The Huevos Rancheros are served as rolled tacos filled with potatoes and come with black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and a lime crema.
723 Felspar Street, San Diego
My kids are currently spending their Saturday mornings working on a play, so my wife and I have been taking advantage of this by going out for brunch at different spots around town. We decided a beachfront brunch would be a fun way to chill on a chilly November morning, so we headed out to Pacific Beach to go to JRDN, which is right on the boardwalk.
Brunch at JRDN comes with a scone bar.
As far as seating goes, we lucked out. We were there early enough that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. JRDN has more of an upscale vibe than other PB brunch places, so we weren’t fighting for attention or space from tons of TVs broadcasting college football games. I don’t have a quarrel with that, but I was in a mellower vibe.
The coffee scone comes with three choices of spreads: a berry jelly, honey butter, and dulce de leech.
I liked JRDN when I went once for dinner, but the outdoor patio is special during brunch and you can watch the teeming masses walk, bike, or chill along the boardwalk. The meal started off nicely with a fresh-baked scone from the scone bar. The choices change frequently, but we were happy with the coffee scone ($3.50). Now, I’m not a scone person. I’m like, “It’s basically a muffin top, call it that.” However, the coffee scone had a nice flavor: not too sweet and slightly savory. It came on a plate with three spoonfuls of topping choices: A berry jelly, honey butter, and a dulce de leche. Now, I’m not a dulce de leche person. I’m like, “It’s basically caramel, call it that,” but the sweetness went well with the coffee scone. A perfect marriage, really.
The Bloody Mary at JRDN comes with a view.
I wish I could say the same about the Tower 23 Bloody Mary ($11). For me, Bloody Marys are like pizza: there are good ones and better ones. But this one wasn’t blended well. The top part was really spicy, practically all Tabasco, while the bottom was all tomato and the booze, strangely, seemed centered in the middle of the glass. I did like the garnish of a pepperocini, salami, and pepperoni more than the typical slice of bacon. The problem I have with a bacon garnish is that bacon gets soggy and chewy in liquid when it needs to be crisp to play against the tomato. Any slight disappointment I had with the Bloody Mary disappeared when the vodka hit my brain and my entrée arrived.
The patio is right on the Pacific Beach boardwalk.
I ordered Huevos Rancheros ($14) with a side of bacon. I was expecting the typical eggs over easy served with ranchero sauce on tortillas — one of the great contributions to breakfast, in my opinion. What I got was something different than the traditional dish: three potato rolled tacos filled with a creamy mashed potato sauce, with black beans underneath along with pico de gallo, lime crema and, of course, topped with two eggs over easy.
Since taquitos were invented here in town, this whimsical and tasty variation made me smile, but I think it deserves its own name. This is a dish that I can see being copied by other restaurants, if they’re smart. The crispness of the tortillas played well with the softness of the eggs and beans. I did add a couple slices of bacon on top and a dash of Cholula, but this is a perfect dish on its own.
The spinach in the Eggs Benedict Florentine is sautéed before serving, not just wilted under the eggs.
My wife agreed, though she enjoyed her Eggs Benedict Florentine ($12). Being a vegetarian who eats eggs, she liked the blend of flavors, especially because the spinach was sautéed rather than just put raw on the English muffin where it will wilt. But truth be told, we’d both go for the huevos on a return visit.
The meal was memorable, and so was the walk afterwards. We walked south towards Mission Beach and saw a happy but probably homeless woman standing on a concrete pylon singing to the crowd. “Take a head of lettuce and a cup full of rainbows and soon you will pee in many colors,” she sang over and over again.
Sadly, my wife had to hear me sing that all the way home. “No more Bloody Marys for you!”