Some will argue that being a foodie/hipster is a religion or better yet a cult. Either way, like other theologies, there is a strict doctrine one must follow to gain acceptance by the congregation:
1. Do your best to looks like the guy on the side of the Abercrombie bag. If you cannot achieve the Adonis six-pack, then the clueless look into the distance will suffice.
2. Scoff at the hicks and jersey wearing sports enthusiasts who drink Bud Light to get free Nascar swag or an NHL beer cozy while they drink Pabst Blue Ribbon; a beer just as shitty where they get absolutely nothing.
3. Eat brunch.
Brunch is a rite of passage for the hipster/foodie type. It’s like a baptism into the church of all things pretentious. It also allows one to eat foods you can only get as part of the weekend menu or pay $4-5 bucks for something just deemed breakfast every other day of the week. In addition, it is typically not served before 11 am which applies to John Q. Foodie because they are soooo hungover from all the bourbon they drank the night before. There’s also the fact that having another cocktail designed for the morning hours or a french press coffee is such a much cooler remedy than a couple of advil and a bowl of Cap’n Crunch at home.
I was in San Francisco so attending brunch here would be like attending mass in the Sistine Chapel. So I looked long and hard to find a suitable brunch that met all the criteria but considering the fact it had to be on a Saturday (the orthodox foodie will only attend brunch on Sundays). Luckily, foreign cinema fit the bill. It is highly rated on numerous websites, situated in a “developing” area of San Francisco and boasts menu items like organic pop tarts, oysters and whipped cod brandade.
It was quite a cab ride from the convention centre. We were driven by a rather frivolous cabbie into the heart of the Mission district and were dropped off at the address listed on Google maps. An extra blink and I would have missed it. The front of the restaurant looked as debilitated as the rest of the buildings along the street. The entrance was a long tunnel which ended at a large, open courtyard that was already buzzing with hungry brunch goers. Despite the open concept it was quite loud which made it quite difficult to carry on a conversation. The clergy (servers) seemed preoccupied and slow throughout the meal which I concluded was appropriate given the ceremony.
Of course, I started with the organic pop tart ($6.75 ) and a stiff drink (Persian Bloody Mary $11). Both met at least one criteria for an ideal brunch experience. The overpriced pop tart was flimsy and unimpressive and only surrounded a tiny amount of peach filling. The Bloody Mary was seasoned with aggressive middle eastern flavours but as a Canadian, I’ve never had a Bloody Mary that comes anywhere close to a Caesar.
For my main I opted for the Chile Verde (fried eggs, slow-cooked heritage pork, poblanos, tomatillos, mojo, queso fresco and tortilla ribbons) for $18. Although not the prettiest dish (especially once you began to dismantle it), the flavours blended beautifully. . Each bite, lead by the pork and egg, was a blend of fresh flavours accented with a perfect amount of acid and heat from the vegetables and sauces.
As mentioned, my visit to foreign cinema was like a baptism into San Francisco foodieism (probably pronounced foo-day-ism). It was a loud but enjoyable ceremony. I managed to visit an” up and coming” area of town, order organic food, drink a breakfast boozy cocktail and pay too much for eggs. I even got somewhat pretentious service to match. However, I am still unclear on the whole movie concept. First, it’s called foreign cinema and plays predominantly American movies. Second, I saw no evidence of the movie at all. I think they play them in the outdoor courtyard which wasn’t offered to me. Maybe that section is reserved for the established foodies and not the ones who think paying seven bucks for a pop tart is an automatic ticket to hipster heaven.