Brenda’s French Soul Food

I like brunch, but I don’t love it.  As a result, I am never too keen on waiting the 1-2 hours that some really popular brunch places command on the weekends, the only time most people, including myself, can enjoy brunch.  Fortunately, if I go in with the right mindset and pre-eat, waiting isn’t such a fatal experience.  So lucky for Weeners, I waited a whole 45 minutes by myself at one of San Francisco’s most popular brunch spots.  By it’s name, I was expecting a restaurant without a lot of “character” if ya know what I mean, but I was pleasantly surprised by the very well lit, spacious, and new looking joint.

There is a large chalk board taking up a large portion of the wall.  Notice the FIFTEEN names ahead of mine.  Surprisingly it moved pretty fast and we got seated in about 45 minutes to an hour.

Check out the specials.

Weeners was excited by the prospect of strawberry beer, but was sorely disappointed that there was not even the slightest hint of strawberry flavor.

Beignet Flight tasting of all 4 beignets 

People were raving about these beignets, but these people must not have ever been to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.  Cafe Du Monde will forever and always remain the gold standard to which I compare all beignets.  Thus far, every beignet has always fallen short.  The ones here weren’t even close to being the light fluffy deliciousness that I dream about.  They’re very very dense and heavy.  There’s just so much dough that you get overwhelmed and easily stuffed.

Crawfish cayenne, scallions & cheddar  

I think we were so distracted by the thick bready dough that we didn’t find any interest in the fillings.  This was pretty darn spicy because of the giant heaping of cayenne pepper.

Chocolate molten Ghirardelli chocolate   Granny Smith Apple cinnamon honey butter   

Nothing horribly wrong with these fillings, but nothing amazing.

Shrimp & Grits sautéed shrimp, cheddar grits, spicy tomato-bacon gravy

This was by far the highlight of the brunch.  I never knew shrimps, tomatoes, and bacon could taste so amazing together.  It was a savory delight with just the right amount of spice, sweetness, and perfectly cooked shrimp.  The grits were cheesy and paired well.  

Creole Seafood Frittata crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, biscuits, grits

Weeners was pretty underwhelmed by her frittata.  It tasted like an uninteresting omelette despite all those amazing proteins.  The grits without all the amazing shrimp bacon and tomatoes is just some cheesy oily mush.  What I LOVED LOVED was the fluffy biscuit with its crispy exterior and buttery flavor.  I slathered it in the housemade strawberry preserves and I was happy beyond happy.

I think Weeners was not as pleased with Brenda’s dish since her dish pretty much sucked.  She did agree with me on every other point though, which is interesting because we were beginning to think we had totally different tastes in food.  Weeners was the one who accused me of being a food snob, saying I only liked the hoity toity stuff.  Well Brenda’s is far from hoity toity.  It’s down home southern inspired comfort food and I’d gladly go back for the shrimp and grits with a bunch of biscuits swimming in the strawberry stuff.  Yum yum!  You should really pass on the beignets but its hard to do so because its like one of their signature dishes.  So eat at your own risk and don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Brenda’s French Soul Food

652 Polk Street

San Francisco, CA 94110

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