It’s all about the Benny’s, baby
Whether you call them Egg Bennys or the more formal Eggs Benedict, with eggs poached oozy or firm, chances are you rate this ovo dish among the top staple brunch dishes. Long a standard on weekend menus, Eggs Benedict can range from the classic (with Canadian bacon, English muffin and hollandaise sauce) to the inventive.
While there is debate about the origin of the name, there are two prevailing theories. Some think the dish was named after Benedict Arnold, traitor of the Revolutionary War, and as such the mix of Canadian Bacon with the English muffin is a sign of traitorous behavior. Another school of thought is that there was a guy named Lemuel Benedict who ordered a similar dish to battle a hangover in 2894 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City.
If all this Benedict talk has you’re wondering where to get your next eggy fix, check out this variety of Bennys for your next few brunch adventures (all dishes listed include two poached eggs).
Death by Tequila
Utilizing locally-grown organic ingredients, Top Chef contestant Angelo Sosa brings a touch of the South to North County with Eggs Benedicto, featuring sweet corn cakes with country ham, and hollandaise sauce. Hungry diners can also add avocado, chicken, crab, smoked salmon or steak for a surcharge.
569 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, 760.782.2240, deathbytequila.com
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Proclaiming “The Art of Hollandaise,” this perpetually packed spot features six benedict choices, from the classic to the funky, and even allows half-and-half orders for those who are indecisive about their morning munchies. For vegetarians, opt for the Avocado Smash Benny with green chili, parmesan cheese, vine ripened tomatoes, and smoked cheddar hollandaise. Meat lovers will relish the Steak + Eggs Benny with poblano cheddar grit cakes, asparagus, roasted mushrooms, tomato, smoked cheddar hollandaise and gremolata. Go Mexican with the Chile Verde Benny, with green chili sauced tortillas, melted cheese, choice of slow cooked pulled pork or barbacoa style beef, green chili hollandaise, pico de gallo, and Cotija cheese. Or make it New York style with the Lox-N-Latke Benny, with homemade crispy latkes, Lox style salmon, cream cheese hollandaise, fried capers, pickled red onions, and pistou. Watch out for seasonal specials, too.
Hillcrest: 3940 Fifth Ave., 619.500.3344; La Jolla: 8861 Villa La Jolla Dr., #509, 858.483.5556; Del Mar: 3435 Del Mar Heights Rd., D3, 858.703.5300, snoozeeatery.com
Mezé Greek Fusion
Try the Spanakopita Benedict, a Mediterranean twist on the classic, featuring spanakopita (a traditional Greek puff pastry filled with fresh spinach), leeks, feta cheese, mint and dill, along with an Avgolemono sauce. Or opt with a meatier Filet Mignon Benedict, with marinated and grilled filet mignon, English muffin, and hollandaise sauce.
345 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.550.1600, gaslampmeze.com
Serving up two benedict options daily, the restaurant offers Shrimp Corn Cakes Benedict, featuring Kennebec potato, wild shrimp, sweet corn, mozzarella, and cilantro cream sauce, or the Turkey Benedict, with spinach and feta bread pudding, turkey, cranberry, and hollandaise.
Downtown: 802 Fifth Ave., 619.795.0721; Normal Heights: 2736 Adams Ave., 619.640.2121, cafe-21.com
The Morning After
Taking the simple benedict up a gourmet notch, this Gaslamp locale offers a Prosciutto Benedict with prosciutto, herb goat cheese, warm spinach, lemon hollandaise and grilled asparagus.
531 F St., downtown, 619.542.9664, themorningaftersd.com
Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant
Seafood lovers will enjoy the Smoked Salmon Benedict on the restaurant’s own house-made English muffins with spinach, tomato and chive hollandaise. Or purists can opt for the Signature Eggs Benedict, also on house-made English muffins, but with smoked ham and hollandaise.
2202 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.231.0222, bankershillsd.com
Adding a bit of green to this version, the University Heights hotspot features the Skirt Steak Benedict with asparagus, spinach, and avocado sauce on rustic toast. (Side note: Don’t miss one of the inventive mimosa offerings such as the Black Magic with activated charcoal or the Blue Dream with spirulina.)
4622 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.269.6566, madisononpark.com
West Coast Tavern
Known for a range on the brunch menu from vegan to carnivore, the Short Rib Benny dish will please meat lovers with braised short rib, spinach, cilantro, and roasted poblano hollandaise. Don’t forget the bottomless Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, and house rosé from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2895 University Ave., North Park, 619.295.1688, westcoasttavern.com
Who says you can’t brunch and watch a movie at the same time? For earlier shows, film lovers can dine at Sugar Factory American Brasserie and choose from the Manhattan Eggs Benedict, with wild Alaskan smoked salmon, grilled asparagus, and herb hollandaise, or the more classic Sugar Factory Eggs Benedict, with Canadian bacon, grilled asparagus, and house-made hollandaise.
701 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.814.2225, theatrebox.com