Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kate & Brenda know their brunch.

In our attempt to eat our way across the city, Team Brunch has been out in full force, with the two most recent brunches being very memorable indeed.

First off, we went to Kate's Kitchen in the lower Haight last Monday. Scheduling conflicts meant that we went on Monday rather than over the weekend, and this worked out perfectly, because Kate's normally has a line out the door, but as it was a weekday, we were fortunate enough to only have to wait for them to clean a table that had just been vacated as we arrived.

Wow. Not only does this cute little joint have an exciting menu, but they have exciting prices to match - and by 'exciting' prices, I mean cheap.

Amongst our choices were the french toast orgy (which has fruit and granola piled on top of it), pumpkin choc-chip french toast with whipped cream, a yummy meat scramble and a veggie scramble (complete with crunchy bits of fried tortilla in the mix). All of the items on the menu are under $10 (most are between $6.50 and $8.50) and you get big portions. Be prepared...

The ambience is very homely and simple, and there is a huge mural on one of the walls with a map of all the different types of farms across the USA. I am keen to go back to this place and try some of the other dishes on the menu.

Yesterday we braved the smells of the TL to get our French soul food on at Brenda's. We had a feeling we would have to wait, and it is a tiny restaurant, but one and a half hours spent wasting away in the street is pushing it a little. I would say we were suckers for waiting that long, but once we were inside and we tried how yummy the food was, it all appeared to be worth it. Plus, as my boyfriend put it, we went out for a dining experience and it just so happens that this place has a long wait, so if you want to see what all the hype is about for yourself, this is just one of those things you have to deal with.

Whilst we were waiting we did walk a few blocks to another brunch place, but they had a long wait too, so we went back to Brenda's where our party was edging closer up the list. I saw this walk as pre-brunch calorie burning exercise, although the tenderloin is really not the nicest neighbourhood to take a walk in.

During our wait outside Brenda's we were approached by a homeless lady who informed me that she shook hands with two Blue Angels that day. She said they were super hot and how if she only had some decent clothes she would have been right in there....she followed this comment with some hip gyrating. I felt bad for her, but it was probably a good thing that we had a lengthy wait after this encounter as the smell that wafted about her lingered in our noses for rather a long time afterwards, and would not be conducive to eating.

Once we were inside we shared the beignet sampler which had 4 types: plain, chocolate filled, apple filled and crawfish filled. They were big enough for all four of us to try each of them. My favourite was the crawfish, and the others I was not blown away by - I think I prefer the beignets at Just for You Cafe.

The coffee was not enjoyable to me either, nor were the grits - but this is just because I have come to realise that I don't like grits - the rest of Team Brunch loved them. Now I know this is starting to sound like it wasn't really worth the wait for me.....but that's because I haven't mentioned the eggs benedict yet. I chose the fried catfish benny which comes on a biscuit with perfectly poached eggs and a delicious, slightly spicy, cajun hollandaise sauce. It was scrumptious and I cannot fault it at all.

This is probably one of those establishments where it is best to go during the week, if possible, although I can imagine that even mid-week you may have to wait a little while to get in. The whole timing of the day ended up being perfect from my perspective, because on our way back to the car from the restaurant, we ended up running into a couple of sailors, and being fleet week, I have had my eyes open for sailors allllllllll week long....

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