Toast Flight, Cocktails and More at West Coast Tavern Brunch - San Diego, CA
Brunch is always a welcome weekend meal in our busy schedules. We reveled in West Coast Tavern's menu last month during a media invite! We already knew this spot for their famous mule pitchers and the occasional Taste events, but now the brunch impressed us as well! Located one block west of 30th St and University Ave, it was also a chance to visit our favorite neighborhood of North Park, considering how often we write about this area!
Late lunch at 2pm on Sunday gave us a chance to fit our morning bike ride in as well as preparing a hefty appetite! The sun was on the opposite side of the building so there was shady comfort plus natural lighting in the patio. Service manager Estaban and waitress Nicole suggested a few items off the menu while we pondered what food / drink mood we were in!
Toast Flight ($19) - avocado & egg, bacon & brie, goat cheese & lavender
Instead of choosing, we ordered a sampling with the Toast Flight. On the left was the comfort breakfast, minimal salted avocado and eggs, yet enhanced with the kick of red pepper flakes. The next two were more extravagant. The middle toast held the beloved brie topped with savory crispy bacon. This was garnished with tomatoes, basil, and a swizzle of balsamic and we kept a steady hand to prevent tumbling of tomatoes! For the third toast, Dennis felt the balance was just right (i.e. not too sweet), pairing well with the creamy goat cheese and chomp of almond slivers. It was our favorite because of the unique flavor combo! The bread for all three was hardy and toasted to a delicious crunch. These are also available to order individually. The smoked salmon toast was another recommended menu item.
Short Rib Benny ($14) - focaccia, poached eggs, brasied short rib, poblano cream sauce, cilantro, potato fritters, arugula
I can't help but order bennies at almost every breakfast. Here, the short rib meat was surprisingly tender and wonderfully accented by the poblano sauce. That creamy consistancy had a pleasant pepper taste and not too much heat (great for me). Even the potatoes in this dish seemed to be prepared with care with freshly grated cheese over a beautiful panko crust. Inside was a potato cheesiness that I absolutely loved!
Hot Chicken Waffle Sandwich ($15) - warm waffle, hot chicken, pepper jack, pickle, tomato, arugula, seasoned fries
The chicken pieces were thick, tender, and juicy supported by a golden waffle bun. Hidden under the waffle was the crispy layer of pepper jack cheese, texture reminding us of Famosos’s queso taco at Tacotopia but with a cheesy heat. As you’re eating the sandwich, there’s that slow burn building up! On the side, the thick fries were crisp without being oily and held their crunch. The Sriracha ketchup had just enough spice to mellow out the typically sweet ketchup though my mouth was still burning from the buffalo chicken! Another sauce option was the Buffalo ranch though it’s a much thinner sauce. There’s also a straight-up chicken and waffles version (sans spiciness) that is served on the regular and happy hour menu.
Dessert was West Coast Tavern's famous bread pudding, jiggly bites with a nutty charm. Unfortunately, the bread pudding was in a very syrupy moat which was sweetness overload. Ice cream on top was a welcome bonus though! Pistachios (or some kind of nut) were treasures waiting to be discovered in that cold creamy mound. Behind dessert is a mason jar size comparison of the pitchers verses a regular sized cocktail! Keep in mind that one pitcher is equivalent to four drinks! It's ample to share with some friends, but maybe a little bit much for one (but hey, we won’t judge either way).
Big Ass Brunch Drinks (Unicorn, Coco Loco, or Mai Tai flavors) - cocktail size pictured here
By the way, our eyes were drawn toward the middle of the menu with the BIG ASS BRUNCH DRINKS. These are in the pitcher size mentioned above but we asked for smaller versions. During brunch, there is the Unicorn in the classic vodka mule style, the Coco Loco for some Caribbean flavor, and the classic Mai Tai, sweeter than other versions we've had but nevertheless good.
Chef Marco, who has worked here for over 6 years, also joined us for a small chat while we were still ordering. He crafted this menu himself, changes out a couple items with the seasons, and enjoys the chance to get creative! Even he couldn't decide which of the toast flight flavors was his favorite! Just about everything we ate was drool-worth so here's a big shoutout to the wonderful chef and staff! West Coast Tavern looks to be another great spot for our increasing visits in the neighborhood!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our food and drink was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own
West Coast Tavern
2895 University Ave
San Diego CA 92104