For That Morning Breakfast Fix, San Francisco’s Brenda’s French Soul Food

What type of breakfast you wake up to often depends upon how you are feeling, what your taste buds are screaming to you and how much you want to consume.

It can also depend upon what part of the world you live in.

When we visited Japan we will concede it took a little while to get used to having fresh vegetables for breakfast.

Loved the healthy angle but our raucous taste buds keep screaming at us for a Western styled breakfast.

Some of that was due to timing. Yes, the time of day.

The informative dining source educates, “A traditional Japanese breakfast is likely different from any other kind of breakfast you’ll ever experience. It consists of foods that make up a complete meal that one could conceivably enjoy at lunch or dinner. writer, photo via Epicurious

Typically, a traditional Japanese breakfast consists of steamed rice, miso soup, a protein such as grilled fish, and various side dishes. Familiar side dishes may include tsukemono (Japanese pickles), nori (dried seasoned seaweed), natto (fermented soybeans), kobachi (small side dishes which usually consist of vegetables), and a green salad.”

If you live in the west, was that what you had in mind?

When we were in Japan, more than once, which we love like crazy, we had to make an effort to find some good old fashioned pancakes and even when we did, their texture was a little different than what we were used to in the west and a little smaller in size.

Did taste good though.

So speaking of the West, let’s rub our stomach for an English breakfast.

At they provide some insight. “The traditional full English breakfast is a centuries old British breakfast tradition, one that can trace its roots back to the early 1300’s. writer, photo via YouTube

Standard ingredients made it easier to prepare and so the ‘common’ English breakfast rapidly spread nationally, its standard ingredients of bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding, baked beans, grilled tomato, fried bread and toast, served with a jams, marmalades, tea/coffee and orange juice.”

Yes, when we view those ingredients we have no doubt we will feel full afterwards.

You fill me?

Now we head to the South of the United States. Something we are familiar with since we are from Bryan College Station, Texas.

Go Aggies! writer, Texas A&M University Athletics photo credit

In the past and especially in our childhood, we loved waking up to typically two different styles of breakfast.

The simpler one consisted of buttered white bread toast (now wheat) covered in either grape or strawberry jelly. Sometime apricot. We added grits with butter and sugar. Had to have at least three slices of softly bacon. To wash it all down, bring on some fresh squeezed orange juice.

In a frozen container.

At times coffee was provided and that was wonderful too with milk and sugar.

We can taste it now.

Now for the other type. writer, photo via snackncake

If we couldn’t find the pancakes we were looking for in scenic Japan, we certainly found it in abundance in the South.

Loved the thick buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, melted butter on all layers and cooked to fluff buff. Time to add a thick pork sausage and at two soft fried eggs sunny side up with salt and pepper. Yummy. Orange juice is still the beverage of choice.

Once we moved to California we added a little twist to the latter, sometimes replacing tradition pork sausage with tasty Linguica sausage.

Linguiça is a form of smoke-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika in Portuguese-speaking countries.

Okay so now here we are in trendy and modern San Francisco. Everything looks better, sounds better but when it comes to a filling breakfast does it taste better?

“What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?”… Anthony Bourdain

Where can we go early in the morning for some tasty breakfast?

Migrating from the South we leaned toward an establishment that cooked soul food with a French touch.

Hello Brenda’s French Soul Food. writer, photo credit via The Infatuation

Brenda’s serves some solid breakfast and brunch cuisine with a New Orleans flavor.

They are very welcoming at their home “Chef Brenda grew up on the West bank of New Orleans, Louisiana in a little town called Harvey. As a girl she spent much of her time trapping crawfish in the canals behind her house, crabbing in nearby Lafitte, picking wild blackberries, gathering pecans and fishing on the local bayous and along the Gulf Coast on her family’s boat. Brenda was not only fortunate to have access to the rich abundance of local seafood and produce, but also the diverse styles of cuisine embodied by her Sicilian, French and Filipino ascendants.”

Those are some great credentials. What about her partner and Co-owner?

“Libby is the co-owner of Brenda’s French Soul Food. Born and raised in Iowa, Libby considered herself a meat and potatoes girl. In 2007, Brenda convinced Libby to leave her illustrious career as an academic to help open a small, humble restaurant.”

We’re glad Libby agreed.

The menu looks mouth-watering with great variety including a dish of shrimp and grits.

We hear the food is amazing and here are some reviews to prove it. writer, photo credit via Time-Out

At Trip Advisor, a group who not only knows how to travel in style, they can also find the best breakfast houses around the globe. What do the customers think about Brenda’s home cooking?

  1. “We loved Brenda’s! We went on Sunday morning about 10. Make sure to put your name on the board when you get there, it looks like a line but it is not one. We waited about 30 minutes, they turn tables fairly quickly.”
  2. “Eating here was such a treat! Everything we had was delicious. We had the verity pack beignets and all of them were fantastic. Coffee was really good. They get busy, so get there early.”
  3. “Brenda’s Soul food is amazing, nice ambience, friendly staff and great food! Portions are decent and the prawns are delicious.”
  4. “There’s a reason you will find a million reviews of this place and they are all good…it’s fantastic! Small charming place right in the middle of town with delicious French soul food as advertised. The staff was delightful.”

We’re convinced. Brenda’s appears to be worth the trip.

Isn’t it amazing how in San Francisco you can find virtually anything and everything that you want?

Yes we know what you are thinking. What about oatmeal and vegan styled breakfasts?

Great healthy breakfast sources they are and we will develop those breakfast stories as time goes on.

For now, we just wanted to have a little fun and quiet down those loud taste buds in our mouth yellin’ with a Southern accent.

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OPENING PHOTO photo credit 


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