San Francisco: Creole Spices, A Horseradish Bonanza and the Captain Planet of Bloody Marys


This past Saturday, I celebrated my dirty thirty birthday in San Francisco.  Surprise visits from out-of-town friends, a 90's dance party, strange half-naked men and even a drunken impromptu hair cutting session filled my weekend.  But I still had time to complete my bloody mary review duties.  Here are my findings.

Brenda’s French Soul Food

If you can endure the long brunch wait, Brenda’s offers up Southern style food with a French twist.  Think beignets and grits or gumbo alongside Croque Monsieur.  But when it comes to their spicy tomato cocktail, they mix up a drink with 100% Creole flair.  Served with a thick, bright red, Creole spiced rim and no straw, each sip of Brenda’s Creole Bloody Mary combines this complex spice mixture with a light and easy to drink tomato juice.  A moderate heat level and a pickled okra garnish finish off this $7 cocktail.  3.5 Celery Stalks. Brenda's French Soul Food on Urbanspoon

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Pier 23 Café

Pier 23 is best enjoyed on a warm sunny day for awesome people watching and beautiful views of the bay.  But if you don’t happen to make it for brunch, fear not, because this seafood focused restaurant serves bloody marys all day long.  Described as “Ketel One Vodka, Spicy Tomato juice, and Lemon,” the bloody mary at Pier 23 is simple and straightforward, but with a strong horseradish kick.  Black pepper bits mix with big horseradish chunks for a sinus clearing bonanza, and just in case you need a few nibbles before brunch, lunch, dinner or anything else, this bloody comes fully garnished with a pickled green bean, cocktail onion and big bar olive.  $9.  3 Celery Stalks. Pier 23 Cafe on Urbanspoon

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This drink is heavy on everything.  With big doses of well vodka, Worcestershire, Tabasco, horseradish and black pepper, I was concerned that this bloody mary would be too much for my hangover ridden head and stomach to handle.  But to my surprise, it was the perfect medicine.  By their powers combined, each ingredient was summoned forth to create the ultimate hangover fighting Captain Planet of bloody marys. $5.  3 Celery Stalks.

Brenda's French Soul Food 652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102.  T: (415) 345-8100.

Pier 23 Cafe Pier 23 on the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111.  T: (415) 362-5125.

Molotov's 582 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117.  T: (415) 558-8019.

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