BSK: Best Breakfast in Oakland
I have heard great things about Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen (BSK) and finally went there this weekend. Located in a flatiron building in the industrial part of West Oakland, this soul food restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily. Our party of five arrived before 10am on Saturday. Although we were told it would be a 45 minute wait, it was more like 20 minutes. Considering that reviews have mentioned waits over an hour, we did very well.
We shared an order of beignets and three of us had their house made hot chocolate with marshmallow. The beignets were great, but still not as good as the ones in New Orleans. The hot chocolate was divine. Even the marshmallow was homemade. The quality of the chocolate was definitely top notch. The only hot chocolate to top this one is the one I had at Angelina’s in Paris. Dipping the beignet into the hot chocolate became double delicious.
I was excited to have gone with a good sized group that was large enough to be able to try many different items. Although I really wanted to order their famous fried chicken and waffles, I was just not in the mood to have it that early in the morning. As I perused the menu, I really wanted everything on it. I decided to order the most curious of choices which was the smoked pork hash with two poached eggs. Although I would’ve liked the eggs less cooked and more runny, they were still great and perfectly shaped like a pouch. The hash was very interesting giving off both smoky and spicy flavors.
I managed to try a taste of everyone’s food. The waffle was served with brown sugar butter and apple cider syrup. This cornmeal waffle was golden brown and perfectly crisp and delicious; and the accoutrements were a great match.
The baked egg and vegetable tart was wonderful as well. It was perfectly cooked into a soft, delicate mouthful.
The cheese grits were awesome and probably my favorite. I enjoy grits and wonder how they could be this good for such a simple food. I imagine that the grits were cooked in some type of broth instead of the usual water, and the cheddar cheese added some density while maintaining its smoothness.
BSK is thee place for down home breakfast and I’m so fortunate it is right here in Oakland. Eating there kept triggering fond memories of having breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon without having to travel or pay extreme prices.
Dear BSK, I love you and I’ll be back to have the fried chicken and waffles and order my own cheese grits.