Restaurant Review : Breakfast Republic

by on May 15, 2017 · 13 comments

in Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

Restaurant Review

Breakfast Republic
4839 Newport Ave.
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
/ocean- beach/

By Judi Curry

Sometimes you want things to be so good that you are disappointed when they do not turn out the way you wanted them to be.  A little of that happened today when I went to breakfast with Stuart and Nancy at the new Breakfast Republic in Ocean Beach.

The restaurant  is where the old Portugalia and OB Warehouse used to be. (Those of you that have been here as long as I have been may remember that it was originally a Christian Science Monitor Reading Room!)  The restaurant is on the top floor, accessible by steps or an elevator. Currently the bottom floor is still empty, but the word is that Coin Haus will be opening there soon.

The extensive menu is the same as the Breakfast Republic in Liberty Station, and there are different specials every day. [Ed.: Here’s Judi’s restaurant review of the Liberty Station place.]

Shrimp Ricotta Frittata

The menu offers such things as Benedicts that you will not find in other places:  House Made Crab Cakes; A Mushroom ‘n Pesto Benedict; a Jurassic Pork Benedict, etc.  The Omelets are also unusual; an Asiago-Fennel Sausage Omelet; Shrimp & Ricotta Frittata; and one of the fun Pancake offerings is called the “Flight of 3 pancakes  – where you can choose any 3 of their regular pancakes in a “mix and match” of your choosing.

The buttermilk pancakes (3) start at $7 and go up to $12 for the mix and match.  There was quite a variety of French Toast  from Lemon ‘n Coconut to Banana Split, to S’mores, Mascarpone and Strawberry, etc.

The beverage menu is as extensive as the food menu with many varieties of beer.  And also included are beer and sausage plates, which sound very intriguing.

Duck Carnitas Quesadilla

Nancy decided to try the Duck Carnitas Quesadilla special for $12. There was enough on her plate to bring home dinner tonight. It was served with a pico de gallo, which was quite good.

Stuart ordered the  veggie scramble, ($10)  and it was crammed with spinach, broccoli, and other veggies.  It was served with house potatoes and choice of toast.

Veggie Scramble

I had a difficult time deciding what to have but finally settled on a Shrimp Ricotta Frittata ($14) that was also served with potatoes and toast.  Stuart’s plate and mine had a selection of ketchup and jam.  Interesting that Stuart asked for sriracha and I asked for salsa.

Our sever, Megan, was delightful, and answered the many questions we had about the menu.  (How spicy was the Jambalaya breakfast?  Do you serve a lot of beer during the week? Who owns the restaurant? Do you charge a surcharge like some of the other restaurants in the area, etc.) She is also the manager, and, at times, we thought she needed additional help in fulfilling the orders.  It should be pointed out that even though she took the orders, they were brought to our table by other servers.

Nancy’s Quesadilla was very good.  The tortilla was soft and the insides were warm and tasty.  Stuart enjoyed his veggie scramble because the spinach and other veggies  were cooked well and very seasoned nicely.  And then we come to my Shrimp Ricotta Frittata.

It was served in a very hot cast iron skillet on a bread board. The potatoes were served on the board, as was the toast, jam, and ketchup.  But it was very dry.  I asked for salsa to see if that would help, but it really did not.  The three shrimp were cooked well, but it needed more ricotta to give it more moisture.  The bottom of the frittata was very close to being burned – a sign that it really just cooked a little bit too long.  I think it should have been served with a salsa or pico de gallo, and certainly should have had more ricotta in it.

Waiting chairs

Although Megan did not ask us how our meal was, when she removed my plate with 3/4 of the frittata left on it, I told her it was very dry. She was very apologetic and, in fact, removed it from the bill.  A nice gesture.

Nancy and Stuart each had coffee – $2.95 each – and each took home part of their meal.  The total bill came to $41.90 but when my meal was removed it came to $27.90.  Our tip included the cost of the frittata.  The prices on the menu are, for the most part, very reasonable.

It should be noted that there is not a surcharge on the final bill, and vegan/gluten meals are available.

Would we go back? Definitely.  It is a fun place; not too terribly noisy – although it might be on the weekends.  They close at 3:00pm so it is really a breakfast, brunch, lunch restaurant.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

editordude May 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Geez!, this was tough to edit and publish with my late-morning empty stomach.


Val May 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

But they are owned by the Cohn Family, right? Bizarre they are not having the surcharge when all their other restaurants do. I know they received a backlash for the extra surcharge. I wonder if they are going to slip the surcharge back on once they have their clientele up… Because of the surcharge, I will NEVER patronize their businesses again. GREED at it’s best.


judi May 15, 2017 at 1:57 pm

No, I thought so too. They are not owned by the Cohn group, BUT the Cohn group owns the building. They asked BR to move in there, but there is no financial connection. At least that is what our server told us. Before we even ordered I asked if there was a surcharge and she had no idea what I was talking about. YEA!!!


tennyson May 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm

John Engman own the Breakfast Republic small string of restaurants as well as the Fig Trees in PB and Pt Loma. If he is related to the Cohns it is one of the best kept secrets in San Diego. John immigrated from Sweden, landed in San Diego and started working as a dish washer. I have had the Shrimp Ricotta Frittata, found it excellent appreciating that the fattening ricotta was not the overwhelming ingredient. This is small business at it’s finest with an owner who has literally learned his trade from the bottom up !


Val May 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Word. My mistake, I ASSumed it was owned by them. But The Coin Haus that is going underneath it, is owned by Cohn. No mistake there. So, I’ll give this breakfast place a chance. Cheers!


judi May 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Thought the same thing, Val. That’s why I asked. The Coin Haus will probably not be a place I will go to for the same reason. They can afford the extra dollar an hour for their servers. They should be ashamed of themselves – and it only took them a week – or less – to add the surcharge.


tennyson May 15, 2017 at 3:24 pm

The string of Breakfast Republic restaurants is owned by John Engman, an immigrant from Sweden who after landing in San Diego started working as a dishwasher. He also owns the Fig Tree Restaurants. If he is related to the Cohns it is the best kept secret in San Diego.


Pam Clarken May 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm

I have been to BR in PL many times & will return again & again. BR in OB, not so much. I didn’t feel like I was in BR & although the service was great (after my son’s meal was dumped on the floor the first time around) I didn’t think the food could compare with PL.


Frank J May 16, 2017 at 6:58 am

Are there still places with a surcharge? I thought by now most have built in price increases. And remember this the next time you see something 25% higher on a menu than it was in December… Wages went up 10% ($10/hr-$11). Wages represent about 30% of total costs. Therefore costs rose 3% overnight. Add in some inflation from purveyors and insurance and new costs are still under 10%. And that beer/drink that formerly didn’t have tax at the bar likely does now. Believe me, not only have restaurants and bars more than made up for the wage increase, they have customers with 10% more disposable income spending every penny of it.


Patty F. May 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I really, really wanted to love OB’s Breakfast Republic. First of all it’s my neighborhood & I was excited that BR was willing to try us after the OB Warehouse couldn’t make it. But I lost my excitement after a disappointing meal & response to my disappointment. My sausage omelette didn’t have any sausage in it, but I thought that would be easily corrected once I flipped open my omelette for our server. She agreed & soon a plate of very greasy sausage slices arrived. I was unimpressed & said so, but the waitress was unapologetic. By then I just wanted to eat (but not the greasy sausage) & move on, so we paid the bill & left, no longer excited that they’re in OB.


Judi May 16, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Their Liberty Station restaurant is so good. Maybe they are still ironing out the kinks. I will try again – won’t order the same thing, but will give them another chance. Like you – I really, really wanted to love it.


OB Mercy May 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

I’ve heard quite a few complaints from people in the industry and now on here about their meals at BR. We’ve eaten at the one in LS several times and now the one here in OB.

We’ve enjoyed all our meals. Maybe I did a bit more than my bf. I’m such a sweet freak, so I was thrilled to give their S’mores french toast a try and I’ve loved it twice already. S’mores is my favorite dessert, so it was great IMO.

I also LOVE their upgraded version of breakfast potatoes with crunchy brussel sprout pieces, bacon, onions, balsamic vinegar and parmesean cheese in them. Almost a meal in itself!

We’ve been to the OB location once so far, and will definitely return. I had their traditional eggs benedict with their regular house potatoes and it was perfect. I always ask for my muffin well done and crispy around the edges, which no one ever seems able to do when I ask this simple request, but it was executed perfectly here. Delicious hollandaise sauce too which I love to sprinkle a few drops of Tabasco sauce on….mmmmm.

Judi knows how much I loved OB Warehouse, so it was nice to see that they retained several of their wonderful design concepts. The coolest is the Airstream trailer kitchen and their wonderful bathroom full of hand mirrors all over the wall. And also all the vintage looking Edison/Steampunk lighting throughout.


Chris May 18, 2017 at 10:30 am

I’ve been going to the original one in North Park and have never been disappointed. I’m sure like you said it’s just kinks that go with all new openings still being worked out. I’m surprised so many already made up their mind they will not go back.


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