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What should I explore next in the Haight?

  • Pei Aug 13, 2009 09:54 AM
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Looking for a breakfast/brunch spot in the Haight, in my ongoing attempt to explore some neighborhoods that I don't visit very often.

Criteria: casual, cheap, sit down spot that won't have lines out the door on a Sunday around 1pm. Savory breakfast or lunch items would be ideal (read: biscuits and gravy, juicy hot sandwiches or sausages). I'm not really in the mood for Ethiopian or Thai.

I've been to and liked Kate's Kitchen and Memphis Minnie's--what's next?

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  1. I dunno about lines on Sunday, but the food at Magnolia is good, and they serve brunch till 2:30. Crispy pork belly with fried egg and black-eyed peas? Fried chicken sandwich with bacon, avocado, and blue cheese?

    http://www.magnoliapub.com/menus/brun...

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    Magnolia Pub & Brewery
    1398 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      The Grind is decent, but there's no line at Kate's Kitchen at 1pm, and Kate's serves similar food, but better.

      Bistro St. Germain just opened for brunch; I've only been there for dinner but their savory items are good. Obviously a little pricier.

      I hear good things about Pork Store.

      1. re: vulber

        Bistro St. Germain is drawing a pleasant crowd :D

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        Bistro St. Germain
        518 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

    2. The Pork Store Cafe fits your bill. Not gourmet by any means, but good, stick-to-your-ribs food:

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      Pork Store Cafe
      1451 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      1. Thanks, everyone! Magnolia and Pork Store definitely fit the bill. Am I right to assume Magnolia is a little more polished in terms of ambiance and food style, but Pork Store might be a little cheaper and down home?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Pei

          I've actually never been to Magnolia for brunch, but the quality of their food seems to recently have gone down; and supposedly they offer less of their homebrews now (which is the #1 reason to go there).

          Magnolia does have great outdoor seating though.

          1. re: vulber

            I actually think the quality of their food has gone up, at least compared to a couple years ago! (Though, I also have never had brunch there.)

            I've always found their beers decent, nothing standout, and I don't think that's changed. They always have a couple beers on cask, that's always something interesting to try and not something you find most places. I do find they bring in more guest brews now, but I consider that a good thing, especially if it's something uncommon.

          2. re: Pei

            I cant speak for Magnolia, but the Pork Store is definitely down-home cheap-eats.

            1. re: Pei

              Magnolia's pretty laid-back. Nice neighborhood diner sort of atmosphere.

              Outdoor seating? On the sidewalk or where?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                yup, there are about 4 tables on the Haight sidewalk

            2. also, if you don't mind doing a little walking, 2223 Restaurant on Market @ Sanchez has brunch, which I've heard many good things about, and I do know for a fact that their dinners are amazing.

              1. Reporting back:

                I tried a plate of biscuits and gravy at Pork Store Cafe for $3.50. Can't beat that price, and I got a generous pour of sausage gravy over two very fluffy biscuits. However, to my surprise, the gravy had crushed peanuts in it! Is this normal for PSC, or was it something they were trying out? I couldn't get over how odd it was. And even though I like crushed peanuts in some savory dishes, in sausage gravy it just made me feel like I had peanut butter in my breakfast. Everyone else's food looked and smelled great though, so I'll be back at PSC to try something a little more traditional.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Pei

                  I haven't been to Pork Store on Haigh since I lived there, but I have been to the PSC on 16th a few times since and had the biscuits and gravy. I remember nothing about peanuts being in the gravy and I think that is something that really would have stuck with me. I actually thought the B&G there was very good. And peanut butter free. Maybe someone knows more about the Haight location.

                  1. re: Meredith

                    Interesting...the plot thickens. I don't know what was wrong with me that morning, it's not like I'm usually shy around servers. I should have asked what was up with the gravy. Maybe some peanuts accidentally fell into the vat where it's stored.

                    1. re: Pei

                      Certainly worth knowing if there are peanuts in a dish for safety sake.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        I was thinking that too. Sausage gravy is precisely the kind of thing most people would take a bite of without even asking about peanuts. Even someone with peanut allergies might not think to ask!

                      2. re: Pei

                        Maybe the cook got into the wrong batch of 'shrooms and mistook crushed peanuts for bacon bits...

                        1. re: Civil Bear

                          Now you're just going to make me cry. Peanuts instead of BACON? What a tragic mistake.

                          Has anyone ever seen bacon bits in the Pork Store gravy?

                  2. Rosamunds for a sausage and eat it next door at toronado with some delicious beer.

                    1. peanuts in the Pork Store's biscuits and gravy? sausage, yes. bacon, no. I am horrified that crushed peanuts are in the gravy! I only go mid-week - the line's are too long on the WeekEnd.

                      I don't know if this is stretching the boundaries of the Haight... or the budget constraints
                      Cafe du Soleil - will be crowded on weekends
                      The Alembic serves lunch at noon
                      Bean Bag - neighborhood fave
                      Oakside Cafe - low key for coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches - upstairs seating
                      Nopalito (huevos de caja $9) will be crowded
                      Green Chile Kitchen at 601 Baker St. at Fulton St.

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                      Alembic
                      1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                      La Cafe Du Soleil
                      200 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                      Nopalito
                      306 Broderick St, San Francisco, CA

                      Oakside Cafe
                      1195 Oak St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                      Bean Bag Coffee House
                      601 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Cynsa

                        Green Chile Kitchen
                        www.greenchilekitchen.com

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                        Green Chile Kitchen
                        1801 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        1. re: Cynsa

                          "into the future" - Green Chile Kitchen moves to Baker and McAllister (former Cafe Neon space)

                      2. I lived in this hood until a year ago. The Pork Store consistently features lines until about 1:30 or 2, I'd say. And it has zero in common with Magnolia except for the sitting down part. :-) The Pork Store is casual, the food is yummy and plentiful but sloppy and fun. Magnolia has, er, a "sausage program" and faux distressed walls. Blue bottle coffee, etc.

                        I love it there, don't get me wrong, but I love it with a sense of humor. Easier to get a table at 1, I'd say.