Peoples Organic Coffee and Wine Café makes a good break from the bustle of the Edina Galleria. Whether for just a drink or snack, or an entire meal, it’s all here — organic, fair-trade, local, farm to table and seasonal ingredients, as well as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
The cuisine is alluring enough to make a harried, fashion-forward, upscale shopper slow down long enough to enjoy a bite. A wide selection of healthy foods and drinks appeals to the most discerning, health-conscious eater.
The Peoples Organic Menu of Vast Inclusion
Healthy food choices abound at People’s Organic. All heads go up for the menu, at least for the cafeteria-style breakfast and lunch. The menu is posted on huge black boards that drop just below the ceiling and includes:
- Earthbound salads
- Hot sandwiches
- Sandwiches and wraps
- Light sides
- Breakfast anytime
Most salads have a protein feature to make them more of a main dish pleaser. Many vegetarian items are also available. The shiitake mushroom lettuce cup has marinated cashews, tofu, fresh ginger and toasted garlic nestled on top of three delicate mounds of organic Bibb lettuce, finished with a sprinkling of crunchy, shredded carrots. The long rectangular plate used for this decorative and tasteful salad combination makes the dish easy and fun to share.
Soup varieties change with the day. The hot ginger broth soup base with brown rice, and thinly sliced pea pods and carrots needed more of a spicy punch or at least a more salty cracker accompaniment. A vegetarian chili had enough spice to take the wintery nip out of the day.
Hot sandwiches pair fine meats with complimentary vegetables. The turkey and bacon ciabatta was hearty enough to fill a meat-and-potatoes guy.
A cold Mediterranean wrap had an unusual combination of worldly flavors. A mix of quinoa tabbouleh, roasted tomatoes, black Greek olives, organic carrots and romaine were rolled together in an organic sprouted wheat wrap. A side of sweetened herbed coleslaw, which sounded like a more interesting option than potato chips or salad, made a good contrast to the lightly seasoned, veggie filled wrap.
Breakfast fans have a good, ongoing list of choices at Peoples Organic. Omelets, scones and other morning dishes are served all day. With a daily opening time of 6 a.m., Peoples Organic sounds the food service, wake-up call for the Edina Galleria.
You can have your healthy meal and dessert too. While it may seem contradictory to healthy eating, with the vast selection of organic, fair-trade coffees and loose leaf teas, desserts are a good feature. Great fresh-made hot coffee or tea tastes even better with something sweet.
The maple panna cotta with black sea salt had a salty tang that complimented a thick, sweet creamy pudding base. This fall seasonal dessert came in a clear glass just small enough to leave you wanting a little bit more without feeling cheated. At such a healthy restaurant, any huge portion, eat-some-now-take-the-rest-home dessert would not be a good fit.
Other dessert items include different kinds of bars, apple crisp, cherry cobbler and scones. The cherry cobbler was crying for a smothering of fresh whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream. The scones looked on the dry side but a little butter and jam could alter that. The peanut butter bar and caramel bar were fresh with gooey goodness, but both seemed a little heavy after a responsibly light meal.
Fine Beverage Selection
Wine is available, but the real refresher here is the water. Richard’s reverse-osmosis purified water has a refreshing taste of clarity that is almost therapeutic. At dinner, a big glass pitcher of the crystal-clear water is served to every table. For breakfast and lunch, belly up to the cafeteria condiment bar for some great-tasting water on tap.
Upbeat, World-View Atmosphere
The sleek, modern décor has bold colors with accents from large photographs of fair-trade farmers and other food workers from distant lands. The table seating has surprisingly comfortable chairs that make a second cup of coffee or tea almost mandatory. On different visits, the intensity of the background music varied from just right for conversation to overbearingly loud. Still, the vibe feels universally upbeat, healthy and environmentally correct.
Peoples Organic is the kind of place that makes you feel good about eating healthy. A bonus for good weather is the outdoor patio seating area.