Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Restaurant Review: Plow

On Sunday, Nick and I waited for over an hour to get a table at Plow, the bougie breakfast place right in our neighborhood. Plow is a charming little place with a wrought iron pig sign, sturdy plain white plates, and a menu of the breakfast classics done simply but in a very San Francisco way (using fresh and locally-sourced ingredients). You can tell just how carefree and nonchalant the people are around here by how hardly anyone flinches when the guy in the Giants cap taking down names tells them to wait outside and enjoy the sunshine for the next hour and 15 minutes.

Service: The staff here are warm and friendly without being annoying. Despite how busy they were, they never gave off a frazzled vibe. I ordered the fried egg sandwich with added bacon; when the sandwich arrived there was no bacon, but I didn't want to wait again so I just asked them to remove the bacon fee from the bill when it arrived. Instead, the waitress apologized sincerely and put the whole sandwich on the house.

Food: My fried egg sandwich with Grafton cheddar and frisee was delicious. Somehow the frisee was perfectly subtle while still giving the sandwich some produce presence. What really impressed me was how despite my cutting through the runny eggs and being a the slowest eater of all time, the bottom bun stayed crispy all the way through my very last bite. Nick and I also got one of their lemon ricotta pancakes on the side. I'm usually not a big pancake person unless there is truly something special, and this was seriously the best pancake of my life. Instead of tasting and feeling like a disk of cooked pancake batter, this was like a soft sponge cake with the light and creamy qualities of ricotta and a faint essence of fresh lemon. I know that last sentence did not make very much sense but it is because words cannot really describe this pancake.

Ambiance: I felt that the place matched the food in simultaneously achieving simplicity and elegance. The interior somehow managed to be both modern and farm-inspired without a grain of kitsch. I was charmed by the salt and pepper shakers that looked like old milk bottles and how the natural light from the wall of windows on one side of the space created a natural glow bouncing off the walls of the other side. A nice article/slideshow on how wine barrels and other such materials were repurposed for the restaurant can be found here.

Rating: Strongly recommended.

Plow is located at 1299 18th Street, San Francisco, California 94107.

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