Serious Eats: Drinks
Hangover Helper: Punch Drunk Brunch at 15 Romolo, San Francisco
When I first heard that 15 Romolo was starting a brunch service, I was thrilled. When I heard that said brunch would be titled Punch Drunk Brunch, with a daily boozy punch concoction, it was all I could do not to fist-pump. Why this unabashed enthusiasm? Because 15 Romolo is one of those bars in San Francisco that consistently hits both nails on the head: delicious, thoughtful cocktails and well-executed, delicious bar food.
Punch is $4 a glass, or free if you bring your own vintage teacup. Gimmicks aside, the punch is a serious value—though the serving is small, it is dangerously powerful considering how easily it goes down. A different version is served every morning—our punch was a sweet combination of rum, bourbon, coconut, honey syrup, and Tuaca Vanilla Liqueur. A sprinkling of blueberries completes each glass—they're delicious (if a little liquor-soaked) to eat out of the empty cup.
The punch was sweet, but not overly so, and provided an excellent counter to my baked egg on cornbread ($8). The serving is a hearty skillet of fresh cornbread, doused in vegetable gumbo and accompanied by a grill-marked half of Andouille sausage. The egg, perfectly runny, added a serious richness to the flavorful and spicy gumbo.
Every element was excellent individually, but was taken to a new level in combination—the cornbread was the perfect vehicle for the runnier aspects of the dish. Considering Romolo's cocktails are good enough to lead to a hell of a hangover, I'd say their new brunch service, in addition to being delicious, is an almost civic responsibility. In which case, I raise my glass to them.