Brunch at St. Croix Valley Restaurants

Make your mid-morning meal the best ever at one of these local restaurants
The Caribbean egs Benedict at San Pedro Café

Comedy sketches have been done parodying the phenomenon that is brunch. For some variation of eggs, meat and potatoes, people wait for hours. They stand in lines that wrap around the block. The brunch craze might seem, well, crazy, but conjure the following image in your mind: golden-brown French toast topped with thinly sliced strawberries, dripping with rich maple syrup. Suddenly, you find yourself grabbing a coat and reaching for your car keys. The fact is brunch is an indulgent weekend tradition. That egg strata, those caramel rolls, that mimosa—can transform an ordinary weekend into an epic one. So, when you satisfy the call of brunch, check out one of the following destinations—make a reservation and you won’t even have to wait.

Caribbean Eggs Benedict

San Pedro Café
Do you dream of having brunch in a warm and tropical destination? Every Saturday (8–11 a.m.) and Sunday (8 a.m.–3 p.m.) at San Pedro Café, that dream becomes a delicious reality. Try the Caribbean eggs Benedict ($13.45): two poached eggs served over slices of caramelized pineapple on top of crab cakes. The dish is topped with hollandaise sauce and served with Caribbean rice and red beans. Then there’s the hammock breakfast ($9.45), which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened. The dish features scrambled eggs with onions, peppers, mushrooms, potatoes and cheddar cheese, rolled inside a large flour tortilla and topped with chipotle ranchero sauce, then baked and topped with sour cream and fresh cilantro. Pair that with the island coffee ($7)—Kahlua, brandy and crème de cacao plus fresh-brewed coffee, topped with whipped cream.
426 Second St., Hudson; 715.386.4003

Rotisserie Salmon and Eggs

Pier 500
The staff at Pier 500 call Sundays “crazy pants” days. Why? It could be the all-day happy hour. Then again, it could be the killer brunch menu, available 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. One stand-out item is the rotisserie salmon and eggs ($10). The salmon is roasted over a wood-fire rotisserie and folded into fluffy scrambled eggs with cream cheese and fresh chives, then served with herbed hash browns and multigrain toast. Speaking of herbed hash browns, you might want to order an extra side ($3). These shredded spuds are tossed with roasted garlic, parsley, asiago and parmesan cheeses, sour cream and onions. Another crowd-pleaser is the thick-cut French toast ($7) made with ciabatta bread dipped in Pier 500’s signature batter, topped with macerated strawberries and powdered sugar. Served with smoked bacon or sausage, plus pure maple syrup from Hamel, Minn.
500 First St., Hudson; 715.386.5504

Classic Brunch Buffet

Lowell Inn

If you’re looking for white-tablecloth ambience and delicious food at a great value, make reservations for Sunday brunch at the Lowell Inn. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the dining room fills with brunch lovers ($14.99 for adults, $9.99 for kids ages 4-10), and a bustling buffet is spread with an assortment of salads, fresh fruit, bread and rolls. There are many options, including eggs, meats, a potato dish and main entrée choices that change weekly. For example, one week may feature feather-light scrambled eggs, and another week might be egg strata. The meat and potatoes veer toward traditional (think: sausage and hash browns). As for the main entrées, breaded walleye and succulent New York strip steak have graced the rotation. Save room for an array of desserts that range from creamy cheesecake to flaky-crusted fresh fruit pies.
102 N. Second St., Stillwater; 651.439.1100

Huevos Rancheros Omelette

Chilkoot Café and Cyclery
Tucked in the residential south hill neighborhood of Stillwater, the Chilkoot Café and Cyclery offers a satisfying breakfast you can cozy up to on the weekend from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (or during the week from 6:30 to 11 a.m.). Get fully caffeinated with a Chilkoot espresso beverage so you have your wits about you as you make important dining decisions. We recommend the huevos rancheros ($10.50), a delicious combination of eggs, pork shoulder, Cuban black beans, smoked picante, tostada and sour cream. Want to balance that savory dish with something sweet? Try the cornmeal pancakes ($9), which are seasoned with lemon zest and served with whipped butter and pure maple syrup. Order the kids a smiley face pancake with blueberry eyes and bacon ($5.50). 826 Fourth St. S., Stillwater; 651.342.0429

Western Panini Wrap

Tin Bins
Located in the historic Commander Grain Elevator building in downtown Stillwater, Tin Bins is a brunch spot with loads of charm. Order your breakfast at the counter, then find a cozy table or belly up to the bar and wait for your meal to arrive. We like the western panini wrap ($6.50)—a soft tortilla grilled with scrambled eggs, ham, shredded cheddar, green peppers and onion inside. It’s served with sour cream and salsa. Diners also like the St. Croix Sunrise ($7.50), a breakfast sandwich served on seven-grain toast, spilling over with scrambled eggs, cilantro, avocado spread, roma tomatoes and red onion. It’s paired with a light breakfast salad. The waffles are another popular item. While Tin Bins always has The Elvis (with chocolate, peanut butter, bananas and bacon) and the traditional (with butter and syrup), it also offers a seasonal waffle.
413 E. Nelson St., Stillwater; 651.342.0799

Breakfast Skillet

Joseph’s Family Restaurant
Joe Kohler, owner of Joseph’s Family Restaurant, calls the breakfast skillet “a beautiful thing,” and it’s easy to understand his sentiments when you order this customizable dish ($8.99). Each skillet begins with fresh hash browns and is topped with two eggs (prepared as you please) and hollandaise sauce. You can add additional toppings for 50 cents each, from onions and green peppers, to smoked bacon and corned beef hash. The skillet is also served with your choice of toast or two buttermilk pancakes. If you enjoy a sweeter brunch dish, then try the French toast ($7.99)—three thick slices dipped in Joseph’s house batter and grilled to golden brown, topped with cinnamon, and served with whipped butter and warm maple syrup.
14608 60th St. N., Stillwater; 651.439.3336