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Last Sunday, we headed to Old Town for our third visit in the month of December! We're already breaking our typical 1-2 visits PER YEAR for Old Town! As Dennis and I drove in, we lucked out and got a parking spot very close to the plaza. The moment we left the car, we were enveloped by the inviting scent of tortillas, freshly made every day, which made us even hungrier! After being greeted by the friendly hostress, we were seated.
It was a beautiful day for an outdoors brunch. We started out with their $3 drink specials, one mimosa and one margarita. The mimosa was typical but the margarita here was perfect, with just the right blend of tequila and lime juice and level of sweet and sour for us. We would definitely come back here to drink another! We also received some salsa and chips to snack on. The tortillas have sprinkles of jwala(?) pepper on them, which gave it a special distinction from your everyday tortilla chips, and we happily ate those by themselves and with the salsa. The salsa itself was thinner in consistancy with a touch of spicy.
The Executive Chef José Pulido added a few new brunch items that featured "south-of-the-border flavors" and "sweet-and-savory specialties." Dennis decided on the Chorizo Eggs Benedict from this new menu. Honestly, we almost never turn down the chance to try an eggs benedict during brunch! The tortilla doesn't go directly with the eggs benedict but eating them separately works perfectly because the tortillas are warm, soft and amazingly fluffly. They do have a light layer of flour though that gets on your hands while you eat! As for the eggs benedict, there was a creamy hollandaise that was paired with a jalapeno that made your food "pop". The dish could have used a tad bit more meat but the amount included worked. This was paired with oven roasted potatoes and chunks of fresh fruit like pineapple and watermelon.
I ordered the Mexican Frittata en comal Caliente, which was an excellent choice. I had to google the word "frittata" because it sounded very familiar... I realized that I've cooked a frittata before at home a few years back so it was definitely time to revisit this dish! The sizzling plate retained the heat really well so my meal stayed at a delightful temperature as I sampled mine and Dennis's dish. It was nice too because some omlettes are too egg-y and this one did not have a strong egg presence, maybe masked by the huge layer of cheese. There was plenty of warm, oozy goozy cheesiness in this dish so if you are not a fan of cheese, you may not like this. I personally thought this was the best dish here. It was also just the right amount of food too, being served with potatoes and fruit like the other entree.
Last, we were presented with a couple dessert samples. The flan in the bottom was nice, thick and creamy without being saturated by syrup. You could taste the custard itself. The churros on the right were unexpectedly wonderful, with a nice crunch of sugar and light chocolate drizzle. I didn't realize until halfway that there was a pudding-like filling which must have been the reason why the churros stood out positively for me. The pineapple tamale dessert on the left was one of the desserts we didn't like. It definitely had a very strong pineapple taste that didn't really fit, plus the texture itself was more on the grittier, drier side, especially compared to all the other rich desserts. Last was the generous chocolate cake, which was light, moist and fluffy on the inside. The frosting was more of the stronger sugary types that we often find in American style cakes so we didn't like it as much.
At Casa de Reyes, their brunch is between 9am and noon and there is live entertainment, including a jolly Santa for the holidays! The food presentation is beautiful, which really whets the appetite. The outdoor patio area has great ambience with plenty of seating for people coming and going. The open space allows for audible conversation and often there is music or activity in the open plaza/stage across the courtyard but it did not interrupt our dining experience. There are also outdoor heaters for nighttime dining. This is a restaurant that we wouldn't mind visiting again if we are in the area!
Disclaimer: we were hosted for this meal but the opinions are strictly our own.
Casa de Reyes
2754 Calhoun St
San Diego CA 92110