Cafe Agri

Twin Cities, Minnesota


rating star

this place is tiny, cute, romantic and has decent food at a decent dinner price. i really enjoyed the food everytime i've eaten here. i had the vegan alfredo once (very tasty!) and the polenta. their soups and tea are also very good. i would recommend this place for a romantic dinner spot at night. they also have a good selection of organic wines. dessert here was always very good.

i question whether or not the staff knows which dishes are vegan, however. everytime i go in, it seems like i confuse the waitress, but otherwise, a very nice dining experience.

Image for conde.kedar

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UPDATE: Cafe Agri has a new chef so I stopped by to see if anything had changed (see below for my original review). It's still a quaint, cozy little neighborhood bistro that gives Minneapolis more "foodie creds." I also appreciate that so much of their menu is vegan or vegan-friendly (though why do they continue to insist on that one fish dish?).

That said, the food isn't as good as I remember it. I had a tofu scramble ($9), which was pretty plain and boring and seemed to be just tofu cooked in olive oil, along with some onions and red bell peppers. The sweet potato fries that came with the dish were cubed (why not cut them in long-strips, like normal fries?) and were okay, but not great.

The chocolate almond cake ($7) was the only vegan dessert. I thought the texture and sweetness of the cake were well-done, though the edges seemed overly-hard, whereas the interior portion of the cake was soft. The cake supposedly had an orange glaze sauce, but all I tasted was vanilla. I did, however, like the generous quantity of raw almonds they provided.

The theme at Cafe Agri is "farm to fork" but given how infrequently their menu changes, I kind of doubt that they're actually using many local, seasonal ingredients, and they're clearly not as committed or transparent as the hyper-local Common Roots Cafe.

As such, discounting the supposed "local-organic angle" (I have a hunch they're just green-washing), you can get three times the tofu scramble, with a more sophisticated flavor and seasoning, along with vegan home-made nacho cheese and skillet potatoes, at Triple Rock Social Club for the same price as the bland stuff Cafe Agri serves.

If a punk-rock bar can out-cook a chef-driven bistro, something is seriously wrong with the bistro. Similarly, you can get a larger, more moist, more delicious vegan turtle cake at French Meadow for only $4, or basically at half the price of what Cafe Agri charges for its vegan cake.

I think Cafe Agri has a cool concept and is a nice joint, but their food and implementation falls dramatically short of the competition, whether it's a vegan-friendly bar (Triple Rock), an organic European bistro (French Meadow), or a truly local/organic cafe (Common Roots). In any case, Cafe Agri doesn't seem to have a sense of itself, or its market, to really compete at this point.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Cafe Agri is a trendy, modern, little joint in a nice residential area of Minneapolis. Seating is limited, but the service is friendly and fairly prompt.

The food is on the pricier side, but the quality of the ingredients (fresh, local, seasonal, organic) justifies this. Our beet ribbon salad was wonderful---subtly sweet and savory, with juicy beets, fresh strawberries and nutty, perfect figs (I normally don't like figs, but these were special). My main course, vegetables in a light BBQ sauce with heirloom rice, was simple and popped with the flavors of local, sustainable peas, bell peppers and onions. My friend's pasta dish was light and tasty, featuring avocado, hand-picked tomatoes and delicious brown-rice penne. Finally, our dessert, a mango pudding with Brazil nuts and dark chocolate shavings, was complex, and had a perfect balance between semi-sweet chocolate and semi-ripe mango.

Image for vaxjo

rating star

The portobello tempeh terrine was delicious as was the baked falafel appetizer. My spicy tofu entree was merely pretty good. The ambiance was pleasant and I will probably go back to explore some of the other menu options.

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I've enjoyed this place over all. The wait staff is always friendly and helpful knowing what's vegan and what's not (many things are or can be made so). I had one thing there - a veggie tempeh - that I found very bland, but otherwise I've had good experiences. The fig dessert is surprisingly good, and they have a blood orange soda that is fantastic. The atmosphere is quaint but also romantic.

Image for Sharyn Morrow

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Dropped in for dinner here for the first time this evening (as seen in the photographs). Cozy and cute, but definitely a spot for smaller groups, and maybe not so kid-friendly. My companion and I sampled a number of the appetizers rather than ordering entrees. We enjoyed the beet ribbon salad, baked yam crisps with kalamata avocado dip, and the portobello soong lettuce wraps. The portion of tamarind tofu was very small, but extremely tasty. We ended with the previously mentioned mango pudding with bitter chocolate. Delicious. But I'd like to try some of the other vegan-friendly desserts as well. And I plan to go back for the brunch.

rating star

I have been to this place several times and really like the quality of their food and practice with local organic foods. The kitchen is 100% gluten free and although the service has been slow, the food is worth the wait. I highly recommend the fig dessert and fennel entree. I would definitely go back and support these types of restaurants.

rating star

I went here with a group of vegetarians for dinner. Most everyone seemed to like the food. The service was quite slow, which is how things usually go at places this small. I got the baked yam crisps appetizer, which the waitress said is all the rage, for $7. It consisted of about 20 chips and a little dip. A bit pricey. The veggie burger, for $12, was more reasonable in that it included a salad. The waitress steered us away from a ravioli entree, saying it usually didn't fill people up. This resturant has only been open for 2 months, so I think it is still a bit rough around the edges. I'm willing to give it another try.

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I went for brunch recently and had a tofu scramble that was quite good. I also tried the vegan pancake, which was a bit dry but still quite tasty and the roasted potatoes and beets, which were delicious.

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