Gingham Eats – Brian Malarkey’s “So-So” La Mesa hangout

It was Easter Sunday and we wanted to take the family out for something special.  After we enjoyed our trips to Searsucker and Burlap, Brian Malarkey’s other two restaurants, as well as Oceanaire back when he was the chef there, we had high expectations for Gingham.  Although we enjoyed our outing and the food was good, I don’t think it was up to par with Malarkey’s other post Top-Chef ventures, and I think we will head back to Burlap next time we want a little gourmet cowboy enjoyment.

The easter sunday menu was pretty much the regular brunch menu.  We all enjoyed our bottomless mimosas, but they were $12… which is pricier than his bottomless mimosas at Burlap.  The other drinks cost nearly as much, so expect to drop quite a few $$ if you want a tipsy brunch.

The patio was really wonderful.  We definitely enjoyed the ambiance and the wait staff was very friendly.  Inside things seemed on the darker side, as the Cowboy theme was fulfilled through a lot of wood everywhere.

We started with the BLT fries.  These were very yummy… drizzled with Baconnaise (a bacon infused mayo), as well as tomato jam, these were a rich start to the meal.

Fried Green Tomatillo Benny

I went for the Fried Tomatillo “benny” with a chipotle lime hollandaise.  Greasy but yummy, however the chipotle and lime were lost in the hollandaise.  The eggs were poached nicely, but I thought the tomatillo slices were kind of tiny considering they were the “main attraction”.  It was on a giant piece of thick toast instead of english muffins, which was almost too much bread compared to what it was topped with.  The potatoes were great on the side, but the pile of under dressed, bitter arugula was not a good pairing.   Overall, I liked the idea, but deep fried stuff covered with hollandaise led to a very over oiled meal… not sure I’d order it again.

Around the table a number of other meals were met with varied reviews.   The Burger “La Mesa” seemed like an average burger with some BBQ sauce to fit in with the Gingham “urban cowboy” theme.  The salmon salad was deemed as good, but not amazing.  Another benedict was deemed as fairly good.

Rib Tip Hash

The star of the meal was definitely the Rib Tip Hash.  The meat, potatoes, onion and arugula were made into a yummy hash with an egg overtop.

Although we enjoyed the meal, I don’t think it was worth the price tag, nor did it meet up with the Malarkey standard that has been set up before.  Lets hope that he doesn’t water down his style and flair as he continues to spread his empire… Gabardine & Herringbone are opening soon.

We loved Searsucker!  Check out my review here

See the menu… visit and come up with your own review!


Salmon Salad

Burger "La Mesa"

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