Brunch is my favorite meal of the day, especially on a lazy summer Sunday when the most I can manage to do is throw on a sundress and oversized shades and head straight to the Bloody Mary bar.
I live just south of Little Italy, and typically stay in the downtown bubble for all my weekend brunch needs. However, a girl needs to mix things up every now and then. I may be a little slow from last night’s indulgence, but if something can motivate me to abandon my go-to stomping grounds and instead head north to Hillcrest, it’s a legit brunch menu paired with real-deal Bloody’s, a quaint outdoor patio designed for epic people watching, and a chill welcome-all atmosphere. Oh, and an adorable celebri-chef by my side doesn’t hurt, even if I have to fight off half the gayborhood for his undivided attention, and an extra side of tots.
We first fell for his cuisine at the former Confidential, but Rich Sweeney really gained fame as a contestant on Season 5 of Bravo TV’s Emmy-winning show Top Chef. When back in San Diego, Sweeney made plans for first independent venture, a neighborhood restaurant designed to embrace everything about the local community in Hillcrest. One year strong, the successful R Gang Eatery continues to thrive as a reflection of Sweeney’s culinary skill and lovable personality, enhanced with authentic gayborhood attitude. In his own words, R Gang Eatery stands for food and fun, refueled.
So yes I admit it; I let an entire year go by before I joined the weekend brunch party at R Gang Eatery. Oh the shame! But I sure as hell picked the perfect lazy Sunday to chill with Sweeny on the sunlit outdoor patio and try the best of the best, and then some.
Surrounded by locals from every walk of life, I noshed on everything from the ultra sweet Captain Crunch Stuffed French Toast and French Toast Casserole, to the savory Gringo-Barbacoa Burrito, Tater Tot Scramble, and Cowboy Benny. More innovative brunch items include Grilled Corn Cake - grilled corn polenta topped with grilled spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, and R sun dried tomato cream sauce, served with scrambled eggs and fruit; and the crowd-pleaser, The Paco - the perfect mix of pancakes and tacos; buttermilk pancakes folded around scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheddar cheese, served with whipped maple syrup butter. There is no doubt that Sweeney is a fantastic chef, but what makes R Gang stand out is the fun factor. Every dish is made with passion, and every bite is a blast to eat, share, and discuss.
R Gang Eatery also serves full lunch and dinner menus, and offers great daily specials. For dinner, start with the addictive Melon & Burrata Salad, and treat yourself to Blacktop Blonde Beer Can Chicken, Chai Spiced Scallops, or the Dr. Pepper Pork Chop for your fun and filling entrée. With the size of these portions, you likely won’t have room for dessert; but you must not skip on the ridiculous desserts, such as the Peanut Butter Mousse or Cheesecake Lollipops. Daily ‘Happy Hour Refueled’ boasts $4-5 nibbles, $3 well drinks, $4 Cupcake wines, and $5 specialty cocktails.
For more information and reservations, visit 619.677.2845 or visit R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest.
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