Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mission Beach Cafe- Why I wish every meal was brunch

Ah brunch. In my mind it is by far one of the best meal concepts ever. Reasons being A) It makes it totally acceptable to drink (sometimes in excess) before noon B) It combines both sweet and savory, breakfast and lunch options so there is something for everyone & C) You can get poached eggs at 2 in the afternoon.

You may remember on my trip to New York I got a chance to check out a great brunch spot in the West Village with our friend Katie who lives out there. Recently she was in town for her brothers wedding so of course what better way to catch up than brunch! She picked out a spot in SF that I hadn't yet heard of but had rave reviews online. I'm always eager to check out new SF restaurants and this one sounded really cool. Of course it had the buzzwords "local" "organic" "seasonal" but hey you can't hate on them for what's popular and more importantly GOOD! If you are familiar with the layout of San Francisco Mission Beach Cafe is located on Gurerro & 14th street not far from Delores Park in the Mission District. In recent years the Mission has had a growing reputation as a hot spot for diverse and delectable cuisine. After browsing the menu I couldn't wait to try some of what they had to offer!

Before I turn to mush waxing poetic about the food I have to start with a disclaimer- MAKE A RESERVATION. Especially if you are going to be a somewhat larger group. We were in the unique position of being a group of 5 in need of a 6th spot for a stroller (BTW they state in no uncertain terms that they are not a child friendly establishment in their reviews but hey sometimes the kids gotta come!) and it took..... lets be honest 2 full hours for us to get seated. In their defense the dining room is quite small (it seats about 40 guests max) and most tables are intended for 2-4 people. We were also waiting for said baby to arrive so we took the time to enjoy some Blue Bottle coffee and the break in the fog when the sun finally came shining through. We also realized after about half an hour as the wafting pot aroma persisted (at first maybe I thought it was just one person smoking off their hang over from the night before) that we were positioned down wind from a dispensary. Ah San Francisco. By the time we were seated our battle plan was in place, we practically jumped on the waiter with our orders and he was more than happy to oblige. First things first- 3 "Huge" Mimosa's. Yes. That's literally what they are labeled on the menu. And yes- they really are huge. We tried 3 varieties the classic (fresh squeezed organic OJ), Grapefruit, & an OJ Pomegranate blend. Up until this point in my life a mimosa was a mimosa. I prefer to take mine 90/10 (90% sparkling 10% OJ) and have never really thought they were anything special. O.M.G. This was by far and wide the best mimosa I have ever had, and not just because of it's size. The fresh squeezed OJ it was prepared with was so full of flavor and sweet it was like a whole new beverage entirely. I tried my best not to gulp the whole thing down because as we quickly realized delicious mimosa on an empty tummy equals drunkity drunk before the food arrives. We needed to save some of our wits to be able to properly enjoy the meal to come.
French Toast with Fresh Fruit
 and Bourbon Maple Syrup

 We didn't have to wait long.Within roughly 10 minutes of our mimosa's arriving so did our food piece by piece. I was in a sweet mood this morning so I chose the Brioche French Toast with fresh fruit and Bourbon Maple Syrup. Within two bites I knew I needed more of that bewitching elixir! The waiter asked which I preferred the regular syrup or the bourbon to which he got the "are you kidding me eye?" he laughed and said "it's addicting huh!" and promptly brought more. With the sweet I always crave a little savory. When I was reading some of the reviews a few of them mentioned the Cafe's unique take on biscuits and gravy which has been a favorite breakfast dish of mine since I first tried it at sleep away camp many years ago. Unique barely began to describe this biscuits and gravy dish.

Biscuits & Gravy

As you can see here in the picture- it's red. There were definitely some chili spices at work maybe some chorizo. The sweet corn added texture and their own flavor. There was a stringiness that I can only attribute to some cheese although it was well melted in but definitely added to the chili like nature. The biscuits were excellent. Soft and fresh but firm enough that they held up well to the gravy. It was just the right flavor contrast to the sweet french toast and the dish got passed around the table quite a few times!

Below are a few of the other dishes we enjoyed

Fried Green Tomato Benedict

Torn Bread Salad
Over all it was a great experience filled with laughter and ending with VERY full bellies. I'm looking forward to my next chance for brunch at the Mission Beach Cafe (or maybe dinner! which I also hear is fabulous!) followed hopefully by a nice nap in the sun at Delores park.

Cheers everyone!

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