No one should ever leave Brian's 24 hungry. The all-night diner in the Gaslamp is famous for its massive portions of delicious, filling comfort food and regularly attracts those looking to see just how much food can fit in their stomachs.
Brian Epstein, co-owner, said the size of the portions they serve is part of their draw. "Large portions add value to a meal," he said. "It also gives people the opportunity to share their dishes." He rattled off a list of their biggest menu items: "The pancake monster, the Gaslamp power breakfast, fishbowl cocktails, tot dishes, jumbo mimosas, bloody Marys and our massive breakfast burrito."
Fishbowl cocktails? Jumbo mimosas? That's right, the drinks at Brian's 24 are just as huge as the plates. Sharing is highly recommended when ordering the 64-ounce Swamp Thing (Bacardi rum and Midori with pineapple and grapefruit juice, topped with Myer's dark rum) and Blue Lagoon (vodka, Monkey coconut rum and blue curacao with pineapple juice and Sierra Mist).
If you'd rather have something sweet, try their 32-ounce colossal hand-dipped shakes or malts-take your pick of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.
The pizza tots and buffalo tots are on the appetizer menu, but either one could easily be a full meal-for multiple people. A full pound of tater tots is topped with either melted mozzarella, chopped pepperoni and house-made marinara sauce or grilled buffalo-style chicken, melted jack cheese and blue cheese crumbles. Is your stomach rumbling yet?
Of all the massive meals at Brian's 24, they're probably best known for the pancake monster. Not for the faint of heart or small of stomach, this behemoth includes five buttermilk pancakes, four strips of bacon, two sausage patties, an eight-ounce ham steak, an eight-ounce country-fried steak and three eggs, all piled on a bed of home fries. Brave diners who complete the monster by themselves in under an hour eat for free. "We get a few attempts per month," Epstein said about the pancake monster. "We've had about 15 people actually finish it."
If you want to accept the pancake monster challenge, Epstein has a few tips. "Don't come in and try it on a whim," he said. "Come in prepared and hungry. Eat the meat and potatoes first and do it fast, before your brain knows your belly is full." And definitely wear your stretchy pants.
Brian's 24, 828 Sixth Ave., downtown. brians24.com
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