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At Sara's Table Chester Creek Cafe
1902 East 8th St.
October 21, 2007 10:14 AM
The name of this place is confusing. Both "Chester Creek Cafe" and "At Sara's Table" are emblazoned on the door; and the sign on the building says "Taran's Market Place." Whatever. If you are looking for high-quality, raised-consciousness meals in laid-back surroundings, here they are. The unupholstered hardwood booths are not all that comfortable, but there is a cozy sitting area up front around a fireplace where University of Minnesota types drink coffee and read counter-culture literature; and regulars are comfortable enough that they know where to go to refill their own coffee cups.
As you enter and head towards a table in the back, look left. Here are cases with the days pies and cakes; and it is these desserts that are Sarah's most outstanding dishes. Gorgeous fruit pies with coarse sugar on a crunchy crust, thick cream pies, an unbelievably good pecan pie, plus carrot cake, devil's food cake with buttercream frosting, scones, muffins, and even ruggelach – all made right here. Pre-pie, supper menus range from wild pacific salmon and grass-fed ribeye to such vegetarian items as squash ravioli and wild mushroom ragout. Although it's nothing like traditional pizza, my iconoclastic whole-grain-crust pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, walnut-cranberry pesto, chevre, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar was a joy. And the salads we ate – golden beet and winter panzanella – were charming and delicious.
Chester Creek Cafe at Sara's Table is a three-meal-a-day place, and I am really looking forward to returning for breakfast. The menu includes cranberry wild rice bread French toast, buttermilk pancakes served with either maple syrup or apple- beer syrup(!), and something called a "hippie farm breakfast."
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