First Mac & Cheese Night of 2015! This outing took us to Farmerbrown, just about a block from the Powell St. BART stop in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Our original location was meant to be Grub in the Mission District, but it turns out Grub must have closed sometime in December! That makes two restaurants on the 7×7 list that no longer exist and two more left to go before my mission is complete.
Farmerbrown is a Southern restaurant, perhaps one that could be called Soul Food, but I don’t think there’s enough crustacean or spice on the menu to qualify as that. I’ll go ahead and give you our overall impression of the restaurant: good, solid food that would have been great if, oh, $5-$10 cheaper per entrée. Yes, this is San Francisco, but I don’t want to live in a world where a pulled pork sandwich costs $17.50. It’s just not right.
Okay, maybe if any of us had ordered the pulled pork, my mind would be changed. But we didn’t, instead opting for two varieties of chicken—
the fried chicken with mustard greens and the mac & cheese and…
…the oven roasted chicken with pomegranate broccolini and roasted brussel sprouts—
the cornmeal catfish plate with hush puppies, candied yams, pickled onions, and green beans,
–and the appetizer portion of BBQ baby back ribs with an apple-jalapeno coleslaw for our entrees. I can personally testify to the ribs being tasty with a sweet & spicy sauce, though they were perhaps too charred in spots. My coleslaw was unique for being nearly all apples and quite flavorful. The catfish plate drew high praise from Friend #1, especially for the challenge presented in consuming all of those well-cooked vegetables. Friends #2 and #3 split the fried chicken and enjoyed it, though it could not compare to the double-dipped versions they’ve had in the past—what could, really? The Husband thought his oven-roasted chicken was good, and it was certainly the healthiest option among the bunch.
We also split a few sides for the table.
Those fried pickle chips were warm and squishy with a refreshing dip, but the batter could have been a lot crunchier and firmer.
That’s the double portion of the angel biscuits, which were inconsistent, ranging from fluffy and delectable to misshapen and undercooked. My biscuit was much denser than I’d expect from a restaurant claiming Southern roots. However, I appreciated the inventive spiced jam that came with it. Also a plus was the green chile hot sauce at every table that I ended up pouring liberally over my ribs to make them swim in spicy sauces.
The crisped outer shell of the side of waffles reminded me strongly of a liege waffle, and Friend #3, who actually ate them, agreed with that correlation.
And of course, there was the mac & cheese. We had it both as a starter and as a side dish with the fried chicken.