It’s often hard to keep up with what’s new in San Francisco. Sure, the economy has axed a restaurant here and there but, it hasn’t kept the list of new spots from continuing to grow. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried a couple. One just a few weeks old and the other a few years.
First was Tacolicious. Spawned from the creative minds of Joe Hargrave and his team (Laiola) and food writer extraordinaire Sara Deseran (7×7), this spot is available at the Thursday market at the Ferry Building. The market is hosting a handful of amazing prepared food vendors for the Thursday lunch crowd and it’s packed. I arrived around 11:30 and just missed the rush. My husband tried to go at 12:30 and the lines were prohibitive so, my first piece of advice is arrive early. If you friend them on Facebook you can see what they’re cooking up each week. Usually four kinds of tacos made with traditional Mexican braises (just the word ‘braise’ made me know I’d be a fan). The day I went there was guajillo chile braised beef, chipotle braised chicken, braised pork shoulder with crispy chicharones on top and a veggie mix of nopales and beans. I went for one beef and one pork. The pork taco was really tasty but, when my first bite yielded the crispy chicharones, I was a bit surprised, thinking I had bone or something else I didn’t want in my taco (of course I easily couldn’t have looked at the thing before I ate and realized what it was)-I just didn’t love that duo texture thing. Now that beef taco-WOW! Hands down the best taco I’ve ever, ever had. Not too spicy but amazing seasoned. The meat melted in your mouth (and appropriately down your arm) and I loved the pickled carrot, onion, and jalapeno garnish sprinkled on top. They have three salsas you can put on your tacos and I loved the verde with my beef. Anyone looking for me at 11:30 on Thursdays will now know where to find me! Ugh…recipe testing today so sadly I’ll just be dreaming about it.
My second new find is Brenda’s French Soul Food. Not new to the city but new to me. I’ve been hearing about this Creole inspired spot on the south end of Polk street for along time. I went for lunch and even around 11:30 I had to wait a good 20 minutes. This is a tiny brunch and lunch spot so expect a line. Eating solo I knew I couldn’t try too much-the plates looked huge so I needed to choose carefully. I picked the shrimp po’boy and was not dissapointed. While Tacolicious might have the best taco around, this is definitely the best sandwich ever! On a perfectly toasted (and gigantic) roll the sandwich was bursting with small cornmeal crusted shrimp. They were cooked absolutely perfectly with just the right crunch. To balance the crispy shrimp, there was a chipotle remoulade sauce that was spicy, creamy, and (dare I say?) finger licking good. When the plate I arrived I thought to myself “I’ll never eat all this”…about 20 minutes later the sandwich and most of the crunchy slaw on the side were long gone. I saved no room for the monster beignets that looked amazing so next time I’m bringing a friend!
Do you have any new faves?