Update: the Modern is closing. Tears. I'm going to miss their pampered eggs and extra large booth in the back for large groups.
The Modern Cafe
337 13 Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Given that this is a restaurant review blog, there probably should be some reviews posted. Here is the first review. The Modern Cafe is one of the "old standards". When the picky group of six cannot agree on a location The Modern is often one of the default selections. You would think that as one of the old standards it would receive a stunning review. You would be wrong. The Modern is an old standard for one reason, the special big table in the back of the restaurant. This table is reserved for parties of five or more and is usually open. Finding seating for six very hungry people can be a harrowing experience at 9:30 on a Saturday morning in the Twin Cities. We've been known to walk into a restaurant glance around for two seconds and immediately veto it due to the wait. Even if it means we have to spend more time driving around the city finding a different place to eat, that is better than standing in no man's land at the door, watching steaming plates of food go by. Immediate seating means A LOT.
The food unfortunately, can be hit and miss. Every time we go, at least one member of the party gets the famous Modern hash. Half of the time, that person spends the entire breakfast raving about how good the hash is while the rest of the table quietly seethes because they weren't bold enough to order it. The other half of the time the hash orderer complains that the hash is a disappointment because it was not made with enough beer (beery hash is gooooooood) while the rest of the table smugly thinks to themselves, "I knew the hash wasn't going to be good today."
The hash browns are also hit and miss. I have had some one THE best hash browns ever there, and I have also had some of the mushiest, soggiest hash browns ever. It is like Russian roulette, but with hash browns.
One guaranteed winner is the pampered eggs. A very nice combination of scrambled eggs, bacon, scallions, and cream cheese.
The group also has one major issue with the Modern, cream dispensation. Our group likes their cream. The coffee drinkers and the tea drinkers both use copious amounts of cream. Even if there are three coffee orders and two tea orders at the table, the Modern servers provide the table with a pitcher of cream approximately the size of a thimble. When more cream is requested, another thimble of cream is provided. This is repeated three or four times, until the table is cluttered with multiple empty thimbles of cream. This results in some members of the group hording thimbles of cream by their plate of food in anticipation of their next cup of coffee.
The Modern is a solid "B". There are times when it receives an A+ (beery hash and crispy potatoes) and other times when it is lucky to receive a C. You may ultimately be disappointed with the food, but at least you didn't have to wait for a table...