During the many brunch-related conversations I’ve had in San Francisco (most of my first dates just end up with me talking about brunch, because if a girl can’t appreciate my passion for bottomless, she’s not second date material anyway), I’ve found that when people hear bottomless brunch, they frequently think of Don Pistos. I suspect that this is because of their combination of excellent Mexican food and a diverse range of bottomless beverages.
For the record, there are actually two Don Pistos (both owned/operated by the same company), one in the Marina and one in North Beach. I’m not sure how much they differ, but everything in here is about the North Beach one, which you can find on Union and Grant a couple of blocks from Washington Square Park. It’s pretty loud inside – all the sounds seem to echo off of every wall – but if you’re a rowdy brunch group, that just means you’ll fit in well.
One of the most expensive in SF at $21 with a hard cutoff of 90 minutes, but you get to rotate among margaritas, sangria and agua fresca mimosas. The margaritas and sangria were too sweet for my taste (but if you like things sweet, you’ll enjoy them), but the agua fresca mimosas were perfect – a little less acidic than traditional OJ and very refreshing.
The menu laid out some unnecessarily negative terms for their bottomless, with clear instructions not to double fist (you only have one glass anyway) or chug your mimosas. This made me wary that they’d be slow to serve us, but the waitress was great and kept us filled up, with no problem keeping track of our orders as we each tried all the different drinks. She did cut us off right at 90 minutes, though.
Don Pistos has good-quality Mexican brunch food. The pork tamale was perfectly moist and went well with the poached egg it came with. I also tasted some of my co-brunchers’ breakfast burrito and french toast – both great, but I definitely recommend the latter if you’ve got a sweet tooth. It pairs really well with the crispness of the agua fresca mimosas.
We also tried some of the wings, which were good but not spciy enough to live up to their name (Diabla Wings) and the ceviche, which was solid if not extraordinary.
Generally quite good – we had one late comer and were warned ahead of time that if we started mimosas without her, she’d still be held to our 90 minute timer. We did anyway, because shame on her for being late to brunch, but despite cutting all of us off right at 90 minutes, the waitress got her a couple of extra drinks.
Don Pistos is loud and fun, so it’s great for a big bottomless brunch group. The agua fresca mimosas are a nice change of pace from the usual OJ, and the margaritas and sangria offer good alternatives if you prefer something sweeter. When you’re done, it’s a short walk over to Washington Square Park to take a nap in the grass if it’s sunny.