Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/30/15
Brenda’s is one of the city’s most popular brunch spots (although it is open for dinner too), serving up a mashup of southern soul food and American brunch standbys. That means gumbo, po’boys and beignets on the menu next to omelettes and French toast.
This was my first time to the restaurant; we were able to squeeze into the last two seats available during a busy Monday lunch rush. Breakfast is served until 3pm while lunch is served from 11am onwards, and we arrived right in that sweet spot where both menu options were available. We tried a couple of items from each.
Chicken, Sausage & Okra Gumbo
Brenda’s gumbo didn’t have the rich mahogany brown color of some of the ones I had in New Orleans, but it wasn’t short on flavor. Plenty of chicken and sausage were bathed in the savory soup.
Red Beans & Rice
The red beans and rice side was solid; the beans made for a very savory stew with a bit of spice.
Fried chicken was pretty delicious. These thighs were served hot, juicy and with a nice crust.
Hangtown Fry crispy oyster, bacon & scallion scramble, hash, cream biscuit
Fried oysters and andouille were embedded in this omelette. The plump oysters still maintained a little bit of crispiness, which I liked. The omelette was prepared well, hearty, with plenty of flavor from andouille, peppers and onions. Potatoes were just OK, served lukewarm, while the biscuit was warm and buttery.
Brenda’s met expectations. We were only able to sample a small portion of the menu, but what we had was pretty tasty. I would return to try more of the menu including the beignets, shrimp & grits, and other southern classics.