Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
Since its opening in late 2019, Hope Breakfast Bar has become something of a sensation in its part of St. Paul, just off West 7th and near the Allina Health United Hospital medical complex. It’s a legitimately ambitious place, offering a full coffee bar experience plus an extensive menu featuring everything from chicken and waffles to shrimp and grits to a vegan mushroom hash and a cereal milk French toast. The Buttermilk Pancakes ($10) that we tried were classics of the type, fluffy without being insubstantial or bready, and lightly infused with an almond-like flavor.
But it was the restaurant’s Breakfast Sandwich that commanded our attention because of its whistles and bells: the bread is a toasted everything bagel, the cheddar cheese is augmented by a dollop of truly zesty pimento cream cheese, and the bacon is tender pork shoulder bacon, closer to Canadian bacon than typical crunchy American rashers. The sandwich is sufficiently massive (and the fried egg sufficiently messy) that the dish is best approached with a fork and knife before it explodes in your grip.
All this is well and good, but when you factor in the accompanying hashbrowns, which are lovely, perfectly browned crispy-tender ribbons of potato, this sandwich is a hell of a nice savory way to start a day.
THE DISH: Breakfast Sandwich, $10
THE PLACE: Hope Breakfast Bar, 1 South Leech Street, St Paul, Minnesota
THE REASON: It’s substantial, it’s balanced, and it comes with some killer hashbrowns