Brunch For Every Possible Situation

Or Four Hypothetical Situations

Gail Guengerich
6 min read
Brunch for Every Possible Situation
(Eric Williams
Share ::

You got drunk last night playing cornhole: Zinc Bistro.

Wow, that was fun. A friend’s house, backyard chickens, kegs of Marble, cornhole. But now you have a headache the size of your face.

You made vague arrangements last night to meet some friends for brunch in the morning. Who were they? (Hopefully not chickens.) And where are you meeting?

It better be someplace out of the sun where your aching body can convalesce; someplace cocoon-like with fine food. Yes, it should also be someplace a little chic and swanky, with cloth napkins and warm-toned Japanese lanterns to make up for the decidedly unchic and unswanky situation of the previous night.

The answer to this riddle? Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro in Nob Hill. No sidewalk dining, but plenty of gently-lit, polished and elegant restorative niches.

Because your brain is slow and you’re bad with words, ask for their deconstructed Whatchamacallit waffle ($11), a
Belgian waffle decked with peanut butter crisps, caramel, milk chocolate and peanut butter mousse.

The Railroad French toast ($9.50), more like a confectioner’s sugar-dusted funnel cake/donut hybrid than a harmless piece of pan-fried toast, will prevent you from doing anything dumb like training for a half marathon later in the morning.

But if you really want to get well—and pronto—order the vivid and delicious protein-rich salmon eggs Benedict ($12.5), topped with pea shoots, tomato, avocado and a fresh orange-yolked poached egg with home fries and melon on the side.

Your car broke down on Griegos: Farm and Table.

Yep, there you are in the warehouse district stuck for a good hour staring at a chain link fence, broken glass and the comings and goings of feral cats.

As you gaze at the junk food wrappers blowing across the train tracks, you can’t help but think about everything that is wrong with our crapped-up world.

Maybe you should move to Colorado.

Well, that’s a terrible idea. A better idea is to get a good night’s sleep, wake up Sunday and google a bike route to Farm and Table. There on the patio, amongst the blooming tulips, flitting birds, acequia-esque fountain and verdant North Valley fields, industrial horrors fade away.

Start with the triple pastry plate ($7)—the lush, still warm, Grand Marnier bread pudding coffee cake, the thick slice of fresh carrot cake with an inch of scalloped cream cheese frosting, the heavenly cream puff with red chile caramel filling. See? It’s not all Ding Dongs and chain link fence out there.

The creamy blue corn pancakes ($9) will melt away your foolish notions about moving north. The tenderloin benedict with bacon bits, frizzled greens, poached egg and hollandaise ($14) will fortify you for a return to the city.

At Farm and Table, fresh and local ingredients are the crux of their magic. Everything just tastes more like itself and the earth comes back to center. Farm and Table is what’s right with the world and the best place to forget, for one morning, what’s wrong.

You are really hungry and have been wondering about subversive Chilean women’s movements under Augusto Pinochet: La Fonda del Bosque.

Like many people in this town, you have a penchant for Latin America. You also happen to have some expendable income and a taste for grand hacienda-style dining rooms, tin-cut lanterns and lavish spreads.

Well, transport yourself over to La Fonda del Bosque in the National Hispanic Cultural Center for their picturesque Sunday brunch buffet ($22).

The price may seem relatively steep but your meal includes the mellifluous strumming of live Spanish guitar, prawn and chile quiche, ceviche, blini, cheese, fruit, crudités, bagels and lox, omelets, Cuban torrejas (Caribbean French toast) and a slew of desserts (éclairs, mini-cheesecakes, tarts, flans, cannolis), plus an entrée from the kitchen. (The colorful saffron paella with summer vegetables and six kinds of animal from land and sea, and the eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise and chorizo on top, black beans and fried plantains on the side, are customer favorites.)

Admission to the Cultural Center museum is free on Sundays, so after you’re stuffed, head over to the “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras” exhibit, a stunning, bright and powerful collection of Chilean protest art in the form of appliqued, embroidered and patchwork piecing on sack cloth.

See how this very handily answers your burning questions about the protest actions of women under Pinochet? $22 is not actually such a high price to pay for a long, lazy morning of elegance, feasting, culture and art.

You made a lace cozy for your ukulele: Blackbird Buvette.

You wake up late on Sunday morning because you spent the previous evening sewing a special outfit for your ukulele and photoshopping Mars Rover pictures to post on Facebook. Also: You have less than 10 bucks in your wallet.

All you want to do is sit in a shotgun cantina or on a downtown sidewalk for a few hours, basking in the sun as sweet little ditties from local singer-songwriters with mussed-up morning hair pour forth. Boy, are you in luck!

Blackbird Buvette is an oasis of cheap food, camaraderie and stick-to-your-ribs live music in the heart of Downtown. Gone is the dark pub cave of the night. Come Sunday morning, the doors are thrown open, children are welcome and all brunch entrees are a cool $4.

Since you have $10, you can order twice. The menu changes from week to week, but if they’re available, try the tasty beet salad and a warm wedge of Birgitta Bisztray’s quiche.

The Blackbird Sunday Brunch has been in effect for a little over a year now, under the creative force of Ms. Bisztray. Bisztray holds a very New Orleans (her hometown) view of brunch. Brunch at Blackbird is like floating down a lazy river with fiddles and banjos playing on shore.

This means you can hang out for hours. Check Blackbird’s Facebook page for theme Sundays (Indian, Middle Eastern, 4th of July Picnic.) You and your Victorian ukulele are gonna fit right in.

Zinc Wine Bar and Bistro

3009 Central NE


11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Live music on Sundays (light and ambient)

Farm and Table

8917 Fourth Street NW


Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Live birdy music

La Fonda del Bosque

1701 Fourth Street SW


Sundays 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Live music

Blackbird Buvette

509 Central SW


Sundays noon to 3 p.m.

Live music

Brunch for Every Possible Situation

Eric Williams

Brunch for Every Possible Situation

Eric Williams

Brunch for Every Possible Situation

Eric Williams

Brunch for Every Possible Situation

1 2 3 193