Darn, we did not sample the eggs Benedict! Only after we ate breakfast here — our fourth breakfast of the morning — did a neighboring diner inform us that Hot Plate’s Hollandaise sauce is the second best in the city, after Al’s in Dinkytown. That grievous omission notwithstanding, the meals we did have in this flamboyant little cafe were outstanding.
No one is more picky about waffles than I; and I have a special grudge against bad Belgians, which can be so thick and doughy. But the pumpkin buckwheat Belgian here is a game-changer: tender, fluffy, fresh, with just enough spice and sweetness to make syrup practically redundant, topped with a large globe of cinnamon-dusted whipped cream. Pancakes also are superior, made from egg-rich buttermilk batter and available with blueberries, peanut butter, caramelized pecans, or bacon or topped with a globe of fruity lingonberry butter.
A few other highlights from the breakfast menu (served all day until 2pm closing): caramel apple French toast, a shockingly sweet pecan roll, Grand Marais Scramble with smoked lake trout, huevos divorciados that features warring eggs — one with green salsa, one with red.
Looking like an easy-going, laid-back cafe from the outside, Hot Plate features interior decor that is out-of-this-world crazy: countless Paint-by-Numbers pictures all over the wall, row upon row of kitschy Precious Moments figurines, and one gigantic Lava Lite.