AQ — Sunday May 10, 2015
Standouts: Awesome playlist!
We waited: 0 min (reservation)
Summary: Mother’s Day may have changed the vibe, but most of the food was solid and the service was top-notch. The menu could have used a few more traditional items, especially since Mother’s Day brunch typically involves kids, but it was inventive.
It’s kind of hard to judge a brunch place on Mother’s Day, but I found the overall vibe to be a little reserved. The interior was attractive, spacious and covered in fresh flowers (for Mother’s Day, I presume?). Service was impeccable. The location, Mission Street between 7th and 6th, is not an enjoyable neighborhood to hang around and could keep me from coming back.
I started with a cocktail, the Breakfast of Champions, which is like a Manhattan but with coffee. Not bad, not great. Nice presentation.
First item out was a sticky bun. The frosting was made of caramel, which I would normally consider a win, but the bun was not heated. With a little heat this could have gone from boring to above average.
The menu was a bit unconventional, so it took me a while to decide on my courses. For first course, I chose the avocado toast which turned out to be an excellent choice. Everything tasted incredibly fresh which is good since the dish featured bay shrimp. It was served atop some fantastic sourdough. Big enough to easily be a main, if this is your starter I recommend sharing. This avocado toas could give the venerable Frog Hollow Farms a run for it’s money.
My wife had the berry pancakes which were fantastic. There might have been ricotta in there, but I forget. She says it’s the best pancake she’s ever had.
Second course was the Big Eye Tuna BLT. Again, the bread on this dish was fantastic. Tuna was very fresh and flavorful. Served with an itty bitty salad on the side.
His Overall Grade: B AQ is most hurt by location, but the venue itself is very nice and the avocado toast alone makes it worth a visit.
I liked the sticky bun, the coffee and the avocado toast.
For my main dish, I ordered the Eggs Benedict, which is one of my favorite brunch dishes. I was expecting a lot from this dish, but was let down. It was overflowing with mushrooms which I thought ruined the hollandaise. This was partly my fault, since I knew the dish had mushrooms. However, when it arrived I was overwhelmed by the amount of mushrooms that were on my plate. Although the hollandaise was mediocre, the poached egg was cooked well, and the biscuits under the eggs were pretty good. I was a bit disappointed by the dishes I got, but I would go again to see what their regular menu is like as opposed to the special menu they had for Mother’s Day.
Her Overall Grade: B-
The Brunch List @ 16
AQ takes position #8, pushing Starbelly to #9.
- Boot & Shoe Service (Oakland)
- Mission Beach Cafe
- Foreign Cinema
- Central Kitchen
- Kitchen Story
- Boxing Room
- Cooperage (Lafayette)
- Chop Bar (Oakland)
- Gather (Berkeley)