On Saturday, August 12th, my life changed forever.
I experienced the magic of BrunchCon.
My impeccably high standards for my favorite weekend meal are now through the roof thanks to the delicious foods I had the pleasure of sampling at this fine event.
Held at The Reef in Downtown LA (also known as DTLA– learned that this week), BrunchCon was a 2.5 hour event broken up into four sessions over two days. Tickets ran about $72 per person for general admission, which included a sample at each of the booths and tables, unlimited mimosas/bloody mary’s, and numerous photo opportunities and lawn games. There was also a VIP option which, at $96 a pop also gave guests a VIP goody bag and VIP lounge access.
The vendors were divided into sections, and each section had a clever name: Don’t Go Bacon My Heart, Carbs Carbs Carbs!, #CulturedAF, #FoodPorn, Hangover Eatz, Simply Eggscellent, Healthy as Fuq, Brunch and Bougie, Sweet Dreamz, and DRANKS. After filling up my mimosa glass for the first time at DRANKS, my basic self hightailed it for the section with bacon in the name (because HELLO BAE-con, duh) and I was not disappointed. Highlights included pork belly and a spicy pork roll from Serious Eats, and a breakfast sandwich with chipotle aioli from The Everleigh that stole my entire heart.. That sandwich haunted me for the rest of the day as I journeyed to find a better brunch food. (Spoiler: It didn’t happen)
The Carbs section was impressive, and among the samples here was a french toast ball with bourbon maple syrup from Them Balls. Very tasty. Another highlight was the “breakfast pasta” from Hugo’s, which kind of blew my mind in a good way. I was kind of bummed to find that there wasn’t a brunch pizza though, so I found the photo op at this section to be a bit misleading … But who wouldn’t take advantage of the chance to take a pic with life-size, inflatable pizza, AM I RIGHT?!
#CulturedAF was a highlight because it actually took me out of my comfort zone. I tried a sushi burrito from Nushii, which was actually really delicious and was better than I was expecting it to be, even if it was essentially a larger, glorified piece of sushi. My favorite from this section was the roasted garlic salsa from Salsa by Sep. I loved the garlic flavor and the kick in the back of the throat right at the end. So well done!
Now, after conquering the first three sections (and our first few mimosas), we were feeling pretty good. We noticed another long line for entry into the #FoodPorn section, so we hopped right on the end. Little did we know that we’d wait for over half an hour just to make it to the first vendor. At this point, it was nearing 3:30 and BrunchCon ended at 4pm. We had only been to 4/10 sections and there was SO much brunch left to conquer! My boyfriend and I took turns going to the other two vendors in this section while holding our spot in the seemingly never-ending line. Glad we did that though, because the outrageously sweet sensations from Sweet Butter Kitchen were yet another highlight of the day. Nutella pancakes, vegan chocolate muffins, and biscuits and gravy are only some of the delectable items we sampled. The employees here were sincere and kind, and made this specific experience even more wonderful! Major props to them!
When we finally made it to the front of the line, we discovered that the hold up was being caused by gourmet waffle pops, being made and decorated individually. So cool, right?! Kind of. They only had one flavor left at this point and they were out of pop sticks. So basically, it was just a waffle stick, decorated in the company’s signature marshmallow and Oreo design. Totally delicious, but not necessarily worth the wait.
While I waited for my waffle-pop-that-wasn’t-actually-a-pop, my boyfriend (bless him for
still loving me after seeing my brunch-obsessed persona) decided to visit the Simply Eggscellent section. He reported back that some vendors were starting to close down and that others were out of food. This kind of shocked me for two reasons:
1) BrunchCon was slated to be open from 1:30pm- 4pm. It was roughly 3:40. That allows for 20 more minutes of brunching! Why shut down early?!
2) HOW could you run out of food?!?!?! Clearly, the number of attendees was not properly communicated to some of the vendors.
Luckily for us, he scored the last of the mini egg tostadas from Cos & Pi. This tiny treat was absolutely delicious. The flavors in the salsa were heavenly and combined with the egg and the crunch of the tostada, made for a perfect brunch item. Definitely in my top three favorites of the day!
The last section we were able to wait in line for before BrunchCon’s 4pm closure was Sweet Dreamz. I mean, thank GOODNESS for that. Dessert is one of my favorite food groups so naturally I was thrilled to see some of the offerings here. My boyfriend enjoyed cherry liquor in an edible chocolate cup from Ginja9, while I personally enjoyed the dark chocolate pot de creme from Petit Pot. There were more waffles in this section which made me swoon.
Overall, I absolutely loved BrunchCon and everything it stands for. I was, however, disappointed by the fact that the long lines made it virtually impossible to get to all of the sections in the 2.5 hour time allotted. Hopefully the organizers will take that into consideration when organizing next year’s convention. The bottomless mimosas/bloody mary’s were definitely a major selling point and added greatly to the experience. (Also, shouts to Hubert’s Lemonade for the free samples/bottles– so good!!). The photo opportunities were plentiful and were well coordinated to suit each section– Inflatables and all. If the organizers can fix up the few glitches, look for BrunchCon LA 2018 to knock your best brunchy socks off.