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Hi-Lo BBQ Sunday Brunch: great food, easy reservations for now [San Francisco]

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Nearly a month into their Sunday brunch service, last minute reservations via seatme.com were easy to score at Hi-Lo BBQ. It was a rainy Super Bowl Sunday and the restaurant was almost completely empty despite lines of people getting soaked at more popular brunch spots in the Mission.
The shrimp & grits were excellent. The grits, made with whey, butter, and spices, still had some bite but were creamy overall. The shrimp were seasoned with a potent but not overpowering BBQ spice and picked up lots of char on the grill. The shrimp, heads and all, were easy to chew--- the grilling crisped them up enough that they shattered with each bite.. Slices of andouille sausage were juicy and the broccolini helped remind me this is a California BBQ place. A slow cooked egg helped bind things together.

The lemon ricotta pancakes were delicious. They are a bit darker and more compact than other places in town. The pear compote, maple syrup, and whipped cream were portioned well and helped bring out the subtle lemon flavor of the pancakes.

Crispy potatoes were excellent as well, and they were served with a spiced aioli. Something about the it reminded me of fried yucca. They were good for sopping up the remainder of the shrimp and grits.

There's a list of house cocktails and a few sides, There are only seven mains on the brunch menu, and that's fine-- you can make a mushroom omelette at home.

 
 
 
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  1. Thanks for the report. The shrimp and grits look good.

    I generally dislike that kind of fried potato, especially at brunch. I know what you mean about fried potatoes that remind you of fried yuca. To me that is almost always a bad thing, though.

    Apart from the ricotta pancakes, were there other sweet options?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      Yeah, I could see not liking that cut of potato. Now that I think about it more, the shape, combined with the smoky flavor of the aioli, is similar to what you can get at a Peruvian restaurant. If you do like that sort of thing, the potato pieces were crisp and not too starchy, so I'd compare them to properly fried yucca rather than the oily rubber starchballs that are more common.

      There are some sweet things in the sides, e.g., fruit and yogurt or english muffin and jam, but the lemon ricotta pancakes are the only sweet main. Their website is a bit wacky, but the current brunch menu is here: http://hilobbqsf.com/menus/

      1. re: hyperbowler

        the potatoes look pretty great to me, but then, i love fried yuca. if you ever get to the east bay, i just had some killer fried yuca at Pucquio (on College) - a newish Peruvian place. the best i've ever had.

    2. wow, those are some big-ass shrimp - looks amazing. thanks for the report, hb.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        The shrimp ARE big, but don't they look fairly overcooked? Wish I could have a taste.

        Great report from hyperbowler, in any case.

        1. re: Tripeler

          Ha, I did have a moment of, "what the hell is that?" when they first put the plate down. Once I ate it, the blackening seemed intentional and didn't at any point taste burnt. It's true that the insides didn't have as much bounce as something like shrimp cocktail, but they weren't too soft and it was a good sacrifice to make for such a good outside.

          1. re: hyperbowler

            Ah, blackening, not burnt. Glad I asked.
            Thanks for the reply, and the great report.