Brian's 24 Restaurant Bar & Grill
When late night munchies attack, you must fight back! Recently I found out about Brian's 24 in downtown, available at all hours of the day AND within walking distance of one of my downtown spots!
We were invited to come in to experience what they had to offer - breakfast anytime, as well as anything else that caught the eye! 6pm on a Sunday fit into our schedule and also allowed for easy street parking. A booth by the window had a "reserved" sign which we correctly guessed was for us. Even before looking over the menu, I knew of one item I HAD to order...
Chicken & Waffles (15.99) - Our delicious Belgian waffle and 1/2 of a fried chicken.
In general I'm not that big into pancakes or waffles but the idea of chicken and waffles always gets me excited! The fresh waffles were lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a sweet strawberry. We dutifully poured some syrup over it before taking a bite of the warm fluffy waffle but our eyes drifted toward the star of the dish... The fried chicken was extra crispy on the outside, almost shell-like, and pulled away from the juicy meat. It was piping hot too which is the way fried chicken should be! It's fried too similar to fish and chips for my taste but Dennis didn't mind at all! The chicken can be ordered two ways, either chicken tenders or 1/2 chicken. Only the chicken tenders come with gravy but we requested it on the side of our bone-in version.
Side of gravy and butter for the waffles
The gravy on its own is quite peppery but dipping in the chicken gives an explosion of flavors that worked really well with each other. After this, Dennis started dipping EVERYTHING into the gravy, even the potatoes from his other dish! I decided to follow suit. Smart move!
Oscar's Pork Loin Benedict (15.99) - Our house-made herb roasted pork, topped with 2 poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on a split English Muffin.
This egg benedict contained a really thin cut slab of pork under the eggs and was paired with potatoes. Since the pork meat was not glam'ed up, this was a comforting no frills type of meal. One egg was cooked slightly runny and the other was not so much. Dennis let me have the runny one... but he kind of didn't have a choice!
Close up. Because yolky eggs are BOMB. Hollandaise sauce was a compliment. We felt that these entrees were not heavily seasoned but just enough. This was a good thing because you don't want too extravagant foods at funky hours of the night! Be kind to your stomach!
Mini Order of hotcakes (5 for hh) - Three fluffy hotcakes with butter and warm syrup.
Since it was also happy hour until 7pm, we decided to sample off that menu. I wasn't sure what hotcakes were but they turned out to be pancakes. Dennis gave me a look like, duh, hahah. While there, I remember seeing healthier ingredients (almonds, walnuts, rolled oats and buttermilk) but now I realize those were for the "multigrain hotcakes" version, not the buttermilk ones like we got. I do like when the pancakes aren't too thick and once drizzled with the typical butter and syrup, I was into these airy pancakes.
1/2 Order French Toast (5 for hh) - Four triangles of our thick-sliced french toast topped with powdered sugar.
I'm not sure why but I imagine that my french toast should have a more eggy coating but with some toasted char from the pan. These were not quite there but with syrup, ended up like the standard fare. Dennis mentioned how he wished there were some kind of cream to go with it. He's spoiled by the amazing bulvarian cream from Fig Tree Cafe! I'm guessing the STUFFED version here would be really fantastic though. That's the plan for the next visit... extra toppings!
Chewy Pecan Blondie - Scratch-made butterscotch pecan bar, served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. $7.99
I'm a bit unfamiliar with "blondies" but quickly became a fan after trying this version! There was just something so addicting about the chewy and sticky pecans in this dessert, so much that it reminded me of the toasted (and best) part of my mom's pecan pie! It reminded dennis of fresh baked cookies cooling off that still had that chewy gooeyness that makes for amazing texture and warmth! The caramel sauce was balanced right where the sweetness didn't get in the way of the rest of the dessert. We loved the additional crunch of pecans on top plus ice cream is always a hit with us!
This brightly lit diner is especially convenient for the gaslamp party crowd who are searching for some eats after the rest of the area closes down. I'd much rather go here than grab some mass produced fast food. Also after drinking or partying, these foods aren't as heavy on the stomach, depending on what you order! They also have a full bar so you can enjoy some drinks with your meal. We've only tried the breakfast items but there were plenty of items that interest us for a future visit. I'll be downtown late soon enough!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.
Brian's 24 Restaurant Bar & Grill
828 Sixth Ave
San Diego CA 92101