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Southern California Edit

Working Out for Brunch with Lauren Duff


When she’s not lighting up the Saddle Room with her heart-pounding choreography and shazaam-worthy playlists, instructor Lauren Duff is quite the connoisseur of the what’s hot in dining! Always on hand with a reservation at the newest must-eat restaurant, we consider Lauren our own personal GritCycle Zagat Guide.

We decided Lauren was the best person to turn to for recommendations on Southern California’s best brunch destinations after a sweaty Saddle Room session. What better way to reward yourself for enduring double sets of handhops and motorcycles than with avocado toast and a bloody mary bar!??!

Here’s what Lauren had to offer for her favorite in Southern California Brunching:

Wikipedia describes “brunch” as the following: “Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 10 am up to 2 pm, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink {most usually champagne or a cocktail} served with it.”

Whether in Costa Mesa, Monarch Beach, Anaheim Hills or Long Beach – I always have a favorite “go to” spot for brunch. If I’m riding at the Costa Mesa studio, you can usually find me brunching at Eat Chow, Cafe Gratitude, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, Haute Cakes Cafe or Outpost Kitchen {a hidden gem}; however, my favorite place to brunch after class requires a short drive to Lido Marina Village for brunch on the waterfront at Malibu Farm. If I’m feeling like breakfast, it’s the “fried egg sandwich” {fried egg, bacon, arugula, Havarti, country wheat toast, lemon aioli}, and if I’m feeling like lunch, it’s the “chicken ricotta bacon burger” {brioche bun, heirloom tomato, red onion, spicy aioli}. My favorite cocktail selections to accompany my meal would have to be the “smoke” {mezcal shishito, chipotle agave, squeezed lime juice} or the “papaya” {papaya & strawberry-infused tequila, agave, fresh lime juice, lava chipotle sea salt}. 
If I’m riding at the Monarch Beach studio, you can usually find me brunching somewhere in Laguna Beach on the way home. Some of my favorites are Anastasia Cafe, Driftwood Kitchen, Reunion Kitchen + Drink, Urth Caffe or Zinc Cafe & Market; however, my favorite place to brunch after class requires a short drive to San Juan Capistrano for brunch in the heart of the Los Rios Historic District at Ramos House Cafe. The Ramos House was built in 1881 and was the longtime residence of the Ramos family, one of San Juan Capistrano’s oldest families. In 1995, the Ramos House began its new life as a cafe and residence to Chef/Owner, John Q. Humphreys. Ramos House Cafe offers a Saturday & Sunday brunch menu for $35 per person and includes two courses – a large plate and a small plate. My favorite small plate is the “Huckleberry Cake w Lemon Curd & Almond Streusel” which is served fresh out of the oven. My favorite large plate is the “Smoked Bacon Scramble w Rocket and Ranch.” My favorite beverage to accompany my meal is always the “Ramos House Soju Bloody Mary.” 

If I’m riding at the Anaheim Hills studio, you can usually find me brunching at Reunion Kitchen + Drink. It is conveniently located near the studio, just on the other side of the 91 freeway. Defining modern comfort, Reunion Kitchen + Drink offers innovative interpretations on the food you love. I usually end up ordering the “Chilaquiles” {crisp corn tortillas, salsa ranchero, jack cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, 2 fresh eggs, and fresh fruit}, or the “Reunion Benedict” {tender short rib, warm buttermilk biscuits, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise, crispy onions, and fresh fruit}. My favorite beverage to accompany my meal is always the “Jim’s Bloody Mary” {Ketel One, bacon jalapeño popper, slim jim}. If you’re feeling like indulging, you can add unlimited bubbles with a 2-hour limit.  Although I have not yet visited them yet, Creme & Sugar Gone Mad and Kimmie’s Coffee Cup, are on my list of brunch destinations to try in the Anaheim Hills area.

I’m still currently searching for the best brunch spots in Long Beach.
Lauren Duff – Food Blogger…I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you? If you need recommendations for meals near any of the GritCycle studios – you know how to find me. IG: laurenleeduff Facebook: Lauren Duff
Bon appetit!

Ok? Who else is starving?

Thank you so much Lauren! We cannot wait to try these brunch spots out! Even better, we can’t wait to come ride in your class and THEN brunch after! You can catch Lauren in Anaheim Hills and Costa Mesa every week, bringing the VERY best of sweat, strength, and motivation. She is a crowd favorite and we feel so lucky to have her on the team.