After a recent trip to Richmond, Virginia, I had a really delicious fried chicken sandwich and have been hankering for some southern food ever since. Upon seeing Buttermilk Southern Kitchen on my restaurant list and noticing that Yelp said it was good for kids, I thought it would be a great idea for a Saturday brunch. The restaurant sits on a small corner on the outer edges of the Mission, so it seems to have a quieter more neighborhood feel. We came right around noon and although the small restaurant with its 12-15 tables was almost full, I was even more surprised there wasn’t a wait. Granted this happened to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving so I’m not sure what difference that makes.
They make their own sweet tea with different seasonal fruits. I ended up ordering the Mango Sweet Tea, but when I took my first sip, it tasted odd. It wasn’t very sweet, nor was it very good. I realized afterwards after reading some reviews that they spike it with alcohol which honestly would have been nice to know. Thankfully, the kids did not ask for a sip.
The hash was a mix of braised oxtail, caramelized onions, potatoes and cheddar cheese and served with two fried eggs, horseradish, sour cream, house-made pickles, and cornbread. This was quite good although, it’s worth noting this was also pretty fatty and therefore, I, myself, could only have a couple bites before feeling completely satiated. The tender bites of oxtail meat really separated this hash from others making it very rich, juicy and flavorful. The pickles and sour vegetables helped to cut through the richness a bit.
Admittedly, the reviews seemed a little mixed on Yelp, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was thoroughly impressed with the fried chicken. Please note that it does come with three pieces, but the picture was taken after the Twins scarffed down the 1st piece. It was surprisingly moist even the breast piece which is all white meat and the driest, blandest part of the chicken. The seasoning on the outside was delicious and it was perfectly fried with crispy skin on the outside and moist on the inside. Although it probably doesn’t have the unique complexity of flavors that comes with other Southern style fried chicken, I think it’s pretty good especially for San Francisco. Of note, I really liked the maple syrup which added the right bit of sweetness to the fried chicken with waffles.
We also ordered a side of baked mac and cheese which I didn’t get to take a picture of before the Twin Tornadoes dug into it and ate half the dish. I liked it because it wasn’t super cheesy, but had a nice creaminess with some bread crumbs for texture. Considering how quickly they ate it up, the Twin Tornadoes heartedly agreed.
These represents one of the few family outings with the Twin Tornadoes at a brunch place that wasn’t dim sum, and I would say it was pretty successful. Overall, I really enjoyed the dishes we ordered, in particular, the fried chicken and waffles. This is definitely one of the better takes on fried chicken. I’ve tried Little Skillet/Farmer Brown, Firefly and Town Hall, just to name a few and this definitely is right up there. For the cherry on top, this restaurant is super casual and friendly making it a great place to bring the whole family.
Buttermilk Southern Kitchen
2848 23rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
PAFO Ratings for Buttermilk Southern Kitchen:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 3½ stars