Even though I’ve never been to California Breakfast Slam because it was ridiculously slammed both times I’ve tried to go there and was extremely dissatisfied/disgruntled/kind of appalled both times that I gave its sister restaurant, Chicago Breakfast Slam (where I was once served a ham-less “Croque Madame” that had still-frozen, shredded cheddar cheese on top of it) a try, I’ve found it’s lesser known spin-off/rival/copy cat(?), Breakfast Bandits, good enough to return for repeat visits. I’m glad there’s more American-style brunch competition in Berlin popping up these days, so that mediocre, overpriced joints can stop making a killing due a simple supply-demand imbalance.
The first time I was there, I went with K and his dad and had delicious bacon eggs benedicts and a mediocre bloody Mary. The second was this past Saturday, when, in a departure from my usual Saturday routine of waking up late and never putting on pants, I got up at 9.00 to meet Eva for some brunch and a walk.
We’d originally intended on going to Bastard for brunch and walked all the way to Reichenberger Straße from Sonnenallee only to find out that they were all booked.
Luckily, Lagari (the cafe where Breakfast Bandits does their weekend pop-up), was just on the other side of the canal.
The menu was only available in English. These expat restaurant owners have no shame. :D
As soon as we sat down I instantly remembered why I liked this place so much, with its Mexican breakfast options and Beirut’s The Flying Cup Club playing in the background. As an expat, I guess I’m pretty much a sucker for anything that will conjure up nostalgia for my California days.
While the breakfast burrito was not the sort that I would normally order (I’m more a fan of the bacon rather than ground beef variant), it was rather tasty and did much to satisfy my long-standing breakfast burrito craving. Both the breakfast burrito and huevos rancheros came with a sizable mound of some legit guacamole. Respekt.
After we’d finished eating we sat there for a while just chatting and watching the cafe fill up. That’s the thing I love about Berlin restaurants — you’ll rarely (if ever) find yourself in a situation where a waiter is trying to rush you to pay so he can clear your table for the next customer.
We each ordered one last beverage before finally hitting the road – freshly squeezed juice! I ordered one called the “California Criminal” which had beet and orange in it. So good. At around three euros for a small, it’s an alluring alternative to an Abschiedskaffee.
I came home from our little outing feeling so accomplished for having already been out and about — for getting some fresh air and socializing and being out in the sun before noon! At last, I feel as though I’m reclaiming my identity as an avid brunch-er from the days of yore.