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Brown Sugar Kitchen: A Cozy Spot for Brunch

Source: Kristy Korcz


Brown Sugar Kitchen, a breakfast and lunch-only restaurant, serves up a modern interpretation of soul food in an up and coming neighborhood of Oakland. Though near West Oakland Bart, a location not known for its great restaurants or as a fun place to hang out, people don’t seem to mind. On a Sunday morning, there was a two and a half hour wait for a table. The line was out the door and there were around 30 people waiting on the sidewalk outside. Don’t dismiss it so quickly though, because its comforting, home-style food is well worth the wait. We put our name on the list at 10, left, and came back at noon.

Because there is often such a long wait, the restaurant has wisely put in a coffee bar where they sell pastries and biscuits to hungry customers before their tables are ready. The coffee was better than usual for a restaurant, and the bacon-cheddar-scallion biscuit was flaky, buttery, and wonderful. They also offer regular biscuits alongside homemade blackberry jam.

Once seated, we ordered beignets to start, the French version of donuts. They came out of the kitchen hot and fresh, covered in a thick layer of powdered sugar. Light and airy, they were arguably the best plate of the whole meal. Combined with the blackberry jam, the beignets were more like dessert than breakfast, but still delicious.

Brown Sugar Kitchen’s most popular dish is chicken and waffles. The waffles were crispy and golden brown on the outside while remaining light and fluffy in the middle. They were served with a house made apple cider maple syrup that was, while delicious, completely unnecessary for the waffles, which were amazing on their own. The fried chicken that came on the side was coated in a special batter that fries up dark golden brown and crunchy. The chicken itself was juicy and perfectly cooked. There were a mix of wings, drumsticks, and breasts. Each plate of chicken and waffles was huge; you could easily share one with another person.

The vegetable egg scramble was on the lighter side, but still came with hearty wheat toast and potatoes. The scramble had bell peppers, leeks, spinach, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese. The eggs weren’t overcooked or dry and were, on the contrary, well seasoned. The potatoes were spicy and crispy—a good counterpoint to the scramble.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was pretty hectic because there were always people standing around waiting for a table. The servers were all very nice though and didn’t rush us at all. Brown Sugar Kitchen is a homey place, perfect for a comforting meal with family or friends.

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