The Other Critics

Kauffman Likes the Dinner Specials at Brenda’s, But the Classics Get ‘Sloppy’; Reidinger Revisits Globe, Finds It Unfresh

Photo: The Tender

Jonathan Kauffman is the first to give a full review to the new dinner service at Brenda’s French Soul Food that kicked off in March. He’s pretty pleased with the broiled oysters, served four different ways, and especially recommends the Tchoupitoulas, which he calls “as dramatic as a Tennessee Williams heroine; under an acid-bright, fervidly spiced glaze of cayenne butter and garlic, the broiled oyster has the disarming softness of a panna cotta.” He says the nightly specials are the best bet, recommending the chicken étouffée, Brenda’s stripped down muffaletta sandwich, and a “lovely” trout fillet over pancetta rice. He found pretty much all the fried items, however, to be improperly fried and sogged, and all the classic dishes from Brenda’s brunch menu, including the fried chicken, coming out “sloppy.” “It’s as if they’re sulking at the birth of an adorable baby sister.” The biscuits, he says, are still great, and he recommends bringing a party of five to share the chocolate-chip banana bread pudding, which he calls one of “the richest versions I’ve ever tasted.” [SF Weekly]

“The march of time is often cruel to restaurants,” begins Mr. Reidinger in his latest review. “And, as someone who last stepped into Globe before Bill Clinton got himself impeached, I wondered what I would find in these later days.” What he finds are some drooping pizza points, under-seasoned tuna tartare, and a mac-and-cheese with Tilamook cheese that is “not up to snuff, the bar having been raised sharply in the past few years.” He is, however, pleased with the main courses, including the wild Coho salmon, and the Cornish game hen that’s served atop a “marvelous green garlic risotto that was not only beautifully cooked and seasoned but as bright a green as spring itself.” [SFBG]

Kauffman Likes the Dinner Specials at Brenda’s, But the Classics Get