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Mums is Back Open!

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A quick but very important update for those of you who love shabu shabuMums has reopened! You may recall that they started remodeling earlier this year. That remodel isn’t actually complete yet, but the owners didn’t want to deprive their fans of their excellent food. As a result, they’re now open while renovations continue. The new look will be complete in Q1 of next year.

Go enjoy some shabu for the holidays!

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Pop Up Restaurant: Early To Rise

pop up brunch

I’ll just go ahead and preface this by saying that by the time you read this, it may be out of date – such is the ephemeral nature of the pop up restaurant. The food at this particular brunch rotates food every month or two, but otherwise the setup remains the same.

To join, you’ll want to book your tickets through Feastly – here’s the profile of Chef Andrew (the man responsible), which has links to all his upcoming brunches. They all happen at Blue Cafe, which is a spot in Nob Hill that was once upon a time a full time restaurant but is now closed down and looks decrepit from the outside. Luckily the facade hides a fantastic space with an open kitchen where you can watch the chef at work, plus a couple of long communal tables.

The Bottomless

When purchasing your ticket, you have the option to add bottomless sparkling greyhounds (vodka, grapefruit juice, club soda) for $15. They’re great – one of my favorite brunch drinks we’ve had at a brunch. Extremely refreshing. The only downside was that the glasses were a bit on the small side.

If grapefruit juice isn’t your thing, the event is also BYOB, so you can skip the greyhounds and just bring some champagne if you so desire.

The Food

We did the eggs stinson brunch, and it was awesome. Started with mini bagels served with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, capers and smoked salmon and chive schmear. It was easy to tell that all of it was fresh.

Next up were white cheddar grits and roasted vegetables. The grits were very cheesy, and their special hot sauce was perfect with them. The roasted vegetables were amazing – brussels sprouts, green onions, celery root and one last very obscure vegetable whose name the chef gave me but I’ve since forgotten.

The main course was the eggs stinson – a freshly baked english muffin topped with avocado, fresh crab salad, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce that’s infused with crab.

Completing the meal were freshly made cheese and plum danishes that were crisp, fresh and fantastic, along with ambrosia. If you’re not familiar, ambrosia consists of fruit in a cream sauce, and in my opinion it is an incredibly strange dish. I didn’t enjoy it, but I was already full anyway. I’m sure it was good if you’re the sort of person that enjoys ambrosia generally.

There was more than enough food for everyone to have seconds of everything, so you’ll definitely leave full.

The Service

The service felt very personal, which felt like a big plus of the pop up restaurant – the wait staff was constantly around checking in and bringing out food, and Chef Andrew came out after the meal to talk to us about it.

The only downside was that the staff was small but pretty busy, so we didn’t always get immediate refills on our bottomless sparking Greyhounds.

Overall

This was a really fun brunch pop up restaurant that I would definitely recommend. It’s a great space, and they have great food and service from people who clearly care about the meal.

Rating: 🍾🍾🍾🍾

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Holiday Gifts for the Brunch Enthusiast in Your Life

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Champagne Flutes

The classic symbol of brunch, and always a good gift. We’ve got a couple of options for you here. For something simple that’ll last no matter how hard your brunch party goes, try these plastic stemless glasses. If you’re buying for someone who’s already got their basic glassware in order, these are a little more exciting:

champagne glasses

 

Mimosa Candle

Do you ever get home from brunch and think, “Damn, it’s really a shame that my house just smells like a house?” If so (or if you just want a nice scented candle), I’ve got the solution for you – a mimosa candle!

mimosa candle

Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Sometimes you want a delicious breakfast sandwich, but you don’t want to put on pants. We’ve all been there. Luckily for you, the fine folks at Hamilton Beach have created an appliance with the sole purpose of making sure you can get that sweet, sweet sandwich even if you’re an otherwise hopeless cook.

breakfast sandwich maker

Bloody Mary Mix

Bloody Marys are a great brunch beverage, but it never hurts to be able to make one at home the day after brunch when you’re recovering. If you’re going to make your own, though, don’t settle for the cheap mix – get McClure’s. I can personally attest that it’s fantastic. And if you really want to do it right, throw in a spicy pickle spear too.

bloody mary mix

The Greatest T-Shirt of All Time

There is only one, and it’s literally the best. Luckily for you, you can get it right here at Brunch Club. And while you’re buying one for your friend, don’t forget one for yourself!

brunch club tshirt

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Join Brunch Club!

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Did you know that you can join Brunch Club? Just sign up and give us your email address, and you’ll be the first to hear when we post all of the latest brunch related news.

I’m sure you’re pretty cool now (you are on this site after all), but once you subscribe, your newfound brunch knowledge will really take you to a new level. “I really want a mimosa, but instead of orange juice I want watermelon juice,” someone will say, and you’ll casually respond with “Cool, let’s go to Pink Elephant – they’ve got that.” That person will be awed by your worldliness, their respect forever yours.

So join Brunch Club. It’s easy – just go to https://sfbrunchclub.com/contact/.

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Mums Cafe is remodeling

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Well folks, I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news is that Mums reached out to me to let me know they’re closing up shop. The good news is it’s only temporary – they’re remodeling. Mums will reopen in mid-November, and you can bet that I’ll be there to let you know all about the new look.

In the mean time, a fun fact that should make you like Mums for more than just their great food and service: it’s a family owned business, and the current owner started there as a bus boy 36 years ago. The longest I’ve ever held a job is just under four years. They definitely have my respect!

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Judging SF Bloody Mary Fest

Best Bloody mary in sf 2

This weekend, the brave folks at the Bloody Mary Liberation Party set out to answer a question as old as time (or at least a few years old) – who makes the best Bloody Mary in SF? To that end, they threw the Bloody Mary Festival this weekend and invited ten of SF’s best purveyors of Bloody Marys to come make a few hundred samples and let the people of SF give them a taste. Since they recognize that tasting Bloody Marys is something that takes tremendous experience, they invited yours truly to be one of three judges. You can see the results on their Facebook event page, and I’ve got a few thoughts to add as well.

We scored all the Bloody Marys in two categories – original and traditional. That made things a little tough, because they all very much tended towards the traditional side. My two highlights for what I considered original were Mission Bowling Club, which made one with roasted mole, and Front Porch, whose Bloody Mary had enough sugar in it to be distinctively sweet (and one of my favorites as a result).

best bloody mary sf

A few other candidates for the best Bloody Mary in SF that stood out:

  • Scoma’s came down from Fisherman’s Wharf with fresh crab in tow, and they were serving up a small fried ball of crab with each Bloody Mary. The drinks were excellent themselves, but a little bit of fried seafood was a perfect pairing.
  • Kitchen Story brought the party – they had about a half dozen people at their booth in rainbow shirts and wigs, and they were having a great time. I’m not sure if that’s what drew in the large crowd at their booth, or whether it was the Millionaire’s Bacon they were serving with each Bloody. If that names sounds familiar, it’s because Kitchen Story is owned by the same folks who own Sweet Maple, Surisan and Blackwood, who all have Millionaire’s Bacon as well. Even without the pomp, circumstance and bacon, I still think Kitchen Story had the best BM in the house, so it’s no surprise they won for best original recipe and took home the people’s choice award.
  • Tacolicious took home the award for best traditional BM, which was not a shock – they didn’t have gimmicks or food pairings, but they definitely made a good, old fashioned Bloody Mary.

The Bloody Mary Festival was a great time, and I’ll definitely plan to be back next year. Remember, though, at the end of the day the best Bloody Mary in SF is the one you like the most, so go out, try some, and let me know what you think!

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