Woodbury Café Adds Inventive Twists to Traditional Diner Fare

by | Apr 2018

The scrumptious crab cake benedict at Woodbury Cafe makes for a hearty breakfast.

The scrumptious crab cake benedict at Woodbury Cafe makes for a hearty breakfast. Photo: Joel Schnell

Woodbury Cafe has a lofty goal—to ensure that every one of their customers has a perfect dining experience each time they walk through the restaurant’s doors. Though some naysayers might claim that perfection is impossible, a visit to Woodbury Cafe might very well prove them wrong. With a wide-ranging menu featuring twists on traditional diner fare and a warm, welcoming feel, the local breakfast and lunch eatery comes very close to perfect and offers something to please just about everyone.

The restaurant, which is located in the Tamarack Hills development, opened back in January 2007. It was born out of a desire to modernize the idea of a hometown breakfast joint. “Woodbury Cafe is just a local breakfast and lunch eatery, and we are really trying to create the perfect dining experience for our customers,” says office manager Molly Minnell.

Minnell says that Woodbury Cafe prides itself on innovation and inventiveness in the kitchen. “We have talented general managers who are very creative in the kitchen and are always putting out new specials in addition to all of the items on our regular menu,” she says. “There could be like a carnitas breakfast taco or a new salad for lunch. Those specials typically change seasonally, and all of our specials are always great.”

Though their menu certainly has tried-and-true options, new spins on old favorites is what the staff is all about. “Of course, we have favorites like pancakes, French toast, all your original breakfast items, but we really have a great selection of other things, too,” she says. In addition to breakfast classics, the menu also features an assortment of fun, unique dishes such as caramel apple waffles, pineapple upside down pancakes and the carnitas breakfast quesadilla.

“We’ve got a great selection of benedicts that people can choose from. There’s our Cajun breakfast, which we’re known for, as well as our Tex-Mex breakfast,” Minnell says. “We’ve got more than just your typical bacon, eggs and toast, or something like that—we really try to offer something for everybody. We encourage everybody to try new things and add different things to their old favorites.”

Of those many options, the eggs benedicts are definitely at the top of the must-try list. Alongside the traditional eggs benedict—which consists of poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce served atop an English muffin—Woodbury Cafe also makes a caprese benedict, spicy Cajun benedict and a crab cake benedict. Though the crab cake benedict tends to be the most popular, there really is no way to go wrong among so many options. “The carnita benedict is my go-to,” Minnell says. “That is a biscuit topped with pulled pork, refried black beans, and it comes with two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and with a little bit of pico de gallo.”

In addition to being mouthwatering and satisfying, any meal at Woodbury Cafe is also fast without sacrificing freshness. Homemade with high quality ingredients is a specialty of the restaurant, says front of house manager Kim Hall. “All of our hash browns are fresh grated here from fresh potatoes, and we’ve also got real orange juice—we have a machine that actually squeezes the orange, so very fresh juice is always available.”

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it’s not the only one at Woodbury Cafe. They’re well-known for their morning fare, but the restaurant is open until 3 p.m. every day to serve equally diverse and delicious lunch options, too. The midday menu features a range of soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, and whether you’re looking for something classic or a bit out of the ordinary, Woodbury Cafe has you covered.

“For lunch, I’d definitely recommend the walleye sandwich,” Hall says. Customers can choose a blackened or panko-style fillet, which is served on a freshly baked roll alongside either seasoned waffle fries, sweet potato tater tots, a salad or steamed green beans. Other lunchtime favorites include the lime cilantro chicken salad, the Bielen burger, and the cashew chicken salad sandwich.

Woodbury Cafe
6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Morning Fare at Home

There are few better ways to start your day than with a waffle (or two). For a fun spin on the classic sweet morning treat, try going savory instead of sweet. Mary Jo Rasmussen, resident chef at Sur La Table in Woodbury, shares her recipe for savory cheddar and bacon waffles with maple butter that makes a perfect breakfast or brunch.

When it comes to making the waffles, Ramussen says that you can’t do much better than the Cuisinart double Belgian waffle maker “This one is similar to the waffle makers you find at hotels that offer breakfast buffets,” she says. “It rotates 360 degrees, and you can make two 1-inch-deep waffles at a time in less than four minutes.”

Savory Cheddar and Bacon Waffles with Maple Butter

Maple Butter
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp. sea salt
In small bowl, stir together the softened butter, maple syrup and salt using a fork until well combined. Set aside.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 oz. bacon, cooked crisp and chopped — reserve 1 Tbsp. of the fat
6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until well-combined. Stir the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the bacon, bacon fat and cheddar until combined.

Spray the waffle iron grids with non-stick cooking spray. Ladle the amount of batter suggested for your waffle maker into the middle of the waffle maker, letting it barely spread into the corners.

Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Carefully remove waffles from the waffle maker (they will be soft) and transfer to a serving platter. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve immediately with the maple butter.


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