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Outerlands Chefs On The Power of Brunch and Instagram

The masters of the cult-followed Dutch pancake weigh in on why San Franciscans are always game for a two-hour wait.

Outerlands
Outerlands
Patricia Chang

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It's easy to take brunch for granted. Just wake up, pick where to go, probably stand in an epically long line, gorge on eggs and bloodies and head on home, magically restored from the evening before. Except not everyone can do that — someone has to actually make that brunch for your hungover self, something Yoni Levy and Brooke Mosley know a thing or two about. As the winning duo behind Outerlands, one of San Francisco's top brunch status symbols, Levy (chef) and Mosley (pastry chef) are the weekend warriors bringing you back to life each and every Saturday and Sunday. Here's how they do it.

Why do people love brunch so much?

Levy: BRUNCH!!!! I think brunch in general is so popular because, well, I don't know. I don't brunch. But if I had to guess, it tends to be a fun, high energy time with super approachable food accompanied by booze.

Why do they stand in line for hours at Outerlands?

Levy: I won't complain, but I'll never understand why people wait so long for brunch. Since I've been at Outerlands I have been able to speed up how fast we get food out, but all that did was give more people a chance to wait — on average our brunch guests wait two hours. I think being such a beautiful space so close to the beach with tasty food and good drinks is one reason why people wait.

I am a firm believer that eggs are good on most everything.

What would it take for you to stand in line for two hours?

Mosley: I don't think I've ever waited in line anywhere for two hours. And if I did? It would likely be to support a fellow chef or if someone was doing something so unique and I knew that I couldn't possibly wait a minute longer.

Levy: I have to admit I have done this at least twice. Both times I "tailgated" with a cooler of cold drinks. Good friends can get me to do anything.

A photo posted by Outerlands (@outerlands) on

The famous Dutch pancake

What brunch dishes do you love and hate?

Levy: My favorite dishes change. Right now it's a tie between the savory oats with confit duck or brisket and the refried black beans with eggs and pickled veg. I don't have a least favorite dish but the weirdest request we get every weekend is "eggs in jail, no bread." I just don't understand.

Do people wait in line here because the food is delicious and the vibe is unique? Absolutely. Are they incentivized even more so because they want to brag publicly with a picture of a Dutch pancake? 100 percent.

What do you like about making breakfast food?

Mosley: Breakfast is my favorite meal to create and enjoy. What I like the most about it is when I come up with something or eat something that's unexpected and thoughtful. Breakfast can be creative! And seasonal. It doesn't always have to play to the basic audience.

Levy: I am a firm believer that eggs are good on most everything.

The weirdest request we get every weekend is "eggs in jail, no bread." I just don't understand.

Is SF a brunch city? Does brunch have a a specific culture?

Levy: SF is a huge brunch city. The culture varies: There are the foodie travelers who like to take lots of pictures of the food and will wait no matter how long it takes, the fancy brunchers who wear pearls to brunch and always get a salad and champagne, and then there are the industry/rockers/good time brunchers who may or may not be still drunk from the night before and get everything on the menu — especially the greasy dishes — and wash it down with cocktails.

Mosley: Yes, SF is a brunch city. Food is so en vogue. And the "seen and be seen" element that's been enhanced tenfold by social media, specifically Instagram, makes it worth the wait for a lot of people. I see people — daily — photograph their food for five to ten minutes before eating it. Do people wait in line here because the food is delicious and the vibe is unique? Absolutely. Are they incentivized even more so because they want to brag publicly with a picture of a Dutch pancake? 100 percent.

A photo posted by Brooke Mosley (@blm11) on

Yoni Levy

Outerlands

4001 Judah Street, , CA 94122 (415) 661-6140 Visit Website

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