Brunch in San Francisco

One of the most-discussed things in the expat community is food. What you can get, what you can’t get, and what you’re going to have for your first meal whenever you head home. Technically brunch was our second meal upon arrival in San Francisco, but since my stomach didn’t know what country it was in when we got there, I only had five bites on our midnight burrito run. Those five bites were delicious, and I’m already regretting not having been able to eat more of it. Damn you stomach and airplanes and jet lag!

Saturday was our first official day in the States, and we headed out for a leisurely brunch. My friend Aaron was our gracious host in SF, and he promised to take us to one of the best places in town. Off we went on the train, passing about a thousand other options on the way. I had no idea what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect to arrive at Zazie to see at least 50 people waiting outside! It’s such a popular place that reservations are pretty much out the window.

I didn’t get a good crowd shot, but you can see a guy awkwardly standing there waiting, as well as a girl waiting to get her name on the sign-in sheet. In the doorway, the manager in the white belt is checking names off of the sign-in sheet. This is how it works: when you arrive you add your name and headcount to the sheet and then you wait. You wait, and you wait, and you wait. We were a group of three, and two was the magic number for the day. He must have called out the names of two dozen couples who had signed in and then left before their turn. Sucks to be them if they just ran around the corner to get a coffee! 

We must have waited at least an hour, but at least the people watching was good. Finally it was our turn, and we were escorted to a table right in that front window. I was parched at that point from our long stand out front, and was oh-so-happy to see a magically refilling pitcher of free water on the table. Welcome to America! Woo! Water! 

But more importantly…

Hello, Bloody Mary, my old friend. I’ve missed you so. Aaron claimed that they had a Bloody Mary at this place that came with tiny sliders on sticks in it, but I didn’t see this magical unicorn. 

The menu was pretty awesome, full of classic breakfast items with crazy twists. (Or at least crazy to someone who’s been in Germany eating nothing but sausages for the last thousand years.) I finally settled on their gingerbread pancakes, with lemon curd and bosc pears.

And because my stomach had finally joined me in California, I got home fries too. Word to the wise… ask how big things are first. You could choose 1-3 pancakes, and I went with two. One would have been more than enough because as you can see, they were huge, and THICK. Lesson learned. Yet another one of those times when you want to eat something so badly and just can’t do it. They were delicious though. Since Nürnberg is famous for its gingerbread, I feel like this would go over well here.*

BV opted for the french toast with an orange cinnamon butter, and it was also fantastic.

My only complaint is not about this restaurant… it’s a general complaint in all American restaurants. We weren’t even finished eating when the check arrived, so then we felt a bit hurried. But the line outside was still there, and we even witnessed two girls sneaking in and stealing a table. They were kicked back out to the curb pretty quickly, but it’s clear that Zazie is in some major demand. I don’t know about the rest of the time (and Aaron hadn’t been there for anything besides brunch), but the menu looks good so I’d be interested to hear if anyone has been there! 

If you go….

941 Cole Street
Oh, just a side note: 
If anyone has been trying to leave comments lately and had problems, please drop me a line via email. I was forced to put the captchas back on due to a ridiculous amount of spam comments that wouldn’t stop. If anyone has some advice on how to curb those, please fill me in! 

*Hear that local restaurants? Hop to it!

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6 thoughts on “Brunch in San Francisco

  1. Gingerbread pancakes?? Those sound amaaaazingggggg!! Soo jealous! Especially since I'm seriously on the lose those last couple of centimetres before the christening train..

  2. They were… I can highly recommend them! I hear you on the losing thing though… I might have to switch to the metric system. It just seems like a centimeter is more achievable than an inch at this point. ~>laaaaaazy 🙂

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