A few Saturdays ago I was able to have brunch with the gal pictured above. She’ll be crossing over the city lines and moving to St. Paul in a few weeks. We celebrated her new digs by grabbing a bite and catching up. It wasn’t hard to pick where we wanted to go for brunch, both of us have been wanting to test out The French Hen Cafe since it opened last Fall. The French Hen Cafe took over Bon Vie’s old location when it moved down the street.
We arrived around 9:45 on a Saturday morning and it was fairly busy. Getting inside was a little confusing, The French Hen Cafe’s door was blocked off and we were instructed to use the door to the flower shop it was connected to. Not gonna lie, 9:45 a.m. is early for a Saturday morning so maybe our brains weren’t registering correctly, but we stood there for a couple minutes deciding how to get into the restaurant. When we finally took a chance and tried the flower shop’s door, we saw a little sign stating that it was the entrance to The French Hen Cafe too. I’d vote for a bigger sign.
We walked in and saw that it was a seat-yourself establishment. Maddie and I picked a cute little table in the sun and immediately started gabbing. It’s a good thing we always find a lot to talk about because we waited a bit for a waitress to come with menus and to take our coffee order. Once I had my coffee, I instantly became less squirrely and noticed that our waitress had her hands full with several tables — patience is a virtue.
We perused the menu and decided to split the Fruit Compote Crepe ($9) and the Boyou Biscuits ($10.50). This gave us each equal amounts of sweet and savory. I had noticed online that the reviews for efficiency were lacking. To be honest, after the initial wait for our coffees, I didn’t really notice having to wait too long for our meals. People, it’s brunch! Aren’t you going out to enjoy your morning and relax!? You may not be able to wait for your coffee, but you shouldn’t be too uptight about a little wait for your breakfast. This being said, maybe The French Hen Cafe isn’t for those in a hurry.
Our food came and we quickly dove into the crepe first. The crepe hugged a compote that was equally sweet and tart. It was good, just not for me. I love crepes and this one was done right, the compote was just too sweet. For me, half the compote would have been sufficient. I may not be a good judge though, nine times out of ten I gravitate towards the savory item. We finished off the crepe and moved to the biscuits and gravy.
We took our first bite and immediately I was in heaven. My brunch go-tos are eggs benedict and biscuits and gravy — clearly I am not on a diet. So, when I order biscuits and gravy I tend to be picky because I’ve had a TON of biscuits and gravy in the lifespan of this here blog. The Bayou Biscuits came with an Andouille sausage gravy that was excellent. The spice it added was the kick this dish needed. Pair the excellent gravy with two light, buttery biscuits (isn’t that an oxymoron?) and you’re in heaven. Seriously, biscuits and gravy are the cure to any hang-over or early morning blues. We finished up our breakfast, conversed over the last few sips of our coffee, and settled our bill.
Bright, open dining space.
Our waitress was very kind, but I think they need to hire one more waitress for Saturday mornings. She seemed quite busy and we did a decent amount of waiting.
Nothing special here, the flavors were what spoke.
The crepe was perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth and the biscuits and gravy were spicy and delicious.
Value for Dollars
Really affordable. A meal and a coffee for under fifteen with tip — not bad.
But don’t take my word for it!
The French Hen Cafe
518 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102
Ph: (651) 222-6201
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