Saucy in San Francisco
By Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt
It’s the last week of National Sauce Month (*cue sad music*), but as they say, don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened! We’ve been getting saucy every single week, and this week is no exception.
We took our adventure on the road this weekend to San Francisco. Nestled in a small space on Polk and Eddy Streets is Brenda’s French Soul Food. If not for the huge crowd gathered outside, it would be pretty easy to miss. Brenda’s boasts a large menu that blends French, Creole and soul food influences into creative takes on everyone’s favorites. You can taste the soul in the food and feel it in the atmosphere, making it well worth the 45 minute wait!
Even though everything looked fantastic, it was really easy to figure out what I wanted. Since it was breakfast time, and I was there for research purposes, I ordered the Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Benedict sounds like a classic breakfast. Poached eggs, English muffins and hollandaise sauce. Pretty straightforward, right? In any other case the Eggs Benedict wouldn’t be all that special, but at Brenda’s, I swear I heard a choir of angels sing when I saw my plate. When I took a bite, somewhere far away a butterfly shed a tear of happiness.
In all seriousness, this was best Eggs Benedict I have ever had. I think this dish represented the French, Creole and soul food influences so perfectly. Instead of the classic English muffin, the base of this dish was a fluffy and huge cream biscuit. Now for the exciting part: Brenda’s offers up the classic ham option, but also offers fried chicken and catfish as toppings. I opted for the fried chicken, but it wasn’t an easy decision.
Let’s talk about the hollandaise sauce – which is what I was really interested in – and how it upped my eggcellent experience by 1,000 percent. The usual slight citrus flavor of the hollandaise was replaced with a kick of Creole spices, but still managed not to overwhelm the flavors of the fried chicken and the biscuit. I have not stopped thinking about that sauce, I’m seriously worried I will never be able to enjoy Eggs Benedict the same way again!
I finished off my meal with an order of beignets. Brenda’s offers the classic flavor with simple powdered sugar, but also changes it up with chocolate filled, granny smith apple filled, and even a savory crawfish option. The crawfish option is filled with a mix of crawfish and cheese and is spiced like the hollandaise sauce. I was able to get a taste of all four options, and they were just as good as they sound, if not better. 10/10 I would them eat again.
Brenda’s is a great little spot for a weekend brunch or anytime. They’re very popular, so be prepared to wait awhile, but I promise it will be worth it!