The Skeptical Diner: Minor Opinions on Food 2

Pour One Out for Pizza Nea Uptown

Pizza Nea’s Uptown location has shut down for reasons not specified on their website. The mystery probably has something to do with the following tidbit of information: the place was never busy. In fact, it was often deserted. This is somewhat inexplicable as they offered really excellent Neapolitan style pizza, had some reasonable happy hour specials, and boasted a really clean, elegant interior design. Service was always adequate, and it made for a great inexpensive meal. Anyone got any working theories as to why they couldn’t hack it? Anyway, it’s a shame to see it go; now I’ll have to haul ass over to St. Louis Park to eat at Punch. Hmm. Come to think of it, the presence of Punch (and its easily accessible parking lot) just a 5-minute drive down Lake Street might account for some or all of Pizza Nea’s woes.

Brunch at Cafe Maude

Cafe Maude is a remarkably good restaurant — its dinner menu is elegant but unpretentious, engaging and affordable, and classy yet accessible. And the drinks. Holy hell.

That said, their brunch is remarkably meh. With the important caveat that neither I nor either of my dining colleagues ordered a sweet breakfast (such as the French toast or silver dollar pancakes), everything we ordered was just a little bit off. Sauteed flatbread with scrambled eggs, bacon, cucumbers and Sriracha sauce sounded like a home run in theory, but the bread was crunchy (rather than warm and soft as I’d hoped), the Sriracha was a little strong, and the cucumbers added a bunch of moisture to the mix, making the whole dish soggy. Other less ambitious brunch entrees were slightly better, but just conventionally decent. Overall, not a bad breakfast experience, but regular diners have a right to expect a lot more from Cafe Maude.

3 Comments so far

  1. Ed Kohler (unregistered) on November 17th, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

    As good as Pizza Nea is, I don’t think it’s good enough to deal with parking in Uptown.

  2. Robin Marty (unregistered) on November 19th, 2007 @ 10:43 am

    Did punch come in after Pizza Nea, or before? I know they came in after in Northeast, and I’m just wondering if that’s a pattern.

  3. Erica M (unregistered) on November 19th, 2007 @ 10:54 am

    Punch was open in Calhoun Village way before Pizza Nea opened on Lake Street. At least a couple years.

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