Parq set to introduce upscale brunch

Mini waffles, served in groups of three for sharing, are among the dishes on the new Sunday brunch menu at Parq Restaurant in downtown San Diego. (/ Julien Jollon /

What makes for a great Sunday brunch in San Diego? Bottomless mimosas? Ginormous cinnamon rolls? An endless buffet or a gorgeous ocean view?

Carlos Becerra, who opened Parq Restaurant & Nightclub last fall at Sixth and Broadway, says his brunch service launching Sunday, April 19, will put it in league with the finest in town.

Chef Errol LeBlanc’s a la carte menu - which mixes traditional breakfast items with some of the Mexican classics Becerra grew up on - is certainly innovative and very affordable. But Parq’s brunch will be unique in offering an elegant New York-style vibe, in keeping with the 150-seat restaurant’s spectacular Manhattan-inspired interior design.

Brunch will be served to the beat of a live DJ, spinning music from an elevated booth in the dining room, and the décor will have an elaborate, high-concept design that changes quarterly. The opening theme, which will continue through early summer, is “Alice in Wonderland.” Becerra, who owns WSA Distributing, said children are welcome, but he hopes the upscale experience will attract a young adults demographic who want to dress up and celebrate.

Parq’s management team includes several veterans of the restaurant/nightclub scene in New York, Las Vegas and L.A. In those cities, brunch is an event, and with a few exceptions - like the House of Blues’ gospel brunch and the Hotel Del’s beautiful Crown Room buffet - that’s something that’s largely missing from the local brunch scene. Parq’s brunch is also priced well below its competitors, with most items ranging from $7 to $13.

LeBlanc’s brunch small plates menu is designed for sharing. Many plates come with servings of three, including the classic eggs Benedict ($9-$10), with either Canadian bacon or grilled veggies, to miniature chocolate chip waffles topped with scoops of decadent Nutella cheesecake and fresh berries ($9).

One of the best dishes is the chicken and waffles, a trio of mini blue corn waffles served with juicy, lightly fried lollipops of Mary’s chicken and a spiced blackberry compote ($12). It’s so good that after eating one, you won’t want to share the other two.

Plenty of local restaurants serve Mexican-style brunch, but LeBlanc trained with one of the Becerra family’s beloved cooks to create his unusual Mexican-style items, like the mac ‘n’ cheese with carnitas, queso fresco and salsa verde ($12), chorizo flatbread with Cotija cheese and heirloom tomatoes ($8), and the chilaquiles which are layered with spicy salsa roja and 24-hour cooked short rib ($12).

If you have room for dessert, try the Sasquatch Bread, a delicious buttery pull-apart monkey bread served with candied pecans and a pour-over side of maple peaches and cream sauce ($8).

Parq’s new brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 19 and 26 and one or two Sundays a month beginning in May.

Parq Restaurant, 615 Broadway (entrance on Sixth), downtown San Diego. (619) 727-6789.,

Source: DiscoverSD