Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Consumed a scrumptious Sunday brunch at Al Vento Restaurant, located at 5001 34th Ave South in Minneapolis, MN. Long curtains adorn the crowded entryway but are not very effective at blocking out the winter chill for front room diners. It would be nice if they had a heated tent on the outside deck for people to wait for their table. Two hosts should be present at the doorway so that one can check in guests while the other seats a group, preps a table or at least post a sign that states “Wait to be seated.”

Buffet style brunch is arranged on tables and on top of the high bar. Eggs Benedict featured a nicely poached egg atop a small spinach leaf and soggy piece of bread with a tiny dribble of Hollandaise. It might be better to separate the components for the diner to reassemble into a toasty version. Hollandaise tasted homemade but larger dollop desired. Thick cut bacon of varying degrees of crispness available, which is good to suit the preferences of the diner. Zesty sausage and country cut potatoes, which need toppings. Plain egg bake had very little flavor. Blander tomato pasta dish was quite disappointing since this is an Italian restaurant.

Crisp waffles were in short supply. Wonderful real whipped cream to top the waffles but a drippy maple syrup container made hands sticky. Green salad ingredients displayed on top of the bar included pickled beets, cheese, olives, balsamic dressing, and other fixings. Saddened that no fresh mozzarella cheese was available for the green salad. Tomato-cucumber-bread salad was featureless. Perfectly blanched asparagus tips salad was good. Superb lox (salmon) was served with toasted bagels and cream cheese; dill sprinkles would have been nice addition. Simple desserts and fruit. Nice chocolate fountain and endless refreshments.

I ate so much that I wasn’t even hungry for breakfast the next morning. I drank water for 24 hours until consuming a light lunch on Monday. I have worked at several eating establishments. It is grueling work and one only hopes that the diners leave at least a 20% tip. Oftentimes, the server has to share the tip with the host, bus-person, bartender, and kitchen crew. Al Vento has possibly one of the smallest bathrooms in the Twin Cities. It is located near the bar, no room to turn around.

Ravenous crowd consumed a lot of food. Kitchen crew struggled to keep some of the containers filled. Perhaps they could install a camera to watch from the food prep area. Food labels and brighter lighting needed in the bar area on a cloudy day. Server was friendly but too busy to provide much attention. Salt and pepper shakers on the table or buffet area needed. Sixteen dollars was a reasonable price for the brunch. Smooth background music would add to the ambiance. Make a reservation because it is a popular destination. During the summer you can sit on their lovely patio. www.alventorestaurant.com

Overall rating of three and a half forks (out of five).

Yummy for the tummy.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

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