What do you make of breakfast being the most important meal of the day? I guess it is, but in our household during the working week it’s put on the back burner. Getting to school early doors, then spending the next two hours doing school stuff means a cuppa and a sly biscuit is all I can manage. The weekend (or during the holidays) on the other hand is a different matter, when breakfast or brunch can be the best thing ever!
A few years ago the other half and I were introduced to the culture of brunch and cocktails by friends who lived in Dublin! Enjoying both, they fitted seamlessly together and we were sold on the idea. For a time I even researched if any Leeds independents provided the same service, having no real luck then. Brunch, like street food, has become more of a food lovers pastime in Leeds since then and with the likes of The Greedy Pig, Belgrave and The Wardrobe doing their breakfast/brunch service it’s certainly getting there. Not sure if any do the brunch/cocktails combo though, possibly The Wardrobe.
I’d read that San Francisco had lots of amazing brunch places and that booking well in advance was a must, as the sight of long queues outside the best eateries was common. Nopa seemed to match our criteria, the name comes from its location; North of the Panhandle and had a great reputation for weekend brunch, as well as their lunch and dinner service.
Service was friendly and efficient from the get-go, their floor team know exactly what they doing, I like that. Waiting at the bar we ordered a strawberry cava and sunshine fix, shame we couldn’t bag some bar seats, but never mind as all was forgotten about once we tasted our drinks!
The place was already getting busy, with people either waiting to be seated or there on spec, getting there early to grab a seat at the community table. Filled with a mix of people of different ages, but I’m guessing this place would be very popular with young professionals and the like. Soon we were taken upstairs to the mezzanine level, where you can watch the action unfold below; great for people watching!
I was caught between a few things on the menu, finally settling on baked eggs and my friend the butter basted eggs, both wanting crispy bacon our lovely server suggested two portions. We also fancied something sweet so ordered a sweet cardamom bun too.
The bun was ace, lovely and chewy inside, but lightly crisped on the outside with sugar and cinnamon sweetness. The accompanying marmalade had good consistency and was sharp, full of thinly sliced rind.
My baked eggs were the right choice, I loved how the egg was just cooked and the golden yolk ran into the delicately smoked tomato sauce. The crisp smokey bacon gave a smack of saltiness and meaty savouriness that you only get from bacon! The mezzo secco cheese was not one I was familiar with, but I found this ideal as it slightly melted and was fairly neutral in taste.
The total cost of our Sunday brunch with cocktails was $66.73 for two people, not including service.
The whole thing was really enjoyable, if we could’ve stayed longer in San Francisco I’m sure we would’ve eaten there again.
Food: Lovely menu, something for everyone, easily could’ve stayed there all day!
Service: Friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They had a lovely relaxed, but very professional manner.
Atmosphere: From the kitchen, bar and dining area there was a great atmosphere/buzz/ambience, whatever you want to call it from the time we entered until we left.Nopa 560 Divisadero (at Hayes) San Francisco CA 94117 http://www.nopasf.com