story

First Look: Breakfast Republic in North Park

Head over for mac 'n' cheese, hot dogs and Vietnamese chicken bowls, all with a breakfast flair
July 1, 2015
·
by Darlene Horn

Wake up early to check out North Park's newest restaurant, Breakfast Republic. The concept by restaurateur Jonah Engman is obvious based on the name alone — it’s serving breakfast favorites every day from opening until close at 3 PM. Those familiar with his three Fig Tree locations will see items like French toast and pancakes, but this new place offers so much more.

Take for instance their breakfast sandwich — an offering that's far more sophisticated than it looks. This creation includes thick-cut bacon with paprika and brown sugar baked on, sliced tomatoes and cage-free eggs cooked sunny-side up on sourdough bread slathered with an herb spread. For the more adventurous, take a gander at the Vietnamese chicken wing breakfast bowl that was inspired by Engman’s trips throughout Southeast Asia and has been the best-seller so far. It’s a hearty dish featuring savory-sweet wings coated in a mix of fish sauce, garlic and other spices. It's accompanied with veggies and white rice. With 40-plus dishes on the menu, plus more than a dozen beers on tap, 12-hour and 24-hour cold-brew coffee, antioxidant shots and an abundance of specialty drinks, there’s a lot to choose from.

And you can bring the Breakfast Republic experience home with you. The restaurant sells their organic cold brews, kombucha, coffee beans and hot sauce along with shirts, hats and mugs along one wall of the restaurant. If this is all sounding really good to you, take note: the expansive restaurant with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating fills up fast and doesn’t accept reservations. People are seated on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early or try after peak hours.

Here’s a look a several dishes you'll want to check out during your visit.

2730 University Ave.; 619-642-0299

Get your hands on the Vietnamese Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowl ($12), which features five slightly spicy wings with white rice, veggies and cage-free sunny-side up eggs.

One clever way to taste your way through the sweets is with the restaurant’s pancake flight ($11). Pictured left to right are their popular cinnamon roll pancakes, mint chocolate chip pancakes with a dollop of mint butter and Oreo cookie pancakes served double-stacked with sweetened cream in the middle. Other pancakes to consider are plain buttermilk, bacon, churro and apple two ways.

Before digging in, be sure to check the paper wrapping around each utensil with quotes to start the meal. It’s one of the many touches Engman adds to the restaurant experience. We hear a visit to the restroom is necessary for the soundtrack alone.

Switch up your cup o' joe with a glass of Sweetie Cocky ($2.95/$4.50). It’s a cool, sweet concoction using the restaurant’s cold brew mixed with a shot of vanilla and half and half. Frozen coffee cubes keep the caffeine strong until the last drop.

There’s no lack of cheese in the restaurant’s breakfast bacon mac ‘n’ cheese ($8) entree. Served with three eggs cooked any style, this dish keeps it gooey with lots of cheddar and jack cheese and bits of crisp bacon throughout. Parmesan bread crumbs add crunch on top.

Take our word for it, the breakfast hot dogs ($8) beat the pants off the usual ballpark variety. These hefty all-beef franks are two to a serving and topped with house potatoes, bacon crumbles and an egg on each one. We recommend taking them down with a fork and knife.

Along with the pancakes, French toast and coffee flights, don’t miss out on their beer & sausage sampler ($13). Choose from a taste of any four sausages and beer tasters. Pictured here are chicken mango, Asiago fennel, Buffalo blue cheese and hickory smoke Sonoma jack cheese sausage paired with Mother Earth Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale, Fat Cat Pilsner, Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 and Modern Times Black Coffee Stout.

pancakes
brunch
breakfast
san diego
north park