Gingham is one of several restaurant establishments Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey has opened within the last few years in San Diego.
I had enjoyed Malarkey’s food before he shot into stardom while he was at Oceanaire. A few years ago, I tried his first solo venture, Searsucker. While the food had been okay, the high prices and poor service kept me away. I wanted to try out another Malarkey establishment after watching The Taste (a show that I think had a good premise but really needs work on the formatting. I didn’t particularly enjoy the show but felt compelled to continue watching it after really liking Chef Khristianne.)
While The Taste was airing and I was having thoughts of trying out another Malarkey establishment, I was invited to try out Gingham, which serves “urban cowboy” cuisine. I was intrigued by the All You Can Eat Sunday brunch. There’s so few of them in San Diego and you know how much I love my buffets.
Located in La Mesa, I immediately loved how airy and well lit the place is. The floor to ceiling glass windows brought in a ton of natural light and a pleasant breeze, making this a great spot for a long indulgent Sunday brunch.
Right when you walk in, you can see the display for the buffet brunch, which costs $15 per person. If you want unlimited mimosas, you add another $10, which isn’t bad at all.
In addition to the brunch, they have a few a la carte brunch entrees you can order in lieu of the brunch. We were able to sample the buffet and the entrees.
To my surprise, Chef Malarkey was in the house, checking on the buffet, greeting guests, etc.
The buffet section is pretty small. It has your standard fare of fresh fruits, salad, eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. They also offered bbq ribs, biscuits and gravy, chicken tenders, and cinnamon rolls. We tried to try just a little of everything to save room for the entrees. My favorite was definitely the ribs, which were very tender and covered in bbq sauce.
I felt like the buffet needed one or two big stand out items to make it more worthwhile. While the price is cheaper than most places in San Diego that offer a brunch buffet and I really enjoyed the ribs, there just wasn’t enough items where I would want second or third helpings of to make it worthwhile for me to pay the buffet price. I noticed that the website highlights “dirty eggs” but on the occasion we visited, there were only regular scrambled eggs served.
However, I do think the way to go at Gingham are the entrees, which we really enjoyed. And at $11-13 each, I thought they were quite filling and reasonably priced.
Chicken and Waffles
I’m completely in love with magic cake.
Magic Cake has been really popular on food blogs lately. It’s called “magic cake” because it magically becomes a three layer cake during the baking process.
The top layer is a soft cake. The middle layer is a silky custard. And the bottom is a dense crust.
We recently went to Restaurant Kaz for a lunch revisit. Now they actually have an official sign up, making it much easier to find.
The menu has also expanded and they still offer a lunch prix fixe menu which starts at $12. You choose a soup, salad and main course. It also comes with orange juice or coffee (no refills).
Slices of fresh bread were accompanied by an oil and vinegar dipping sauce. I wish the bread had been warmer and crunchier.
Ceasar Salad (+$1)
I opted to pay $1 to upgrade from the House Salad to the Caesar. The dressing was a little on the watery side, but otherwise this was alright.
Marinated Vegetables (+$2)
My friend opted to upgrade to the marinated vegetables. He stated that these were delicious and he liked that they roasted the vegetables as well. I’ll have to try this option next time.
DH opted for the base house salad. He seemed to enjoy it.
Corn Soup (+$1)
I’ve always enjoyed the Japanese style corn soup which is made of mashed corn in a cream broth, like a corn potage.