Restaurant Reviews

3 Tiers Bakery Bistro

3 Tiers Bakery Bistro

Sometimes it’s daunting to keep up with the harried and crazy food scene in town. There’s so much going on with this chef and that opening or some crazy new food that everyone is talking about, that sometimes it’s necessary for a foodist to get off the grid. Everyone has their little neighborhood joint, their hole-in-the-wall where they go when they need to return to base, to touch home. I seek one when I have an enormous amount to write (like in this issue) and just want to eat and scribble by myself. I can say I’ve found a home in 3 Tiers.

The bakery bistro has been around for a while, and here’s the kicker: it’s not even in my neighborhood. This is great—no pesky neighbors. For a long while, I thought it was just a bakery, until someone tweeted about eating ramen there. Interest piqued. My first morning started with a big cup of coffee, and because I said I’d be ordering food in a bit, the counter girl started me a tab. Thank you. While I sipped and wrote, the kitchen started heating up its bakery production and the air became all buttery sweet. I dug into an eggy breakfast sandwich with Canadian bacon and Sriracha mayo that was hot, elemental, and right on. I popped by again on a snowy day at lunch and huddled up to a bowl of the ramen. It was basic, but the housemade kimchi kicked it up, and the egg was poached perfectly. Among my fellow slurpers were delivery drivers and young moms. Dinner found me one night sitting at the small bar. By night the place is transformed into something cozy and intimate, with service at your table and flowing taps of both beer and wine. A meatloaf sandwich delivered an herby, generous hunk of loaf slathered with horseradish mayo. On the lighter side, a spinach quiche with artichokes was custardy brightness. And then WHAM, a clam and Fisher Farms chorizo pasta with saffron and white wine—it was playful and zinged with lemon, a better clam pasta I couldn’t remember.

Many things here are hit with a bit of Asian spice, a swath of chili spice here and a touch of miso mayo there, but somehow everything from the red velvet cupcakes to the tuna poke makes sense together. Maybe because it’s tied up in the neat little bow that is this find, this small kitchen cooking with joy, which I will now have to abandon to you.

5011 34th Ave. S., Mpls., 612-746-1767,