South Beach on Sunday morning has a silence that is golden or perhaps reminiscent of a ghost town. Tourists and late-night partiers are still snoozing while the residents are heading to a relaxing yoga class or paddle boarding on the early morning bay. It’s a great time to walk the beach or wander through the Miami Botanical Gardens but, as late morning approaches, brunch is the order of business and I am always ready to get down to the business of brunch. The choices are vast on South Beach so here are a few picks that make me long for Sundays.
I often like my brunches tapas style (so I can try more dishes and share plates with friends), and for real tapas, I go to Barceloneta. Headed by Chef Julia Gonzalez and part of the infamous Pubbelly group, Barceloneta provides vibrant Catalan-influenced food, traditional and contemporary. The dish that sounds a siren call in my head from Barceloneta is the Alubias con Botifarra: housemade Catalan Sausage with white beans, roasted peppers and an organic poached egg. I restrained myself from licking the bowl but only because I was distracted by the delightfully sweet and addictive Shishito Peppers with Candied Walnuts and Valdeon Sauce (blue cheese) pooled at the bottom of the plate. Eggs Benedict is mandatory for brunch in my opinion and Barceloneta accommodates my picky palate with their Benedict that includes a Potato Roll, Pork Belly, Serrano Ham, Hollandaise Sauce, & a Poached Organic Egg.
Some Sundays you wake up craving grits. That never happened to me until I experienced the fresh Adluh South Carolina stone ground cheesy corn grits at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. I crave their fluffy, creamy and cheesy deliciousness and I guarantee that they don’t taste like most of the grits you have ever experienced. Yardbird has service with a smile and Southern friendliness. Their farm to table classic Southern menu delivers some of my favorites like the Fried Green Tomato BLT (pork belly, pimento cheese & tomato jam with the fried green tomatoes) and the BLT Benedict Cast Iron Casserole (made with a Buttermilk biscuit crumble). Notice there are lots of “B”’s – that is for Yardbird’s dedication to intensely flavorful bacon and pork belly and Virginia ham. If you don’t like pork, you might be an alien or someone who would drool over the rolled in sugar and seated in strawberry jam Pumpkin Beignets. Close your eyes and you are in the South and loving life. Fried chicken is also an option at brunch … fried chicken and bacon? Thank you, Yardbird.
There is another addition to the breakfast and brunch scene on South Beach … FIX at the newly renovated Blue Moon Hotel on Collins Avenue. Fix just opened last season but word of the scrumptious offerings are spreading like wildfire. Lounge by the gorgeous pool under a wood-beamed porch and prepare to be delighted by Chef David Welch’s contemporary menu. I recommend two brunch must-haves: The Kurobota Pork Belly Benedict and the Rice Krispie®-Crusted French Toast. There is no way to be flowery – Chef David Welch has delivered the best pork belly that I have ever eaten. Period. I was a hard sell for the French Toast but after one bite of the brioche bread, bourbon caramel sauce (OMG), mascarpone zabaglione (OMGx2), and fresh strawberries, I am a convert.
The Fried Oyster Po-Boy with the bacon-chive aioli sealed the deal – FIX is here to make a statement and it is “Come and Eat” which I will do again and again. For those who like cocktails with brunch, all cocktails at FIX use freshly juiced fruits when appropriate and when aren’t mimosas appropriate? Or blueberry caipirinhas? Or White Sangrias? The outdoor area is gorgeous and you can have breakfast ALL DAY. BOO-YAH!
A bit off the beach is The Federal Food Drink and Provisions and it is not to be outdone by the South Beach offerings. I am still dreaming about the Bananas Foster French Toast … who doesn’t need more Banana Fosters in their life? The Lobster Roll is a scrumptious addition as well and for me, lobster and brunch are a no-brainer. The menu changes frequently and according to season and holiday. This is a definite place to check in and get your NOM on!
Brunch in South Beach is an adventure – a delectable one that I like to take every week possible. Tell us, what gets you out of bed on a Sunday morning??