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Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Do I Take A Dozen People for Brunch This Weekend?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:26 PM

click to enlarge Mama's: Good for brunch, bad for the groups. - MASTER MAQ/FLICKR
  • Master Maq/Flickr
  • Mama's: Good for brunch, bad for the groups.

This week, I'm relaunching SFoodie's "Ask the Critic" column: real dining questions for real San Franciscans. Do you have questions about cheap restaurants, unfamiliar cuisines, dating someone with dietary restrictions, or things you're too shy to

ask your foodie friends about? I promise honest answers ― and if I don't know offhand, I'm not afraid to make a few phone calls. Hit me up at

This week is the second time this month I've answered the following question. From G.G.:

I have to plan a Sunday brunch with a dozen people, including kids. Any ideas for some place that might accommodate such a monstrous party? Not dim

sum ― we did that last time.

Large groups, I'm sorry to say, are hellish for both restaurants and customers. Someone's always late, someone never pays enough, and everyone has special needs. Brunch already inspires people to wait long past their tolerance level, and so the last place you want to go to is to a well-known brunch spot like Mama's, Boogaloos, or Brenda's. 

A fair number of places on OpenTable take last-minute brunch and lunch reservations for large parties. Right now, for example, it looks like Dosa, Farina, Serpentine, and Spire (whose brunch TastingTable raved about a few months ago) will all take parties of 12 this weekend. If you're all driving, Serpentine and Spire are both in neighborhoods with easy parking on a Sunday morning.

A couple other suggestions: Park Chow has a back area that can handle large parties for brunch, provided you reserve ahead of time. Orson

serves mammoth portions of beautifully plated brunch food but isn't in a

heavily trafficked area. And a few

Sundays ago, when a group of visiting friends asked me to find brunch

for 10 in the Mission, Ti Couz gamely made space for us, with only a half-hour wait.

Good luck ... and tip well.

Follow us on Twitter:@sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Follow me at @jonkauffman.

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