Fried shrimp po’boy – Brenda’s French Soul Food

Fried shrimp po' boy Brenda's French Soul Food

Cornmeal fried shrimp with lettuce, tomatoes and chipotle remoulade on a toasted French roll. Served with coleslaw and pickled watermelon. $9.75
Brenda’s French Soul Food, San Francisco

This sandwich was SO good! The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the chipotle remoulade tasted amazing. You can put that sauce over anything and it would taste good. This meal was very rich and fattening but it’s nice for an occasional treat. I definitely wouldn’t be eating this every day!

The restaurant is super popular so if you’re going during lunch, you better arrive early otherwise you’ll be waiting for a while. They’ve expanded their dining room but every table gets filled. I had to sit at the front counter the last time I went. I don’t mind that sort of thing, especially for lunch and the people next to me were friendly enough and unobtrusive.

Coleslaw Brenda's French Soul Food

Coleslaw of cabbage, carrots and red cabbage. Love that it’s not so mayonnaise! It’s nice and on the lighter side.

Pickled watermelon rinds Brenda's French Soul Food

Pickled watermelon rinds. Yummy!

Watermelon tea Brenda's French Soul Food

Sweet watermelon house tea. $2.25
So frickin’ refreshing!

7×7 Magazine’s The Big Eat San Francisco: 100 Things to Eat + Drink Before You Die – 2010, 2011

Castro Quarter gumbo – Criolla Kitchen

Castro Quarter gumbo Criolla Kitchen

Andouille sausage, gulf shrimp, chicken, holy-trinity (onion, carrots and celery), okra and dark roux, served with Louisiana long grain rice. $11.90
Criolla Kitchen, San Francisco

This dish was just ok. It lacked the depth of flavor that I look for in a delicious gumbo, and there could also have been more of the proteins present. It was more soupy than gumbo. You definitely get a lot of it though, and the price is very reasonable.

Gulf shrimp criolla & creamy ridgecut grits – Criolla Kitchen

Gulf shrimp Criolla & creamy ridgecut grits Criolla Kitchen

Perfectly cooked white gulf shrimps over creamed country grits, smothered with RL’s Holy Trinity tomato sauce, with fresh scallions and herbs. $14.90
Criolla Kitchen, San Francisco

Finally made it to Criolla Kitchen! It was weird going into the old Bagdad Cafe space and experiencing a new restaurant. I think the spirit of Bagdad Cafe is still there somehow. Anyway, the food at Criolla was pretty good, but didn’t quite meet my expectations. I wanted to get blown away with flavor, I mean it’s suppose to be “soul food”, right? This particular dish was actually pretty tasty. The shrimp was tender and nicely cooked and the tomato sauce was flavorful. Other dishes like the gumbo could have had more of a kick.

Side salad Criolla Kitchen

Complimentary side salad.

Sweet potato fries – Farmerbrown

Sweet potato fries Farmerbrown

Deep fried sweet potato wedges dusted with cayenne salt, topped with chopped parsley and served with garlic aioli.  $5 for happy hour
Farmerbrown, San Francisco

This was my favorite snack of the night!  They were cooked perfectly (not greasy at all) and they came out hot and fluffy.  The aioli was a great accompaniment for the slightly sweet fries.  I could eat another plate of these right now!