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Jan 21, 2007 09:06 PM

Zazie in Cole Valley. Filled the void but that's about it.

People rave about Zazie on Cole between Carl and Parnassus in San Francisco.

Everyone says they have the best eggs benedict and variations thereon, so I went there for breakfast this morning.

My friend and I both ordered the Eggs Monaco, which is poached eggs on an English muffin with tomato, proscuitto, and Hollandaise sauce. My friend asked for the eggs to be "poached hard, not runny." The waitress repeated this as she wrote it down and when the server brought the plates he asked which one of us had ordered the eggs "hard." The eggs on both plates were runny, no difference between them. My friend sent them back and they got it right the second time around.

Mine was OK. My friend told me to go ahead so I didn't wait for his to be redone. Good thing, because the food on the plate was barely warm as it was. This seems to be a problem all over SF. Maybe it's my midwestern roots, but when I order hot food, I want it hot, not lukewarm on an ice cold plate.

The English muffin was barely toasted. The whole point of Eggs Benedict and its variations is the contrast in textures. The crunchy dry rusk, the soft eggs, and the sauce. The rusk has been universally repaced with English muffin. Fine, but toast it completely so it is dry and crunchy. And since the whole thing is covered with Hollandaise sauce, you don't have to butter the English muffin, folks!

The side of potatoes contained at least a dozen whole garlic cloves. Is someone in the kitchen from Gilroy?

I was still hungry so I ordered the poppyseed sour cream pancakes with lemon curd, a special that day. They were good, but again were not hot and serving them on a cold plate didn't help. Isn't it Restaurant 101 to keep food from cooling off by serving it on a warm plate?

The service was good, the coffee and water refilled quickly, the ambiance was fine, no problem with the decor, prices seemed standard. I appreciated that unlike most restaurants, they did not have music playing.

This could have been a great meal if they had cared a bit more and paid some attention to detail. I don't understand why people rave about this place. Not much competition in that neighborhood, I guess. I would eat there again, but I certainly wouldn't stand outside waiting for a table as others were doing when we left.

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  1. It's not great and no way would I say the best eggs benny.
    I live in CV and cannot believe the lines on the weekends. I think the appeal is that it's close to the Haight so a good place to meet before going shopping or heading over th GG park. The patio is a plus and that there are not too many great breakfast spots around here. I prefer Boulangerie de Cole, but not the best seating.

    I have had breakfast at Zazie twice in the last five years and pooch night dinners on Mondays. I find the food at night better but I would not trek across town for it. The highlight is that you can bring your dog and see others with their pooches, via France.

    I hardly ever go to places where I have to wait in line for breakfast, mainly because I eat at home but I will wait for Ella's.

    1. I agree with Lori SF... Zazie has some yummy eggs benedicts, but it's certainly not the best. And I would have to also agree that the service there is spotty. There have been days where our table waits over 15 minutes for just some silverware and water... other days when my english muffin was as hard as a rock... and then there are the days when Mario is working and everything is perfect. When Mario is on the floor, the service is usually much more efficient and the food is hot. He is the smiling, shorter build, Hispanic or Latin American gentleman. HE is the reason I continue to go to Zazie (oh, and for their eggs monaco).

      1. For whatever it's worth, Mario was there on the morning I wrote about and showed us to our table.