Sunday, February 15, 2009

Soul Food in San Francisco

This is A Mystery Eater posting! Read on for a culinary affair in SOUL FOOD!

Farmerbrown, touting itself as "farm-fresh soul food", has gotten a lot of press in the SF area-- it has over 850 reviews on yelp, and various reviews from the local papers (SFGate). Despite its plentiful lunch/dinner options (jambalaya, catfish, etc.), its "all-you-can-eat-brunch" with eggs, bacon, fresh biscuits, buttermilk pancakes, fried chicken, bacon, hash browns, grits, buttermilk pancakes, fresh fruit, was what drew us in!

As with most buffet fare, the goodies are housed in "serve-yourself" containers. It's hard to tell in the photo but there's a lot of steam emanating from the fried chicken on the left, and the hash browns on the right. The staff replenishes the supply whenever it gets low, so have no fear...

A small plate of everything to begin. First the bad news-- the biscuits. They weren't the flaky, buttery, warm biscuits I had dreamed about. Instead, they were cold and dense. The rest was pretty good. The bacon was crispy but not overly greasy. The eggs were fluffy and went very well with the honey jalapeno hot sauce available on every table. The hash browns were also very good-- crispy and well-seasoned.

But the real star (and the real reason we ventured to farmerbrown)... the FRIED CHICKEN! Crispy skin coupled with tender, warm meat. The batter was very thin (which I liked), which allowed the chicken's own tenderness to shine through. Out of the cuts available, the drumstick was the best (by far), then the thigh, and the breast (sorry, not even Mr. (or Ms.) Brown can make breast meat tender!).

Also, there was a fresh fruit medley of granny smith apples, bananas, red grapes, oranges, and grapefruit. Very fresh and nice. Also, if you look closely, you'll see a green herb throughout the salad-- it took me a while to figure out what it was-- but pretty sure it was basil!

Cucumber water . . . reminds me of a spa.

Also, live music adds to the atmosphere.

Other thoughts: It gets very crowded. We made reservations (via opentable) for 11:45 and still had to wait once we got there. Also, the place is just about 2 blocks down from the Westfield SF Centre (home to Lupicia tea!) and other shopping areas, if you're looking for things to do afterward. Additionally, having gone there for dinner before, I can vouch for the Seafood Jambalaya and the Catfish (and its side of green beans)-- the portions are big, but the prices are also heftier.

25 Mason (at Market)
415- 409-FARM (3276)
Easily-accessible via Muni and Bart (Powell Station).


Charlie Fu said...

Chicken sure looks good! I hate when places mess up chicken breast, i dont even know why restaurants serve it.. there's a 99% fail rate... Unless Fabio makes it.

Anonymous said...

just to let you know that this blog was reviewed at:

Charlie Fu said...

Thanks Anonymous =)

Doreen said...

Very worthwhile piece of writing, thank you for the post.