There are plenty of great brunch options in San Francisco; Foreign Cinema, Canteen and Maverick to name a few. Point is, there is really no reason to leave the city for a good morning meal, except one, the fog.
Just a few minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll find this small restaurant somewhat hidden in one of Sausalito’s posh docks. It may take some driving around to actually find the place but you will quickly realize it’s well worth the trip. As you take out the fleece jacket and give your skin some welcomed vitamin D, the sight of the city covered in fog in the distance is curiously rewarding.
The restaurant itself is unpretentious and welcoming. During the summer, its large garage doors remain rolled up merging the dining room with an open outside patio. The ambiance is a mix of sports bar and yacht club; simple and unfussy.
Sunlit tables run out quickly when brunch service starts at 10am. After that, you may have to wait a little; but don’t worry, thanks to efficient service and maybe the somewhat uncomfortable chairs, table turnover shouldn’t take too long.
Le Garage is the brainchild of the ex-chef and ex-general manager of Chef Papa–curiously, the place I had one of the most disappointed brunches in the city. But not here.
Le Garage offers classic brunch dishes with a few French twists. The menu has about 11 options; between savory and sweet, the selection is very appetizing. Prices range from $8 (for a bowl of yogurt with granola and fruit) to $15 for more elaborate dishes. The regular dessert menu is also available during the morning hours and, before 10am you can order coffee and pastries.
The drip coffee is brewed on the weak side, diner style. For a more flavorful drink order an Americano; it comes with frothed milk on the side. Lattes are also fairly mild.
Eggs Benedict – Smoked salmon, hollandaise on a baguette w/ roasted potatoes. Perfectly poached eggs and tasty potatoes with plenty of roasted garlic cloves make this a very successful dish.
Oeuf à la coque -2 soft-boiled eggs and black truffle butter mouillettes served w/ proscuitto, grilled asparagus + shaved parmesan. This inventive dish is a nice option for foodies with a lighter appetite–it will leave you happy but maybe a little bit hungry.
Omlette w/ St. Nectaire, cured duck and caramelized onions served with roasted potatoes. A perfectly cooked omelet with savory duck, sweet onions and the deliciously nutty, rich St. Nectaire–a French, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese.
Omelette w/goat cheese, Loch Duart Salmon, crème fraîche, red onions, dill, served with mixed greens. Not quite as successful as its counterpart but still very good.
Pain Perdu - brioche French toast with crème fraîche & a house made fresh berry compote. Good as a main course or as dessert, but not as good as Canteen’s.
From the appetizing dessert menu, Grilled stone fruit w/ organic pinot blanc jus, crème fraiche & a palet Breton. Even though I was expecting a warm dessert, the chilled dish is pleasantly surprising. Flavorful and refreshing.
All in all, there are better brunch options in the city but Le Garage offers a good alternative with higher chances of sunshine. It’s worth going, if for nothing else, to see the San Francisco fog far in the distance as you enjoy a good French fare outside. No vest required.
Le Garage is at 85 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 109
For reservations, call 415.332.5625