My love of buffets knows no bounds, and whilst such gorging is normally reserved for Las Vegas eateries, it was unleashed in San Francisco on Sunday, as Team Brunch discovered an all-you-can-eat brunch at Farmer Brown.
Yes, for $16.50 you too can chow down on as much soul food as you can shake a stick at. This includes; finger lickin' fried chicken, home fries, pancakes, grits, eggs, bacon, banana bread, yogurt & granola, biscuits & gravy (chicken or mushroom gravy) and fruit salad.
This was my first foray into the world of Farmer Brown - it has taken long enough, considering that I have wanted to try this place for years now. Well, the fried chicken was delicious, really delicious. I just wish I could have eaten more! Next time I am going to bring a ziploc baggie and save a few more pieces for later in the day...
I rarely eat fried chicken, so this was a real treat, as were the biscuits and gravy, which were also yummy. Given that the price of a set brunch dish is only a couple of dollars cheaper, it is worthwhile to spring for the buffet, where not only do you get more sustenance for your buck, but you also get to pick and choose a bunch of different food items if you can't decide what to have.
Farmer Brown tends to get packed for Sunday brunch, so you would be advised to make a booking in advance, like we did. When we arrived we were amazed at how lucky we were to get seated in a quiet little corner, away from all the noise....that is until the resident jazz band started setting up right next to us. Before I could worry too much about how it was about to get all kinds of funky up in our mix, the music started, and surprisingly, it was actually not too loud, and totally mellow - perfect for a Sunday morning. I am still not quite sure why the band members were wearing sunglasses indoors though...
I enjoyed dining at Farmer Brown, but I have a few gripes, which are as follows:
a) What kind of soul food buffet doesn't include cornbread?
b) Granted, there were pancakes, but I was hoping for waffles to accompany my fried chicken - just sayin'...
c) I feel like coffee should be inclusive of the brunch buffet. It's just downright cheap of them to charge separately for the morning caffeine fix.
d) The service is slooooooooooooow.
e) They will add 18% gratuity to your bill if you are a party of six, despite the fact that it is a buffet so you are serving yourself.
We got the steep gratuity taken off our bill and left a tip which we felt was more fitting, given that the service was so slow, and that all our waitress did was bring us water and coffee (again, in an untimely manner). The whole tipping system in America is a little obscene to me anyway, but when they add a huge optional gratuity charge to your bill, which is rather unfair (given the level of service), don't be afraid to say something.
They took off the gratuity charge and left us to our own tipping devices, leaving us able to concentrate on letting our food digest with more peace of mind.
Following such a huge meal, Aaron and I wandered over to Union Square to walk off some of our gluttony and check out an art installation by local artist and friend, Jeremy Sutton. The big metallic heart entitled 'Classic San Francisco' depicts the Golden Gate Bridge and gives new meaning to the expression, I left my heart in San Francisco....