Brenda’s French Soul Food is notorious for its long waits for weekend brunch. But now those waiting can get a preview of what’s to come by walking a couple of stores down to the new Libby Jane Café.
Opened by Chef Brenda Buenviaje’s wife and partner, Libby Truesdell, the café almost reminds one of the original tiny Brenda’s space, with a long counter against a mirrored wall. Bright and fresh, the café space sells some of Brenda’s popular items like its Voodoo BBQ sauce, and an array of sandwiches, soups, and baked goods.
It’s the baked goods that probably represents Brenda’s signature soul food comfort, with many things baked with butter and/or bacon. I tried a savory bread pudding ($2.75), which was the size of a cupcake but tasting like Brenda’s brunch on the run with savory flavors of ham and swiss cheese in a moist bread shell.
Libby Jane warrants a visit on its own right, not just on your way to Brenda’s. In many ways, it can provide a casual and quick taste of Southern comfort food without the wait.
Libby Jane’s, 644 Polk St. (between Eddy and Turk), San Francisco. PH: 415.926.2540. Open daily (from 7 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. weekends) until 4 p.m. libbyjane.com
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