Restaurant Review: J. Selby’s


On Sunday, my friend Jasmine and I stopped  for brunch at St. Paul’s newest plant-based restaurant, J. Selby’s. The restaurant originally opened at the end of April,  but they closed for a week before reopening again, because they did not expect such a high volume of business and needed to hire more staff, according to City Pages.  We first tried going for dinner on Saturday, but they said it would be an hour wait, so we decided that our best bet was to go Sunday morning, and we were able to get our food right away.


The restaurant is owned by former River Falls general surgeon Matt Clayton. In an interview with The Star Tribune, he said, ““It’s pretty clear to me that the dietary habits of America are contributing tremendously to the amount of obesity and diabetes and heart disease problems that we’re seeing – and to a lot of the healthcare crisis as well,” Clayton said. “A lot of physicians have taken to trying to do education and what not. Personally, I love to cook. So I thought rather than following the line of what everyone else is doing, I’m just going to show people that you can eat plant-based food and it tastes great.”


At J. Selby’s, I decided to order the breakfast burrito, which contained kale, potatoes, black beans, and green peppers. It also came with vegan sour cream and pico de gallo. I was extremely impressed with how the sour cream tasted. It was tangy and creamy, and I honestly could not even tell the difference from its dairy counterpart. The only thing that I would have liked to see in my burrito was some tofu scramble, or some sort of egg substitute, because the burrito definitely lacked that fluffy “egg” component. To be honest, for $9 I thought it was pretty small but it did fill me up.


Jasmine ordered the french toast, which is made with hemp bread and served with vegan butter and maple syrup. She said it was really good, but I would have to say that the serving was a little small for being an $8 dish.


Overall, I loved the aesthetic of the restaurant. It has that clean, minimalistic vibe to it which I love. I thought it was really cool that you can see the kitchen right from where you’re sitting. I’d be interested to try some of their lunch and dinner items, so I’ll have to go back so that I can review some of those! They have items like “BBQ Beaf” and a “Beet Burger”–made with beets, lentil, and rice. Each of those also come with a side.

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