Breakfast at Farm House Local in Larkspur is a pleasant experience thanks to the welcoming atmosphere, attentive service, and delicious huevos rancheros. (Robert Tong/Marin County Independent)
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At the Civic Center farmers market, vendor Kendra Kolling of the Farmer’s Wife stands with one of her stuffed sandwiches. (Frankie Frost/The Mariner’s Independent)
M.H. Bread & Butter in San Anselmo is known for its delicious fried egg sandwiches. As seen in the Marin Independent Journal (Robert Tong/)
The pomodore e basilico at Osteria Divino is an original take on the classic breakfast of eggs poached in tomato sauce and basil. Robert Tong/The Marin Independent Journal
Sandwich from Taste Kitchen & Table’s Fairfax Fix. Illustration by Robert Tong and the Marin Independent Journal.
There are a wide variety of approaches to breakfast, from skipping it entirely to overeating. That’s a wide variety of options from which to find five great places to start the day anywhere in the world.
To paraphrase ang xem:San Rafael’s Finest Morning Meal
Where I see the best possible world is between the two extremes. I can’t even fathom having to get up without it, but eating too much bacon, fatty potatoes, or anything doused in syrup can make me want to crawl back under the covers. Not to downplay the cravings for such options, especially after a late night out. But since most of us already have one or two favorite diners in the area, and there are so many of them serving similar food, I didn’t include them on my list.
Furthermore, I didn’t include fancier restaurants that serve primarily brunch because of my focus on budgeting. In the end, I didn’t include coffee shops and bakeries because they don’t typically serve full meals.
Because of this, I set out to make some discoveries that may turn out to be novel.
(In the next installment of the Five Best series, pizza takes center stage. Send me an email at the address below with your ideas.
Fairfax’s Savoury Snacks
Everything on the menu at Taste in Fairfax is worthy of gushing praise. as cheap as a basket of eggs ($7.50). Imagine a poached egg perched atop a bed of arugula tossed in a balsamic condensed glaze and atop layers of light, warm buttery croissants stuffed with a pesto and goat cheese paste. On the weekends, you can choose from one of five different variations of eggs Benedict served with a house-made English muffin, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce (each costs $8.50 to $9). Black forest ham is a staple, and there’s also a smoked salmon and arugula option. The Blackstone ($9) is my go-to; it has steamed spinach, lightly grilled tomato, and crisp bacon, and all at a reasonable price.
You can’t leave French-trained pastry chef Jerry Navas’s establishment without a baked good, or possibly a bag full, if you have room. His spread is visually appealing, but the tasty treats he’s offering aren’t for show. You’re not in the Fairfax area, are you? His baked goods can be found at any of the three Marin Equator cafes, and that includes sweet and savory croissants, muffins, scones, and cookies.
Fairfax, California: 71 Broadway Boulevard, close to Bank Street; 415-455-9040; tastekitchenandtable.com
One of the hallmarks of the farmers market is the opportunity to taste a variety of foods rather than sit down for a hearty breakfast. However, there are plenty of great options to perk you up as you peruse the aisles in search of the week’s produce. There’s the $5 maanero/breakfast taco at Barrio and the $9 ham, cheese, and egg crepe at Brittany Crêpes, both of which use organic buckwheat batter. We also have Farmer’s Wife to consider.
Eat a chili-maple bacon, avocado, farm egg, chèvre, and pepper sauce melt ($15) and you’ll come to your senses. It’s understandable to blink twice at the price of this grilled cheese, but keep in mind that you’re paying for culinary artistry. For most people, one serving is enough for two. Taste for yourself why Kendra Kolling was voted the best celebrity chef at the 2018 and 2019 Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival. Everything she does is a reflection of her dedication to making her customers happy. She is “filled to the brim” (as she puts it) whenever she thinks of new sandwich combinations to add to the menu, which is updated every week and changes with the seasons.
A side salad is served with each enormous sandwich. Salads have recently included a variety of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peaches.
• You can find The Farmers Wife at the San Rafael farmers market every Sunday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM on 3501 Civic Center Drive. Click on www.thefarmerswifesonoma.com for more details.
Mainstays in the M.H. Diet
When M.H. opened in 2013, expectations were high because the bakery was founded by a former employee of San Francisco’s renowned Tartine Bakery. But the warm atmosphere created by the tables set just off the sidewalk at the southern end of San Anselmo Avenue, the culinary wizardry taking place behind the counters, and the happy customers all add up to something special.
The fried egg sandwich ($12) is a customer favorite. I highly recommend ordering two eggs cooked to perfection on top of some tender bacon, aged cheddar, sliced avocado, and roasted tomato basil aioli on a piece of medium country bread. It comes with a side salad and some greens on a small cutting board, and it’s delicious.
Or, for $13, try the poached eggs with baked Japanese sweet potatoes, smoked braised chard, and crème fraîche. Try the poached plum, mascarpone, and maple syrup brioche French toast ($11). The best cold brew is the iced coffee ($2.50) with coffee cubes and a drizzle of the simple syrup flavored with vanilla beans.
San Anselmo: 101 San Anselmo Avenue, near Belle Avenue; phone: 415-755-4575; website: www.mhbreadandbutter.com.
Rural Residential Area
Farm House Local is tucked away off Magnolia Avenue in the heart of downtown Larkspur, making it easy to miss. It might be too easy to write it off as yet another eatery that promotes the fadish triumvirate of “local,” “organic,” and “farm” foods. Then that’s too bad. The upscale rustic decor and delicious food are sure to win you over. Chef David Monson has an extensive resume and makes a mean omelet ($13) and huevos rancheros ($13) every day using fresh, local ingredients. It’s a great place to start the day thanks to the cozy decor, breezy patio, and attentive staff.
In Larkspur, at the corner of Ward and Rice Lane, you’ll find Farmhouse Local, which can be reached at (415) 891-8577 or visited online at (www.farmhouselocal.com).
Osteria Divino is a popular restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner, and is especially well-known for the authentic Italian cuisine prepared by chef Elena Fabbri, who hails from Florence. The sidewalk tables offer a view of the appealing off-the-tourist-track local beat of Sausalito, and the casual European atmosphere is stylish and comfortable.
Poached eggs with a chunky, tangy tomato sauce and fresh basil are a delicious $9.50 Italian twist on traditional eggs. The sauce can be eaten with a fork, and any leftover sauce or egg yolk can be sopped up with some freshly baked focaccia. You can also order omelets ($9.50–$11) or some more Americanized dishes like French toast ($10) or buttermilk pancakes ($10.50). Vegetables and fruit used as sides are organic and purchased from local farmers when in season. To that, we’ll add a $5 large freshly squeezed orange juice and a cup of espresso.
37 Caledonia Street, near Johnson Street, Sausalito; 415-331-9355; www.osteriadivino.com