San Francisco is a peninsula of the most delicious food in the world and it’s easy to get spoiled here. This past weekend my fiance and I were walking up Valencia street. Valencia is a popular sunny spot in SF with tons of cool shops and great restaurants, so picking one can be hard. We stopped at this beautiful, trendy spot that served what we thought was American/Southern cuisine (based on the menu).
First of all, the space was beautiful. It had an old school theme with lots of wood and a feminine touch. It also seemed like the perfect place to have cocktails on a Friday or Saturday evening. John and I are predictable so we both ordered the same thing – French onion soup and seafood gumbo with a side of dirty rice. John and I have a diet that is 99% meatless (we eat soups/meals with chicken broth) but we were willing to let the dirty rice pass today for a good meal.
The soup arrived first and It looked beautiful. The cheese smelled great and the garnish was pretty. We were ready to dig in – until we actually dug in. It was extremely salty. I put Louisiana Cajun seasoning on all my meals. I keep it at my desk and this was salty. This was SALTY. We pushed our soup aside hoping that that entree would have less “flavor” as John called it but our expectations were low. If you can’t make good soup, I doubt you’re going to be able to meet my gumbo expectations.
The gumbo arrived and the thick broth was cloudy – hmm not typically how gumbo broth looks. It actually tasted like more of a curry and less of a gumbo. The dish wasn’t salty, but it had a very odd flavor. There were large shrimp and peppers in this thick orange colored gravy that had a slight curry taste. It also had chicken in it. I understand that most gumbos have chicken but it wasn’t mentioned on the menu so I found that annoying. The rice looked dirty but it tasted a mess. There were peppers and onions in the rice but the peppers tasted bad, and I really love green peppers. They actually tasted unseasoned and overcooked. Before Saturday, I had never tasted rice that I didn’t like but Brasserie did the unthinkable.
My fiance and I looked at the gumbo, then we looked at each other. Then we looked at the gumbo – and asked for the check. We mentioned to the waitress that the soup was too salty and she told us she would let the chef know, but when we packed up our food faster than the roadrunner, she must have known that we were not satisfied with the meal.
We paid our $70 bill and found the first homeless person on our way home to give our two full meals to. I’m sure he’s had better gumbo in his lifetime too. Whatever you do, don’t eat at the Brasserie on Valencia.