Monday, February 10, 2014

The Butler & The Chef

During the first few months of moving to San Francisco, every day was full of sunshine and warmth. It's perhaps unsurprising that I thought this was 'typical' SF weather and that rain would be a mere afterthought. Of course, little did I know that what I considered to be wonderful was in-fact drought weather.

The weather-gods seem set on making me see that yes, it does rain in California, and when it rains, it doesn't stop. None of the heavy rainstorms that Melbourne sees, what we get here is non-stop drizzle. Drizzle that causes water to flow noisily through the drainpipe all though the night.

It's weather like this that makes you thankful for weekends where you can be depressed by the weather, but at least you don't have to work. I took the opportunity to catch-up with a friend over brunch, even if it meant braving the weather.

We ended up at well rated The Butler & The Chef in the SOMA area. Fairly busy, it's a noisy bistro/cafe serving a variety of brunch dishes including salads, hot sandwiches, baguettes and French crepes. To warm up, I ordered a (boring) coffee while he ordered a mug of hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate
A mug is probably not the right descriptor, it was more like a bowl of hot chocolate - perfect for the wintery weather.

Unfortunately, their griddle was out of action which meant that non of the hot sandwiches were available (and the Croque Mademoiselle was looking particularly attractive before we found out about the situation). I ended up settling for a classic Niçoise Salade.

Niçoise Salade
The best bit about this version were the chunks of rare tuna that are a considerable step up from the usual tinned tuna found in Niçoise salads. With fresh mixed greens, a few potatoes, crunchy green beans, soft-boiled eggs, tomato, and deliciously salty olives pulled together with a light olive oil vinaigrette, it was a pretty good salad. Perhaps not as filling as I would have liked, it was still a perfectly respectable brunch dish.

My friend went for a savoury crepe instead.

La Parisienne Crepe 
A buckwheat crepe, with organic egg, ham, and emmenthal cheese, it was beautiful in its simplicity. It's hard to go wrong with a french crepe and with a choice of ham, chicken, smoked salmon or vegetarian versions on the menu, they're light but also filling.

If you're looking for a quiet cafe to catch-up over coffee, don't come to The Butler & The Chef. If you don't mind a bit of noise, then you can expect fresh food that arrives at the tables astoundingly fast, friendly and efficient service, and a price that matches the location (which is to say, reasonable, but definitely not cheap). 

The Butler & The Chef
155 S Park Ave, San Francisco
Tue-Sat 8am-3pm, Sun 10am-3pm

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