Brunch & Doughnut Fries at Marlowe
Googling ‘places to eat brunch’ is a daunting task in any large city and San Francisco is no exception. In my restaurant hunts I tend to look for spots that show up repeatedly across articles, and Marlowe seemed to consistently come up. On the first flight out to San Francisco, I absent mindedly opened the Southwest Airlines magazine and saw a section dedicated to deviled eggs. On the list? Marlowe. Case closed — brunch was to be had at Marlowe.
Located in SoMa, you can expect a butcher shop turned bistro vibe with closely knit tables and white-tiled walls. It was barely 10 minutes before I placed an order for a deviled egg which promptly showed up warm, with bacon, a pickled jalapeno and melted provolone cheese on top. I recommend ordering at least two. The first one goes down quickly while the second one is left for answering, “is that the best deviled egg I just had?” I’ll let you decide.
The menu is small but will leave you indecisive. The buttermilk pancakes are fluffy— the kind you always want when you order a stack but rarely get. Marlowe didn’t just throw pancakes on the menu and call it Brunch — they put consideration into these flapjacks. The French Toast soldiers are just the kind of re-invention French Toast needed these days to compete with cronuts, cragels, and bisnuts. And if you’re still left wanting more, there is always chocolate toast, house made doughnuts, or candied bacon.
Eventually, I settled on the Marlowe burger after seeing it thrown around the internet as a top burger and even the best burger in San Francisco. And it could be. Maybe its the Horseradish aioli or maybe its the splash of lamb meat mixed in with the ground beef (something I’m going to experiment with back at home). I sat in Marlowe thinking to myself “that’s a good burger” after each bite. BUT THEN, with each accompanying bite of a french fry I kept thinking, “that tasted vaguely like a donut” and it kept happening until finally I said to my friend, “this is going to sound weird but these fries taste a little like doughnut dough.” Being a true friend but on a wedding diet, she picked up a fry and smelled it. It wasn’t long before she was asking the table next to us to smell a fry because they smelled like doughnuts. I asked the waiter if they fry their fries in the same oil as the house made doughnuts, he said no. So, I don’t know if I had unicorn fries or if there is something extra special about the ones at Marlowe, but perhaps Marlowe has the best burger because they are served with doughnut fries. It would take a dedicated burger visit to decide once and for all on the best, but I’m willing to say it belongs on any burger list.