Sugarfoot Grits' Down-Home Brunch is Popping Up at Dear Mom on Saturday
I was first introduced to Sugarfoot Grits, a La Cocina-backed endeavor that's the brain child of Stephanie Fields, a transplanted southerner by way of North Carolina and Tennessee, during the La Cocina Street Food Festival media preview more than a month ago. It was one of the top three bites I had that night. When I heard Dear Mom, that PBR-slinging, cash-only Mission bar known for having countless fixies out front, was hosting a brunch pop-up with Sugarfoot Grits last Saturday, I made it a point to stop by to get more than a sampling.
The Dapper Diner Lemon and vanilla grits pies from Sugarfoot Grits.
Let's be clear, these aren't the grits you get from a Waffle House at 3 a.m. from a very pleasant "Kiss My Grits" waitress that takes orders and runs food during her breaks from chain-smoking. These grits are what happens when southern comfort food mates with San Francisco "locally sourced" sensibilities and have a beautiful corn-fed baby. While the grits aren't local -- Fields sources her yellow grits from The Grit Girl (Oxford, Mississippi) and her white grits from Anson Mills (Columbia, South Carolina) -- almost everything else is (though the optional Texas Pete hot sauce comes from Fields' Tar Heel home state). However, the cream comes from Straus Family Creamery and the cheddar cheese comes from Petaluma Creamery, and they work together to make a wonderfully rich and creamy bowl of grits, an ideal brunch meal.
While the bowl of cheesy grits is great on its own ($4), there are several menu additions to really make it a meal. For an additional $2, you can add two fried eggs, also known on the menu as The Uncle White, which is not named for Walter White of "Breaking Bad," but rather Fields' uncle. The same uncle that gave Fields her Sugarfoot nickname and who would always make her a bowl of cheesy grits with eggs when she worked with him during a college summer at a restaurant in her hometown. For $8, there's The Papa Bill which adds fried eggs and bacon from Noe Valley's Drewes Meats. The Sugarfoot ($9) tacks on pulled pork from Sneaky's BBQ to the grits while The Brother Benjamin ($9) uses smoked brisket from Sneaky's instead. For the vegans, there's also The Tiffany & Sylvee which is made using Hella Vegan's Cashew Cheese ($5).
The Dapper Diner Papa Bill Grits from Sugarfoot.
I went with The Papa Bill and the decadent richness of the grits paired with the salty, smoky, and crispy bacon made me feel like I was back visiting family in Kannapolis, North Carolina. To tame my sweet tooth, I also got slices ($4) of the double lemon grits pie and of the secret menu buttermilk vanilla grits pie. The lemon pie, using juice and zest, was reminiscent of a good lemon custard pie, but the buttermilk vanilla won the grits pie showdown, the vanilla's subtlety letting the flavor of the grits through.
Sugarfoot Grits' schedule at Dear Mom varies, but if you're lucky enough to not be stuck tripping balls on the playa for Burning Man or not gone for the Labor Day weekend, Fields is popping back up again this Saturday, Aug. 31, at Dear Mom (2700 16th St.) from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.