652 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.782892 -122.418988
Wednesday To Sunday From 08:00 AM To 03:00 PM Monday From 08:00 AM To 03:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Civic Center
Soul food with a modern twist! Brenda will not let you leave still feeling hungry or unsatisfied. Whether you're craving creamy eggs or a decadently rich plate of french toast, Brenda's menu is anything but shy when it comes to flavor. They attract a HIGH volume of diners so always expect at least a 20 minute wait on any given day and time. But it is well worth your patience!
ONE Big Hype – This place is basically one big hype. I've had plenty of "soul food" in my lifetime and this is definitely NOT worth the 2-hour wait. We'd had the Eggs Benedict, Shrimp & Grits, and Fresh Toast and none of was too impressive. The French Toast should really be called Cream Cheese becaus with a pound of that in each slice, that's all you taste. And the "spicy fried catfish" in my Eggs Benedict was not flavorless and blah. In a nutshell, sloppy imitation of real soul food.
Worth the wait – OK so you gotta wait outside and put you name on the list (I forgot the first time and had to wait an extra 20 mins).
I can't really say I have ever been a fan of cajun/french soul food until I came to Brenda's. But I have been bittenby the bug and once I finally made it inside I found the food excellent, so much so I raved and came again with friends.
It's busy and cramped but it just rocks. The gumbo is outstanding.
Used To Be A Fair To Middlin Cafe – Luster's gone...Just another Hog Trough
WE CLOSE WHENEVER WE WANT - should be posted below their sign!
I'd driven by Brenda's more than once and saw a crowd of people. I decided to come later in the afternoon to try for a smaller crowd, so myself and two others showed up at 2:30 (a half an hour before they close) and the clipboard had CLOSED at the bottom. Beyond frustrated after having driven twenty minutes (picked up a friend whom I talked up the possibility of Brenda's to) plus five looking for parking I went inside and asked If I could take over one of the names on the list if they didn't show up. Libby the manager didn't care that it was a half hour till closing or that I had made a grand effort to get there and very rudely stated I was out of luck (in so many words).
Thanks for the wonderful.. Oh wait you were closed
Great spot in a shady neighborhood – Get here early and bring no one. That is my advice to you. The place is tiny and closes at 3 (I think). The food is wonderful, but if you're planning on a leisurely weekend brunch with your posse, keep walking. Brenda's food is worth the wait, the french toast and sweet tea keeps me coming back, but she needs about 12 more seats to really fly.
First time we went here, the food was fantabulous! The second time, still pretty good. Last time, not so much! And we even brought out of town guests over and sung such high praises that we looked like schmucks after the food turned-out just so-so. What's the deal? Was it an off day? Is she getting burned-out? She looks pretty grumpy all the time even though we always try to say hi and overtip the waitstaff. What gives?
Did I get there at yet another off day? Hmm, it's sad to see that they're still relatively new in the San Francisco dining soon and they're already burnt out.
The food is tasting a little lack luster. Gone are the days when I used to drag everybody I ever hang-out with to lunch or brunch at this place. The lady at the register is barking out at customers, louder than every before. Chef isn't even bothering to smile, even though we used to profusely thank her for the fab food.
Too spoiled? What is it? Let's get down to reality for one and you can only sh-- all over your clients until they say -- "know what? there are much better restaurants than yours!"
the best gumbo in town!!! – I can't begin to tell you how much I love Cajun/Creole food; especially shrimp & oyster po'boys. i am getting hungry, just writing this review. Brenda's has got it all, including the best gumbo I've tasted in my life. I also waited a while to write this review, since the word is already out on Brenda's. Hence, you will find a line and long wait when visiting on a weekend for brunch ... but, it is worth it. I'd recommend the beignet flight, po'boy (of course), gumbo,a nd getting there early. But, even if you have to wait 1 - 2 hours, you will not be dissapointed.
Best Creole/Cajun Breakfast outside of New Orleans – Having run a Bed and Breakfast, my husband and I are hard to please when eating breakfast out, but Brenda's far exceeded our expectations. The place has a line, so deal. Once inside and shoe-horned into your seat, order some Community Coffee and one of the blackboard specials - we had the grits and grillades and the maple pork chops with sweet potato hash and eggs. We both took a chance and ordered the biscuits because they looked authentic - they were. Great jar of jam on the table is a nice touch. Worth the walk from Union Square - you'll appreciate walking off some of the calories you took in! Oh, almost forgot. If you need to go to the restroom, you'll get a complete view of the kitchen operations. Tiny, tiny well-oiled operation! Great service rounds out the experience.
Creole-influenced breakfast heaven for lovers of the sophisticated biscuit and hangtown fry. – In Short
This tiny, upscale breakfast, lunch and brunch spot features 18 seats and a clean decor in a not-so-clean end of town. Award-winning chef Brenda herself can be seen cooking up biscuits, fat omelets and shrimp and oyster po'boys in her miniscule exhibition kitchen. Classic beignets come dusted with powdered sugar, or choose them stuffed with melted Ghirardelli chocolate, fruit compotes or savory crawfish filling; try a flight for $8. Specialty drinks include cool watermelon sweet tea and warm cafe au lait.
Hits: Brenda's biscuits are some of the creamiest and plumpest in town.
Misses: Unfortunately, highly-sought menu items sell out quickly--particularly the biscuits.
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