Brown Sugar Kitchen

Brown Sugar Kitchen
Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA

Brown Sugar Kitchen, a Black Female owned restaurant by Tanya Holland, recently opened up TWO new locations: one in San Francisco and one in downtown Oakland.

Check out that sweet pour!

After the flagship West Oakland location closed, all of us in the Bay felt at a loss. Brown Sugar Kitchen was notoriously known for their incredible fried chicken and cornmeal waffles; so much so that people were willing to wait 2 hours for a seat at the table (including me–guilty!). I was lucky enough to eat Ms. Tanya Holland’s famous fried chicken and cornmeal waffles during her opening weekend at the Ferry Building and it fulfilled all expectations!

The lines for the restroom and for Blue Bottle coffee make Brown Sugar Kitchen seem busier than it actually is

When I arrived at the Ferry Building, I immediately caught a glimpse of the Brown Sugar Kitchen sign. My heart leapt in my chest and my mouth started salivating. It was a Saturday afternoon and the Ferry Building was heavy with human traffic.

TIP: Don’t be scared by the amount of people near the BSK stand–the bathrooms are right next door and so is Blue Bottle, so it makes BSK appear busier than they actually are.

The menu

The fried chicken was incredibly tasty. With a hefty serving of two wings, the chicken was moist and the skin was crisp. You can bet I ate it down to the bone! The cornmeal waffle was different than any other waffle I’ve had in my life. The cornmeal gave it a much lighter and crunchier texture. I really enjoyed it, and would almost go so far to say it’s even better than traditional waffles! The apply cider syrup provided was VERY sweet, so word of caution before you pour it all over your meal (which I did and soon regretted…). The mac and cheese was a smaller portion than I imagined, it only filled about half the cup that it came in. Next time, I would opt for the biscuits instead!

(Left) Mac and Cheese – $6 (Right) Chicken and Cornmeal Waffles – $18
Total including tax: $26

Overall thoughts: Really tasty meal that I highly recommend. I can’t imagine a better way to start my morning than with chicken and waffles and a view of the bay. The service was quick, and they even offer a pager that will go off when your order is ready. The dishes are a little pricey, but it is understandable for the Ferry Building. I’ve patroned at both the new downtown Oakland and the Ferry Building location, and I would recommend eating at the Ferry Building as to avoid the typical 2 hour wait at the brick and mortar. Thus sparing your dining mates any potentiality of hangry-ness.

10/10 recommend!

Ferry Building Hours:

Tuesday – Sunday: 8am-2pm (closed Mondays)

NOVY #WomenOwnedSF

NOVY
Featuring two women owners:
Kristen and Kathryn

This is the first post of my blog and photo series featuring marginalized folks in the food industry including: Womxn, People of Color, and People of the LGTBQ Community.

I am hoping this will not only shed light on local restaurants and businesses who are owned by individuals in these communities, but to also make us knowledgeable consumers who can directly support people who are typically discriminated against in the world of food. I want my work and my money to uplift others. What about you?

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the two, female, co-owners (who are also sisters!) of NOVY in Noe Valley, San Francisco: Kristen and Kathryn. Their location is in the heart of downtown Noe Valley (hence their restaurant name, NOe ValleY) and NOVY offers up delicious traditional Greek cuisine.

Do you, or someone you know, want to participate in this photo series? Please contact me!

Check out the Instagram post here!

all photos taken by me

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How would you describe yourselves and the identities you two hold most close? 

Kathryn and I are first time business owners and restauranteurs. But, above that, we are sisters and our identity as a family-run restaurant is what makes NOVY special!

Co-owners Kristen (Left) and Kathryn (Right) in front of a mural depicting their hands holding up a grape leaf

What inspired you two to create NOVY and what inspires you two to continue running NOVY?

The history of NOVY is very unique. Our mom and dad ran a restaurant called Panos’ for 20 years (1977-1997) in the exact same space. My sister and I grew up in Noe Valley and both currently reside in Noe Valley. So, we have very deep roots in our neighborhood. When our parents approached us to take over the space for ourselves, we were inspired to create a restaurant where people felt like part of the family – from our staff to our guests – and that is truly what keeps us going every day.

“…We were inspired to create a restaurant where people felt like part of the family – from our staff to our guests – and that is truly what keeps us going every day.”

A mural outside of NOVY featuring Kathryn and Kristen’s late grandfather. The deep familial ties and values are evident throughout NOVY

What difficulties, if any, do you face being women in the food industry? How do you counteract these? 

We constantly have guests, vendors – you name it – who don’t believe we are the owners because we are young women. It’s also been a learning experience managing a staff of 25+ people, the majority of whom are men older than us. With our staff, we’ve earned respect through hard work and not being afraid to get our hands dirty. With our guests, time and experience have helped us to grow more confident and keep our heads held high when someone questions if we are in charge.

“We constantly have guests, vendors – you name it – who don’t believe we are the owners because we are young women… With our staff, we’ve earned respect through hard work and not being afraid to get our hands dirty. With our guests, time and experience have helped us to grow more confident and keep our heads held high when someone questions if we are in charge.”

Lamb Gyro

What are your favorite items on the menu? What are your most popular dishes?

Our favorite items are our Greek dishes that we’ve inherited from our grandparents – our Spanakopita, Dolmas and Moussaka are all hand-made. Our most popular dishes are our Lamb Gyro, NOVY Burger and Cobb Salad.

(Left) Lamb Gyro with Fries (Top) Spanakopita (Right) Moussaka (Bottom) Dolma

Is there anything you want to tell me, or your customers? Any big news or upcoming events?

We recently filmed a commercial for VistaPrint! It was such a fun and interesting process to be a part of and a great way to gain exposure for NOVY and our neighborhood in general. It is airing this week and you can watch it here.

Moussaka (ft. lamb, eggplant, potato, béchamel)–one of my favorites!

You can find Kristen and Kathryn regularly working at NOVY.

Located at 4000 24th St, San Francisco CA on the corner of 24th St and Noe St

Mon-Fri 
Lunch & Dinner: 11:30am – 9pm
(9:30pm on Friday)

Sat & Sun
Brunch: 10am-2:30pm

Sat & Sun
Late Afternoon Menu: 2:30-5pm

Sat & Sun
Dinner: 5pm-9pm