Looking For A Tasty FiDi Breakfast/Lunch Spot? — Golden West, SF (EATS)
October 1, 2010 § 3 Comments
Those of you who live in S.F. may have noticed the desert that is the casual breakfast/lunch scene in the Financial District (FiDi). While there are plenty of fancy-pants restaurants and chain coffee shops, I haven’t found a place where you can grab a quick breakfast before work or lunch with a friend that’s remarkable. Until I tried Golden West.
My friend Krupa, who enjoys great food, was in town from L.A. for work, and we had an hour to meet for breakfast in the FiDi. I was at a loss, but upon some research found that there’s a tiny take-out window in an alley that was supposed to be open for breakfast but whose website only listed a lunch menu and a request for patience as the place got going.
Could be risky. Or could be great.
Luckily, Krupa is always down for an adventure (case in point: we would have gone to a pistol shooting range instead of breakfast except that the range didn’t open early enough). So there we met, in an alley striped with sunlight and shadow.
Now, to be honest, we weren’t taking a huge flyer; Golden West was opened by Dennis Leary, who’s also the chef at Canteen (which I love) and Sentinel. For breakfast, there’s a short menu offering Bay Area-style comfort food with Southern flair: a cream ham biscuit, a cup of pork and beans with a poached egg, a mushroom-fontina brioche and assorted pastries, including a fig coffee cake when we were there, plus coffee. Krupa and I peered into the tiny window, pondering the racks of freshly-baked goods with interest before finally both opting for the biscuit.
The biscuit was fairly dense, breaking apart in crumbly rather than flaky bites; though flaky biscuits are my personal preference, I enjoyed the flavor. I’m a sucker for ham and relished the toothsome cubes bathed in a velvety herbed cream gravy. The herbs shone through more brightly than I expected, which I enjoyed, though on the whole it was a tad salty for my taste. All that said, it was a pretty darned satisfying breakfast, and to my surprise, I consumed the entire contents of the take-out box, which I swear weighed three pounds. I didn’t feel the need to eat again until dinner!
So, how did it compare with the best the South has to offer? In my opinion, the South will always win on biscuits. But driving 20 minutes is infinitely more doable than flying 3,000 miles for a biscuit breakfast, and given my overall enjoyment of the cream ham combo, I’d definitely return. Next time, I want to try the pork and beans, or swing by at lunchtime to try a barbecue sandwich. If you work downtown and are looking for comfort food to get you through your day, I’d definitely recommend it.
Click here for SFoodie’s review of Golden West’s lunch and pork and beans.
Golden West, 8 Trinity Alley (at Montgomery; look for the glowing “Au” — as in the periodic table — sign), San Francisco, CA. 415.392.3246. http://theauwest.com/. Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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