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Friday, February 17, 2012

Radish Brunch Makes Friends in the Neighborhood

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

click to enlarge Screwdrivers made with soju
  • Screwdrivers made with soju

Radish opened up in the Mission less than a year ago, pitching itself as a "neighborhood standby" committed to serving seasonal, locally sourced ingredients with a Southern twist. The tiny kitchen may have a few kinks to work out, but their tasty eats and fun, funky personality show they're on the right track -- as does the crowd hanging around outside during brunch hours.  

click to enlarge Screwdrivers made with soju
  • Screwdrivers made with soju

The menu changes with the sun cycle, but we observed a couple of trends: You can throw Mexican high on the list of flavor influences, and also, Radish could be a haven for restrictive diets. 

click to enlarge Migas scramble, with onion, bell pepper, cheddar and tortilla strips
  • Migas scramble, with onion, bell pepper, cheddar and tortilla strips

click to enlarge Migas chili relleno, stuffed with scrambled eggs and peppers
  • Migas chili relleno, stuffed with scrambled eggs and peppers
On the chalkboard menu of specials, you can kick up the Migas to a Migas Chili Relleno ($12), in which the whole scramble is stuffed inside a huge, battered pepper. It sounds decadent and it is, but the result is pleasantly light and fluffy instead of crispy and greasy -- it's almost like a savory pancake batter on the outside, drizzled with sour cream and doused in green salsa. 

click to enlarge Breakfast tacos, with steak, peppers and avocado
  • Breakfast tacos, with steak, peppers and avocado
The Breakfast Tacos ($10) are another signature dish (see the Mexican theme here?). Scrambled eggs and marinated steak are tucked into stacked corn tortillas, along with peppers, onions and avocado. Tiny bowls of pickled jalapeños and carrots add a nice, tangy touch, and you can substitute tofu if you're not a steak fan. 

click to enlarge Greek scramble, with olives, mushrooms, spinach, and feta
  • Greek scramble, with olives, mushrooms, spinach, and feta
If there's one dish to skip it's the Greek Scramble ($11) which doesn't follow the flow of the rest of the menu. This mishmash of eggs, olives, mushrooms, spinach and feta might seem like a solid veggie option -- besides the skimpy feta serving -- but the flavors don't do much to wow. 

Radish deserves props for catering to the gluten- and dairy-free set. Gluten-free bread is available upon request at no extra charge -- a major win for those used to paying extra for wheatless toast. Additionally, you can order the house-made granola ($6) with coconut milk yogurt for an extra $1.50; yes, you're shelling out more, but how many menus feature coconut milk yogurt, anyway? 

click to enlarge North Coast Brewing Co.'s Scrimshaw Pilsner
  • North Coast Brewing Co.'s Scrimshaw Pilsner
The Radish team prides itself on partnering with local companies, so you'll see coffee from Mr. Espresso and plenty of Northern California beers, like North Coast Brewing Company's Scrimshaw. Another bonus for day drinkers are the $10 bottomless mimosas, which may give institutions like Lime some competition. 

If Radish wants to step up as a friendly Mission neighborhood joint, we're sold -- especially if they can tighten up service to avoid those tedious San Francisco brunch wait lists. There's plenty to be said for bringing those bottomless mimosas out to the sidewalk with a hopeful smile.
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Olivia Ware

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