I had a break from the conference I was attending in hotel row on Mason above Market, so made the short trek to Polk to finally try Brenda's after a frustrating multi-hour wait on a Saturday when she 1st opened.
I had a great lunch at Brendas for just over $15. One special was crawfish/andouille pie, but I ended up getting 4 sides: 1 fried chicken thigh, 1 biscuit, 1 cup of red beans and rice and an order of 3 beignet.
The biscuit was one of the best I've had, maybe the best ever. I ate only the crown third. I swear it was almost 3" high and light and fluffy. The beignet were denser than I expected but still tender with a crunchy crust. The homemade peach jam that came with it was great and reminded me of cobbler filling. The chicken was so so, but better later cold for dinner as the sturdy crust was still crispy. The red beans and rice could have used more oomph in the cooking liquor, but that was more than made up for by plenty of well browned pieces of andouille. The watermelon pickles were very piquant. My waitress took great care of me.
I ate only a large half of my food and polished off the rest for dinner that night. Biscuit heated up well in the toaster oven. Beignet were still good, even cold. The powdered sugar topping turned into a kind of glaze. Chicken was good cold. Picnic!
If you are making that walk, I suggest you go up to O'Farrell. I made the mistake of taking Eddy. 3 passing teenagers demanded my lunch (before I had any). I ignored them and they walked on by. Later I walked by a guy watering the gutter. Brenda told me Ellis isn't much better.
Brenda's in process of expanding to the adjoining storefront, which should at least double their serving area.
Brenda's French Soul Food
652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102