Brenda's French Soul Food, Tenderloin-ish, SF
A solid gumbo, good roux, not too smoky, but fairly deep in flavour. Nubs of rice, morsels of okra and iirc, shrimp. Surprisingly invigorating.
The fried shrimp po boy is a thing of beauty. A perfect thin shell of cornmeal batter, outstanding deep-frying. The shrimps rip deliciously on the teeth, and carry that slightest hint of translucency. Timing could not have been better.
Lovely beignets, at a satisfying balance of lightness and heft for me. Good savoury crawfish version, a small puff of the traditional unfilled ones, another oozing warm apple with hints of spice (cinnamon? nutmeg?) and the last was dark and sweet chocolate.
Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, SF
A very mellow and medium bodied coffee without too much roast and a relatively clean finish without excess acidity.
Decent macarons (from Miette I think?). Fairly chewy, but lacks the delicate crispy brittleness on the outside.
Citizen Cake, Hayes Valley, SF
An ok chocolate cake. Not as special as I remember their sweets to be.
Mission Beach Cafe, Mission, SF
A fine blueberry danish, more hearty than delicate in its flakiness.
Excellent canneles -- a hard, crisp and glossy shell, and a soft heart of vanilla custard. Better than my recollection of the ones at Tartine.
Le P'tit Laurent, Glenn Park, SF
A warm unassuming bistrot with sweet enthusiastic service and big hearted food. I'd eat there often if it was in my neighbourhood.
Escargot are fairly succulent, in shells brimming with butter garlic and finely chopped parsley.
A taste of the beet ravioli was lovely with an earthy shadow of truffle oil.
A serious piece of bass, cooked just right, buoyed by soft and sweet leeks, buttery mashed potatoes and a cream sauce.
Classic renditions of profiteroles and tart tatin.
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...