If you wanted to feel like a writer, you could go to a cafe to do it. The scent of baking bread and fresh pastries, the peaceful atmosphere and kind servers, combining to form an experience that keeps you coming back for more. Almost as if the world around you has slowed and somehow you ended up in a booth holding a cherry danish. This unique atmosphere is something that not all cafes or restaurants can achieve. Turtle Bread is one of them.
At 7:30 in the morning, the quaint restaurant on 34th St. East is warm and inviting, tables and booths filled with regulars sipping coffee and friends meeting for breakfast. After ordering a meal and perusing the pastries, food comes in under 10 minutes. The Denver Omelet ($9.00) arrives speckled with a sea of red and green peppers, ham, onions and melted cheddar cheese. This classic omelet is perfectly complemented by the toast it comes with, slices of perfectly golden French baguette with oil and rosemary.
If you lean back in your booth and have a hankering for something sweet, Turtle Bread’s pancakes ($8.00) come in a stack of two, light and fluffy on the inside, perfectly golden with a slight crisp at the edges. When your plate arrives, the first thing you notice is the fresh raspberries on the edge of the dish and the snowy dusting of powdered sugar, covering your short stack like a blanket. A small carafe of syrup adds an extra sweet, almost caramel like flavor to a classic breakfast meal.
After owner Harvey McClain opened the first Turtle Bread in 1994, the business has gradually added two locations, the newest being Longfellow Turtle Bread, situated on 34th St. East in Minneapolis. This Turtle Bread specializes in classic breakfast meals, soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee, espresso, etc. But, what gives this cozy shop it’s unique atmosphere is the stands of pastries that envelop you in the aroma of yeasty dough and warm bread fresh from the oven.
As pastries go, a common favorite is the chocolate croissant ($2.99). Flaky and light, this treat is filled with strips of rich dark chocolate. As each layer of buttery dough melts in your mouth, the warm flavor of chocolate spreads across your tongue, perfectly complemented by the fresh squeezed orange juice ($2.50) that washes it down.
When the last bite of omelet passes your lips and your fingers have been licked clean of chocolate, take a second to sit back and simply look around. Stomach contentedly filled with eggs, coffee and bread, the sight of an older man reading the paper and enjoying one of his favorite pastries brings a smile to your face. Simply by offering a friendly atmosphere, warm pastries and comforting classic meals, Turtle Bread’s 34th St. location provides a moment of calm amidst the business of life.