Brunch is not always a sucker's game.
Sure, every Sunday, half the city finds itself sleeping in while the other half lines up outside Mama's. Here are two new brunches worth breaking either routine for:
Cotogna: On Sundays, blood-orange-and-Cocchi Mimosas ($11) appear on the full lunch menu of Quince's casual sister, as well as a handful of breakfast-ish dishes. The no-brainer, if you spot it: pork hash ($16), shreds of pan-crisped meat twined around roasted baby turnips and leaves of lacinato kale, a liquid-yolked egg quivering on top. A cocotte of bubbly baked ricotta drizzled with honey ($14) is all the more impressive surrounded by a half-dozen of Devin McDavid's minuscule pastries.
Marla Bakery: For the past six weeks, former Nopa pastry chef Amy Brown and her fiancé, Joe Wolf, have been throwing pop-up brunches in the back of Russian Hill's Firehouse 8, with coffee from the resident Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. You can pretend restraint with a Mason jar of tart house-made yogurt ($6) buried under a mess of huckleberries, but the dish to order is one of Brown's English muffins ($13); sop up the yolk of the poached egg inside as it melds with the juices of tender smoked brisket and whey-braised greens. [May 2013 UPDATE: The pop-up has relocated.]
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