Toasted Sausage Bread – Bread made with Sausage, Toasted Walnuts, Black Currants, Spices, Black Coffee
Lemon-Ricotta Hotcake – Freshly-grated Lemon Zest, Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, Pure Maple Syrup
Juicy Lucifer – Angus Ground Beef, Hot Molten Epicenter of Cheese with Sweet Potato Fries, Ketchup, Red Pepper Jelly
Proudly promoting itself as “Minnesota’s most-book Restaurant,” a lines-beget-lines strategy that sees seating for what must be at least two hundred packed on weekends where those without reservations will often be asked to wait at least an hour, it was prior to a Vikings-Bills matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium that advanced planning scored a table at Hell’s Kitchen, the Restaurant predating Gordon Ramsay’s television program expectedly raucous even before live music began.
Now serving the city since 2002, an underground location on 9th Street Downtown over time becoming a destination for American Fare served amidst kitschy confines that remain whimsical despite the Restaurant’s name, it was to a seat immediately in front of the stage that Breakfast was served, a middle-aged man with plenty of ink offering a good blend of hospitality and professionalism that one usually does not expect at such a busy or “themed” place.
Owned by Mitch Omer and Cynthia Gerdes, her Angel Food Bakery upstairs just visited and often acting as a stand-in Breakfast for those turned away from Hell’s Kitchen, it is from the hands of Chef Steve Meyer and team that guests are currently fed from a wide list of everything from Pancakes to Burgers, a lengthy list of Beers by bottle or tap clearly popular amongst the pre-game crowd as was a $14.95 option to build one’s own “Jacked Up” Bloody Mary.
Opting instead for Coffee, a mug kept full of surprisingly good Drip throughout an hour long stay, it was shortly after asking a few questions that the meal began with Omer’s regionally famous Toasted Sausage Bread, the odd concoction featuring Fruit, Nuts and Spices a bit like Zucchini Bread riddled with the sapor and Salt of Pork that is as enjoyable as it is unique, though the richness makes this an dish best shared.
Intrigued by other “Minnesota Icons” including Walleye Hash and Rice Porridge, but working with limited capacity and more meals to follow, it was instead that course two featured one of Hell’s Kitchen’s Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes, the flavor and texture fine but no different than versions offered elsewhere while the house’s take on a Jucy Lucy titled “Juicy Lucifer” costs twice that of Matt’s but is unquestionably better thanks to Prime Beef and a Brioche Bun plus tangy Red Pepper Jelly around the molten core.