Peoples Organic Coffee & Wine Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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rating star

This is the new coffee/wine-bar venture from the creator of French Meadow and it's a definite step up for the suburbs. Located in the Galleria Mall, Peoples Cafe offers foods and drinks that you can't easily find outside of Minneapolis or St. Paul proper.

I came here twice and got to sample their breakfast and lunch offerings.

First, we tried both of their veggie burgers (both of which are vegan and cost $10 each). The "Peoples Best Veggie Burger II" is made with chickpeas and cashews and is easily the best veggie burger in the Twin Cities. It's savory, hearty and downright fresh and tasty. I especially liked the sunflower sprouts (they look like alfalfa sprouts on steroids) and the tomato tofu mayo, both of which were improvements on the normal song and dance of lettuce and tomato.

The Veggie Burger I was also good, but not nearly as good as II. I think the mushrooms, walnuts and lentils created a somewhat sour taste that grew on me with each passing bite, but still didn't match the great flavor of the II.

The home-made kettle chips that came with both burgers were awesome.

I'd love to see a seitan burger as well as a tofu patty breakfast sandwich, given that they do a tofu scramble as well.

On the second visit I had their tofu scramble ($10) which sounded great in theory, but was only decent in reality. This dish was suddenly yanked from the menu, though you can still order it by special request. I think the dish was under-salted and the spices they used ("Himalayan spices") didn't feel integrated in the dish. I liked the use of bell peppers but the best tofu scramble in the Twin Cities still belongs to Pizza Luce.

We also had a vegan raspberry bar ($3) and a pot of unusual oolong tea ($4.50). The raspberry bar was smooth and soft and much better than French Meadow's raspberry bar, which tends to be harder and more acidic. The tea was great, though, and the pot they give you is enormous (we got six cups total between the two of us), to say nothing of second steeps.

On the second visit I had an almond milk nutmeg steamer ($3.25) which was tasty, but super over-priced considering the quantity. For $3.25 you could get a full container of almond milk, or even two; here you got a tiny cup. Peoples has a wide variety of cool-sounding coffee drinks made with either hemp, coconut or almond milk (I can't think of any other place in the Twin Cities that offers such a variety of non-dairy milks). My friend enjoyed her coconut mocha which had actual pieces of shredded coconut in it---nice touch.

All in all, Peoples is a cool place. It's kind of a coffee shop, kind of a bar, and kind of a bistro, but it comes together fairly well and the service is friendly and knowledgeable. Best of all, to see the word "vegan" in the suburbs, with unusual and thoughtful foods, is always a pleasure and a step in the right direction. If Peoples had more vegan offerings and upped the quality on some of its dishes, I'd give it another star.

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