Considering that Adam took over 130 pictures of London restaurants we ate at, it was only natural that we start chronicling our thoughts and opinions about the food we eat. We've totally become accidental foodies. It all started out when Sheila started calling Adam "the human trash compactor"; since he eats almost anything. But somewhere along the way we started having discussions about food and seeking out culinary adventures when on travel. We bring a unique perspective to this arena as we're both vegetarians (no meat, poultry, or fish). I suspect we will both have varying opinions on the food, and hope to not only have a record for posterity, but provide some fun, useful if not amateur insight.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

plow, a real gem in potrero hill

Near the top of Potrero Hill sits the recently opened Plow, another of SF’s uber-popular brunch haunts. In typical SF style, this place is locally sourced literally. The owners Bleskacek and Siu, live up the street, chose a local architect to design their space, and source all their food from local purveyors. It’s a beautiful restaurant - modern rustic with floor to ceiling windows, detailed white wainscoting, a marble countertop bar, reclaimed wood tables, metal tolix chairs/barstools, and a small but efficient kitchen. It’s such an amazing little storefront, that Dwell Magazine recently featured it in a pictorial!

With only 13 tables, the wait out Plow can be numbing (similar to Zazie, Flour + Water, or Mama’s). We went there on brisk sunshiny Sunday morning for brunch. We put our name down and with 15 groups in front of us decided to make a quick trip to Trader Joe’s beforehand. Worked great, after getting back we were seated at the 6 amazing carrera marble bar, a perfect spot to take in the action. The service was neighborhood friendly, probably because it had been a week since the sun shined on SF! We both had fresh cups of house coffee; strong and slightly bitter, it definitely woke me up!
The menu is appetizing even for vegetarians – with a variety of savory and sweet dishes! We opted for French toast with caramelized banana, mascarpone, and Vermont maple syrup; a lemon ricotta pancake also with Vermont maple syrup, and crispy potatoes with tomato aioli.
The two pieces of French toast (seemed liked Acme bread) was superbly cooked, crispy on the outside moist on the inside. They are sized right for one person although we ended up sharing. Coupled with the caramelized bananas, maple syrup, and mascarpone; simply brilliant. I’m normally not a fan of French toast because of eggy after-taste. But Plow’s is different; it light and fluffy. Be careful with the syrup, it very sweet and could led to a bit of sugar overload after a few bits. Plow’s French toast is on par with the best in the City.

Good thing we ordered the potatoes – a blend of olive oil crispy potatoes and onion with a hint of chili. It was savory match to the sweet toast. The potatoes was cut in triangle wedges and came out to our bar area piping hot and slightly burnt (in a good way). At Plow, potatoes are a side dish, based on the serving size; this order is enough to serve two. I didn’t quite appreciate the tomato aioli, didn’t have the vinegar bit I was looking for so I went with ketchup.
Last was the lemon ricotta pancake; I ordered a single serving just right size to help Sheila finish her toast. It’s a perplexing mix when you read it on paper, but don’t let that pre-judge your decision. The citrus undertones blended perfectly with the sweet cheese. The 6-inch pancake was moist, light, amazingly fresh. I suggest keeping the syrup to a minimum in order to savor this distinctive taste. Not only would I order it again, but I’d also recommend to anyone who goes to Plow!
Potrero Hill is gentrified neighborhood, and Plow fits right in. A charming local spot that it exudes SF culture – cozy sustainable interior, locally sourced product, freshly prepared food, friendly service, and a cult following! Take your out of town friends and visitors; they will be impressed.

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