Brussels Sprout Chips at Marlowe

brussels sprout chips.. the new san francisco treat

Apparently ricearoni isn’t the only treat coming out of San Francisco. Marlowe, a bistro located on Townsend Street a short taxi ride from Union Square lists “Crispy Brussels sprout chips” as one of just three appetizers on its menu. Marlowe has received lots of press from Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle, and it lives up to its reputation.

I tasted the avocado soup, ate the stuffed sole, drank a beer, and savored the crispy brussels sprout chips. Yes,  “brussel sprouts” “chips” and “savory” are all being used to describe those mini, stinky cabbages you usually couldn’t pay anyone under the age of 35 to try. Skeptical at first, then reminded of my personal food philosophy, I knew I had to try them.

The leaves from the brussels sprouts are plucked and fried in piping hot rice oil, sprinkled with lemon zest and tossed in sea salt. Simply prepared. Simply delicious.  The chips are, as their name claims them to be, crispy. They’re also buttery, salty and… brussels-sprout-y. Yes, they still taste like brussels sprouts, but it’s a whole new experience compared to the steamed or boiled brussels sprouts your mom serves up on Thanksgiving. The buttery taste comes first, followed by a light crunch and a hint of salt, then finally the classic brussels sprouts taste. It really was a delightful experience for my entire mouth (that’s what she said). But seriously, these chips are great.

photo courtesy of tracey holden

The waitor described them as “A great item to have on the table while you’re deciding. You can pop them in your mouth like popcorn.” I have to admit, I found myself going back for more in much the same way I do with popcorn.

If you’re ever in the San Francisco area, check out Marlowe. If you ever have a little extra rice oil and some brussels sprouts laying around, try it for yourself.

Fun Food Factoid: Brussels sprouts (yes, spelt with an “s” at the end of “brussels” – who knew?) grow well in California with the coastal fog and the year-round cool climate. Also, they are said to possess potent anti-cancer properties that are better preserved when the vegetable is fried as opposed to boiled. Have we finally found the one time fried food is better for you?! Of course that doesn’t change that it’s  brussels sprouts.


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