Cuisine: Deli, Coffee, Bakery
Restaurant Features: Counter-Service, Patio
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 725 E 7th Street St Paul, MN 55106 (651) 776-8810
Hours: M-F 6:30am-3pm Sat 8am-2pm
Atmosphere: Swede Hollow Cafe is nestled into a small brick building on East 7th St, just blocks away from the St Paul campus of Metropolitan State University. The dining area holds roughly eight wooden tables placed closely together with a walkway that runs through the middle of the cafe from the door to the service counter. There is overhead track-lighting but also great natural lighting from the many windows that overlook the outdoor garden/patio area. I have been to Swede Hollow before during the summer season and the patio is very nice from what I remember. (I’ll take a photo of the gardens later this spring)
Menu: Breakfast includes a Daily Quiche, Baked French Toast, Hashbrowns with Bacon, Sausage and Ham, Breakfast Croissant. On Saturday the Breakfast menu is extended to offer Potato Cheddar Pie, three kinds of Quiches, and two kinds of Strata. All of the above come with Fresh Fruit, Crisps, Cobbler or Bread Pudding, and a Corn Muffin.
There are just a handful of sandwiches made at Swede Hollow such as the Toasted Three Cheese, Roast Beef and Provolone, Smoked Ham and Swiss, Turkey and Swiss, Turkey & Cheddar, and Mediterranean Veggie. Any sandwich can be turned into a Box Meal with Chips, Pickle Spear, and Biscotti or Shortbread for $9. Half & Half Combo also available (soup or 1/2 salad & 1/2 sandwich).
Salads are the Creamy Gorgonzola and Walnut, Spring Greens, and Italian. There are also two Soups du Jour, one meat and the other vegetarian.
Pastries include Caramel and Cinnamon Rolls, Scones, Bread Pudding, Apple Cobbler, Fruit Crisps, Tarts, Turnovers, Cookies, and Bars.
Price guide: Coffee $3-4 Breakfast Salads $6 Sandwiches $7-8
What I ordered: It was on a whim that I stopped at Swede Hollow for a sandwich over my lunch break, as I was in the mood for a sandwich of some kind. I was somewhat disappointed to discover that they had just five sandwich choices and only one of which was served hot. I had really wanted Corned Beef but since they didn’t have it, I decided on the Turkey and Swiss and asked that it be served hot. It was a large sandwich, cut in half. The French bread that this sandwich is made with was quite dense and hard on the outside from being grilled. Sliced turkey, tomato, and several large leaves of romaine with a twangy honey mustard were stuffed between the bread. I liked the taste of this sandwich but between the hardness of the bread and the height of this sandwich, it was too much for my poor jaw to take.
Service: Although it was a rainy Monday, it got quite busy at Swede Hollow around noon. I was able to beat most of the rush but it still took 10-15 minutes for my sandwich. The line had grown considerably by the time my sandwich was ready and most of the tables were occupied. The gal working the counter was nice, but not overly suggestive about the menu. There seemed to be 1-2 servers/cooks who brought orders out to the tables.
Overall Impression: Swede Hollow is a cute little coffee shop/cafe, but prices seemed kind of expensive. The menu is limited but still draws a decent crowd. Nice garden patio to use during warmer weather.