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5 Things to Know About Kruse Markit, Kingfield’s All-Day-Cafe-Slash-Shoppy-Shop

From butter boards to greeting cards, this south Minneapolis bistro has a little bit of everything.

Em Cassel

Welcome back to "Five Things," Racket’s recurring rundown of new, new-to-us, or otherwise notable Twin Cities restaurants.

Today we’re stopping by Kruse Markit, the newish Nicollet Avenue bistro and shop that’s a great place to grab a sandwich for yourself and a little “just thinking of ya” gift for a friend, or to pop in to split a midday cheese plate and pick up a frozen pizza for later. 

No, we didn’t get a chance to ask why they spell it like that. But here are five other things you should know before you go.

1. Welcome Back, 4200-4300 Nicollet

The stretch of Nicollet Avenue along 42nd and 43rd Street has had a nice little return to form over the last year. The empty Revival space on one corner has come back to life as Bûcheron, and across the street, Sebastian Joe’s Kingfield Social will bring an ice cream shop to the neighborhood by the middle of this month

A few doors down, there’s Kruse Markit, which opened last March thanks to founder Heidi Stark. An all-day cafe with both coffee and wine, Kruse serves up breakfast, boards, sandwiches, soups, salads, and such, in a space that feels both cozy and kinda fancy. On a recent Friday afternoon, couples kick-rocked baby carriers resting on the floor next to their tables while friends chatted over midday drinks at the bar, and several people typed away on laptops. 

Kruse's turkey paniniEm Cassel

2. Emphasis on “All Day”

What if your favorite coffee shop was also a little bistro? That’s the line Kruse delightfully straddles, with drinks like the gently fizzy blueberry maple spritzer ($8) and the floral strawberry fields latte ($6.50). You can get most of the menu during most of the day: Breakfast is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the all-day menu is available from 10 a.m. till close. (Want a glass of wine at 11 a.m.? Go get ‘em!) So when we sat down for “lunch,” our orders ranged from a breakfast sandwich to a turkey panini to a margarita flatbread.

On the breakfast sandwich ($14) links of Kramarczuk's Ukrainian smoked sausage (you can also opt for bacon, but, c’mon) give a Polish pop to a cheesy amalgam of scrambled egg and cheddar béchamel. The flatbread ($16) was a flatbread—predictable and tasty—while the turkey panini ($15) was a standout, with jammy tomato chutney, melty mozzarella, and turkey from Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls. We were, however, somewhat confused by the Cubano ($17), which was… certainly not a traditional Cuban, if that’s what you’re expecting. Big deviations include the addition of onions and the subtraction of pickles, and if there was mustard on here, we couldn’t taste it. 

A surprising standout was the salad served alongside our sandwiches, which was lightly dressed in a fruity dressing and topped with sweet and savory clusters of seeds. We also loved the wildly spicy house hot sauce—a mistake, apparently, born of a misread recipe, but a happy one, an accidental invention right up there with potato chips and corn flakes.

3. Embrace the Butter Board

I’ve never ordered a butter board in a restaurant, and wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. (“Can we get the butter board? Also… what is the butter board?” is roughly how the ordering process went.)

At $12, Kruse Markit’s BB pairs a generous portion of housemade bread with seasonal butter—in this case, a carrot butter dotted with pumpkin seeds. The bread, cut into long, thin slices, toasted, and seemingly pre-buttered (or at least toasted in oil) is itself a snacky, salty treat. The butter has a soft, whipped texture, almost like a hummus, with a gently sweet carrot flavor and vibrant orange color. It makes eating butter feel somehow nourishing? I loved it. 

The carrot butter board: Kruse's sleeper hitEm Cassel

4. There’s a Dumbwaiter!

Kruse Markit has a cute space overall: white tiles, both hexagonal and oval, adorn most surfaces for a clean and chic look, but the worn hardwood floors let you see the footsteps that have stomped through here over the years. 

We were most excited, though, about the dumbwaiter, which zips your food from the kitchen below up to the bar for your server to snag it. You just don’t see enough dumbwaiters these days! 

5. Markit Watch

Are you familiar with the “shoppy shop” phenomenon? Grub Street coined the term last year, referring to the proliferation of vibey little stores all selling the same fancy-feeling products: Graza olive oil in its green squeeze bottle, the colorful tins of mackerel and tuna from Fish Wife

You’ll find both of those in Kruse Markit’s retail area, along with dozens of graphic design-major snacks (and soaps, greeting cards, and housewares). “It’s so cute,” you’ll find yourself saying over and over, whether you’re picking up a bag of Superbon chips or Good Hair Day pasta or the most artfully adorned can of chickpeas you’ve ever seen. 

What sets Kruse apart from a shoppy shop in, say, Brooklyn, is that there are lots of local options. Sure, you can get a bottle of Duke’s Mayo or Maldon Salt, but the freezer is stocked with Mucci’s frozen pizza and Grand Old Creamery pints, and the shelves are full of Wesley Andrews coffee and tea and Isadore nuts. For those who are quick-drawing with the credit card, Kruse Markit could be a very dangerous place. 

Kruse Markit
Address: 4237 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Hours: Sunday and Monday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

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