Behold Breakfast Heaven – A.K.A. Breakfast Republic. Quite possibly my new favorite breakfast place in all of San Diego, this little nook in Encinitas (one of four locations in the county) takes breakfast to a whooooole new level. It’s for true breakfast lovers, as evidenced by their creative, impressive takes on breakfast classics, morning cocktails worthy of any millennial’s approval, and a hip, trendy atmosphere that fits San Diego (and Encinitas, particularly) just right.
First, the menu is…overwhelming. (In all the best ways, of course.) We opted to try several different dishes between the two of us, which still turned out to be too much food despite our careful pruning. Take it from me: order one (maybe two) dishes, and just assume you’ll be back.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t sing the praises of their “Jurassic Pork” – in addition to a clever play on words, this thick-cut bacon glazed with paprika and brown sugar is so addicting it’s stupid. It’s the perfect melt-in-your-mouth, salty sweet perfection that makes you reach for another strip – and another – despite what you KNOW it’s doing to your cholesterol. Order the Jurassic Pork. Just do it.
I am a huge lover of French toast, so when I saw their options, it took me a good ten minutes to decide. I finally opted for the “Mr. Presley:” filled with peanut butter, rolled like a crepe, and topped with sliced bananas, it emulates Elvis’ favorite sandwich in the best new-age, innovative way possible. Tasty, rich, and very filling.
The boyfriend has discovered that he loves croque madames, so naturally, he wanted to try the croque monsieur benedict. Ham, gruyere cheese, eggs, and “the perfect amount” of bechamel sauce, it got an A+ from both of us. (And can also fill you up on its own.)
As if either of us ever needed a reason to eat mac and cheese (and this being one of the boyfriend’s diet staples), we HAD to try the “breakfast mac and cheese.” I know what you’re thinking: just because you stick bacon and a fried egg on something doesn’t make it “breakfast,” right? Save the vocabulary argument: this baby is delicious. It’s a creamy, gooey blend of parmesan bread crumbs, chives, macaroni, bacon and monterey jack & cheddar cheese sauce, and topped with 3 eggs any style (we opted for a single fried egg, and trust me, that’s enough) baked in a cast iron skillet. Again, enough for about three meals – so split this one if you try it.
And finally, we had a mashed potato omelet, which is stuffed with bacon and cheddar cheese and topped with sour cream, served alongside homestyle potatoes. I’ve never had anything like it, and it was oddly satisfying: light and fluffy from the mashed potatoes, salty and delicious from the bacon and cheese, and reminiscent of, well, a baked potato, with the sour cream. I always try to order the dishes I can’t find anywhere else, and this one is definitely worth a try.
There’s a whole slew of other items on the menu, of course, and I’m dying to try one of their pancakes, which I’m sure pack about 2,000 calories and taste more like dessert, but who’s judging? When you have the option to try churro pancakes, or pineapple upside down pancakes, or cinnamon roll pancakes, or Oreo cookie pancakes…WHY WOULDN’T YOU?
Naturally, we couldn’t leave without sampling the booze menu, too. Combining a cocktail with a carb-loaded breakfast can – and will – quite possibly set you up to be useless the rest of the day (which we were), so be warned. But their drinks are too good to pass up. There’s kombucha. There’s cold-brew coffee on nitro. There’s a variety of specialty lattes (like salted caramel and Oreo cookie.) There are beer flights and bellinis and mimosas and local craft beers on tap. Then there are breakfast-inspired cocktails: like the “Sunny Side Up” whiskey my boyfriend ordered, complete with Koval American oat whiskey, lemon, cane sugar, red wine, and egg white.
I, once again opting for the unusual, tried a mimosa with one of their antioxidant shots. It was an off-the-menu special that day: the tropical detox shot consists of concentrated “fresh pressed organic mango, pineapple & grape juices, organic gelatanized peruvian maca grown at 14,000 feet, and organic wild ecuadorian spirulina grown at 9,500 feet.” It’s meant to increase your blood circulation, balance hormones, blood pressure, and cholesterol, so you know, the champagne, bacon, cheese, and peanut butter I consumed that morning was TOTALLY negated. 😉
Breakfast Republic gets my vote — I’m already planning my next visit. It’s one of those places you’ll need to try about 10 times to get a good handle on all they offer; moreover, to do them justice.
Unless you don’t like breakfast food…in which case, we can’t be friends.
Breakfast Republic Encinitas
251 N El Camino Real
Encinitas, CA 92024
Open daily from 7am-3pm