Sunday, June 27, 2010
It's about time for me to try the infamous Canteen for breakfast/brunch. Ms. Lin, Trekkie, and I had this place on our list so we had to make a trip out. You know a place must be special if Ms. Lin and I are willing to wake up early for food on a weekend! lol It must have been our lucky day because everyone else was out celebrating and there were parades all around town. There wasn't anyone standing outside waiting and I was able to put my name down immediately. It's a tiny cozy restaurant where you can choose to sit at the bar to get a full diner experience or in the cozy booths. Usually people will have to wait a while before getting a seat since they don't have that many seats but we were able to get a seat within 20 mins. While you wait you can always visit the Academy of Art University adjacent to Canteen. It actually seems like a dorm and I must say the students are lucky to have good food close by, unlike the typical "dorm" food most of us had to endure.
The good and bad thing about us together is that we enjoy food but we tend to over order. O=p Nothing wrong with being greedy, right? lol Our table was not overflowing or anything... There were a bunch of menu items that sounded interesting to try. I really wanted A Big Pancake with Strawberries and Vanilla Sauce. This actually turned out to be the best dish of the morning. It's not your typical pancake. The pancakes is more dense but still maintains the airiness of a fluffy pancake. I like how the center is slightly chewy to add more texture. The light delectable flavor of vanilla really paired well with the pancake. This reminded me of the pancake at The Original Pancake House, but better flavor.
They are supposedly known for their French Toast, so we got the Blueberry French Toast with Sweet Cream Cheese. There are 4 slices of toast, which is a very generous portion. I thought there was a bit too much blueberry sauce that started to over power the toast. That is where the sweet cream cheese comes in to balance out the heavy blueberry sauce. Still, there was definitely a bunch of blueberries swimming freely in the pool of sauce. Overall the toast was nicely coated and cooked to perfection. The outer layer was crisp and soft in the center. Doesn't the picture make you drool? It's a solid French toast for breakfast.
Enough of the sweet stuff, we need some savory dishes to balance out all the sweetness. The Corned Beef Benedict really hit the spot. Thick cuts of corned beef slathered with a thick creamy sauce on top of the nicely poached egg. With one swipe of the fork you would pierce the soft flesh of the egg causing the yolk to drizzle out. Everything came together nicely. The potatoes were nicely flavored. I seriously thought about usurping the entire dish for myself. Darn sharing! lol I like the different layers with their different textures that keeps your mouth guessing. Beforehand, I would never say that I am a fan of Eggs Benedict but I am going to add it to my repertoire now.
Being as greedy as we are, we had to get a fourth dish. I didn't want to be fussy so I let them choose... wrong choice! Next time I am going to speak up more =P We ordered the Fish Hash with Potatoes, Curry, and a Poached Egg. This dish was a mess in my opinion. I don't think the curry really worked with the fish hash and potatoes. The dry pieces of fish lost all flavor of the fish and its natural texture. I gladly gave up my share of this dish.
All in all it was a nice brunch. Would I say it is worth a long wait? Mehh! I did enjoy the pancake and I think it was the best thing in the morning followed by the eggs benedict. You can get these in most places so I am not sure that I would want to wait long. Still, I think Canteen is definitely worth the try and it wasn't a let down like some of the other breakfast places where I lined up for over an hour. I can see why people like this place. It does have a certain ambiance and charm to the whole place. We all enjoyed ourselves and were super delighted that we didn't have to wait long. Here's a secret, there are spots of free parking! Get them fast before the city takes them all away and gouge you for the fee! lol
817 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109