Back about 20 years ago, I wrote an enthusiastic review of the traditional Cantonese cuisine served at the Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe. The little storefront at Cedar and Riverside started as an offshoot of a Toronto Chinese bakery, and the fare reminded me a lot of the food you can find in the restaurants in Toronto’s Spadina Avenue Chinatown: simple and inexpensive rice plates and noodle dishes, plus a good selection of Chinese pastries and buns.
Keefer Court, 326 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, 612-340-0937.
Keefer Court closed its 16-seat cafe about 15 years ago to concentrate on its bakery and fortune cookie business, but a big blow-up poster copy of my review stayed in the front window, year after year, until very recently.
The poster is finally gone, but maybe it’s time to bring it back: the bakery recently reopened its kitchen, and now offers a big selection of traditional Cantonese fare, including rice plates, noodle dishes, soups and stir-fries. Only a limited selection is featured on the lunch menu, so be sure to request the dinner menu if it isn’t offered. So far, I have only had a chance to sample a few dishes, including the curry beef brisket rice plate ($5.95) and the chicken lo mein ($4.25 at lunch), but there is a lot more that I would like to try, including the salty pork and duck egg congee ($3.85), the roast duck noodle soup ($4.95), and the salt and pepper beef short ribs ($12.95). Be sure to also check out the bakery counter for the steamed and baked buns filled with everything from barbecued pork and curried beef to ham and eggs and coconut custard.