The Excessive Hat, a jazzy new Southwest-inspired St. Paul breakfast spot, hits all the proper notes – Twin Cities
The Excessive Hat, a brand new breakfast cafe in Cathedral Hill, serves Southwest-inspired fare just like the huevos divorciados, proven right here on Sept. 17, 2023. The restaurant is owned by Michael Noyes, a former supervisor at W.A. Frost & Co. (Jared Kaufman / Pioneer Press)
Earlier than The Excessive Hat opened this summer season, I ended by to speak with proprietor Michael Noyes.
I used to be first struck by the gorgeous transformation he made to the previous Bon Vie Bistro and A Piece of Cake location in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill. The bodily house was his place to begin, he advised me, and the meals menu adopted.
He’s labored in St. Paul eating places for years as a “front-of-house man” and can be a drummer. The Excessive Hat is his first solo venture.
I used to be excited to return for a meal as soon as the restaurant had gotten on its toes — and Noyes nailed it. The cafe was bustling (however not overly noisy!) on a weekend morning earlier this fall, and the colourful and jazzy environment was really pleasant.
Oh, and the meals was nice, too.
My eating accomplice and I began with drinks. The workers, lots of whom are Taylor Swift followers, created the espresso menu, and plenty of drink names (“Lavender Haze,” “Anti-Hero”) are references for these within the know.
My alternative, the “Muse,” was costly for an espresso latte ($7) however autumnal, with orange, caramel and cinnamon on high. And as a nod to Bon Vie, the restaurant nonetheless serves fresh-pressed juice; the pineapple juice ($5) was terribly wealthy.
Due to an ordering snafu (extra on that later), the staff kindly handled us to certainly one of their heat caramel rolls, served with pecans in a miniature forged iron skillet. The restaurant’s cinnamon and caramel rolls ($8) are each made by pastry chef Andrew Dinsmore, who’s additionally liable for the elegant dessert menu at W.A. Frost and Firm.
The dough itself was completely flaky, and though the extreme warmth of the forged iron skillet charred the gooey caramel just a little greater than I might’ve favored, the beneficiant serving to of butter on high saved the day because it slowly melted over the pastry.
The entree menu places a Southwestern spin on breakfast classics. As an alternative of a traditional eggs Benedict, for instance, the Excessive Hat plops a poached egg atop cornbread and layers it with chorizo and a salsa verde hollandaise ($16). One other menu merchandise consists of a buttermilk biscuit waffle with a rosemary nation gravy ($13).
The blue corn pancakes ($15) are significantly intelligent, with fried plantains baked instantly in. (Blue corn is identical species as widespread yellow corn however a special varietal of the crop, with typically greater protein and decrease sugar.)
Moreover the distinctive indigo coloration, the blue corn gave the not-too-sweet pancakes a heartiness that made the breakfast really feel really nourishing, in contrast to the quasi-dessert high quality of different diner pancakes. The coconut “whipped cream” and actual maple syrup lent some sweetness however extra importantly related taste, too: Not simply sugar for sugar’s sake. I’m a giant fan.
The Excessive Hat’s huevos divorciados ($14) are a extra simple interpretation of the Mexican breakfast dish and likewise fairly tasty. Two over-medium eggs, pico de gallo and salsas are every served atop a pair of crunchy tortillas with a schmear of refried beans sandwiched between them.
The one miss: On the day we reviewed the meal, the hash browns on the facet of the huevos divorciados had been fairly underseasoned and virtually tasted as in the event that they’d been cooked from frozen.
The restaurant opened with only a breakfast menu, however
Noyes has greater plans. This week, he’s rolling out a lunch menu, with choices together with a beef/chorizo burger on grilled ciabatta bread. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays by Sundays, but when group help stays robust, Noyes additionally hopes to broaden to all-day service for a extra lounge-y really feel.
He’s additionally arising with different artistic concepts: Each Saturday and Sunday, one silverware bundle incorporates a golden fork and knife — unwrap it, Willy Wonka-style, and your meal is free.
About that “ordering snafu” I discussed earlier — earlier this fall, we dined at prime brunch hour on a busy Saturday morning. Due to a printing error, our order wasn’t despatched to the kitchen. All advised, our fast breakfast took about two hours.
However what? It was simply high-quality with me.
Good firm, in an area with good music, good vibes and finally good meals at costs which are fairly affordable make The Excessive Hat a spot I’m completely content material to hang around.
The Excessive Hat
The place: 485 Selby Ave. in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill.
Hours: Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays by Sundays; closed Mondays.
Contact: 651-528-7941; additionally on Fb and Instagram
Costs: Breakfast entrees vary from $9–$16; cinnamon rolls and caramel-pecan rolls are $8 every; drinks together with espresso drinks, juice and lemonade vary from $4 to $8.
Reservations: Not accepted; walk-ins solely — however thus far, even on busy weekends, there’s hardly ever too lengthy of a wait.
Good to know: Prospects get to regulate the music, so head to the turntable and be happy to placed on a vinyl document you want.
— Small Bites are first glances — not meant as definitive opinions — of latest or modified eating places.