Local Hangs: Brunchin Like Whoa
I fully admit to being a little bit anal and OCD about my schedule and my calendar organization. Even if I might forget about an event or two (likely because it was NOT on my calendar or was told to my husband) I am 100% committed to being organized about my activities. And its not like I do SO MUCH all the time, but with kids, shit and last minute birthday parties happen so I do my best to stay on top of things.
In that regard, I've made it a point to schedule out time with friends and family (husband included) as often as my time and budget allow. It makes me feel good knowing I have set times to see people and keeps me accountable. Cuz I'm also a low-key flaker. Because introverted Gemini. I got issues.
Some time last year, my youngest sister-in-love and I were discussing our love of brunch and mimosas and talked up "getting brunch" on a double date. Great! We're so excited and thrilled to be setting this up, but life being what it is, our schedules never panned out. For like 4 months.
So when she KNEW I was setting up my calendar for the year, she reached out to get a date on the books. It only took 6 months of planning and 5 weeks advance notice but suddenly we had a date!
FAAAABUULOUUUS. But where do we go?
We live about an hour apart and the "middle" is really non-existent so we scoured Living Social and Groupon for deals to some of our tried and true spots. But nothing came up.
Finally I crowdsourced my FB peeps and asked for recommendations in the Long Beach area and they.came.through.
That's how I found myself at the James Republic down the street from my former apartment in the heart of Long Beach on a Saturday afternoon. I was happily surprised to see how the neighborhood has grown since I moved away almost 8 years ago and it helped that the weather was perfect. Sun roof open, windows down, music up.
Hell yeah, it's Saturday.
When we walked up to the restaurant we were surprised to see how open it was with the glass sliders wide open and welcoming the warm winter (?) sun. Because we were hella early and beat the brunch rush, we had our choice of seating and opted for a space outside right next to the street so we could see the action.
Our waiter popped in right away and set us up with the obligatory carafe of mimosas because duh. That's the whole point of brunch right? And then I set to really scoping out the joint and I low-key fell in love, and may or may not have announced, "I need to come back here and host a brunch, because this is my scene". Yeah. I was excited about it.
Of course we'd checked out the menu prior to making the reservation but weeks had passed so we had to take a few moments to study it and our lovely waiter was all about answering our questions. We started off with a warm cinnamon roll and it was so freaking good. I don't know what it is about eating by the water that makes everything taste better but it's really a thing.
We finally decided on food and I had the Buckwheat pancakes with salty caramel, pecans and roasted apples topped with a nutmeg whipped cream and she had Carnitas Egg Benedict with sopes, poached eggs and a cilantro lime hollandaise. I'm happy to report her food was equally as delicious as mine. Cuz you know I had a bite.
Errmiggherrd....it was so good. Like for reals. My pancakes were light and fluffy and the nutmeg whipped cream was straight out of heaven. The salty caramel and roasted apples balanced out the flavor profile and not once did I wish for a vat of syrup to drown my pancakes in. I wouldn't have minded that to dip my bacon in but the salty caramel worked just fine. Oh yeah - I absolutely orded a side of applewood smoked bacon because BACON.
The whole restaurant is set up in a chic and urbane vibe that is slightly eclectic without feeling too hipster and I was totally into it. Edison style light fixtures and slightly rustic looking wood everywhere made it stand out from the neighborhood but not in a way that looks like it's trying too hard.
Oh and one of the best things? They source their food locally and are all about sustainable living, eating and dining. I'm HERE for it. And for the mimosas. Because those were legit. If you find yourself in the Long Beach area, make a trip to the James Republic part of your itinerary (and let me know if you do!) you won't regret it. Seriously, our food was amazing and everyone else's looked delicious too. I know cuz, I was checking everything out on my way to the bathroom.
*This post is in no way sponsored. I just really enjoyed my brunch and wanted to share with y'all.