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Report: Blue Fig on Valencia - high-quality brunch food at order-at-the-counter prices

v
vulber Jan 31, 2011 12:08 AM

Needed to find some relatively straightforward and affordable brunch food in the mission this morning that wouldn't have too much of a wait. Not wanting to wait in line at Boogaloo's, and not really being a huge fan of Pork Store or St. Frances, I consulted Yelp and went to the Blue Fig.

We got the waffle, vegetable sandwich, and croque madame. All of the food was delicious, but more importantly, everything we got had some sort of twist or variation from the typical preparation that took it to another level - the waffle sat atop a balsamic fig reduction, the vegetable sandwich had a very homemade-tasting mushroom/pesto-type blend paired with a perfectly fried egg on toasted bread, but the croque madame stole the show, as it was more a knife-and-fork croque madame with some incredible sauce on top. Sorry these descriptions are kind of vague, as I was pretty tired this morning.

Everything was about $6 or $7, and they had a great selection of coffee, looseleaf teas, fresh juices, and baked goods (likely not made in-house) to complement the menu.

I don't know a whole lot about the people behind this, but according to the Yelp page, the owner has 7 years experience in fine dining, and it's certainly evident in the food. Portions aren't humongous, but certainly adequate.

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Boogaloos
3296 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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

  1. v
    vulber Jan 31, 2011 12:11 AM

    some googling turns up that he used to be the chef at the sherman restaurant in burlingame...

    1. scarmoza Jan 31, 2011 03:19 PM

      I'd love more info on the coffee. Which roaster(s)?

      1 Reply
      1. re: scarmoza
        scarmoza Mar 10, 2011 09:22 AM

        Blue Fig serves McLaughlin Coffee Company (from Emeryville) - a very dark, bitter, and astringent cup.

      2. wolfe Jan 31, 2011 03:35 PM

        The Blue Fig
        990 Valencia St
        (415) 875-9622

        1. Windy May 2, 2011 08:37 PM

          Thanks for this. Finally got to the Blue Fig today, and agreed, it's much better than the average cafe. Tea in proper steeping pots. A carefully made Croque Provençal with hearty mustard, bechamel, sliced tomato, and ham. I finished every bite.

          Warm friendly service in a casual setting. While I was there, every patron was asked how our meals were. Everyone seemed to leave happy. I look forward to returning for waffles and hope they'll open the back patio.

          Lots of appealing sounding vegetarian options too.

          1. JuliaG May 3, 2011 12:15 PM

            Blue Fig's breakfast sandwiches are excellent and all round the food quality is way above average - this place is like a takeout oasis in a desert of taquerias. I wish they would add some more lunch salads with protein to the menu. I would eat there 3x a week.

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            Blue Fig
            990 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            4 Replies
            1. re: JuliaG
              v
              vulber May 3, 2011 01:19 PM

              in fairness, there are a few good sandwich shops in that area (rhea's, guerrero market), falafel (ali baba's, zaytoon); but i still overall agree that it's nice to have a place like it.

              1. re: vulber
                JuliaG May 3, 2011 01:56 PM

                I suppose what I meant was that this area is lacking takeout lunch spots that go beyond burritos and sandwiches. Zaytoon I guess at least goes beyond the bread-wrapped options as they have a mazza plate (which is awesome, so much food and a steal for $8). I think Blue Fig has the potential to be this spot if they'd just add a few more substantial salads to the menu!

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                Zaytoon
                1136 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Blue Fig
                990 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: vulber
                  Windy May 3, 2011 02:01 PM

                  You can't sit down in any of them, though, except Ali Baba, which is dark like a cave.

                  The woman next to me at Blue Fig was eating the bruschettas, which looked tasty.

                  Glad to know Zaytoon's good. I've walked by a million times and never tried it.

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                  Zaytoon
                  1136 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  1. re: Windy
                    v
                    vulber May 3, 2011 11:54 PM

                    i acutally like the cave feel of ali baba :)

                    although whether i go to ali baba or zaytoon is mostly determined by how hungry i am; ali baba's offers up enormous delicious falafels for cheap, zaytoon is a little more and smaller, but quality is slightly better

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