Beignets at Brenda’s


Last Wednesday morning was rainy to say the least, but a winter deluge wouldn’t stop this online team from trekking to the Tenderloin for our holiday breakfast. That’s right, we dined in the Tenderloin—but no need for pity here—there’s a little gem of a spot known as Brenda’s French Soul Food on Polk between Eddy and Turk.

My favorite part about the restaurant is the space. The black wainscoting is counterbalanced by a huge, black-framed mirror (with daily specials written on it) that hangs over a wall-mounted counter that seats about six. There’s some red-painted brick in the corner, and you can peek into the teensy kitchen for a look into the action—the space is sharp and homey at the same time. About seven tables are arranged in this shoe-box-sized joint, which is owned, run and named after chef Brenda Buenviaje. She’s a New Orleans native who’s made her mark in SF at restaurants including: Oritalia, Sumi, Café Claude and Delessio Market and Bakery.

Me and a chocolate-filled beignet ...

The meal highlight had to have been the flight of beignets—one came filled with oozing Ghirardelli chocolate, another (my fave) mimicked apple pie and finally the most distinctive was crawfish-filled with cheddar and scallions, spiced with cayenne. Of course, we didn’t stop there—our table was weighed down with butter-soaked grits, flakey biscuits, a Creole veggie omelet, gulf shrimp and goat cheese omelet, buttermilk pancakes and corn beef hash.

Crawfish beignets

Like South, Brenda’s is only open for Saturday brunch, but breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Friday.

652 Polk St.


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