On a quest to try some of SF's best brunch spots, Sheila and I headed to Chloe's Cafe at the corner of 26th & Church in Noe Valley. With only 16 seats inside and 20 outside, Chloe's Cafe is certain qualifies as a neighborhood joint. That of course meant the wait would long; it ended up being 40 mins since we opted for an inside table with the weather a bit cold.
Within minutes of being seated, the owner came by to take our drink orders - latte for Sheila and mocha for me. The $4 single shot mocha served in a tall glass was made with dark chocolate and a hint of cinnamon. On it's own the drink was a tad bitter for my taste; however that was good thing since I order a sweet brunch dish.
For brunch Sheila ordered the cinnamon french toast and I ordered the buttermilk pancakes with a side of hot grilled potatoes. We opted for the short stacks (two pieces); at $7.00 each, it was a good value for the portions. Service was a bit slow and we noticed several patrons going directly up to the cash till to pay their bills. Despite that, the wait staff was cordial and attentive overall.
Both the pancakes and french toast were served with two pre-packed butter cubes and maple syrup. Pancakes were hot off the griddle, moist, and fluffy. I could taste the distinct buttermilk flavor; a one note dish that was flat in my mind. I've also come to expect homemade or organic butter from SF brunch spots, which Chloe's did not have. In hindsight, I probably should have ordered the banana walnut cakes. Oh well, not sure that would have made a difference.
The potatoes came out slightly burnt on one half and slightly mushy on the other half. It was bit disappointing since I was looking for savory and crunchy in my side dish, not lumpy and burnt. Despite that, the potatoes did cut into the sweetness of my pancakes.
Sheila's french toast looked very appetizing, drizzled with some confectionery sugar and cinnamon. After a few bit, the heaviness of the dish sank in. The problem, it was extremely eggy and
that overwhelmed any taste from the bread or cinnamon. Sheila always orders french toast, similar to me and margherita pizza, so I've come to trust her discerning palette. I took a small piece and ended up only eating half of it. Enough said.
Chloe's has been described as solid and down home local. I can't say we agree with that. Nothing to fret about though, there are plenty of other great spots in SF to choose from.