I usually want to like brunch more than I actually end up enjoying it. It is just such a beautiful thing in theory. All that butter-soaked food, the battered goodness, the juices and coffees and morning cocktails. Plenty of places are over-hyped and disappoint, but luckily – very luckily – Plow was not one of those places.
We arrived at 9 in the morning (the place opens at 8am) and the wait was already 45 minutes to an hour. This is normally the point where I turn around and walk back out the door, because an hour wait for a morning meal is way past my limit. But… the people I was with were already salivating over the menu, and at that point there’s nothing else you can do but wait. You can walk around the Potrero area a little bit, and there are a couple coffee shops to hold you over if you’re desperate, but that’s about it.
Luckily our wait was more toward the 45-minute side than an hour, and soon we were seated and offered coffee and given a bottle of water for the table. Service works quickly here, which is great when you’ve been hungry since 8 in the morning and can’t sit down for so much as a crumb until 10. We put in our orders and had our food in a matter of minutes. And even luckier was the fact that the food we were served was outstanding!
The Plow combo, which comes with lemon ricotta pancakes, potatoes, eggs, and your choice of meat, looked to be the perfectly satisfying blend of breakfast foods if you like it all. (And the potatoes were declared the best-cooked potatoes any of us had ever had. Crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, perfectly seasoned.) It being November and all, I had to be festive and try the sugar pie pumpkin pancakes. Divine! Even better than the lemon ricotta ones. They have this marvelous soft and smooth texture. The winner of the day was the French Toast. I’m more of a French Toast gal than a pancake gal anyway, so am maybe a little biased, but this was great stuff. Topped with mascarpone and an apple compote, you get two thick, thick pieces of levain that are perfectly battered and not too heavy. SO good!
Everybody was really wowed by Plow. Every single thing we ordered was scrumptious, and there is enough of a variety on the menu that you could come back and try different things. I’d like to get a mimosa next time if nothing else. As we drove away, I remarked that I thought it would be hard for any other San Francisco brunch place to top the Plow experience. There are plenty of Adventures in Brunch to come, so we’ll see how that theory holds up!
Plow 1299 18th Street (between Mississippi and Texas Sts.), San Francisco