Archive for September, 2009

Hell’s Kitchen (Breakfast) – Minneapolis, MN »

The Basics

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Cuisine: America
Ambiance: Dark Sophisticate
Address: 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55467
Neighborhood: Downtown
Phone: 612.332.4700
Web Site: http://www.hellskitcheninc.com
Must Taste (Breakfast):

  • Topping: Homemade peanut butter. I really wanted to try this, but didn’t end up ordering anything it came with. I also wanted to bring some PB home with me, but was trying to not check my baggage for the flight home.
  • Breakfast: Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes. I also really wanted to try this, but decided to veer off the main path with my dish selection.
  • Side: Maple-Glazed Bison Sausage – Savory and sweet with that maple syrup topping.
  • Drink: I loved their coffee…it doesn’t say anything about this on their web site, but I believe I read somewhere in the restaurant that the beans are locally roasted (anyone from Hell’s Kitchen reading who can confirm?).

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Best For: Date (1 who is either hip or just loves great food…someone too prissy may not gel with the “dark” theme), Group Outing (with friends or co-workers), meal solo for you business travelers
What to Wear: casual-dressy (tennis shoes may be ok, but I wouldn’t wear them personally) to dressy
Good to Know: The restaurant has live music and events – see calendar online for details. Also, the restaurant features a slightly morbid theme (see photos of interior). I actually really like it, but those less open-minded may not.
Fave Points: Fun theme, rockin food, great menu selection.
My Fave Dish: I only got to sample 2 selections due to my business trip being short and my small appetite, but between the 2 I had, my fave was the Maple-Glazed Bison Sausage. I loved the savory-sweet combo of the sausage with the maple syrup topping that tasted almost candied. So good. I also love ordering things in restaurants that I can’t easily find elsewhere, and I’ve never seen bison sausage on a menu before. This is a definite must-try, especially since you can order a single patty for $2 and use it to balance out some of the sweeter breakfast options.

Menu pricing and availability subject to change.

My Dish

I was in Minneapolis, MN on business and noticed the Hell’s Kitchen sign on the way into town. I thought at first that the restaurant was related to one of my favorite shows – Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay.

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Upon investigation via yelp.com, I realized that this Hell’s Kitchen was a restaurant with its own original flair.

I decided this restaurant was a must-eat on my business trip and made sure to wake up extra early one morning to check it out solo. I was happy there were so many signs to guide me to the restaurant from the street.

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Enter from the street, pass a long hallway, and then descend down some stairs into Hell’s Kitchen.

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Mind the pointy chandelier (love this) on your way in. If you don’t have a good feeling for the theme of this restaurant, you soon will.

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The interior of the restaurant is as dark as you were likely expecting with dark wood, black drapery…

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…and interesting artwork.

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The menu is where things got really interesting.

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There were so many things that sounded interesting, like the Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes I heard so much about online and the Mahnomin Porridge (a hot breakfast cereal made with rice and other tasty ingredients).

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I decided to try the Bread Pudding with Black Currants and Creme Anglaise (from the menu – “We use toasted, buttery brioche bread, baked in a vanilla-flavored custard with black currants folded in. Served warm with a vanilla crème Anglaise – $4.75″) and a single Maple-Glazed Bison Sausage ($2).

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Breakfast started with a nice, hot, mug of coffee. I really liked their house blend. It was nice and smooth.

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The Bread Pudding with Black Currants and Creme Anglaise came out nice and hot. I thought it was interesting that the sauce on the bottom was completely different from the sauce on the top (at least they tasted different to me – guess I should have checked with the waitress that they were truly 2 separate sauces). I tried to get a little bit of each sauce with every bite because they went so well together.

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The bread pudding was quite decadent…much like eating an uber-rich dessert for breakfast. Since I have a major sweet-tooth, this was welcome. I loved the bites of thick pudding with warm cream sauce and bursts of currants.

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I balanced the sweetness of the dessert-like breakfast with the Maple-Glazed Bison Sausage. I really enjoyed the spicy, savory-sweet flavor of the sausage and the fact that you can’t order bison sausage just anywhere.

Final Dish

I loved the playful ambiance of Hell’s Kitchen, their use of unique ingredients (lemon in pancakes, bison for the sausage meat, and rice in the porridge), and their most-interesting menu selection. I would try one of everything if I could, the menu was that captivating. I read some reviews on yelp saying that service was slow and unkind, but I thought the hostess was friendly, and she definitely seated me promptly. My waitress was prompt and took great care of me on top of her smiling face. I thought the service was great, though I did go on a slow morning when there were only a handful of tables in the restaurant, so I can’t speak to “rush hour.” The food was the main attraction and definitely lived up to the many reviews I found online. I can’t wait to go back and try some new dishes.

Hell’s Kitchen is exactly the kind of place that I seek out when I go taste-exploring in a new town. Every time I visit Minneapolis, I plan to make Hell’s Kitchen a must-stop and hope to take some of my co-workers with me.

Want to take a taste of Hell’s Kitchen home with you or bring it to your house? They have merchandise and food items available for purchase in the store and online. The also have a cookbook, which is something I look for from restaurants I like. You can also find a video on how to make the homemade peanut butter on their blog.