Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brunch at Canteen

I recently heard that my favorite brunch place, Baker & Banker, was putting their brunch service on hiatus, as the chefs are having a baby.  I'm happy for them, but, I'll miss it, as they really serve the best brunch in the city!  I stepped back to think of other memoral brunches, and remembered Canteen, which I visited around the same time as my first visit to Baker & Banker.  When I pulled up their website, I was met with bad news ... they also just ended their brunch service!  Doh!

Canteen is also run by the same chef from The Sentinel and The Golden West, known mostly as casual takeout sandwich shops servicing SOMA and the FiDi, respectively, but they also have, the absolute best muffins in the city.  Seriously, go get these muffins.  Just do so before 9am, as they always sell out.  The are loaded up with seasonal fruit, coated in sugar topping, crisp on top yet moist inside ... seriously, just dream muffins.  Trust me.  And expect a post about them soom :)

Anyway, this is an old review of Canteen, moving here to my blog since I won't be updating it, as they no longer offer brunch :(

Originally posted November, 2011.

Canteen is a small, cute place, with ~20 seats.  They have  only 4 booths that can seat 4 each and additional counter space.  Service was comfortable and friendly.  The whole place had a bit of a diner-vibe to it, but more upscale.  Since the place is so small, the food was executed well and served fast.  I'd love to go back for more pancakes!
Coffee Cake.
We wanted a little something to share to start, and selected the coffee cake.  It was a very large slice, served warmish, and actually a great item to split. It was pretty good, but different from most coffee cake.  It had a crusty bottom layer, and a moist interior, topped with pistachio crumble, and filled with walnuts.  Fairly unique for a coffee cake, and as you'd expect from its name, it paired perfectly with coffee!  My second favorite dish.
Pancake with vanilla sauce and apples.
They called this the "big pancake" or something like that.   It deserved the name - it was huge!  That plate in the photo was a regular full size plate.  If we were impressed with the size of our slice of coffee cake, we were downright blown away by this.

What you can't see in the photo is the delicious parts, all hidden under it.  The pancake was on top of cooked apples, on top of a vanilla sauce layer.  The pancake itself was kinda bland and not fluffy, but very moist.  The sauce underneath it was incredible.  The apples under were not cooked very well, still a bit too crisp.  But the sauce, oh the sauce.  Pieces of pancake dredged in the sauce were my favorite bites of the morning.  I sorta wished I had some more coffee cake, to soak into the sauce!
French Toast with sweet cream and blueberries.
This was pretty standard french toast, the weakest dish we had. The sweet cream cheese was not very interesting; not very cream cheesy, and had a bit of a strange mouthfeel.  The blueberry sauce was really good though, loaded with whole blueberries.  Noticing a theme?  They do good sauces!
Guinea hen with pomegranate sauce.
One member of our party wasn't feeling the crazy carby-sweets overload, and went for the guinea hen, while the rest of us shared the sweets.  I only had a bite of this.  It was nicely cooked hen, in a pretty tasty sauce.  Again, the sauce!
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