Plow: Destination Brunch on Potrero Hill

Restaurant Sign San Francisco

A pig signals your arrival at Plow, a daily brunch favorite on Potrero Hill.

When people discuss San Francisco’s destination eating neighborhoods, of course the Mission comes up, as does downtown, and increasingly, SoMa. However, a number of tiny enclaves also tout interesting options, including Bernal Heights, Dogpatch, and Potrero Hill. Over the years, that last neighborhood has housed interesting options like Eliza’s, Baraka and the still enduring Chez Papa, and most recently, Plow. Joel Bleskacek and Maxine Siu opened their farm-driven restaurant last fall in a former architecture studio, and it’s already become a hit for breakfast and lunch.

The airy, sun-soaked space features counter stools overlooking an open kitchen. Tables are made from French oak barrels and floors originated in an old Washington State hop house. A farm photo completes the aesthetic, along with fresh baked goods on the counter.

Restaurant Decor San Francisco

Plow’s interior also touts pig imagery, including scattered statuettes, two of which framed a vase of beautiful unripened raspberries.

Plow isn’t exactly Tartine, in that they have a limited bakery selection. However, what they did make was all good.

Muffins San Francisco

A pat of sweet butter accompanied a gritty Corn Millet Muffin ($3). Their Toasted 9-grain Muffin ($3.50) was similarly restrained, slathered with not-quite-chunky house made peanut butter and drizzled with hyper-local Potrero Hill honey.

Pancakes San Francisco

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes ($10.75) get a lot of play, and as long as they’re like the airy versions Plow offers, that’s fine by me. They folded house made ricotta and lemon zest into the batter, dusted judiciously with powdered sugar and even provided maple syrup.

French Toast San Francisco

The slabs of cinnamon-tinged French Toast ($12) was a little dry for my taste, though other people at the table were raving. Soft, sweet roasted peaches and sweet mascarpone were nice touches, and maple syrup managed to make another appearance.

Fried Chicken Sandwich San Francisco

Fried Chicken Sandwiches have erupted in the Bay Area, probably driven by the success Oakland’s Bakesale Betty has had. For their version ($12.50), Plow brings some Berkeley flavor to Potrero Hill with a soft Acme torpedo roll.

The filling: buttermilk fried chicken breast with tangy cabbage and jalapeño slaw. Why restaurants insist on sticking with breast meat for sandwiches continues to amaze me considering the higher fat content and resulting flavor boost found in thigh and leg meat. Anyway, it was a pretty good sandwich, made a little better with a dousing of Youk’s hot Sauce, but what was more memorable was the side of crispy fried potatoes scattered with strands of onion and herbs.

Breakfast San Francisco

Matthew “Mattatouille” Kang threatened to order The Plow, an array of breakfast meats, but opted for a Chinese breakfast ($9) involving two fried eggs draped over steamed jasmine rice, chives and slices of lap chong, sweet Chinese pork sausage and soy sauce.

Plow’s Chinese breakfast bowl was fine, but not so different from what you’d find at a Hawaiian or Filipino breakfast joint.

Sausage San Francisco

Our final contribution to the table was a pair of house made pork sausage ($4) patties, loosely packed and crusty from the flat top.

Brunch has become a phenomenon in California, with a number of farm-to-table restaurants getting into the act. Plow would fall near the front of the pack thanks to their accessible menu, relaxed setting, primarily reasonable prices and almost just as important at this point, an aftermath that was far from devastating. Since Plow uses good ingredients, and they don’t come on a plate the size of a manhole, you feel good afterwards. Sometimes more isn’t better; better is better.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Correction-Bakesale Betty is from Oakland, NOT Berkeley.


Thanks for the correction. I knew that about Bakesale Betty, and still wrote Berkeley. I appreciate the reminder.

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