Hitting a sausage place at the intersection of Market and Sixth to kick off the weekend doesn't exactly sound like the greatest idea. But how about a quick breakfast, devoid of tiresome lines, straight from the perfectionists behind Foreign Cinema's cult-followed brunch? Genius, right?
In January of this year, Foreign Cinema's Gayle Pirie and John Clark started serving morning meals at their two-year old mid-Market "sausage emporium," Show Dogs. And if the steady stream of weekend patrons filing through this past Saturday means anything at all, it was a very good idea. Breakfast is served every morning now, starting at 8 a.m. on the weekdays and at at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
This weekend, the Sunrise Showdog caught me off guard with its surprisingly light coupling of an Acme pretzel bun with a housemade maple bacon link. Its fluffy crown of freshly scrambled, arugula-strewn farm eggs and piperade is just what a "hot dog" needs to become appropriate breakfast fare. Then there was an addictive rendition of huevos rancheros. Built atop crispy blue corn tortilla rounds with cheese melted into them, the dish stacks mounds of carnitas with two glistening over-easy eggs and a punchy thick-diced jalapeno salsa. None of it is as quick and dirty as you'd imagine. Many of the sausages are made in house and eggs come from Glaum Egg Ranch in Santa Cruz. There are warm mugs of Lagunitas Espresso Stout for colder days and —when a sweet tooth calls—precious, yellow-tinged, dollar-size corn cakes served with gingered, black-strap molasses and housemade apricot preserves. Even the nicely seasoned hash browns made from celery root and potato don't need the usual bath of ketchup to make them shine. I particularly enjoyed basking in the glow this past Saturday. It was sunny. The sun baked our corner table with a strength to match the freshly-brewed Four Barrel coffee at hand. And the street scene kept me sitting there, watching the show outside for far longer than anticpated. In a stretch of town not usually associated with a lingering brunch, Show Dogs is offering a great start to the morning.
1020 Market Street, 415-558-9560.