Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Copper Hen – Minneapolis, MN

D.Rough and I thought it would be fun to take her sister, SalsaSandwich, out for a nice birthday lunch. Mainly, we knew Copper Hen had brilliant desserts, which is a favorite of both my wife and sister-in-law. The Copper Hen is a very quint “farmhouse-chic” restaurant and bakery with farm-to-table food and a nice-but-still-casual atmosphere. 

The first thing you see when you walk in the door is the dessert display case. It’s got all kinds of upscale and unique cupcakes and cookies, and even some gluten free items. I’ll get to the desserts later, but here is a photo of SalsaSandwich in front of the case. It’s hard to tell whether she’s getting a closer look or genuflecting to the dessert gods for this bountiful dessert manifestation.

The menu has some delicious looking cocktails and a decent beer and wine list. I went with a Bauhaus Uber Duber Bock, and D.Rough got a super delicious fancy Cosmo Chemistry, and SalsaSandwich got a Coke.

The menu has plenty of things to choose from, all of which sounded good, so I felt pretty good when we had it narrowed down quickly. D.Rough and SalsaSandwich were going to split a classic rustic pizza and also a Cheddar Ale Burger. I had the server help me decide between the Pot Pie and the Mac and Cheese. He talked me into the mac and cheese, but added steak on the top – I’m not sure why he and I aren’t best friends at this point.

The Cheddar Ale Burger got a decent review from both D.Rough and SalsaSandwich. They liked it and it was plenty juicy, but I think both of them have had better burgers. Lots of onions and neon orange cheese looked a little unusual to me, but I was happy letting them enjoy it amongst themselves. 

The pizza got some pretty rave reviews (and I even had a slice of this one). I think it’s the cheese mix that made it so good (it usually is) – although, I say that anytime there’s pecorino cheese on something. But, it’s a nice rustic cracker crust and the right amount of toppings. This is a great pizza that makes me want to try some of their more unusual pizzas.

The mac and cheese was absolutely awesome. It’s baked and has breadcrumbs on it, so you know it’s already delicious. It’s a bechemel cheese sauce, so it’s nice and thick and it’s the squiggly cavatappi noodles which rule. The steak on top was just an added punch that made the whole thing even better. I didn’t share much of this with the rest of the table.

Of course, we were all full, but decided to get a little dessert for the road… and wait, maybe just a little something to split for D.Rough and I. So you know, The Copper Hen usually has some sort of boozy cupcake. And by boozy, I mean they have a little booze injector built right into the cupcake. See the photo.

You squeeze the plastic tube and booze goes right into the already moist cake. Brilliant! It’s served in a little jar, which is very farmhouse and cute, but honestly, the cupcake is delicious, and I’m not even a cupcake fan (for clarification, I AM a booze fan, however). 

We had to get a couple more non-boozy cupcakes for the road, since it was SalsaSandwich’s birthday. I don’t even know what these cupcakes were, but they looked fantastic. 

I think you’ll be pretty happy at The Copper Hen, no matter if it’s for lunch, dinner, brunch, or just dessert. It’s pretty fantastic. 

Top 5 things about The Copper Hen
1. Baked Mac and Cheese
2. Desserts
3. Classic Pizza
4. Crafty cocktails
5. Cheddar Ale Burger

Bottom 5 things
1. Parking can be a challenge on Eat Street
2. By the time you buy 300 desserts, the bill will add up (otherwise, it’s really reasonable)
3. It’s a slow-casual restaurant, so be ready for a more relaxed time frame
4. It’s just rude to put the dessert counter right at the front, so all you think about is dessert the entire time you’re eating your other delicious food – I’m SOOOO kidding
5. Totally a minor thing, but I wish there were more photo of the food on the webpage (just ignore me. I just had a really hard time finding any downsides to this place)

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