The Weekly Whisk - 12/31/18
Musings from a foodie…
I recently had the opportunity to visit San Francisco and on the last evening ended up alone in the Mission District. So, I decided to do a search of restaurants in the area and found this little bistro – Brenda’s French Soul Food [* * * * * ] over on Polk Street. It was a charmer of a restaurant. First and foremost, it had the ambiance and feel of a bistro in New Orleans. When you enter, you write your name on a chalk board near the maître’s table and sit down on a bench to await your turn. It didn’t take long once I figured out what to do. Chef Brenda is the Proprietor and grew up in the small town of Harvey, Louisiana on the West bank of New Orleans. It’s near another town I absolutely love - Lafitte, Louisiana which is known for its fishin’ boats and crawfish trapping. She picked up the cooking bug that incorporated the wild blackberries, pecans and local fish (“rad fish” – red fish) and the cuisine styles imbued with her Sicilian, French and Filipino ascendants. She eventually landed in San Francisco and earned three stars from the SF Examiner, the SF Magazine, and was listed as among the Top Five Bold Newcomers in the New York Times. She’s also been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City – an honor I’m still looking for to add to my repertoire :-) . But, I digress – as usual.
The food was true comfort. It was indeed French Soul Food. I adorned my plate with Crawfish Beignets and French Onion Soup for starters and went to heaven. I then went for the Crawfish Etouffee but instead of the pilaf – asked (actually begged) them to serve me a half portion of red beans and rice. It was at this point that I went back to heaven for the second time in the same evening. Perhaps it’s because I’m such an easy mark when it comes to Southern French cookin’ but Brenda’s is on my list of “go-again-as-soon-as-possible” places. You will not be disappointed. It’s casual. It’s fun. And the food is fabulous. And, the wait staff were very accommodating. Brenda’s French Soul Food – 652 Polk Street – San Francisco, CA 94102 –www.frenchsoulfood.com – (415) 345-8100