Behind The Scenes: Bananas Foster French Toast at Brenda's French Soul Food, SF

Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Behind The Scenes: Bananas Foster French Toast at Brenda's French Soul Food, SF

[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

"Bananas Foster was actually created in New Orleans," explained Big Easy native Brenda Buenviaje as I stood among trays of mile-high biscuits and cans of Steen's Syrup in the kitchen of her restaurant, Brenda's French Soul Food. "It was at a local institution, Brennan's. Bananas were everywhere because it's a big port city and rum, well..." she trailed off, smiling, and anyone who's been to New Orleans knows there's no explanation needed for how booze might end up in a dish.

Most people are familiar with Bananas Foster because of its wow-factor. Bananas are cooked in butter and sugar, then flamb├ęd, often-tableside, with rum. In the original dish, the bananas are served over ice cream. It's one plate dinner theater and it's undeniably fun to watch.

Brenda's may be best known for its brunch, which includes Southern favorites like beignets, shrimp and grits, and an oyster Hangtown Fry. So it makes sense that Buenviaje would combine Bananas Foster with a breakfast favorite—French Toast.

Click through the slideshow to see how this New Orleans-inspired dish is made.

Brenda's French Soul Food

652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (map)
(415) 345-8100; frenchsoulfood.com

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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