Mama's on Washington Square (rating: B): Mama's is a San Francisco landmark. Opening its doors over 50 years ago, it has developed a name for itself in the city. It is known as the place to go for a reliably delicious brunch. It definitely met our expectations, but wasn't so delicious as to merit multiple visits, unless I lived around the corner.
We started off with the Crumb Cake, pictured above, which was crumbly and moist, and nice to share before we plunged into our nicely sized brunch entrees. N and I shared the the Old Fashioned Pancakes and the Crab Cake Benedict. The old fashioned pancakes were soft and fluffy, probably more so than any others we've seen before. N proclaimed that "these are the best pancakes I've ever had!" - a bold statement that was shared to the two college students from Berkeley sitting next to us. They even commented that was a "pretty strong statement," but concurred that they've been taking the 30 minute drive to Mama's every now and again as their post-finals treat and that it is definitely worth it.
Well, while the pancakes were the star of the show. The crab cake benedict was definitely lacking. I probably should've ordered the crab benedict instead, because the crab cake itself was filled with far too much filling and onions - and I love onions! But, it didn't particularly suit my taste. So, I would say try for a different benedict, because apparently Mama's is known for having some delicious ones and the florentine and crab did look a lot better.
Ike's Place (rating: A+): Ike's Place. I can't even express my love for this place. I get starry eyed just thinking of my go-to sandwich - "We're Just Friends" (by the way I love the names of all the sandwiches!). This sandwich has shredded chicken, avocado and just all around deliciousness. I like to add in the Godfather Sauce which is spicy and creamy and adds just the right amount of complimentary flavor to the sandwich.
I think it's the quality of ingredients and the Dutch Crunch bread (a San Fran staple) that makes the sandwiches phenomenal - and the tender juicy shredded chicken. You can even stuff your sandwich with jalapeno poppers or mozzarella sticks, if you're just that hungry enough. Sometimes there's a bit of a wait, but I have to say things move along really quickly and it's just worth it.
N and I took our sandwiches over to Alamo Square to sit on a blanket and have a nice view of the Painted Ladies, the Victorian rowhouses in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.