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A Brunch Spot That’s Worth the Haul

Biscuit - with a delicious savory chutney spread

Savory Bread Pudding - light but satisfying

Hash

Interior - Back

Dining Room Area

No matter where you live, I can guarantee getting to Serpentine will be a trek but its brunch offering is worth the effort.  Located in what I think is the Dogpatch district of San Francisco, it’s surrounded by desserted shipyards and warehouses with the roaring cars of highway 101 heard in the distance.  The difference between Serpentine’s seemingly desolate location and its interior is almost startling: the overflow of people and activity literally made me gasp when I walked inside.  I thought I had walked into the Tipsy Pig at 9pm on a Saturday.  Jac and I had to wait about ten minutes before two spots opened up at the bar.  A few Muni trains stop nearby and parking was a cinch.

Serpentine’s interior design does match its neighborhood surroundings.  Exposed brick walls and ceilings create an industrial feel.  The simple black decor and metal furniture add to the simple, minimilast vibe.  Cozy and inviting: no; comfortable: sure.

I didn’t have to study the menu long as the Savory Bread Pudding immediately caught my eye.  In large part because of our server’s recommendation, Jac went with the Red Flannel Hash.  We also split a biscuit to tide us over.  Truth be told, the bread pudding is one of the least aesthetically pleasing dishes I’ve ever been served; it’s green, brown, and slightly burnt on top.  But, this should serve as a “don’t judge a book by its cover” lesson.  The combination of fluffy bread, chunks of ham, and grueyere cheese glue was unparalleled.  It also managed to be light so I didn’t need a nap afterward.  I appreciated the simple fact that it was different: no eggs, homefries, or traditional brunch carbs.

Our biscuit was a member of the cornbread family and not particularly memorable in itself but the unique chutney jelly it was served with saved it took it from mediocre to excellent.   My few bites of Jac’s hash – chunks of beef brisket, crispy potatoes, and roasted beets topped with a poached egg and toast – were quite pleasing but not as unusual as my bread pudding.  The beef is slow cooked beautifully so that no knife is required.  The potatoes cubes were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  At $11.50, this is a great value.

One disappointment: no dessert!  A shared piece of cake would have gone a long way to cleanse the savory palette.  Dessert void aside, Serpentine has many tempting choices (not to mention a completely different dinner menu!) that I’d love to try soon.   The prices (all brunch entrees in the $10 -12 range), laid back atmosphere, diverse brunch cocktail choices, and excellent bruch fare means I’ll probably be hopping in my car more in the future to get myself to Portreo Hill.

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