In a enterprise as ruthless and cut-throat because the restaurant trade, it’s a well-known undeniable fact that few fledgling institutions survive past a single 12 months. Such miserable statistics are removed from stunning when you think about the price of hire, rising costs for meals, and aggressive competitors on all sides. That makes the longevity of a spot like St. Francis Fountain really outstanding, talking volumes of the menu, in fact, but additionally the fiercely loyal following it’s created over the previous 100 years in operation. Sure certainly, first opened in 1918, this little slice of Americana has crushed the chances for a century, with no indicators of fading away.
It’s the form of place the place some issues by no means change. Wood cubicles the place younger lovers and households of many generations alike convene over traditional breakfast fare, regardless of the time of day. Nostalgic signage strains the partitions, bearing such endearing statements like “we’re glad you’re right here” that you could’t assist however consider their real sincerity. The relentless march of time is obvious within the menu, nevertheless. The choice to have a milkshake made with soy gelato, or scramble platter swapping eggs for tofu, was most likely not a part of the unique plan.
Whereas it’s true, you’ll find toast in ample provide right here, it’s a far cry from the $9 avocado creations assembled for Instagram notoriety; somewhat, they’re the default aspect dish to all savory entrees, toasted dry, with a aspect of vegan butter on the aspect for all who want to stay dairy-free. Sourdough appears necessary for such a traditional San Francisco establishment, regardless of the pairing. On this case, roughly crumbled chunks of tofu slathered in a light ranchero sauce will remedy what ails you, sauteed with as many (or as few) greens as your coronary heart wishes, scrambled to style.
Greatest recognized for a unusual dish that’s provided as a aspect however eats like a full meal, the “Nebulous Potato Factor” defies definition, which is a part of the attraction. A mountainous pile of hash browns, crisped on the skin, tender and buttery on the within, arrive on the desk like a gustatory problem. Even the half portion is immense, sufficient to satiate any affordable eater for a full day. Spicy pico de gallo is topped with a beneficiant dollop of creamy guacamole for the vegan model at no further cost. Nowadays when simply the inexperienced fruit alone can command sky-high costs, this simply would be the discount of the century.
Like several greasy spoon value its griddle, pancakes flip onto plates in a various palate of fruit flavors. Banana walnut is an actual winner, yielding massive chunks of toasted nuts and candy banana in each forkful. Granted, the syrup isn’t pure maple, but it surely fits the venue for its no-frills, unpretentious sensibility.
Although not explicitly said, the chocolate egg cream, arguably one of many best obscure soda fountain staples, can nonetheless get its fizz on with a fast soymilk swap. This can be the one place within the metropolis, if not all the west coast, prepared to serve up this slice of childhood sweetness for different eaters. Even should you get up late, don’t sleep on this selection.
Restricted hours preclude it from being the late-night hang-out of many stoners’ desires, however each morning, seven days every week, St. Francis Fountain constantly delivers the hits to appease the hungover and the heartbroken, to feed the neighborhood, physique and soul.
It’s exhausting to say what could be popping out of the kitchen in one other hundred years from now, however primarily based on its observe file, I’d certain wish to suppose that it is going to be scorching, comforting, and simply veganized.
St. Francis Fountain
2801 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110