Brunch at Memphis Minnie's (SF)
- Melanie Wong
Last Sunday and almost exactly a year after Pssst's seminal post, I finally had a chance to try the brunch at Memphis Minnie's in the Lower Haight. At 11:30am, we were just ahead of the crowd. Soon after people were waiting for tables to turn over and there was a quite line to order.
Because my Texas friend had been disappointed with parched, carbonized ribs on a previous visit to MM's, I squared up with the cashier when it was our turn to order. "You guarantee that those rib tips won't be dried out now, doncha?", I asked. "At this time of the day, naw, they won't be dry", he promised.
So, we ordered up a rib tip plate and a brew for him (his idea of brunch) and the beef brisket hash topped with a couple soft poached eggs and a sweet tea for me, plus a side order of biscuits and sausage gravy in case either of us was still hungry. No chance of this with the ample portions here.
The brisket hash studded with chunks of waxy potatoes and pieces of red and green bell peppers was dressed with some medium spicy barbecue sauce detonating a ton of flavor impact at first bite. Smoky, buttery tender, satisfyingly fatty, and deeply beefy, the cubed brisket as good as I've ever had here. At first the egg topper seemed like overkill, but I really needed them to tone down the huge flavors on this plate. There was almost too much intensity for so early in the day.
I really liked the crunchy grits thingie on the side. Not sure what it's called, not a muffin but shaped like one with a crusty buttery exterior containing coarse, sandy and deeply, deeply corn-y grits.
The rib tips were great too, to my relief, restoring my friend's faith in my recommendations. So succulent and moist with smooth textured sweet smoky pork to be nibbled off the cartilage. Nice crust on those also.
I had a small taste of the B&G, just to try 'em fresh. Fluffy, high-rising biscuits and about as good a cream gravy as any around here with some pale ground sausage. I enjoyed this much more reheated the next day for lunch, and amazingly, the biscuits held up well and stayed moist and tender.
Stuffed to the gills, I still took a moment to admire a gorgeous order of bacon on the next table on our way out . . .
Saturday and Sunday brunch, 9am to 2pm
I've been wanting to try Memphis Minnie's brunch since Pssst's post almost 1.5 years ago. Finally got the chance and I was not disappointed. The red beans and rice with andouille and fried eggs was fabulously flavorful, and huge. The table shared the whole link of andouille, which was presented around the plate, cut into diagonal slices. Eggs were perfectly fried and the srpinkle of green onions on top added a fresh, balancing note. The shrimp and grits were, to this Cali girl, delicious and possibly addictive.
Unfortunately they didn't have the corn hoecakes, so we ordered the pain perdue which, also unfortunately, was marred by the flavor of lo-melt (grill flavor -- not savory, just a sort of old fat flavor).
Others at the table enjoyed their chicken hash, brisket hash, and something with collards that I plan to get next time. Yes, I see a next time in our future. Overall the place is friendly and laid-back at brunch, and the serve-yourself coffee fit our moods nicely. Thanks, Pssst.
re: Melanie Wong
The shrimp and grits are addictive, and so far are my favorite from a list of wonderful things....the biscuits are crumbly, the housemade bacon..sweet and smokey and they make buttered griddled corn muffins...New York style...and their brisket...what can I say..if it weren't monday, I'd go for lunch!!!
Thanks to the New la Rochelle!
Please, please go back again and again for brunch. Bob is threatening to shut it down because its not busy enough.
I don't know if its that Lower Haight has seen its day as a brunch destination (now everyone's going to the Mission); if people don't association MM with "breakfast" since its a BBQ joint; if the menu is too narrow; or people are just tasteless shmoos - but its killing me to know that the city's best biscuits & gravy and best grits are in danger of extinction!
FYI - its not up on the menu board but they serve a very nice Mimosa.
(larochelle previously known as Pssst)
I see it *has* been a while since I've been around here. Thanks, larochelle. And I'm glad to see the planned outing, because it was mostly empty the whole time we were there. When we arrived at 9:30, there was a solo diner, and a few people mosied through while we visited, but it was still pretty empty when we left at 11:15.
This worked extremely well for us since we had our toddler in tow and a larger group, but sometimes a secret can be too well kept. I wanna go back and it won't be this weekend so please please keep these guys in brunch business!
So how was the brunch? I couldn't make it but am planning a trip for this Sunday. What is the must eat item?