. The patio is a sizeable one, with a tiki-style bar, seating up to 150 people. Brunch is offered from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday, and costs $20.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 5–11. 13000 Technology Dr., Eden Prairie; 952.546.6722
Cajun Prime Rib Hash
With a water fountain and large flowering baskets hanging overhead, the patio at Axel’s is a pleasant surround for consuming morning favorites like the Cajun prime rib hash, made with diced slow roasted prime rib, onions, peppers, and potatoes, with two eggs and Cajun hollandaise ($12). Brunch is served from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sundays. 560 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952.934.9340
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