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Five Ways to Shake Up Your Weekend Brunch Routine

The harem-style feast at Pera

The harem-style feast at Pera. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Tired of the same old egg-and-bacon plate, or pancakes, or omelet routine? This town definitely offers many tasty renditions of classic American breakfast items, but here are a few international ways to get something new in your weekend mix.

Cassava

Head to this heartfelt (and tiny) spot in the Outer Richmond for their Japanese breakfast. For $10, you’ll get an array of plates: an “onsen tamago” poached egg cooked sous vide; simmered black soy beans; cucumber wakame salad; top-of-the-line koshihikari rice; a housemade natto with Meyer lemon and jalapeño kosho; and dashi miso soup. The side dishes can change, and there’s the option of adding some uni for $3. In case your brunch partner wants something more traditional, they should order the stellar quiche, one of the 100 items on the 2013 Big Eat.

Dosa

You ready for a flavor explosion? Whether you’re dining at the Fillmore or Valencia location, start your Indian brunch with the pani puri, crisp little puffs that you stuff with potato, mung beans, and chickpeas, and then fill with tamarind and mint waters, and quickly pop into your mouth. Other stars: The savory uttapam pancake with sunnyside-up eggs, the vada pav slider, and the dosa filled with savory scrambled eggs. Bonus: The spicy Bloody Mary with curry leaves and green chiles.

Five Happiness

This Inner Richmond spot is well known for its breakfast menu on the weekend. Many fans come for the piping hot Chinese donut with hot soy milk (you can choose sweet or savory soy). You can then start in on some dumplings (the xiao long bao/soup dumplings aren't the best here, but it's hard to not order them anyway), beef shao bing (sesame bread with beef inside), green onion pancake (they make a really good rendition here), fried taro root, and Shanghai noodles.

Pera

Head to Potrero Hill for a total Turkish feast. The harem-style brunch is only $15 per person (two-person minimum). You’ll be served fried and then baked eggs with slices of sucuklu (a dry style of spicy beef sausage), house-baked village bread that you can spread with housemade jams and honey, plus thick Greek yogurt, hummus, olives, tomato and cucumber salad, and fruit. A Turkish breakfast classic on the menu is menemen: Scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, and green pepper for $9. Don’t miss the Turkish coffee at the end—the mascarpone-stuffed apricots with pistachio are also special.

SanJalisco

Most San Franciscans tuck into their fair share of huevos rancheros and chilaquiles for breakfast, but a unique twist can be found at this homey Mission favorite: The chilaquiles Veronica. The pieces of fried-up leftover tortillas (and boy, what beautiful tortillas they are) are coated in a gorgeous red salsa, mixed with scrambled eggs, cheese, chorizo, and little pieces of nopales, plus a hearty spoonful of sour cream on top; plus, you get creamy refried beans and rice on the side, and fresh tortillas. Extravaganza! Another item to note: Their weekend birria.

Marcia Gagliardi is the editor of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and read more at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.