BY MIKE PUCKETT
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Brian’s 24 is located in the historic St. James Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. Brian’s does not lack accolades, so I stopped by to see for myself what all the fuss was about. We sat outside on the patio to enjoy the San Diego weather and struck up a conversation with some folks from L.A. who had stopped in to try a dessert. Let’s just say I didn’t leave room for dessert.
The first thing you notice as you walk up to Brian’s is that historic Gaslamp feel. The beautiful hotel lobby features a bar and dining area that really takes you back in time. The ambiance is exactly what you are looking for when dining on comfort food. There is a grand, hand-crafted mahogany bar (obtained from actress Joan Crawford’s estate), a beautiful crystal chandelier and a tin ceiling.
I know Brian’s 24 is famous for their breakfasts, but I like to try a little bit of everything. So, we ordered the Pizza Tots and a couple of local craft beers, a perfect combo. Oddly enough, tater tots go really well with melted mozzarella cheese and chopped pepperoni, then smothered in a rich, delicious, house-made marinara sauce. Imagine that! The heaping mound of tots made me nervous about what was to come. The portions were huge!
Now for the famous breakfast that I had heard so much about! We ordered the Chicken and Waffles and Krab Cake Benedict. Growing up in Houston, I have had my fair share of Chicken and Waffles, so I was really excited to try them at Brian’s. I had never tried Krab Cakes Benedict, but it sounded too good to pass up.
The Fried Chicken was served with wonderful fluffy Belgian waffles, creamy butter and warm syrup. The crispy fried chicken had an abundance of flavor from the special seasoning. The sweet syrup, mixed with the waffles, after the saltiness of the chicken brought me back to a special place I call home. You must not walk down 6th avenue without stopping in Brian’s to find out exactly what I mean!
We ordered a stack of Butter Milk Pancakes, because what breakfast is complete without them, right? Needless to say, with the Krab Cake Benedict on its way I was being very careful to save room in my stomach. The Krab Cake Benedict reminded me of a dish right off Bourbon Street. Delicious golden brown crab cakes and two poached eggs served on a split English muffin and topped with a creamy Hollandaise sauce. The combination of crispy Krab Cakes and flavorful Hollandaise sauce worked really well. If you are fan of Krab Cakes, you must try this dish. Morning, noon or night!
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
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