Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Mission North Park

Boys and girls, it is time for the weekly BRUNCH REVIEW! This week we actually had some friends join us for the monumental event which took place at the Mission in North Park.

(picture taken from their website)
We've been passing it on a daily basis for a few weeks now, and there is always a huge crowd out front. To me this means there is something worth waiting for. Today was no exception, but when I managed to fight through the crowds outside and in the lobby, I was pleased to hear that it was only a wait of 20 minutes. Brilliant! I expected it to be a pretty classic American brunch menu, with the normal eggs, bacon, toast, maybe with a few innovative omelets here and there, but I was pleasantly surprised. The menu was extremely unconventional, and it was described as "chino-latino", which I still don't totally understand but I could see the slant. There was a whole section for just Latin breakfast dishes, and a great drink menu. I guess there's a pretty serious espresso and smoothie bar happening. I toyed with the idea of getting a Blackberry Banana smoothie, but settled for a hammerhead (espresso in coffee) instead.
For my meal, I was torn between the Pappas Loca (Rosemary potatoes, grilled jalapeƱos, black beans, cheese, avocado, and sour cream, with the option of adding 2 eggs) and the Roast Beef Hash and eggs (Grilled Angus beef, horseradish cream, rosemary potatoes, and scrambled eggs.) Ultimately I decided to go with the latter, pictured below.

HOLY FREAKING COW. Normally you'd expect the eggs to be the main part, with a "side" of potatoes, but this was the exact opposite. Within 5 minutes of ordering, I was presented with an absolute mountain of rosemary potatoes, huge chunks of what said to be roast beef but tasted more like straight up steak to me, topped with cilantro, small onions, tomato, and horseradish on the side with 2 eggs (scrambled BEAUTIFULLY) and rosemary toast.
The potatoes were for lack of any other word, BOMB. Crispy on the outside, barely stuck together by the skin, but cooked all the way through with just the right amount of spices. The horseradish wasn't sinus-clearing, but the provided hot sauce was a superb additive. I'm mildly picky about how my eggs are cooked, and this scramble was the perfect amount of scrambled-medium to slightly soft (I like my eggs slightly sticky). Perfect.
THE TOAST! Oh god, the toast. Very few things make my mouth water like the promise of a great slice of toast. I didn't have to add a single thing to this. Incredibly tasteful, just bland (in a good way) enough to make it still seem like toast without going totally overboard and dominating the flavor of the main dish. A little horseradish was a delight to add, but not even necessary for the entire piece. Today I was not part of the clean plate club, and I have about half of it left. For $8, a totally filling, innovative, and delicious meal that I am looking forward to finishing later today.
All in all, I'd give the Mission two enthusiastic thumbs up. I see now what all the crowds were excited about.

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