Sunday brunching

Well well aren’t we getting all citified and metropolitan … just realized the last 3 Sundays in a row we’ve been out for brunch. Mid-morning is my ideal coffee and a cookie time of day but it’s not when I like eating breakfast: as a reasonably early riser, it’s way too long after I wake up to wait for coffee, brunch places don’t usually have toast and peanut butter so you’re forced to have something large like pancakes or eggs however, the silver lining is that by having a ‘large’ late breakfast, I don’t need lunch! The meal I actually hate most. The late coffee headaches haven’t been too bad either so perhaps it’s a trend that will continue.

3 Sundays ago – we went to a new neighborhood for us in San Fransisco, Noe Valley, where some other fairly recent New Zealand arrivals have set up their home, people we knew in Wellington, but not that well. We went to Zazie where our friends had to arrive before 9am to line up and wait for a sheet of paper on a clipboard to be hung on the cafe window, at which time everyone milling on the sidewalk lined up to write their name and number in their party on the list. When the cafe opened at 9am (by then we’d arrived) the owner came out and called good morning to everyone, took down the clipboard, and read out each name in turn, escorting them into a table until the cafe was full, then he crossed the first 20 names off the list, shut the door, and went out again to call the next name when the first set of diners started leaving.

Busy brunch spot

The system worked! I had pancakes that time, and orange juice. Wasn’t going to trust the coffee, and a sip of the Mister’s told me I’d made the right choice. However, being New Zealanders, they knew we’d need a second stop for decent coffee pretty quickly. We walked along Haight Street and got some Blue Bottle in the Haight Street Market before spending the rest of the morning strolling through Golden Gate Park. Very nice.

Last Sunday we were in New York – yippeeee! Upon Cousin Grant’s recommendation we found our way to Market Table in the West Village for brunch – he was out on a 4-hour bike ride through New Jersey while we were eating. Unlike San Francisco, when we got there at 10am when they opened, there was no line around the block and in fact we were the first to arrive. Turned out it was a combination of daylight savings starting the night before so lots of people thought it was 9am, it was pretty cold and New Yorkers are late to rise, late to bed. However the place started filling up pretty quickly after we went in.

Market Table

Again I didn’t trust the coffee so had some freshly squeezed juice which was fresh and this time poached eggs on grain toast. Man it was good. I can’t remember the last time I had a poached egg and this one was organic and almost cooked hard through, just perfect. And the toast, was toast. Not strange sweet bread with white butter. I was very impressed. The coffee stop following was Third Rail nearby in The Village, a spot I’d heard much about but never visited, great coffee.

And today, back in San Francisco we headed over to North Beach to meet Kara to stand in line for brunch at Mama’s. Famous in these parts. We’d stood there a couple of years ago with Bev and Dan but gave up after not moving much for 45 minutes.

San Francisco Sunday morning

This time we were there earlier and an hour after we arrived, we were at our table waiting for our brunch, after standing at a second line inside where you order at the counter before sitting down. A rather strange system. The place was mostly full of tourists, a very small L-shaped cafe. The food was a bit more diner-style which I didn’t enjoy that much – this time my poached eggs were floating in water in a side dish on a plate of plastic-bag loaf sweet white bread toast, a pile of chopped fried potatoes and a decorative slice of orange. The eggs weren’t quite cooked enough for my liking and I could still taste the vinegar they were poached in. However we were there for a long overdue catchup with Kara not having spent much time with her because of trips to New Zealand, Florida, New York and a bit of a cold. We also had a few sips of house coffee from large green mugs, but did go for the coffee seconds at Trieste in Little Italy not far away afterwards.

Not sure if we’ll be out for brunch next weekend or where we might end up – New York is the winning brunch so far!


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment