In their 2000 book Country Egg, City Egg, Foreign Cinema Co-Owner/Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark showed their expertise with 78 different egg dishes, from rustic simple through elegant preparations. It took them more than 6 years to compile the book (while they were still working at Zuni Café and opening Foreign Cinema,) and more than a dozen years later they are still serving some of the dishes from their book during the popular weekend brunches at Foreign Cinema. In need of some brunch time nourishment, it was a natural choice to go eat some eggs from the experts at this Mission stalwart. Fronted by their own industrial Lazlo bar, Foreign Cinema also has an excellent bar within the restaurant where we were able to grab a couple of seats for our boozy brunch.
We started with a Pimm’s Cup (Pimm’s No. 1, Boodles Gin, mint, cucumber, lemon, Bunderberg Ginger Beer) and a rather large Aperol Spritz (Aperol, Sparkling Wine), both perfectly made and refreshing for a nice Spring day:
From their Weekend Picnic section of the menu, the Avocado Toast topped with house-cured sardines and pickled onion was a great starter:
They have generous pours of wines by the glass. We opted for a couple of glasses of a very food-friendly Gruner Veltliner from Austria which was deliciously off-dry:
The Poached Farm Eggs with a Crisp Duck Leg Confit is unlike any other brunch dish we have seen, in a great way. The duck was crispy and fall-off-the-bone great and the perfect eggs sat atop mixed chicories dressed with a sherry vinaigrette. Five-spice duck cracklings (unfortunately not enough of them) and croutons added even more crunch and the harissa dip provided some nice spice:
One of the recipes printed in their Country Egg, City Egg book, their Croque Madame is probably one of the best versions in the City. Pan de Mie contained thin ham slices and Gruyere, all toasted to a “melty” goodness. The Croque was “crowned with an egg” and a very rich béchamel sauce. A small mizuna salad, house pickles and tasty french fries accompanied the gooey sandwich:
Split in half, the egg yolk decadently drizzled over the sandwich:
Open since 1999, Foreign Cinema remains one of the most popular restaurants in the Mission with a very hip design, featuring a covered patio where films (no longer foreign but always a classic) are projected along one wall in the evening. Although they publish the movie schedule on their website, we have never known anyone to come here for the flick – the food and drinks are definitely the draw.
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