San Francisco has any number of neighborhoods like the Mission or SOMA or Castro and what not. But there are parts of town that are on the fringes of hoods and seemingly cross over from one to the other such as TenderNob--the space between the Tenderloin and Nob Hill. These combo name hoods are really more for locals but sometimes these areas in between are more ambiguous like say the area around Franklin Park to the West of Portrero Avenue and East of South Van Ness. It's not really the Mission and not really Potrero Hill--more like MissTrero? Though it doesn't have a combo name. What does this have to do with anything? Well, nothing really but me and the SO decided to grab brunch one early-ish Sunday morning and I suggested we head out to this spot of town thinking we could slip into Universal Cafe (a place I hadn't been in ages) but alas, even 10:30 am was too late as a waiting crowd had already amassed outside. Thus we set our sights on another place a few blocks away and voila we were able to get into Slow Club before their rush eventually packed the place (which it did).
On an inconspicuous corner in this little hub of the city I remember dining here a really long time ago because someone said their burger was one of the best in the city, though now I vaguely don't remember it which means it didn't make that big of an impression on me. It is available on their brunch menu but we decided to go more traditional this morning and try the turkey sausage hash and the ranchero to get our day started.
It's a mix of turkey sausage, white sweet potatoes, butternut squash, yukon gold potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula topped with two poached eggs and cheddar cheese. We liked it's combination of salty and hints of sweet in the squash and potatoes. It had a nice texture and not all that thick goopy, sometimes greasy lump that hash can turn into. Even though these were winter veggies and sausage it still tasted light and fresh and I didn't feel all weighted down liked I'd eaten a bowl of mashed potatoes or something. The eggs were perfectly poached to have the yolk run down over the hash infusing it with a light but rich creaminess. The arugula wilted a bit from the heat of the dish so that took away some crunch but the warm grilled bread made up for that in adding a little texture. While they aren't breaking any new boundaries with the hash I would still say try it and enjoy it's delicious comfort food flavors.
The ranchero is two fried eggs, grilled chicken, cotija cheese, lettuce, avocado, ranchero sauce and cilantro creme fraiche on a grilled white corn tortilla with a side of black beans and mixed greens. The SO liked this more than me. Outside of the cream sauces he thought it tasted fresh and healthy with the chicken and avocado (though he loves most anything with avocado), for me it was just like a fancy tostado with eggs. While everything was cooked perfectly from the egg to the chicken to the beans, it didn't have a lot of flavor beyond that for my tastebuds--no kick, no spice, no Mexican flavors besides the cilantro in the creme fraiche. Decent but unspectacular from me, two thumbs up from the SO.
For brunch Slow Club was a fun change of pace in it's hipsters with children mixed neighborhood vibe. By the time we finished the place was packed and loud so we got in and out at a good time. Thus if you are going, go early or make reservations. The service was also pretty good as I didn't have to ask for a tea refill though I did have to ask for a side of butter for the toast. Props for giving a big enough ramekin of it that was soft so it spread easily. Overall if you want to try a funky off the beaten track brunch I would recommend journey to this cross sectional neighborhood to check them out. We might even decide to go back and give dinner a shot here too.
Just as a side note, for some reason we were both jonesing for bacon so we ordered a side as an appetizer. Here's a picture, though the SO nabbed a piece before I could get a shot---hey, it's bacon, it's hard to resist!