Is San Francisco a pancake town? Flipping through chocolate chip-studded pumpkin pancakes at Dottie's (28 6th St.), Southern style sweet potato cakes at Brenda's (653 Polk St.) brunch, and even delicious savory takes at Nan Korean (1560 Fillmore St.) and Suppenkuche (525 Laguna), I'm still not sure. It's not easy to find the classic golden Bisquick numbers around here, but San Francisco is certainly a place for seasonal, atypical riffs that probably shouldn't get within an arm's length of Aunt Jemima. Here, our top five very San Francisco pancakes, with one classic take thrown in for good measure.
Two words: beer cocktail. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you've probably had your fair share. Take, for example, the classic "shandy," equal parts beer and ginger beer, or the Mexican michelada made with beer, lime juice, hot sauce, and sometimes tequila. Bartenders love to take classic combinations like these and add their own epicurean spins. At Rye, co-owners Jon Gasparini and Greg Lindgren came up with Michelada rendition called the Tijuana Brass made with a can of Tecate, a splash of mezcal, fresh-squeezed lime and jalapeño syrup. "This is a great warm weather drink," says Lindgren. "So it goes up on our chalkboard as a special when we get some reliably warmer days like right now."
Despite the scone's reputation as dry and difficult, the classic British quick bread has been rearing its crumbly head on several San Francisco brunch menus of late. Done wrong, the scone becomes a rock-solid exercise in jaw strength, but the right technique yields a flaky, buttery bite that holds up, miraculously, to the most deliberate of coffee dunks.
25 Lusk chef Matthew Dolan often puts a scone of some sort in his gratis brunch bread plate. He sent us a two-paragraph long description about how he makes them. We'll spare you the details, but say that they're perfect.