Dining Detectives: Urban Tavern, San Francisco – Let’s do Brunch!!
Happy Fourth Birthday to Urban Tavern in San Francisco!! We’ve been there many times to dine and for cocktails and were pleased to hear that they had just added a weekend Brunch Menu which is available from 11:30 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays. The “Gastropub” as it is known serves California Cuisine using seasonal, fresh and local ingredients and has been very popular with both locals and tourists for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after work cocktails. “Urban” their full sized Horse Sculpture mascot is still the beautiful centerpiece of the restaurant and we were glad to see that he hadn’t aged at all. The décor is upscale with a marble bar and communal tables which are great places to enjoy food and cocktails and the main dining room has both tables and comfortable booths.
Brunch always gets started best with cocktails. We loved the refreshing Sparkling Watermelon which is made with Grey Goose Pear Vodka, St. Germain Elder Flower liqueur, fresh watermelon and sparkling wine. We also ordered the Blood Orange Taverihna made with leblon cachaca, honey syrup, blood orange, lime and Serrano chili which was spicy and really fantastic! You may not know that Cachaca is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil and that it is made from fermented sugarcane. We can’t wait to have the Blood Orange Tavernihna again!
The Brunch menu features reasonably priced options and we noticed that they also offer a lunch menu with Sandwiches, Salads and Soups, so there is something for everyone. We were intrigued by the Chicken & Waffles Benedict made with cheddar Serrano waffle, fried chicken paillard, poached eggs and topped with a light hollandaise sauce. This was really excellent and much lighter than we had expected, just wonderful! We also enjoyed the Fried Egg Sandwich which was a BLT with cheddar cheese, smoked aioli served on a soft ciabatta roll. It came with a lightly dressed little green salad. The Lemon Griddle Cake Cannoli which was filled with Bellwether ricotta and pistachios, topped with blueberries and served with maple syrup and a side dish of fresh fruit had a lovely lemon flavor and was perfect for those who like something sweeter.
We ordered Illy espressos and perused the dessert menu. However, since we were comfortably full, our best choice was to order their Variety 4 pack to go. This included a Red Velvet Swiss Roll, a Ho Ho, a Lemon Poppy Seed Whoopee Pie and a Coconut Custard Snowball. This worked out perfectly, as we had some great small desserts for later that day and with coffee the following morning. Next time, we need to try the Butterbourbon Pudding and the Urban Tavern Peanut Butter Cup, which were quite popular with our neighboring diners.
Urban Tavern is still one of our favorites for Downtown San Francisco Eating, Meeting and Drinking as it is close to shopping and the Theater District and has 5 hour free validated parking while dining. The menu has something for all tastes and the service is friendly and professional. The Wine list features over 100 local California Wines with many available by the glass. We are pleased to report that Executive Chef Colin Duggan’s new Brunch Menu has some excellent choices and their specialty cocktails are excellent as well.
By Carol & Joe Davis
333 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA. 94102