’s back patio has been among the most consistently good outdoor dining options in the Castro (a neighborhood where dining has improved dramatically, but outdoor dining has not). And because a large proportion of the area’s denizens do enjoy a weekday Pimm’s Cup with a slice of cucumber wrapped around the inside of the glass, Starbelly has decided to go seven-days-a-week with a brunch menu that blends California and Mexico in equal proportions.
The range of options is quite large and covers terrain from pure breakfast (Greek yogurt with fruit and honey) to quintessential lunch (a fried chicken po’ boy, a wheatberry salad with cherry tomatoes), with eggy dishes left and right. Although there’s loco moco (with a Prather Ranch beef patty, steamed rice, a sunny-side-up egg, and sweet soy sauce), there’s also a monster portion of chilaquiles, as well as an Italian egg dish made with tomato, peppers, zucchini, grana, and grilled bread. (Even the chorizo pizza comes with egg on it.)
While the plates err on the side of non-gut-busting — even the fish tacos are lightly fried — Chef Adam Timney moves in the other direction with whole-hog picnics
on the patio all summer. The first one included a porchetta-spiced piggy from Devils Gulch Ranch and sides with grilled endives, a faro and fava bean salad, a cherry-apricot cobbler, and three beers from Goose Island. (Look for the next ones on June 7, July 12, and August 2.)
Diurnal cocktails are doubly hard to resist when they’re made with vermouths and amaros, and here Starbelly is calibrated to suit its surroundings. The Southern Belle (a foamy mix of peach tea-infused Dolin dry vermouth, ginger, and sparkling wine) is the color of raspberry lemonade and low-alcohol enough to make returning to work for the remainder of the afternoon plausible. Should the fog behave itself and plant the suggestion to play hooky in your mind, Dolores Park is less than four long blocks away — but if you have to bring your work along with you, there’s wifi. And if anyone flashes a withering glare at you for mixing business and pleasure, slay them by taking one long, slow sip of your michelada and closing your eyes.
, 3583 16th St., 415-252-7500.
For seven years,