A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I had some family in town, which was great because we love our family! We also were very much going to take advantage of family members who adored our baby in order to get some one on one time together! However, our plans fell through on a Saturday morning, while my sister-in-law graciously was watching our baby and with her ok, we decided we ought to celebrate our Valentine’s Day early! For years, I had been telling my husband about the amazing pancakes at St Francis and that if they were open at 9:30, we definitely should go then. Well they were! It was destined to be.
St Francis was born in 2010 in Central Phoenix by an incredible chef, Aaron Chamberlin; he started St Francis as an homage to his culinary journey and really wanted to bring as much of the farm-to-table movement to Phoenix as possible. This restaurant is busy all the time; it’s really incredible to watch. There is a huge wood-fire oven that acts as the central hub to the restaurant; this baby kicks out all of the flatbreads (which are a very popular item) as well as some stews, chicken and even warms the desserts.
The atmosphere of this restaurant is very much one of feeling like you’re at home. The vintage brick wall, that was part of the original construction of the building, gave chef a sense of home during his years of working in restaurants in San Francisco. The outdoor seating is cozy with an outdoor fireplace and screenings of classic Julia Child videos at night. This restaurant really has a lot of charm and equally homey food.
My husband had settled long before we arrived, on the pancake. This beauty is incredible! It’s a chocolate chip pancake batter that is ladled into a piping hot cast iron skillet and baked in the wood fire oven until golden brown and deliciou. It’s then drizzled with pure maple syrup (yeah, the good stuff!), topped with a seasonal compote, this time of year they had a caramel apple compote which was phenomenal; lastly it’s topped off with a giant plop of whipped crème fraiche and some olive oil to finish. It’s as huge as a dinner plate and worth very calorie that baby has to offer. In the summer, they usually have a fantastic strawberry sauce; yum!
I had a harder decision ahead of me though, everything was so tantalizing on that menu that it was very hard to decide which delicious thing to eat for brunch. The breakfast sandwich was amazing, the eggs benedict is always a solid choice; I’m not a huge fan of biscuits and gravy but their sausage gravy is to die for! But then they had this quinoa bowl. I had to have this! Loaded with fresh seasonal vegetables (oyster mushrooms, brocolinni, cauliflower, Campari tomatoes and green beans), two poached eggs and some hollandaise over quinoa, you can’t go wrong with that! I could have used a bit more hollandaise myself, but I’m a fat kid and love hollandaise sauce. Personal preferences aside, the dish itself was phenomenal! The veggies were cooked and seasoned perfectly; the quinoa was served room temperature which went perfectly with the eggs and veggies.
Our server asked if we had saved any room for dessert, ummm yes! I had seen a dessert on the menu that was just screaming my name. Their sticky toffee pudding has been around since St Francis first opened its doors; topped with sweet cream gelato, this date cake is warm and rich and just good-for-the-soul food. Highly recommended!
The dessert that caught my eye, though, was their lemon olive oil corn cake with a rosemary caramel sauce, topped with a helping of sweet cream gelato. This decadent, yet light cake, had everything I needed! It had a delicious texture that only course corn meal can contribute; the lemon was refreshing from our delicious breakfast; and the caramel… you’re going to want to lick the plate! The rosemary plays so well off of the lemon cake and is quite subtle. I was afraid of being punched in the face with the pungent rosemary but it proved my fears wrong.
I’m so glad that our Saturday morning plans fell through so that my hubby could finally have that pancake! If you happen to have your morning plans changed suddenly on a Saturday, make your way over to St Francis and enjoy their amazing brunch menu! Here is the link so you can make the tough decision as to what to have for breakfast!
Are there any places that you love to eat out? Send me an email so I can check it out and feature it on the blog!