Here’s your plan for next Saturday or Sunday: Head to the Contemporary Jewish Museum downtown to check out a very interesting home-and-design exhibit, and make sure you leave room for lunch at Wise Sons’ museum outpost. The Jewish deli has a full restaurant in the Mission and very fittingly opened a branch at the museum in early 2014. Same food options, same deliciousness. I am not a big reuben fan, but Wise Sons’ version of the sandwich is excellent. You can choose from pastrami (which I tried, and is reportedly rubbed with coriander and black pepper and then smoked over hickory for seven hours), corned beef, smoked turkey or even a veggie option (done with king trumpet mushrooms). Even the standard turkey sandwich was amazing. Pickled red onions hit the spot and dressed it up. Wise Sons also serves De La Paz coffee, made practically down the street on Mission.
I’d love to go back to try the grilled cheese (made with cheddar on challah, whoa) and matzo ball soup.
By late morning, a line had formed at the Mission deli.
I managed to reconnect with my Jewish heritage (and tastebuds) this weekend at a Wise Sons brunch.
Here’s the rub about Wise Sons, as I gathered from Sunday brunch. It’s not the best brunch/meal you’ll ever have. There is no lavender-infused french toast or earl grey tea lattes or pretentious menu items that are admittedly delicious, but exactly that – pretentious.
Wise Sons is a beautiful space, eclectic decor (old framed photographs of someone’s Jewish family members, Hebrew newspapers, beautiful light fixtures, Jewish-themed record covers), and great but not fussy food. Their cream cheese is excellent, as are the egg dishes. The french toast could do with a little work, but you really can’t go wrong when you make it with challah.
The folks over at Wise Sons know exactly what they’re doing and what they’re about and they do it well with no frills. It wasn’t the best brunch I’ve ever had, but it was good and it was certainly a welcome breath of fresh air in the city that brunches a little too hard sometimes.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen // Wed-Fri 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sat-Sun 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.