The Best Brunch in SF & Flor De Cafe!

I gotta tell ya what. Spring has not always been my favorite time of year. For years, I have had some pretty intense SAD. So usually by the time Spring rolls around I’m not in the best state, and I feel like I’m mentally/emotionally “defrosting” from a long winter. It is the time of year I usually associate with energy depletion, apathy in full force, and stunted motivation. It traditionally isn’t until Summer that I feel I have my full mojo back. However, since moving to CA, I have grown to just love & relish in the spring time. I love the blooms, the sunshine, and the hope/renewed excitement that accompanies this time of the year. This might be my favorite spring so far too… I am soaking up every last second of living here, and really just trying to be ever present, finding the beauty in every single moment.

I’m still catching up on the recap, but I’m closing in on only being a week behind. We’re making strides here, people, making strides. On Saturday April 13th, I spent the day catching up on blogs/finishing up some school assignments for the semester- same ol’ same ol’. In the evening I made a mix of mixed veggies, lots of Morningstar vegan crumbles, and green goddess dressing. Mmm!

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As I have been trying to use up all our dry goods, I decided to use up a gargantuan bag of black beans that have been sitting in the pantry for a while. I made these black beans brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie and love them!!! You’d never know they were made with black beans. They are also vegan and gluten free! I actually have been eating these some days in the morning with my avocado smoothie instead of my oats. I have such a sweet tooth in the morning some days.

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On April 14th, I woke up around 5:45 am, ran about 7 miles, then headed to Nosh to grab a coffee since I was out of coffee at home.

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Time to drive into the city!!!

This ring I’m wearing below is one of my favorites because it belonged to my Nana. It has such special sentimental value & she had such a spectacular eye for fash-un. It makes me feel close to her whenever I wear her gems <3

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First stop was Brenda’s French Soul Food for some brekky. My SIL and foodie/exploration partner in crime, Amy, joined me. What am I gonna do without her when we move?! I’m seriously trying to convince her to move to Austin with us.

Anywho, Brenda’s is the most frequently reviewed place on YELP in SF and has been one of those places that I “MUST” try before we move.

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I appreciate how they so clearly lay out the “House Rules”. I dropped Amy off to put our name on the list before finding parking, but as I drove around I realized we were in the Tenderloin- probably the most dangerous area in SF. After she put our name on the wait list, I called her and then picked her back up so we could find parking together.

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The wait was not bad at all! Rumor has it that you will wait at least 45 minutes no matter when you come, but we waited maybe 20? It was not bad!

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The interior was amazing. I expected it to be more grungy- but it was clean, fun, upbeat, polished. I forgot to get a pic, but one of the walls were entirely made up of mirrors (you can see them on the YELP page if interested).

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The way they put the silverware in the coffee canister reminded me of Cafe Du Monde! 

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Amy ordered their famous Molasses-Black Walnut Iced Coffee with Whipped Cream!

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To start we ordered beignets.

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Okay y’all. These were out. of. this. world. I am adding these to my list of “must try” dishes in San Francisco. The flight includes one plain, one apple, one Ghirardelli chocolate filled, and one crawfish.

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The Ghirardelli was DJ’s favorite (I brought him back some to try!). I liked it for sure- but it was more of a rich dessert than breakfast item for me.

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My favorite was the crawfish. Not even exaggerating- this is easily one of the best things I have ever eaten.

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My second favorite were the Granny Apple Smith. Oh my gosh, these were phenomenal.

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And even the plain ones held my attention. These were, without any question, the best beignets I have ever had. They were even better than Cafe Du Monde’s in New Orleans (which I did not think lived up to the hype).

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Oh, and you bet we ordered more! Amy tried their Croque Monsieur with baked ham and swiss with bechamel sauce on sliced sourdough. I tried the cheese with the bread and that alone- holllly smoke-a-roonies. I cannot handle- so yummy.

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I ordered the shrimp & grits to take home for DJ. I knew this was a dish he’d enjoy! I tried a little nibble before packaging them up & they were just WOW. Mind blowingly good- although Patty O’s may have them beat!

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I ordered their shrimp & goat cheese omelette with caramelized onions and a tomato relish. I don’t know what the heck made this so good, but it was one of my favorite omelettes I’ve had in my entire life. Also, their potatoes are uniquely delicious & the biscuit was warm, doughy, obnoxiously good.

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They even have a homemade strawberry jam on the table with whole strawberries and a perfect jam on the biscuit.

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One of … no no no, THE best brunch I have had in the Bay. If you have to eat at one place for breakfast while visiting SF, this is your spot!

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After we went back to Amy’s for a beat, and I got to see my fav little pups- Gravy & Pool Noodle <3

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We then headed to a shoot for the day!

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This shoot was for Flor de Cafe. They reached out to me on Instagram, asking if I would come in for a shoot in exchange for their famous sandwich! I obliged happily 🙂

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This cute little Cafe is owned by a man from Chile & his wife from Southern Columbia. Their story is inspiring & beautiful. She actually does all the artwork for the cafe!

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I met the Chef and owner, Hernan- seriously such a nice guy! He was so welcoming & kind. Time to get to the photo shoot. So the reason this place is oh so special is because they serve the only Lomito sammy in the entire Bay Area. The Bay serves everything so the fact that the Lomito is only served here is a purrrrty big deal.

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This spectacular sandwich is made with two day marinated pork, mayo, avocado, sauerkraut all on ciabatta bread. Y’all know I will eat meat when DJ says something is a must-try or there is something soo good I can’t pass it up. This was one of those times! I took a big bite of that lomito, and let me tell ya- even for someone who doesn’t like meat, this sammy was excellent. I brought home the rest for DJ and he LOVED it.

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So much fun getting taking these pics– Also major thanks to Amy for her help with this shoot- she really has an eye for food photography!

Have a great rest of your week, y’all!

Question for you:

  • What’s your favorite comfort food dish?

xo <3

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**Thank you for the Lomitos & having us in, Tim, Hernan, & Flor De Cafe!**

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Lotsa PB Toast & Culinary Corner Bistro!

This past week was so busy, but sooo much fun. I can’t wait to share everything. So April 8th, I whipped up some fish/quinoa/roasted eggplant for myself and some tacos for DJ. Both I have posted more than a zillion times so I’ll spare ya the pics.

BUT what is picture worthy are our severely undercooked tollhouse chocolate cookie gems! MM mm! Peep mega cookie in the background 😉

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April 9th after working on some big school assignments, I made a combo of tuna, quinoa, mixed veggies, and spicy mustard. Deej had his taco leftovers.

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April 10th, I woke up with some avocado toast/homemade hummus/tabasco while reading some blogs on the balcony.

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While reading y’alls posts I got hungry again, naturally- so I made some PB toast with honey. I had to rip this massive piece of bread to fit in the toaster, that’s why it looks attacked, lol.

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I worked on some school assignments at Nosh, and nibbled on a kiwi and more PB toast. I’m on a PB Toast kick ever since Trouble Cafe.

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In the evening we had a women’s conference at church, and since I was helping with Welcome team we had to be there at 5:15. So, it was either eat dinner at 4:45 or wait until 9:30 pm. Definitely going with 4:45! I made a massive omelette to get lotsa protein with mixed veggies, quinoa, and salsa.

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The treats they had for the guests were adorable!! I mean look at those macarons!

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The whole outside patio of the church was set up for super cute photo ops for the attendees.

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Such a great night praising Jesus with some amazing sisters in Christ <3

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On Thursday April 11th, Deej was out of his overnight oats, so I made him eggs, bacon, and PB toast with honey. This meal was very much inspired by Maureen– she always makes yummy looking eggs & toast in the AM!

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And whaddya know I made a slice of PB toast for myself as well! Once again, had to rip the bread to fit in the toaster. (It was bread from a client of DJs and OH so good!).

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For dinner I whipped up an omelette again and put some green goddess dressing from TJ’s on top. I put that stuff on everything lately. So good!

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In the evening I treated myself to a bath with these bath bombs from artnaturals. They smell wonderful, but still nothing beats a Lush bath bomb!

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I do love that each bath bomb has a separate purpose- for example one is for strength, one for energy, and one for calmness.

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For breakfast on April 12th, I made steel cut oats with mixed berries, protein powder, vegan chocolate chips and some whipped cream. mmm! I’ve been eating this on repeat for breakfast the last week.

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And I made DJ his overnight oats so he wouldn’t have to worry about it when he came back from work. This had steel cut oats, milk, honey, Natural PB from Jif, and a dash of vanilla.

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In the afternoon I went on a beautiful walk around the neighborhood.

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For lunch I made toast with avocado, egg whites, almond cheese, and green goddess dressing.

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I then got dressed and ready for a foodie event–I painted my nails too! Time to brighten it all up for spring!

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The place I went this night was Culinary Corner Bistro in San Jose. The owners and chef were incredibly kind & fun! They wanted us to get new menu photos for them and just to promote the restaurant in general. They were cracking up at how often we moved dishes to get the perfect lighting and we even went outside at one point to make a spread on the ground. More on that to come 😅

Culinary Corner Bistro is a pan-pacific asian inspired fast-casual restaurant that has options for everyone from omnivore to vegan.

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They had such nice little set up for all of us!!

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I’m telling ya- the hospitality was spectacular. Time to get to the food.. whaddya think?

First up- their Crispy Peppercorn Wings with caramelized fish sauce! I didn’t sample these, but everyone raved about them.

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Next: Crab Cakes with crab meat, Japanese ginger, and sriracha aioli. These were SO tasty. I love crab cakes, but usually when they are too “fried” I don’t like them. Although these were fried, the inside crab flavor was fantastic- so savory. I could have ate this whole dish.

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These ahi tuna rolls with mango, avocado, cucumber, with wasabi-ginger soy sauce were some of my favorite! They were wonderfully fresh, had a tiny sweetness with the mango, and the sauce was really yummy. The bites were small enough that you didn’t have to worry about them falling apart- can I get an Amen, Hunida?!

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These truffle sweet potato fries below were really yummy! I wouldn’t say they were my favorite sweet potato fries I have ever had, but they were still great. The sauce with them was a scrumptious accompaniment.

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So this Thai mango papaya salad with daikon, carrot, and basil with Thai sauce is something I could eat every single day. It was so light, refreshing, but with so much citrus and sweet flavor and a satiating crunch.

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Where my meat lovers at? If you go, you have got to try the Grilled New York Steak Pho with Bone Marrow. I am convinced bone marrow is one of the tastiest things you can eat on earth- so needless to say this was PHOnomenal. I tried some of the broth & noodles- and it was mighty good.

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The dish on the top is the shaken filet mignon with angus filet wok seared with brandy, red onions, and butter, which people absolutely loved. The dish on the bottom is the BBQ boneless short rib with a lemon fish sauce. I tried some veggies from the boneless short rib and the sauce tasted far too heavy on the sodium for my liking- I’d veer away from that one – it overpowered the flavor. Many of their other menu items are much more fresh & well rounded with herbs and natural flavors.

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One of my two favorite dishes of the night is this mahi mahi below with grilled pineapple and mango salsa. It blew. me. away. SO Good.

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And for my favorite dish- the pan seared salmon with garlic noodles and seasonal veggies. The garlic noodles were to die for. And the salmon was perfectly crisped skin with an explosion of herbs and deliciousness.

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I think y’all will get a kick out of this. In order to get a picture of the full spread, we took all the dishes outside because we liked the look of the flooring. Here’s a little behind the scenes…

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Time for the full spread!

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**I wrote this earlier in the week & just realized it was published on Good Friday!!!  <3 Hope you have a lovely Easter weekend, friends, praising Jesus for His unfathomable love and sacrifice <3 To Him be the Glory!**

Question for you:

  • Weekend plans?

xo <3

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**Thank you to Tiffi Hung & Hung Tu for hosting us! And to Michelle for inviting us!**