The other day, my friend – LA – and I ventured out to Hillcrest for brunch. Naturally, since we had recently visited Hash House, we needed to visit a new spot. Fortunately for us, I’ve been eying a place nearby for sometime now – R Gang Eatery.
This restaurant pretty much looked like it was once a big house, that was converted to a restaurant. Maybe it was because of that, the central air system was not quite up to par to a restaurant’s. It was a hot day by San Diego standards and that place was like a sauna. A tip for you RGE – you may want to look into finding a better solution on your climate control than putting a few fans around that were naturally hogged by those who were positioned closest to them.
Anyways…aside from the terrible heat, our waiter (Chris) was very energetic and super friendly. LA and I were already decided on what we really wanted from this place – their tots! We ordered both of their current specialty tots – the White Trash Tots and the Buffalo Tots.
White Trash Tots – tater tots stuffed with diced Spam and Velveeta Cheese, served with “ketchayo” (ketchup & mayo). These were a bit of an oddity. I felt that there could have been more spam, and the velveeta gave it an odd taste. Maybe I’m just not accustomed to the cheese because it is definitely not the Spam’s problem! I LOVE Spam since I grew up on it!
Buffalo Tots – tots stuffed with blue cheese and bacon (!!!), served with garlic-buffalo sauce. These were by FAR both of our favorite tots between the two! Oh mama! The smoky and delicious bacon, with the cool bleu cheese, dipped in the tangy buffalo sauce, made you feel like you were eating a buffalo wings with fries! In my opinion, they could have done with a little more bacon, but still was our favorite. We couldn’t stop eating these despite the fact we still had our entrees coming.
Before that…I must warn you. What I’m about to show you is ridiculously good and totally dangerous!
Ok, you asked for it!
Absorb it all in…look at the beauty that is before you. This was not your normal french toast, but rather a bread pudding disguised as french toast. RGE took the regular french toast and elevated it to new heights! (Though they do offer another french toast entree on their menu…but I can’t imagine it being better than this!) There are cubes of what I believe was brioche, baked in a creamy vanilla-cinnamon custard, then topped off with a bourbon caramel sauce and streusel crumbs. Their online menu tells of a different casserole, but I think the one we had is sooooooo much better! Actually, this was LA’s entree and I wanted it for myself! Soft, salty, sweet, melts in your mouth, and with a kick of bourbon to remind you that you are at brunch. Oh sweet, sweet jebus! This was not a brunch item – it was a freaking dessert for breakfast/lunch! All this needed was some vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream…and we’d be set.
My entree on the other hand…was a bit of a disappointment:
The R Egg Sandy – fried egg on a focaccia roll with RGE’s house-made chicken apple sausage, topped with fontina cheese, spinach, and crispy onion strings. Sounded delicious! The actual result was somewhat lackluster despite the size. I wanted something savory, but this did nothing for me. I wanted that casserole more!
All in all, we had a good meal and walked out of there stuffed. My first impressions and recommendations of R Gang Eatery:
- Great, friendly service in a casual and fun environment.
- Could definitely figure out their climate control for those abnormal San Diego weather spikes (whether it be hot or cold).
- Don’t pass up their stuffed tots (especially the buffalo).
- Must try the French Toast Casserole.
- Remember to check-in on Yelp for a special discount on their tots.
- Have reservations regardless of day/time.
I’m curious about their dinner menu and would come back to try, but if nothing else…I’ll be back for that casserole!
R Gang Eatery
3683 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103