Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Becky's Birthday Brunch at The Alley

The Alley Restaurant
4501 W. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Brunch is so much better at the beach. Don't get me wrong, I love brunch no matter where it is, but mixed with the sea air and sun, it becomes magical. Our friend Becky and her friends do brunch in Newport almost every Sunday. It was her birthday, so we decided to join her this time. 

The Alley is one of those places I used to frequent when I was down in Newport carousing it up. It seems that they stay open later than almost every other bar in Newport, so this was almost always one of our last stops. Known by the locals as the place that has the, "best pour by the shore", the Alley has been in business for well over twenty-five years. I have eaten here a half dozen times, but never for brunch, so let's check it out.

Much like the classic bread basket served at dinner time, the brunch version is filled with biscuits. Unfortunately these biscuits photographed better than they tasted. The inside was a little to dry, and rather flavorless. Not sure what the pink butter was all about. I forgot to ask the waitress what it was supposed to be. It really just tasted like regular whipped butter with red food coloring. 

It is brunch time, so of course a Bloody Mary was called for. I ordered this Bloody Mary spicy, and it did have a nice kick to it. These were very affordable at $6. They also offer the option of bottomless champagne for $10 with the purchase of a brunch entree. 

For Katie's brunch entree she went with the Breakfast Sandwich. This is not the same kind of breakfast sandwich you can get at McDonald's. Here they use Gruyere cheese, avocado, tomato, egg, and Canadian bacon. Katie felt that this was a good breakfast sandwich with very fresh ingredients. Her one negative comment about this plate was about the temperature of the cheesy potatoes that came this brunch entree. She found them to be cold, and would have liked more cheese on them. After trying these, I would have to agree with her. 

Stephanie had the brunch classic, the Eggs Benedict. She was also generous enough to give me half of it. She claimed the reason was because she has to fit into a wedding dress in a couple weeks, but I like to think it was just because she reads my food blog and wanted to know my thoughts on her food. Okay, the first reason is probably correct, but I can dream, can't I? Plus, she already looks fine enough to fit in her wedding dress, so there is going to be no problem with that. Anyways, we both agreed that this was an average Benedict. She did like that this was not super rich. I always feel that if I order this dish, I want it to be super rich. No one is ordering this to be healthy, so go decadent. The hollandaise sauce was okay, but the highlight of this plate for me was that the egg was cooked well. The runny yolk always goes good with a Benedict. 

It is not everyday that you see a Breakfast Burrito on a brunch menu, and since I am on my quest to find the best one in the OC, I had to get one here. For the breakfast burrito at The Alley you are allowed four fillers to add to your burrito. Out of the twenty-two choices I went with cheddar cheese, avocado, bacon and sausage. Having both bacon and sausage sounded like a great idea at the time, but these two big flavored breakfast meats kind of canceled each other out. Next time I would just choose one, and add some onions. The burrito was still good, but not great. The rice served with this was average. Lacking in big flavor.

The birthday girl went the traditional route with her brunch when she ordered the Classic Breakfast. This included  three eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and cheesy potatoes. Pretty standard fair here, but not a bad amount of food for $11.

Since it was Becky's birthday she received a free dessert, the Fudge Cake. This dark chocolate cake was served with vanilla bean gelato. I did not try this dessert, but it did get very good raves from the people that did have some.

The brunch at The Alley was decent. I am not going to lie to you. I really like brunches that are served buffet style better. I definitely get my money's worth at buffets, but I am flexible and can do both. The service for our party of fifteen was very good. The menu here is limited, they have eight items to choose from. The atmosphere was beach casual, with a very young crowd. We were just happy we could celebrate Becky's birthday with her.

So out of five laneways, (because that is the term Australians use instead of alleys), five being best to zero being worst, The Alley gets 2.5 laneways.

For more information on The Alley, click here:

Alley Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Have you had the Sunday brunch at Orange County Mining Company? Haven't been for a while, but we used to go about twice a year. YUM!! Prime rib, made to order omelettes and pasta, and a variety of other entrees. Hmmmmm......I think I see a visit in the not too distant future.

  2. Kathy - I have not been to OC Mining Company in years. I will have to put it on our list. Thanks for the tip!