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Jan 11, 2009 09:36 AM

Sunday Brunch - Best Bet?

Will be getting into San Fran around 10am with the family on a Sunday and was thinking about brunch around noon. We're dining at Danko later that evening and will have plenty of opportunities to check out Mama's, Dotties, Butler and Chef, and other 'breakfast' places during the week. I've read some reviews, specifically of 2223, Bar Tartine, and Citizen Cake that seem exciting. Anyone SF Hounds specifically recommend one of those - or something else entirely?


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  1. For brunch, I go to Foreign Cinema or Maverick, really top quality meals. The andouille sausage benedict at Maverick is my favorite brunch dish of all time, although the baked eggs at Foreign Cinema comes close. Two big differences between these places - Foreign Cinema has a full liquor license whereas Maverick only has wine and FC has much more space around the tables and an outside eating area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: realspear

      No one has mentioned a Sunday brunch buffet. While the Ritz Carlton SF is ok, I like the Ritz Carlton Navio in Half Moon Bay. About 45 min south of the city

      I got some pics here:

      1. re:

        Do you think uhockey wants an expensive, all you can eat buffet prior to dinner at Danko? Plus a drive to the better expensive all you can eat buffet at Half Moon Bay?

    2. I wish the "Edit" option here would allow adding the links I usually forget to add. Both of these are in the Mission - there is a parking lot near 21st and Valencia that is close to FC and one at 16th and Hoff that is close to Maverick.

      Foreign Cinema
      2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      Maverick Restaurant
      3316 17th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. You might check out Canteen, Slow Club and Universal Cafe. The last two are in SF, off the freeway coming in from SFO.

        817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        Universal Cafe
        2814 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Slow Club
        2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

        6 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          Good suggestions, but I tend to prefer sweet to savory.

          1. re: uhockey

            Town's End Bakery & Restaurant has a good pastry basket and a large selection of carb-laden french toast, pancakes & etc. in addition to eggs, salmon, steaks & etc. for savory choices.

            Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
            2 Townsend St Ste 2, San Francisco, CA 94107

            1. re: uhockey

              Canteen has delicious sweets, especially the pancake (changes to different fruits seasonally). I also had a great brunch at Absinthe a few months back with some really good pastries that the group shared, and good sweet main dishes, too.

              1. re: JasmineG

                A family was mentioned, though. I would think it would be hard to get into Canteen with a party of more than two for brunch, and isn't the largest possible group four or five?

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  You can fit five with a chair pulled up to the table (which they do quite often). Even with parties larger than 2, the wait shouldn't be more than 1/2 hour, although occasionally the wait is longer.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Didn't think about the family mention. In that case Lulu might work well. Large communal tables, big open space and kid friendly for brunch and rarely a wait for a table. Not so sure about the sweets and pastries.

            2. Squat and Gobble is available all around the city and it is absolutely FABULOUS with such a variety of dishes... mmmmm.... I can never resist... Castro.. Haight.... etc

              4 Replies
              1. re: daisyshalane

                Consistency throughout a chain is most unusual. To have each S&Gbe absolutely fabulous is even more unusual. Do you have a favorite place and dish?

                1. re: daisyshalane

                  I don't know about the rest of the Squat & Gobbles, but the one in the Castro is order-at-the-counter. Are they all like that? Not very festive, in my opinion. If I were making a special trip with my family, I'd want table service, not to mention the fact that S&G's food seemed awfully Sysco-y to me.

                  My favorite breakfast/brunch places are (in no particular order) Maverick, Universal Cafe, Canteen, Chow, and Brenda's French Soul Food. I'd eat at Foreign Cinema more often if I were wealthy. Slow Club is okay, but I hate grilled bread served as toast and I personally find their menu really dull.

                  1. re: Atomica

                    My local Squat & Gobble in West Portal is order-at-the-counter, and the Haight Street one also looks like it is from photos. I've stayed out of it, nobody in the neighborhood has ever said anything nice about it..

                    Brunch at Foreign Cinema isn't that expensive, it only runs a couple dollars more than Maverick. Dinner at Foreign Cinema is another story...

                    I agree on brunch at Slow Club, it's not bad but I wouldn't go out of my way, and for a visitor it is very much out of the way. I do like it for drinks and light dinner at the bar. And Brenda's is somewhere I've always wanted to go, can you give any comments on it?

                    1. re: realspear

                      I'm very aware of the price points (maybe not as much as I thought--see below). It's just that the portions at Foreign Cinema are really small, so I think people tend to order more. Then, spread that "couple dollars more" across several people, and it's getting really pricey. That's my experience anyway.

                      Along those lines, I find Brenda's to be excellent value (very high quality and well-prepared dishes) for the prices they charge. The grits and biscuits are fantastic. Everything on their menu sounds good to me and I find it hard to choose.

                      ETA: I just compared Foreign Cinema brunch to Maverick brunch prices, and Maverick prices are definitely on par with Foreign Cinema. That said, we only do Maverick brunch very occasionally, when we've been working a lot of O.T. and can afford it. Yeah, you think I'm joking . . . Anyway, in comparing the places, the food at Maverick is heartier and the food at Foreign Cinema a bit more delicate. I prefer Maverick's menu myself, in general. But atmosphere, definitely FC.

                2. Murray Circle has a great brunch. It's a lot of fun to visit the area too. You cross the Golden Gate bridge and the restaurant is in the Cavallo Point resort. They have a very good brunch on Saturday and Sunday and breakfast M-F.

                  Fantastic views looking back at the city and bridge too.


                  Murray Circle
                  601 Murray Circle, Sausalito, CA 94965

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Shane Greenwood

                    My sister (visiting from Manhattan) and I had a wonderful brunch on the veranda of Murray Circle, overlooking the Bay and Bridge...she liked it so much, she asked to go back for dinner...I obliged, and also had a fine meal at evening time...we were seated next to the hearth ...flames warming the room..altogether a very nice experience!

                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                      Hope you will do a report on that dinner at MC derek. There are few reports and the last was not a good one ... though it was from a group who were looking for the Buckeye Roadhouse experience at MC, so who knows.

                      I can vouch for that brunch at MC though and the buffet breakfast. Anyone else try those croissants yet?