Welcome to Olea, a cozy little place in Nob Hill, offering local California fare in a casual, unpretentious setting. Many reviews label it as a "hidden gem" but this jewel appears to have been discovered—arrive after 10:00AM and you can find yourself waiting a good amount of time for a table. Even if the secret is out, it's still worth the wait.
There are so many delicious looking items on the menu, but I keep getting the cazuela— my go-to meal at Olea. I want to try something else, but I don't have the nerve to deviate from a sure thing. It doesn't disappoint, that's for sure. Maybe someday I'll venture off the beaten path and get something else...but until then, I will continue to order this delightful dish.
Meet the Pork Torcino with Garlic Fried Rice from B Star Bar. Colorful and satisfying, the Torcino proved to be a delightful choice on a menu featuring items such as Chicken Croquette Hash, Salmon Benedict, and these little rice crispy brussel sprout thingies that have to be tasted to be believed. It's a busy place on the weekend—but you can make reservations, and probably should. I'll be coming back soon to sketch up those other yummy offerings soon!
Just a block from the hustle and bustle of Fillmore street, Sweet Maple makes an excellent addition to your Saturday/Sunday brunch rotation. The free coffee in the foyer helps temper the long wait ahead of you, and once seated, the service is friendly and efficient. The menu is extensive, offering gigantic pancakes, hearty scrambles, and deep fried french toast. But the main attraction here is the millionaire bacon—which is more like thinly sliced pork chops glazed in brown sugar. It takes bacon to a new dimension—the z-axis, to be exact. The wait can be a bit tedious for sure—but when the colorful plate of bacon-chops, potatoes, and fluffy scrambled eggs arrived, it made it all worthwhile.
• Sweet Maple 2101 Sutter St (between Steiner St & Pierce St) (415) 655-9169 •
This brunch had been on my short list for some time. I had enjoyed their dinner immensely, and looked forward to trying out their morning fare. I finally made it down to Beast and the Hare this past Sunday and was not disappointed. You'll be met by a friendly staff in a relaxed atmosphere with no pretensions. Vacillating between the eggs benedict and the duck hash, my server recommended the duck hash—without hesitating. I was glad my choice, ahem, migrated towards the duck—it was delicious!
This is one of the simpler breakfast plates on the SPQR brunch menu. If you want to get adventurous, you can try the fried pig ears (!) which I hear are pretty amazing. Maybe next time. I opted for the very safe scrambled eggs, sausage and potatoes. Veni, vidi, voravi!
Nopa again? Yes. The baked egg again? Yes! I was toying with the idea of a double order of eggs, but refrained. Glad I did because a side of bacon later, I was pretty full.And I probably would've gotten the menu even grubbier.
Bourbon Street. French Quarter. The Big Easy. Or possibly New Orleans Square, Disneyland. The Elite Cafe is all of these and a great brunch, too. I had the Alabama Scramble (eggs, bacon, biscuits, potatoes, and gravy.) The bar is the place to sit, you can swivel in the oldy-time wooden chairs and chat with the pleasant staff while they prepare delightful looking bloody marys for the morning crowd.
Plow is a very cool brunch spot up on Potrero Hill. I ate like the animal under this sign.
Be prepared to wait. I got there at 8:30 and was able to draw this while waiting. (I colored it after eating.)
More waiting. But this time, for the food. I ordered a biscuit and a fried egg sandwich.
Hey! I ordered a biscuit, not a schnitzel!
Fried egg sandwich with potatoes. Yum.
This is the place to be on a warm sunny day on Fillmore Street. I try to get there before they run out of morning buns (the best of the pastries there.) I usually ask them to heat mine up a little. Nothing compares to a freshly squeezed OJ and a fresh-out-of-the-microwave morning bun. 2016 Fillmore St (between Pine St & California St)