Breakfast Republic has opened its fourth location in San Diego. The latest spot is in East Village at 707 G Street (formerly Zanzibar Café). Breakfast Republic sounds like the name of a country I’d like to live (large) in. The benefits of citizenship would include tasty breakfast and lunch items. Downside: The Republic isn’t open for dinner—though several breakfast items borrow from traditional supper dishes.
For example: Breakfast Hot Dogs. Breakfast Jambalaya. I went for the Vietnamese Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowl. I gotta admit to never previously having eaten chicken wings for breakfast, much less served over a bed of rice and with three scrambled eggs. It all worked well together, in a bachelor-scours-for-leftovers kind of way.
For me the worst part about breakfast is standing in the lines that queue up at downtown’s morning eateries. So my wife and I set the alarm and managed to get to Breakfast Republic by 9 a.m. I’ve noticed that’s about when the lines form at places like Broken Yolk and Café 222 (and I think people sleep overnight to get a good spot in line at Richard Walker’s Pancake House).
The Republic’s three other locations are in Encinitas, North Park and Liberty Station. The latter two are places I’ve deferred from eating at because of 45-minute waits reported by the hostess stands. But my wife loves breakfast and brunch—and I’m probably quite more tolerable after a Mimosa or two, so up we woke and off we pedaled by bike to BR.
The food is good—thumbs up from the missus on the Mushroom ’n Pesto (button and oyster mushrooms, red bell peppers, spinach, hollandaise and pesto sauce). I also loved the clever design touches, including salt and pepper shakers shaped like eggs; t-shirts touting that the World’s Most Interesting Man prefers Dos Eggies; and a restroom that had SNL’s “Cowbell” skit playing on audio as I entered.
The Academy Awards are Sunday night (Feb. 26). Jules and I managed to see seven of the nine nominees for 2017 Best Picture—but none were viewed at the former Gaslamp 15. The Reading Cinema shuttered in early 2016. However, as we biked by the long-dormant theater on Fifth Avenue, we noticed the Arrival of dump trucks. Some Hidden Figures were moving around inside the old lobby, filled with old red theater seats and other dusty bric-a-brac. Come Hell or High Water, it seems like a new, deluxe-style movie house is on the way. I’m not Lion.
Ready for a Phat Tuesday? The colorful Gaslamp Quarter Mardi Gras Masquerade Parade & Celebration is Feb. 28. Jules and I are going to be guests on the Tonight In San Diego float in the parade. My wife says if I toss her some beads she’ll respond in the traditional way…with a heartfelt “thank-you!” Wait, what were you thinking?
If you want to get in a New Orleans mindset that night, or other days, head over to the new Bud’s Louisiana Express in East Village for a barbecue shrimp po’ boy or a bowl of jambalaya. (But no, not for breakfast, like at the Republic). Bud’s is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday and serves dinner Friday and Saturday nights.
I’LL HAVE THE LOT
The night before getting up early for our Republic breakfast, Jules and I celebrated Friday with a Happy Hour at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar. The oysters are $1 from 3 to 6 p.m.—a special price that other downtown spots, such as Spike Africa’s and The Oceanaire Seafood Room, have unfortunately gotten away from.
The seafood platters at Ironside are an interesting financial proposition, coming sized as Big ($54, 1-2 people); Bigger ($89, 3-5 people); Biggest ($141, 6-8 people); and Holy Shit ($420, no recommended listing of people it would serve). Holy Shit includes 2 ounces of Royal White Sturgeon Caviar, 24 oysters, 24 shrimp, 24 mussels, two pounds of chilled Maine lobster, rock fish ceviche and Ironside house-made bread.