Once artsy, Uptown Minneapolis has dulled its edge and commercialized. Many of its new restaurants and bars are slick and gimmicky’ But a few classics remain. The Egg and I is a stalwart, family-owned diner that has well-weathered the changing neighborhood. It has become only more endearing to the community over the years since it opened in 1980.
Grab a table; or, better yet, sit at the bustling counter and watch coffee percolate and the waitstaff speed from the kitchen’s pass-through window with overflowing plates of breakfast classics.
The go-to dish is pancakes, billed on the menu as the “biggest cakes in town.” They are about 10 inches in diameter, cooked through and still moist. Buttermilk cakes are very good; sourdoughs are even better. To enhance them, suggested toppings include walnuts, blueberries and bananas, which come both in the batter and scattered on top. Kamikaze Cakes include all three.
As the diner’s name suggests, eggs are something special. Inspired by the completeness of Kamikaze Cakes, we order an Everything Omelette, which comes with just about every meat and vegetable in the kitchen. It is a wafer-thin, skillfully-rolled omelette that seems to be made from about five eggs, even if the menu says three. It barely fits on a large plate. Bacon and broccoli pour out of it, diced ham and pepper are ornamentally scattered on top. Thick wedges of toast sopped with butter help to scoop up lost fillings from the omelette as you eat.
The Egg and I is a cozy place for chilly, rainy mornings and long, slow breakfasts of insurmountable stacks of pancakes and an obnoxious amount of coffee refill requests. It’s a friendly, familiar oasis for diner-loving brunch skeptics who’ve found themselves on the hip side of town by circumstance.