Warm Old Fashioned Doughnuts – Sugar Dusted
Aaron’s Buttermilk Biscuits – Strawberry Compote
Fog City Hot Brown – Roasted Heritage Turkey, Country Sourdough, Mornay Sauce, Nueskie’s Bacon, Roma Tomato
Brioche French Toast – Yerena Farm Strawberries, Maple Whipped Cream, Shaved Almonds
With the meeting adjourned for lunch and several hours of digestion aided by Moscone Center coffee now behind me it was up the Embarcadero that I again marched and this time traveling farther north than usual it was just past one o’clock when I sat down at Fog City, a gregarious middle-aged gentleman with a sweaty brow providing Michelin-quality service to myself as well as patrons both inside and out during a nearly 75-minute brunch. Seemingly understaffed at the front-of-the-house while a team of five manned the open fire oven and stoves in the kitchen it was with one famous dish on my mind that I entered Fog City but featuring a recently renovated brunch menu promising several personal favorites my order instead unfolded in three parts, an opening duo of cinnamon-sugar brioche donuts a touch too bready while flaky golden biscuits varnished in sugar and butter proved exemplary. Moving onward to the original object of my desire it was after a nearly thirty minute delay that Fog City’s riff on the Louisville Hot Brown arrived and gussied up with artisan touches as only The Bay Area can do suffice it to say that it puts J. Graham’s original to shame – a bubbling pot of creamy Mornay smothering tangy sourdough and smoked turkey with a crown of crisp bacon and lightly griddled tomatoes added straight from the pan. Clearly unwilling to pass on dessert it was with a small menu of frozen custards, crullers, and shortcake that I was presented and although the later featured the strawberry finale I desired so did the brunch menu French Toast, a buttery trio of triangles so saturated with maple-infused custard that the interior was nearly liquid beneath a crunchy golden coat ready to be dressed in even more maple, whipped cream, and lightly reduced berries that made me wonder not only why more has not been said of this dish but why anyone would sell themselves short with the shortcake.
RECOMMENDED: Hot Brown, French Toast, Biscuits.
AVOID: Brioche Donuts.
TIP: An unassuming space low-set in a small park with ocean views to the left reservations are recommended but with full-service available at the restaurant’s triangular central bar walk-ins are equally welcome – just be aware that the Hot-Brown is not offered at dinner while weekend brunch and weekday lunch also differ substantially.