Maverick, San Francisco

Walk by the informal Mission district eatery and you may be compelled to step in for a weekend brunch. But unless you have reservations, you’ll most likely leave on an empty stomach. The small restaurant is usually booked solid every weekend.

The bright dining room is divided in two areas; the first, by the kitchen, has only two high tables with bar stools. The second is filled with about ten regular tables and chairs. The décor is simple, dark wood is the visual theme. Feels welcoming and casual.

Wait staff is attentive; the number of people serving the restaurant even seems more than necessary. But I’m not complaining.

For some restaurants, opening for weekend brunch is a way to make good margins on basic meals. While the chef enjoys some time off, line cooks run the kitchen preparing your pancake and eggs, any style. Most menus are pretty standard if not the same. One may say brunch is the ultimate comfort food. But for Maverick, it’s much more than that.

The menu

Classic brunch staples are redefined with inventiveness. Flavors and textures are explored to bring a more flavorful twist to an otherwise expected meal. Drinks include Blackberry Mimosa with House made Washington blackberry syrup, Segura Viudas Brut Reserve. Even the simpler breakfast plates are well presented and appetizing.

The meal

My favorite thing to order is the Andouille Sausage “Benedict” – Grilled andouille sausage, poached eggs, crawfish and jalapeno hollandaise, English muffin, home frie. It’s a good example of a classic breakfast plate prepared with a inventive twist. The heat of the jalapeno sauce, sausage and crawfish bring a southern flair to the dish. The combination is spot on, in texture and flavors. There’s only one problem, the poached eggs are not always done right. I had it undercooked a couple of times and almost hard when I asked them cooked medium. Even so, I’d order it again.

On a sweeter side, the Pecan Crusted French Toast and Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes are good options. Not the boring breakfast type. They are served with Nueske bacon and house made pork sausage, respectively. Both come with good quality warm Vermont maple syrup.

Another good call is the house signature Maverick Doughnut Holes. Served warm, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, they are hard to resist (although not as hard as Prune’s Merveilles).

Coffee is good too, on the stronger side. Brewed with San Francisco’s Caffé Roma blend.

In short

Maverick is one of San Francisco’s top brunch destinations. The contemporary atmosphere and creative menu bring a welcomed upgrade to the traditionally stale morning fare. It proves that comfort food can be inventive too. It’s hard to go wrong with anything, unless of course you don’t have a reservation.

For more on Maverick, read the dinner review.

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