With its menu focused on local and sustainable ingredients, plethora of vegetarian and vegan options, and roomy booths made from salvaged lumber, Duluth's At Sara's Table Chester Creek Cafe has a laid-back, earthy vibe that made this mostly-vegetarian feel right at home (the menu even features a "Hippy Farm Breakfast")*. We stopped by for breakfast-for-lunch on a recent trip to Duluth--on weekends breakfast is served until 3:30. The breakfast menu features mostly classic American fare, with omelets, pancakes, French toast, and a few sandwiches, while the eclectic lunch and dinner menu includes falafel, Thai curry, and fish tacos along with Lake Superior white fish and burgers. At Sara's Table does a great job of accommodating a wide range of dietary preferences--besides the vegetarian and vegan options, many of the menu items can be made gluten-free upon request.
The signature cranberry wild rice French toast (which our waitress informed us had even been on TV) is served all day for good reason. The two-slice full order comes with a side of fresh fruit, or you can get the "one-on-one", with one slice of French toast, an egg, and fresh fruit. Truly great French toast starts with great bread: in this case, thick, wheaty slices flecked with grains of wild rice and the occasional cranberry. Although the French toast is tasty enough simply with its dusting of powdered sugar, you can also top it with maple syrup or oatmeal-beer-stout syrup. I'm a big fan of maple syrup, but I found myself reaching for the oatmeal-beer-stout syrup with its dark flavor and hint of cinnamon. The fact that the oatmeal-beer-stout syrup wasn't quite as sweet or prominently flavored as the maple variety allowed the flavors of the French toast itself to shine.
Mike ordered the build-your-own omelet (which includes monterey jack and cheddar cheeses) and chose sausage, tomato, and mushrooms as his extra fillings. All of the omelets are made with three eggs and come with toast and a side of home fries, fresh fruit, or fresh greens and tomato. The omelet was satisfying, with generously sized chunks of high-quality sausage and a fluffy texture. The home fries, while a bit short on salt, were well-cooked, tender with a slight chewiness.
A hearty At Sara's Table breakfast is enough motivation to make anyone a morning person. However, since breakfast is served until 3:30 p.m. on the weekends, you don't even need to roll out of bed early--the best of both worlds.
At Sara's Table Chester Creek Cafe
1902 East 8th Street
Duluth, MN 55812 218-723-8569
*In a foreshadowing of future foodie things to come, Mike took me to At Sara's Table on our first date. At that point in my life, the locally sourced ingredients and tasty vegetarian options were lost on me, so I was happy to have the opportunity to redeem myself on our recent visit.