A breath of fresh air! Cafe Osage, located within Bowood Farms of the Central West End, serves a seasonal menu complete with produce grown in the gardens next door. It’s a St. Louis must for brunch. The building looks like a greenhouse from the outside, and as you enter, the succulents, terrariums and hanging plants everywhere do not disappoint. My party was lucky and got seated right away on a busy Saturday morning.
I scanned the menu and quickly found about ten dishes that I wanted to order. The hard decision at brunch is whether to go the savory road or the sweet one. Huevos, an egg dish with black beans, peppers, avocados, and a side of tortillas, was really catching my eye. On the other hand, I couldn’t ignore pumpkin pancakes, which would serve up a seasonal feel and satisfy sweet cravings. In the end, I got the best of both worlds by splitting the two dishes with a friend who was having a similar dilemma. As a table, we split some pumpkin banana bread and my two other friends went with a soup and salad and the goat cheese omelette. Now that we were through the hardest part of the meal, we sat back and delighted in the bright, plant-filled atmosphere all around us.
Fall spices and a crunch of ginger flooded my taste buds as I bit into the ginger pumpkin banana bread. Although spicier than most pumpkin breads, its cream cheese drizzle lightens the flavor and embodies the seasonal essence. Forking into pumpkin pancakes, I was pleasantly surprised by the balance of flavors and the not-overly-sweet taste. Many pancakes are too sweet, but these were a welcome change. On to the Huevos, I bit into a tortilla filled to the brim with fresh produce and scrambled farm eggs: heaven! Normally I prefer the sweet options to the eggs, but this plate made me second guess that habit. The fluffy eggs and creamy avocado were the epitome of a scrumptious breakfast; and to this day I continue to dream of Cafe Osage huevos.
If you are looking for a creamy egg dish, look no further than the goat cheese omelette. Its decadence is beyond compare, and salted roasted potatoes are the perfect pairing for its rich flavors.
Feeling like a lighter option would be best? The soups and salads, made with produce that is grown next door, could not taste fresher or more flavorful. I stole a spoonful of tomato soup from my friend and was surprised by its zesty taste. I wish I had more … but my friend refused to give me any because it was just too tasty to share. The apple and goat cheese salad was simple but delicious all the same. Greens in the apple and goat cheese salad delivered zest just like the soup, letting me know that they were picked just that morning from the garden and then chopped to be eaten.
Cafe Osage originated with Bowood Farms, located in Clarksville, Missouri. Started in 1989, Bowood operated as a produce farm for many years before opening up a local greenhouse in the Central West End of St. Louis. The Cafe itself is a newer addition to the business, but has been incredibly successful in increasing sustainable food options and localizing produce consumption. The Cafe is open until 2:30pm everyday except Sunday when it closes at 2. In the warmer months there is outdoor patio seating available, and year-round you can search for plants, gifts and random trinkets in their accompanying shop. Do make a trip to this excellent multi-faceted brunch joint.