Nearly a month into their Sunday brunch service, last minute reservations via seatme.com were easy to score at Hi-Lo BBQ. It was a rainy Super Bowl Sunday and the restaurant was almost completely empty despite lines of people getting soaked at more popular brunch spots in the Mission.
The shrimp & grits were excellent. The grits, made with whey, butter, and spices, still had some bite but were creamy overall. The shrimp were seasoned with a potent but not overpowering BBQ spice and picked up lots of char on the grill. The shrimp, heads and all, were easy to chew--- the grilling crisped them up enough that they shattered with each bite.. Slices of andouille sausage were juicy and the broccolini helped remind me this is a California BBQ place. A slow cooked egg helped bind things together.
The lemon ricotta pancakes were delicious. They are a bit darker and more compact than other places in town. The pear compote, maple syrup, and whipped cream were portioned well and helped bring out the subtle lemon flavor of the pancakes.
Crispy potatoes were excellent as well, and they were served with a spiced aioli. Something about the it reminded me of fried yucca. They were good for sopping up the remainder of the shrimp and grits.
There's a list of house cocktails and a few sides, There are only seven mains on the brunch menu, and that's fine-- you can make a mushroom omelette at home.