San Francisco: Top 10 Eggs Not for Breakfast
● Absinthe (Hayes Valley) – While they’re only available at brunch, Absinthe’s deviled eggs are anything but traditional breakfast fare. Looking deceptively familiar with a dollop of egg yolk swirled into perfectly hard boiled whites, Top Chef alumna Jamie Lauren belies expectations by topping the potluck favorite with salty smoked trout, and as if that weren’t enough, a sprinkling of another kind of egg — osetra caviar. ● The Alembic (The Haight) – Known for its cocktails, Alembic divides its drink menu into “old school” classics and “new school” elixirs like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, which marries strawberry puree with whiskey, vermouth, and a dash of Tabasco. Libations like these require bold but not overpowering bar bites to accentuate the flavors of the fresh ingredients, and an order of pickled quail eggs fits the bill. These gorgeous pink orbs of briny lusciousness are smooth and rich, with the perfect amount of salty punch to whet your palate for another drink.
● Sea Salt (Berkeley) – Sea Salt is known for using sustainable seafood in its fresh interpretations of old classics, with a menu that includes ahi tuna sliders and a vodka-laden oyster shooter. No devilled egg in this fish joint would be complete without an ocean delicacy involved, so Sea Salt has taken an oversized duck egg and topped it with a generous helping of Spanish anchovy, creating a happy marriage of land and sea. The little mermaid should be so lucky. ● Flour & Water (Mission) – Buzz continues to build around the crispy Neapolitan pies and housemade pastas at the uber-popular Flour & Water, but before launching into a carb fest, it’s always good to have a little salad. Lucky for the hedonistic among you, one of the best “salads” at F&W is a warm potato and lamb’s tongue salad, served with a poached egg and salsa verde. So feel no compunction about cutting into that perfectly cooked egg and allowing its runny yolk to spill onto the tender lamb and salty potatoes because after all, you’re being good and having salad first. ● MarketBar (Financial District) – Takes three of San Francisco’s most common culinary characteristics, swirls them all together, and stuffs them in a deviled egg. Representing the City by the Bay’s seafood savvy, a little Dungeness crab has been added into the mix. The area’s gastronomic French influence makes its appearance in the form of a rich aioli. And lest the emulsion have too strong a Francophile bent, it’s been seasoned with a nice helping of Mexican ancho chili. The three come together to form a truly San Franciscan take on a perfect eggy appetizer. ● Aziza (Richmond District) – Basteeya, a fragrant blend of minced chicken, almond and saffron stuffed into a flaky filo, is a destination dish at chef Mourad Lahlou’s temple to Moroccan flavors. But before biting into the tender puff pastry, try putting an end to the old chicken and egg question by beginning your meal with one of the best of Lahlou’s rich starters — a hen egg with the North African spice mix charmoula and a side of crispy beans. ● Samovar Tea Lounge (The Castro) – This bastion of relaxation pays homage to the tea rituals of many great chai-centric societies, including a classic English service, a Moorish medley, and a Chinese tea tasting. If your hot beverage mood is steering you to Russia with love, then the house-blend black tea goes brilliantly with Samovar’s devilled eggs, which takes the traditional Ruskie whole wheat blini topped with caviar and egg yolk and inverts it, instead stuffing the egg with caviar and serving alongside wheat crackers. ● Rose’s Café (Cow Hollow) – Given Rose’s rotating menu, you may or may not be able to begin your al fresco lunch at this California-Italian favorite with a bruschetta topped with a savory mushroom ragu and a poached egg. Pity. But not to worry, those in need of brain food can always add an organic egg to any of Rose’s thin crust pizzas. ● Bix (North Beach) – Fancy schmancy supper club Bix is so hip to the non-breakfast egg trend that it has ovum on offer for lunch and dinner. For the midday meal, prove that you’re a card-carrying member of the smart set by ordering the baby iceberg shrimp Louis (don’t you just love a salad with a first name), which comes with avocado, a farm egg, cherry tomatoes, and capers. In the evening, tap your toes to jazz while sampling the most elegant eggs in town — these little devils are stuffed with truffles. ● Chez Maman (Potrero Hill) – No list of eggs for dinner would be complete without mention of one of the dishes that started it all: the French classic, frisée salad with bacon, poached egg, and vinaigrette. The version at le tres petit café Chez Maman, is a perfect representation of this French salad and is a testament to the fact that the incredible edible egg was always meant for life after 11am.