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Good brunch spot in SF?

lucymom Jul 3, 2006 08:58 PM

Can anyone suggest a good weekend brunch spot in SF? For 6 people, plus a 7 month old baby. Someone suggested Universal Cafe and I also saw that Foreign Cinema serves brunch, but they may not appreciate us bringing a baby along.

TIA!

  1. s
    Syre Jul 5, 2006 09:46 AM

    Platanos on 18th and Guerrero is nice for brunch. They're comfortable, friendly and the food is good.

    It's crowded for dinner, but usually not bad at all for brunch.

    They have pancakes with banannas, huevos rancheros, and various eggy and not eggy latin flavored dishes.

    Very pleasant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Syre
      Atomica Jul 5, 2006 12:54 PM

      Have you been to Platanos since Pascal Rigo took over? I was unfortunate to be there during the beginning of the owner switch and was treated to some of the worst service I've ever experienced. This was for breakfast. The chilaquiles dish I had one week had shrunk to one-third of its previous size after their menu "retooling" and the soup they charge $8 for was inedible (and tiny, which is okay because it was inedible--it was acidic to the extreme, like drinking battery acid). I observed the busboy--it took him 15 minutes to fill 6 glasses of water. Getting them to even bring us utensils was impossible.

      Edit on 7/8: I just drove by Platanos at noon on a beautiful sunny Saturday, and it was empty. It looks like the people have spoken with their feet.

      1. re: Atomica
        s
        Syre Jul 7, 2006 08:11 AM

        No I haven't been there for a few weeks.

        What happened to the woman who owned it? I think she was his partner and then she bought him out... now he's back?

        1. re: Syre
          Atomica Jul 7, 2006 02:55 PM

          No, his involvement is fairly new. Rigo bought part of the business from Lisa Lazarus, the original owner. Very good review in the Chron on 06/18/06. I'll never be successful in dragging my partner back there, though.

    2. n
      Nancy Berry Jul 4, 2006 07:21 PM

      Savor in Noe Valley is a good place for brunch -- particularly kid-friendly because there's a nice heated garden dining area in the back of the restaurant. I know that some folks don't like this place, but we've always had good meals and good service there. Here's a link to Savor's menu:

      http://tinyurl.com/pwhgf

      1. m
        monday Jul 4, 2006 06:39 PM

        P.S. I thought that the Pheonix did serve brunch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monday
          Atomica Jul 5, 2006 04:20 AM

          Hey, right you are! I looked at a photo of the place, and it even says "Brunch" right on the awning. Maybe I'll have to check it out. Too bad they don't post their hours on their website--sheesh. Sometimes places start their brunches a bit too late for us.

        2. m
          monday Jul 4, 2006 06:38 PM

          What about a good hotel restaurant like Americano or Grand Cafe? I haven't been for brunch yet to Americano, but they have big tables outside, which might be nice for the little one. Anyone else know if it's good? My dinner there was lovely.

          4 Replies
          1. re: monday
            Melanie Wong Jul 4, 2006 06:44 PM

            Hi, could you please tell us more about your dinner at Americano? Every other post has trashed the food.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              m
              monday Jul 4, 2006 06:48 PM

              You know, it was a couple of months ago, and I can't remember the entree (it may not have been all that exciting), but I had a beautifully done, very clean vegetable soup that was much like pot au feu that I've had in France. I'm a bit of a nut for good soups, and I would go back just for that. Also, the staff was wonderful from the door through the bussers. I found that even more impressive since I was dining solo.

              1. re: monday
                Melanie Wong Jul 4, 2006 06:56 PM

                Thank you, it's such a convenient location, I'm happy to hear that there's something worthwhile to order. The current menu lists a spring vegetable soup with asparagus, fava beans, herbed dumplings, and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano --- sound familiar?

                Hope someone can tell us about breakfast or brunch here.

                http://www.americanorestaurant.com/me...

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  m
                  monday Jul 4, 2006 07:11 PM

                  That sounds like a seasonal variation on the soup that I had. We went by on the way to the ball game the other day, and there were a couple dozen people lounging in the sun. I have high hopes that it will be solid for brunch! It would be the perfect spot for before a game.

          2. Atomica Jul 4, 2006 02:12 PM

            Isn't brunch the great equalizer, as far as taking kids out is concerned? Can't one take kids just about ANYWHERE that serves brunch?

            My husband wanted to take our baby into the Phoenix Irish Bar last night for dinner (LOL), but I didn't feel comfortable with that. But if they had brunch, no problem.

            1. b
              bluepaolo Jul 4, 2006 12:01 AM

              I had brunch at Foreign Cinema with a two-year old. Wasn't too bad. A lot of the brunch seating is outside, so noise wasn't too much of a problem. They don't have a lot (any) kid friendly food but waitstaff were perfectly pleasant about making up a cheese, bread and sliced apple plate. Not super family friendly, but not bad considering. I'd certainly go there before Zuni or Greens or anyplace too popular, if you were thinking about it as a desttination anyway. Good brunch for adults. Mimosas and Bloody Mary's were especially good. I seem to remember the oysters were especially yummy. (or was that zuni ;))

              2 Replies
              1. re: bluepaolo
                tara Jul 4, 2006 04:17 AM

                Foreign Cinema's brunch rocks -- I took my parents and partner there for Mother's Day, and it was awesome. I don't think a two-year-old would be inappropriate; I mean, it's not Chuck E. Cheese, but I can't image the staff would by anything other than accommodating.

                1. re: bluepaolo
                  Melanie Wong Jul 4, 2006 04:20 AM

                  Yes, Foreign Cinema does have a good oyster bar, though I tend to not eat oysters in non-R months.

                2. anna Jul 3, 2006 11:08 PM

                  Great place to bring a baby, Chouchou at Forest Hill. Nowadays, about half the parties have kids/babies with them during weekend brunch. To make sure you don't have to wait, either go there early (it's open for brunch at 10am) or make reservations.

                  1. c
                    Chubby Jul 3, 2006 09:30 PM

                    Zuni may be to your liking

                    http://www.bunrab.com/yummychow/Revie...

                    1. a
                      AlleyCat Jul 3, 2006 09:30 PM

                      Greens at Fort Mason or Ella's on the corner of Presidio and California. No reservations at Ella's, so go early or be prepared to wait a bit.

                      1. e
                        elise h Jul 3, 2006 09:19 PM

                        St. Francis Fountain. Go early or late, so adults and baby won't be rushed or crowded. The food is great (see many earlier posts)and the atmosphere is authentic old time, like being in another era. Parking is better than most neighborhoods in the city. I'd call ahead to confirm that their booths or tables will comfortably accomodate your party. Maybe you could make a reservation.

                        2801 24th Street (at York)
                        826-4200

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: elise h
                          Windy Jul 3, 2006 09:43 PM

                          Their booths are definitely big enough. And they're also not crowded until later. Great home fries.

                          1. re: Windy
                            Atomica Jul 4, 2006 03:35 AM

                            No way are the majority of booths at St. Francis big enough to seat 6 adults. I go there a couple of times a week and have done so for the last 18 months. At the very back of the restaurant, there are 2 adjoining booths with no wall in between, so that is the spot for a largish party.

                        2. Paul H Jul 3, 2006 09:15 PM

                          Dotties is too small & too popular for six with a baby. Universal Cafe is not a bad idea, but it isn't vary large either. If you got there early enough, you'd be okay. Another good possibility is Townsend Cafe (Townsend and the Embarcadero).

                          1. p
                            peptogirl Jul 3, 2006 09:09 PM

                            Check out Dotties. Only this in that there's allways a line out the door but the food is AMAZING!!!! Its in the city -- not from SF so not positive which area -- was a short distance from where my friend lives (border of Russian Hill and Nob Hill)

                            1. Windy Jul 3, 2006 09:06 PM

                              How early are you willing to go? That always helps.

                              I wholeheartedly recommend breakfast at the Red Door Cafe on California at Larkin. Eggs, French toast, comfy place. I gather it gets crowded after noon, but there wasn't a line when I was there at 11 on a Sunday.

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