Unless you wish to get into the lore of breakfast burritos, wax poetic about pastry, or are seeking outstanding examples of specific dishes, Plow in Potrero Hill is the best place to get breakfast in San Francisco. Notice the eggs, yolks cooked to perfection with no opaque color while the whites have just the right amount of crust. The herbed breakfast potatoes served with a pleasing crunch and the pancakes, simply divine in weight, size, and flavor. Artisanal house made pork sausage patties served slightly pink in the center, and perfect for soaking up stray syrup. My only issue with this beautiful display of breakfast mastery is the syrup actually – I would be surprised if it were a graded maple instead of an off the shelf imitation. A nice touch would’ve been to heat it as well.
The perfectionist in me might highlight specific flaws in the experience. The interaction at the door felt clumsy; watching other parties seated before us and a decidedly low-tech system in place. The coffee here sourced from local roaster Equator is certainly not a star player, nor are the coffee mugs all that pleasing. The communication could use some improvement, but the quality spoken through the dishes was voluminous. My dining companions went with both of the breakfast sandwiches; items which could stand on the strength of the Acme bun execution alone. Soft and pillowy with the right amount of toasting to maintain integrity. Excellent flavor, not too dry or dripping with aioli. The proprietors of Plow are both Oliveto alumni, a standard in high execution across the bay in Oakland.
When I looked into the smallish kitchen I expected to see a chef in whites and/or an expo for quality at this level. Everything on my plate was well executed yes, but the timing was on – no easy feat with a busy restaurant and small multi-station kitchen. The Hong Kong style toast, which had a deep level of buttered char before being laced with an icing of sweetened condensed milk was a treat. The cake was neither groundbreaking nor flawed but did satisfy.
Plow does a few things very well; the range is apparent, but the quality and execution are elevated. After a meal at Plow, I felt like I had been given a light dusting of powdered sugar, just as the pancakes had. It’s rare outside a city like Chicago or New York do I notice such breakfast mastery. Get there early and be patient, the food is worth the wait.