Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Plates at Breaking Bread Cafe in north Minneapolis
Shrimp and grits and a plate of spiced chicken wings
I am all for culinary philanthropy. Eateries that exist to provide services or jobs to at-risk communities are great, but let’s be honest: If the food isn’t good, it’s not going to work on any level. I’m happy to report Breaking Bread Café is more than just a good story; it’s a good lunch.
Opened on the side of the Kindred Kitchen on West Broadway in north Minneapolis, BBC is a fast-casual counter-service spot serving breakfast all day and lunch. It’s owned by Appetite For Change, a local organization that promotes positive change in communities by bringing people together around food. Jobs, training, a healthy community gathering space, access to real food, and economic development are all goals that this little café strives to reach. But what about the shrimp and grits?
The sunny afternoon I first ambled in for lunch, tables were filled with chatty groups of all sorts. The vibe was friendly and bright. I saw someone with a bowl of shrimp and grits, and I knew they’d be mine. Creamy cheddar grits were topped with peppy jerk-spiced shrimp; the whole thing was a big package of warmth and satisfaction. Then there were the fried buttermilk chicken wings: Whole wings given a crusty coating flecked with spices are legit at any price—but at $6 for four whole wings, it was right on. The maraschino cherry barbecue brisket sandwich could have been a bit more tender, but the sauce was lively, the slaw was tart and creamy, and the whole-wheat bun stood up to the whole mess nicely. The menu has a lot of seasonal freshness to it, but it also reaches around the community for cuisines. Find curried cabbage, oven nachos with chorizo gravy, black-eyed peas, arroz con leche (rice pudding), even pretzel bread French toast.
This is homey food that stays simple and humble in the eyes of the eater. Nothing is over $12, and I felt like I should have paid more for some things. With a huge and lovely patio on the side, there’s no reason this place shouldn’t be your destination for a hearty breakfast sandwich. Do good, eat well.
1210 Broadway Ave. W., Mpls., 612-529-9346, breakingbreadfoods.com