Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brenda's French Soul Food

It's always a challenge finding a place to take out-of-town visitors for brunch when you still don't know the city yourself very well. This time though, I outsourced location-finding duties to the said visitors, mainly because I knew they'd be both thorough in their research, and interested in finding good food.

So we ended up at the very well reviewed Brenda's French Soul Food for a weekday brunch. A busy day was underway so I was thankful to start with a large cup of black coffee.

Community Coffee with Chicory
The coffee was more interesting than the usual fare I've been drinking with the hints of chicory, but my opinion that Melbourne does a better coffee is thoroughly in place. Still, caffeine is caffeine.

The first section on the brunch menu are beignets; New Orleans flavoured donuts. They were incredibly tempting but this was one day where a sugar-rush would just not do. An order for a return visit perhaps? 

The remaining sections of the menu are more standard brunch options with plenty of egg dishes, pancakes and french toast, and sides including grits (ground-corn) and biscuits. 

Having never had Creole food before, I played it safe with a Creole Veggie Omelette (which made me feel like I was branching out a little, but not so far as to have crispy oysters for breakfast).

Creole Veggie Omelette
Creole Veggie Omelette
With plenty of vegetables in the form of corn, tomato, bell peppers and spinach, it was light but satisfying. I opted for an omelette without cheddar cheese so the omelette itself needed quite a bit of salt/Tabasco. I think it would have been great with the cheese though if that's your thing. 

On the side were breakfast potatoes (great and crispy) and a biscuit (not so great being too sweet for my liking).

One of my dining companions ordered 'Two Nice Big, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes' and that's exactly what arrived at the table.

Buttermilk Pancakes
These are monstrously sized pancakes by my standards but they were incredibly fluffy and so didn't sit too heavily. With some maple syrup and a size of bacon they were a great pancake dish.

My other dining companion ordered the egg and bacon tartine with grits on the side.

Egg & Bacon Tartine
With bacon, scrambled eggs, gruyère and tomato-bacon relish on toasted french roll, this was a proper breakfast open-face sandwich. It's hard to go wrong taste-wise with crispy bacon, creamy scrambled eggs and melted cheese. A side of grits adds a serving of almost-vegetables, making this a complete meal. 

Overall I was impressed with Brenda's French Soul Food and certainly intend to return for brunch and to try the interesting donuts. The place was cosy, with high quality food, large servings and efficient service. It can get pretty busy though, so if you plan on going, plan on waiting in line for a while.  

Brenda's French Soul Food
Mon-Tue 8am-3pm, Wed-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm
652 Polk St, San Francisco

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