Apr 082012

Cuisine: American, Desserts
Restaurant Features: Bar, Flatscreen TVs, Rooftop Patio
Location: Uptown Minneapolis, MN
Address:  3001 Hennepin Ave S., Suite 1230  Minneapolis, MN 55408  612-877-7263
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-12am * Fri 11:30am-2am * Sat 9am-2am * Sun 9am-12am
Links: Uptown Cafeteria Website * Uptown Cafeteria on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Situated in a prime space on the lower level of Calhoun Square, Uptown Cafeteria is located at Hennepin Ave, looking out onto Lake Street.  The windows that look out onto Lake Street have the ability to open completely, making it an open-air restaurant for many months of the year.  The main dining area is tucked away from the bar and is decorated to have a very retro look to it with the booths, tables and chairs.

The bar is the central feature at Uptown Cafeteria and has seating on all sides of the bar as well as several bistro tables along the windows.  There are a handful of flatscreen TVs hanging above the bar tuned into a variety of programs.  Uptown Cafeteria also has a Sky Bar that is on the rooftop and is open from May-September.

Menu:  Breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday from 9am-3pm.  Menu items include Warm Banana Bread, Egg White Scramble, Yogurt Parfait, Bacon and Eggs,  Waffles, Chilaquiles, Full Monty English Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon Florentine Benedict, Hangover Helper, Cheddar Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy, Pancakes, German Potato Pancakes, and French Toast Treasure Box.

Appetizers at Uptown Cafeteria include Walleye and Corn Fritters, Buffalo Shrimp, Battered Onion Rings, Cold Smoked Salmon, Jalapeno Cheddar Poppers, Crunchy Mushrooms, Short Rib Chili Cheese Fries, Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings, Cheese and Crackers, and House-made Potato Chips.

Soups include Chicken Noodle, Soup of the Day, and Short Rib Chili.  Salads offered are Hearts of Romaine Caesar, Field Greens, Classic Wedge, Greek Salad, Cobb, Big Hippie Salad and Taco Salad.

Sandwiches are served with fries, chips, side salad or cottage cheese.  Options include Tuna Melt, The Jerk, Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup, Fancy Grilled Cheese (with bleu cheese, apple and bacon), The Burger (cheese, onions, fried eggs and mushrooms), Turkey Burger, Turkey Club, Cuban Sandwich, BBQ Meatloaf Melt, and Southwest Veggie Burger.

Uptown Cafeteria also has entrees such as Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes, Fried Buttermilk Chicken, Beef Stroganoff, Country Fried Steak, Chicken and Waffles, Shrimp and Grits, Hot Tom Turkey, Four Cheese Mac & Cheese, Chicken Potpie, Thick Cut Pork Chop, Lake of the Woods Shore Lunch and Grilled Fresh Fish.

Side Dishes include Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Brussel Sprouts, Green Bean Almondine, Cheddar Drop Biscuits, and Fries with Ranch.

Uptown Cafeteria also has a selection of homemade desserts including Warm Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Silk Pie, 5 Layer Chocolate Cake, and Red Velvet Cake with Raspberry Ice Cream Soda, Caramel Pecan Malt, Oreo Grasshopper Shake, and Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla Malt.
Price guide: Appetizers $5-11 Salads $7-14  Sandwiches $8-13 Entrees $10-17 Desserts $5-8

Weekly Specials:
Sunday- Lasagna with Side Salad and Garlic Bread $11
Monday- Spaghetti Dinner with Side Salad and Garlic Bread $12
Tuesday- All-You-Can-Eat Tacos $11
Wednesday- Pot Roast $12
Thursday- Chicken Subgum Chow Mein $10
Friday- All You Can Eat Fish Fry with fries and coleslaw $16
What we ordered: My companion and I visited Uptown Cafeteria on a hot, beautiful afternoon and a delicious cocktail was in order.  I had the Blueberry Mojito $10, a blend of rum, mint leaves, club soda, simple syrup and blueberries.

As soon as I saw the Cuban sandwich on the menu, I knew that was what I wanted to order. The sandwich had roasted pork and smoked ham piled on a french roll with Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles, then pressed until the bread was crusty and everything within hot and melted.  I ordered it with fries, which were fresh cut, hot and salty.

My companion ordered the Turkey Burger with Chili and Avocado.  The burger was made with fresh ground seasoned turkey, which was moist and very tasty.  It was topped with melted cheese, big slices of fresh avocado and roasted green chilis.  It was very good but messy to eat; fork and knife proved to be a better option.

Service: We arrived for a late lunch on a beautiful Friday afternoon and all of the tables near the windows were already taken so we chose to sit in the vacant dining room, which we ended up having to ourselves for the entire duration of our visit.  We were assigned a server and we saw her exactly four times…. once to take our drink order, another to bring drinks and take our food order, another to bring the food and the fourth time was to bring us our bill (which I paid for with cash since we didn’t want to wait forever).  We didn’t require a lot of attention but it would have been nice to feel like we weren’t forgotten.
Overall Impression: The food at Uptown Cafeteria is what I would consider comfort food, although the prices seemed a little high to be comforting on a budget. Our two sandwiches and one cocktail ended up being over $40 after tip, which seemed expensive for what we got but is typical for any restaurant in Uptown.  The food was good and the atmosphere was pretty cool.

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