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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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).


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


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


To start we ordered beignets.


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.


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.


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


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


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).


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.


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!


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.


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


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!


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


We then headed to a shoot for the day!


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 🙂


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!


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.


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.


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!**

71 thoughts on “The Best Brunch in SF & Flor De Cafe!

  1. ok first of all…. how cool that a restaurant contacted you to photo shoot their food…. yummy and super cool! sounds like you are doing a great job checking off items on your to do lists. Even if those items are places to eat! Just think soon you’ll start a whole new list of places you have to try

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve had so much fun doing these shoots lately. Such a great little perk of food blogging I never expected?! Hehe- our bucket list isss predominately food with some hiking. I’m pretty stoked with the progress we’re making. Definitely trying to squeeze it all in between semesters! Thanks for stopping in- have such a great week!

    1. hehe- glad it all looks so appetizing, Kathy!! Mac and cheese might just be mine too. That or pizza 🙂 Thanks for stopping in- have a great weekend!

  2. Both places appealed to me with their food and what great pics of sandwiches that were towering with goodness. The beignets looked delicious as well … all of them. Wow, I couldn’t pick what I’d like best out of this post Mackenzie. in fact the Croque Monsieur could be my comfort food, hearkening back to having grilled cheese and tomato soup and sometimes my mom would grill some Canadian bacon (peameal bacon with the cornmeal on top) to slip in between the bread and cheese before grilling it. I haven’t had that in years though.

    1. Hi, Linda!! I hear ya, I don’t think I could pick a favorite either- This was easily one of the best meals we have had yet in the city!! Ohhhhh that grilled cheese with peameal bacon and cornmeal sounds absolutely delicious & comforting! Always love hearing what these meals remind you of. Thanks for sharing!!

      1. Hope you are enjoying your time off and trying a few more places Mackenzie … the best of eats before departing for Texas. It’ll be big steaks and Texas Toast then. 🙂 Hopefully not a problem since you don’t usually eat meat.

      2. Thank you, Linda! I definitely am 🙂 I cannot wait to share it all!

        Hehe- so true. DJ will be excited with all the good BBQ though I’m sure!

      3. Ha ha and you’ll have a running partner more often if DJ does enjoy all that BBQ. I hope your schedule permits to share your new adventures. It is hard to catch up – I’m a little behind myself and need to totally catch up tonight. I wrote a post tonight about a guy formerly from Michigan (now living in California) and he is walking across America (almost 3,000 miles). How exciting, but dangerous and rigorous he says.

      4. Totally!! hahah. He actually said he wants to get back into running today.

        I look forward to reading your catch up posts! And that is sooo fascinating- I always find stories like that really interesting & inspiring!

      5. DJ is probably thinking about how you use running or any treadmill time to relieve the stress of school, as well as for a fitness/exercise regimen. And great – you can run together if your schedules can mesh after your move to Texas. I hope I can get some posts done, but I have to tell you that all the bodies of water around here are past their sea walls and spilling out onto the boardwalks or paved paths – the photos are just amazing of this flooding, expressway water measured in feet not inches in places and the pumps are not pumping fast enough. I’m thinking I won’t stray far this weekend as we are having another torrential rain tonight.

      6. Yes it is such great exercise – I think he misses it from the training he did- and yesss I would love to run together again here and there too 🙂 oh my gooodnesss ! That’s wild!!! MI has had the craziest weather year. I’m excited to catch up on your posts. I have been deprived of blogging all weekend 😱 hehe

      7. We had a couple of good days – yesterday was sunny and warm and now back to gray and gloomy and rain all this work week. You were immersed in bridal, not blogging activities!

  3. Oh my gosh it looks amazing. One of the things i love most about California (besides you) is the flowers and landscape. Just gorgeous. Next is the food !!! But as much of a foodie as I am, I am embarrassed to say my favorite comfort food is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Haha boring !!!

    1. Hi, Momma! Thanks for the comment 🙂 You would loveee this hike! Maybe one day we can do it together.

      No no not embarrassing at all- it’s a quintessential comfort food (they are supposed to be basic and nostalgic!) <3 Love youuu!

  4. A chocolate filled beignet sounds incredible!! Also the homemade jam looks delicious.

    You’ve been killing it with the Instagram food lately! I don’t know how but you seriously get the best shots of everything you post.

    Favorite comfort food is so difficult! A part of me says pasta but then I also love a good bowl a spicy chili when I’m congested or on a cold dinner.

    1. Oh my gosh, thanks sooo much, Maureen!!! That means a lot 🙂 I’m having fun with it since I’m between semesters right now!

      Ohhh yesssss I agree- chili with some cheesy goodness on top – hard to beat in the comfort food realm! Mmm mm!

  5. Those beignets! I’d probably like the chocolate or apple one. I have such a sweet tooth! I’m not a pork person at all but I’d have to try a bite of that sandwich! It must’ve been good if you tried it :)I seriously love all our food pictures! How exciting that you’ve had the opportunity to attend a few foodie blogger events lately!

    Hmm my favorite comfort food dish is probably soup! Something about warm soup just makes me feel good!

    1. Hey girl!

      I have suchhh a sweet tooth too & these magically hit the spot !

      And pork is one of the last things I’d even have a desire to try- but that bite I had was magical!!! My sister in law doesn’t like pork either and kept talking about how great it was too! The combo of all the unique flavors and the marinade was just wow!

      It’s been a blast with the food events- I’ve been trying to take advantage before the next semester starts 🙂

      YES! Soup is da bestttt. Have you had authentic Ramen or Pho? It’s the ultimate “sick” comfort food!! I just had real Ramen for the first time last week and I can’t stop thinking about it hahha.

  6. I’m the same way with winter. It’s just a depressing time all around. Your grandmother’s ring is beautiful! And I’ll have to try to make some black bean brownies!

    1. It definitely is! It’s better living here, but I think some of us are just more sensitive to the season changes to affect our moods no matter what. Hoping the weather is great for you right now!

      Aww thank you <3

      YES! If you make them let me know what you think 🙂 They aren't quite the same as regular brownies, but they resemble them enough to take away a sweet tooth! Thanks for stopping in, Cadie!

  7. I’m glad that your SAD hasn’t seemed quite as intense in CA!! Hopefully that continues as you move to Texas. Do you think it’s been better in CA because it doesn’t get quite as cold?
    Also, how crazy that those brownies are made from black beans?! I would never guess black beans could actually make delicious brownies. Vegans are so creative, I love it!
    Those two doggos are just adorable cuddling on the couch together!! Too cute. <3

    1. Hi, Courtney!! I’m thankful we are moving somewhere with sun (TX will have even more!!). And I think the combo of the warmer temps and sunny days help a lot!

      Right?! I had been skeptical of the black bean brownies for a while- but I’m so glad I finally did! They were wonderful (not 100% the same as brownies, but still took care of the sweet tooth).

      I just love those two- sweetest pups ever! Thanks for stoppin in, girl! <3

      1. Oh good, I hope that Texas can continue to help you with all the sun and warmth!! <3

        I can imagine how they wouldn't be the same as regular brownies but that's still amazing that they come so close!! Wow!!

      2. Thanks, girl! Me tooo!

        Totally! I was shocked at how well the flavor was similar to a brownie especially (even if the texture was a bit off!).

  8. I love that ring!! And I love sentimentality! I have some of my grandmother’s things that remind me of her when I wear them. My favorite are a pair of earrings with sunflowers in the design. Those beignets all look ah-mazing! I only do sweet in small doses so while I’d have to taste them ALL, I’d probably like the crawfish best. That’s so awesome that you were asked to do a food shoot. You all got some great shots!! I hadn’t heard of Lomito sammy before, but all those ingredients sound delish (I’m always up for something with avocado too. lol.) I’m from SW Florida, so when I return home one of the sandwiches I always have to find is a Cuban Sandwich.

    1. Thank you so much, Amy! It’s so special <3 Those earrings sound beautiful!!

      I did the same thing! I had a bite of each (but the crawfish I had to restrain myself from eating allll of it so DJ could have a taste, lol!). It was life changing!!!

      Yesss- avocado anything -- sign me up too 🙂

      Ohhhh a cuban sandwich sounds yummy- I just looked them up and my mouth is watering! Kind of line a panini? Mmm!

      Thanks for stopping in! Have a great Sunday!

      1. I actually usually eat the cold Cubans, but the warmed up ones definitely look similar to a panini. And so good!!

      2. Oohhh cold sounds great too though! I love a cold sandwich on a hot summer day- mm mm!

  9. I absolutely loved the insight into your foodie world. A fabulous post! As a Brit, I am amazed at the huge portions of food. The photography is superb and captured the whole experience. Bravo! I want to hop and a plane from the UK and dig into the plates of food.

    1. Aww so glad you enjoyed this, Jessie!!!

      The portions are massive! We usually have leftovers for days !

      If you ever visit let me know if you need foodie suggestions 🙂 Thanks for stopping in!!

  10. Mac n cheese forever is my favorite comfort food dish or anything pasta!! Just to answer your question first lol anywayyyy
    Love your nail colour girl and they match your Nana’s ring perfectly! So beautiful! And those brownies look incredible, I love that they are vegan and gluten free, I will for sure be trying out that recipe! And that artwork in Flor De Cafe is beautiful, and it’s wonderful that it’s done by one of the owners! Maybe they should open a little store on the side too and sell some 😍 she’s a talented lady for sure!
    Thanks for always brightening my day with your posts Mack, you are such a ray of sunshine!

    1. GIRL yasss. mac n’ cheese truly is hard to top. I think that and pizza are my two.

      Aw thank you! I was excited that they matched- totally not planned but serendipitous 🙂

      Yay! They don’t taste exactly like brownies- but close enough that it takes away that sweet tooth. I particularly loved eating them with a little ice cream too!

      I agreee!!! I think they are actually considering doing that!

      Awww so glad you enjoyed- thank you for brightening mine, J! xoxox

  11. Wow can you say brunch and sandwich goals!!!! WOW!!! I love black bean brownies and you absolutely cannot tell the difference!! I love your Nana’s ring. It is stunning and what a great way to honor her memory 🙂 I also feel the same about mentally defrosting from winter!!! I’m emotionally at my best during summer 🙂 I hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    1. Glad it all looks so yummy!! The black bean brownies were just so darn delicious. They didn’t taste exactly like normal brownies- but I loved them! Gave me my fix.

      Aww thanks so much, Shan <3

      SO glad you get what I mean- it's weird because most people get in a better mood in the Spring but I just feel exhausted and down when it usually comes around. Takes me till summer to really get back to feeling myself! Hope you have a great week & thank you tons for stopping in.

    1. Yesss! It is AMAZING! If you are ever in SF- I’m convinced it is the best brunch in the bay 😋

  12. I understand completely Mackenzie what you are saying about the spring in the two different states. Here in Minnesota winter “gatecrashes ” spring for so long! We had frost still 2 days ago! our flowers are still only 3 inch stems but the grass is greening. I see by your posts how lovely the flowers are in bloom. Such a pretty and unique ring you got from your Grandma. I love your fingernail color !
    Flor de cafe is beautiful, how nice to be asked to do a shoot! The artwork is amazing! Great photos the sandwich is so tasty looking! Nice of Amy to help you! I like mac and cheese, so easy and fast!! Have a nice day Dear, Terri xo.

    1. Yes, exactly!! I am so glad the flowers are finally blooming for youuuu!

      And thank you tons- It was a fun change for spring 🙂

      I was so glad Amy could tag along- she really has an awesome eye for photography! It was so much fun.

      Oh my gosh, Mac and cheese is easily one of my ultimate comfort foods too! (my instagram handle is even mackncheeeesy hehe) .Thank you tons for stopping in, Terri! 🙂

      1. they are getting close to blooming, the dandelions have started to bloom! Lol, mackncheesy is such a fun name , you are welcome Dear, Terri xo.

  13. Those brownies look wonderful. So cool how they were made out of black beans & were completely vegan! I can’t believe those beignets were better than ones you’ve tried in New Orleans?! I’ve never tried them before but I’ve been dying to! I think the plain one would be my choice for dessert & the crawfish one for an appetizer, hehe. Looks so yum!! 🤤 I love that they had that fresh jam on the table, too. Wow. & the sammy photos turned out great!!

    I can’t pick a fave comfort food. 😭

    1. YESSS! Those brownies ended up being so yummy. I have got to make them again soon. The texture is different than a regular brownie, but it definitely gives me that brownie flavor!

      Yass i love your thinking! I am with ya on that Beignet lineup!

      haha it is a pretty cruel question making you choose just one comfort food 😉 SOO many good ones out there!!! Thanks for stopping in, girl! xox

      1. haha I always ask questions that I myself would have such a hard time answering- I think mac and cheese, pizza, and pho are probably my top!

  14. Omg sameeee….SAD is a real thing I think it’s worse up here because it’s usually always cloudy and rainy. Like right now. Havent seen the sun in a week and that’s no joke lol.
    Black bean brownies?!! No way. I’m not super into brownies to begin with but I wonder if I would like these more lol.
    I was just thinking how certain places are located in questionable areas, even here. Good to know about this place because tourists would never know.
    Those beignets look soooooooo mouthwatering good!!!
    Oh no the pups!!!! here come to water works! 😭😭 Lol. We tried to get a puppy and he was with us for a week and Alex decided we couldn’t keep him but I got so attached so I was devastated when we had to rehome him. Luckily he went to stay with one of Alex’s co workers and they love him. We actually got to see him last weekend and hes doing great and is happy but I miss him so much! My stress went way down when we got him and I’ve been kind of a wreck since he left. 😭 lol.
    That’s so cool that you got invited for a shoot! As someone who’s been eating meat less and less, that actually looks quite delish!!

    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone in that. It is SO real. And yess Portland/Seattle area I feel like has some of the worst of it. I like the occasional rainy day, but cold/not seeing the sun for so long is just not good for the body (and mental state!). Hopefully that sun will come out soon, girl!

      Soo these are really great at taking away that sweet tooth, but not identical to brownies in texture. Definitely worth trying out! I actually eat them for breakfast with my avocado smoothie lately because I love combo & it’s like having beans/oats for breakfast, but feeling like I’m eating dessert lol.

      Aw I remember that with your little pup- had to do what was best for you guys & at least you know he is being taken care of by people you can trust <3

      Maybe you can consider getting another one that is totally trained and has all their shots and would be easy peasy? Hehe.

      So you know I’m not a fan of meat in general, but this was actually sooo dang good!!! And it’s the only one you can find in SF, which makes me love it all the more! Thanks for reading 🙂

      1. they just sound so much healthier than real brownies LOL. I will have to try the avocado smoothie too, ever since you mentioned it a while back I’ve been wanting to try it! just need to grab a ton of avocados when they’re on sale LOL
        Actually, we tried again a second time about a month ago. He was a cutie. All black, pitbull and german shepherd mix. I taught him how to sit, down, crawl and wait in two days I was so proud. I also potty trained him in less than three days and he did amazing! ugh.. Alex’s co-worker came over again this weekend to pick up some scrap metal (his side biz) and he brought him along. He’s getting so big and still cutee! T_T
        Okay, if it’s the ONLY one in SF I think Alex and I will have to make a stop there. I think he might really like it! 🙂

      2. Yes for sure!!! Avocados are so yummy right now 🤤

        Wait so you guys still have the pit bull/ German Shepherd pup?!? That’s awesome! He sounds perfect!

        Yes yes !!! 👏🏻🤗 hope you are having a great week, Rossy!

      3. No we dont. We only had him for about a week before Alex decided not to keep him. Like for reasons I understand, i wouldn’t have been able to look after both ciel and the pup because they both require so much of MY attention but…idk.. I fell in love with the pup, I got attached, but i felt super happy and content and less stressed and anxious when we had him, it was good for me. Like we have my brothers dog, sophie, here living with us but shes not MY dog. You know what I mean? I think I need a furry companion because being at home all day doing nothing is getting to me. And I also thought that with ciel’s condition, having a dog might have brought him out of his shell a bit more. I have seen/read that people with autism respond really well to having pets and I thought, maybe that would be good for ciel too. But idk. Maybe we will wait a few more years when hes more understanding. Idk. I know I want one so bad but everyone has to be on board. Well. I think I’ve gone long enough talking about this lol.

      4. Oh I see, I see.. it definitely makes a difference when it your dog for sure. There is a special bond there. Those are all such good points- Sounds like it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”, so that’s exciting! There are sooo many benefits of having a pet, especially a dog. I bet Ciel would love that. I actually have thought more about us getting one after we move because my anxiety has been pretty intense in this new semester. Might not be a great idea with clinicals- but we’ll see! Maybe you and I could pup shop together haha.

      5. Oh he did love having the dog here even if it was just one week. And two days ago we found out that I’m not the only one who got attached. Ciel did too and was telling us that we need to call the guy to bring the dog back 😭😭😭
        You could definitely benefit from a dog bit time. And since you already have such an active lifestyle, going on runs with a dog would seem like so much fun! Lol. I wanted a dog to get me out of the house even if it was just for walks haha

      6. Awww I bet that was so tough 😢 I’m sure Ciel bounced back quick though.. I feel like kids are so much more resilient than us crazy adults haha. But yesss exactly – I’d love to have a dog to run with for sure ! That’s one of the #1 things I’m looking forward to with getting one someday. I hear Vizslas are amazing running dogs, so I’ve told Dj for years I’d love 1 Vizsla and 1 rescue! He loves Rhodesian ridgebacks .. so maybe we’ll end up with three dogs one day 🤣

      7. Yeah he did. Lol. I’ve never heard of vizslas. I’ll have to look them up lol. I think I’ve seen rhodesian ridge backs once or twice lol.

      8. Yeah they aren’t super uncommon <--- did that make sense? Lol. But we'll seee. Maybe a dog is what I need to cure my baby fever at least, haha!

  15. Love this. It was great learning more about you. So with you, spring is usually terrible when you have SAD, but completely agree, maybe it’s new air or just a better place (maybe?), but this spring has been lovely and refreshing! Hope you’re feeling great! 🙂💘

    1. This spring was so nice!! I absolutely loved it. I think in the midwest our winter really does go through the technical calendar “spring” so I think that’s why it was so bad for me there. Glad you have enjoyed this spring too 🙂

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