We didn’t plan on blogging about this one. But when a quick weekend coffee run made us realize we’d stumbled upon something amazing, we had to tell the world (or at least, Minneapolis): this gem shouldn’t go uncovered.
It was an early Saturday morning, and with a long to-do list ahead of us, we decided to reward our early rising with a quick espresso run. Looking for a local place – anything other than a Cari-bucks – we stumbled upon Isles’ website and learned of the small spot just off Hennepin. Perfect.
Isles’ black and yellow awnings beckon neighborhood joggers, ambitious cyclists, early dog-walkers and sleepy families to stray from Hennepin toward its quiet residential street. We walked up to sounds of espresso grinders and the smell of roasted beans. Bakers in the tiny kitchen had been up for hours, making their famous puppy-dog tails (cinnamon rolls in an easier-to-eat shape) from scratch. And, boy, do these puppies – excuse the pun – go fast. A hot batch replaces an empty pan on a frequent cycle, and customers line up behind a fresh bowl of cream cheese frosting near the door to apply their preferred amount of gooeyness. At $1 each, they’re a simple splurge.
Other goodies are continuously pulled from the oven, too. Caramel sticky buns and jumbo cookies are reliable favorites, but morning specials make for a surprise treat. Fresh biscotti, scones and other pastries are listed as one-day offerings.
With a white mocha for Jim and a latte for me, we took our muffin, drinks, and respective puppy-dog tails to an open table on the café’s sidewalk. The raspberry-cherry-oat muffin we split was still warm and had a wholesome taste with pockets of sweet and tart. The tails were soft and doughy with a slight taste of just-risen yeast. The muffin and the tails simply tasted real — no caked-on sugar or frozen ingredients. Just pure, indulgent goodness.
Maybe it was the early sunshine or the unusually warm fall breeze we felt while enjoying our breakfast that made our experience rave-worthy. More likely, it was the rich coffee and out-of-the-oven delicacies that has caused other locals to become loyal customers of this small bakery and café. Isles Bun & Coffee serves up the perfect weekend treat – and we can’t wait to continue rewarding ourselves.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠♠
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠♠
Total bill: $11.25