Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Miami Design District is a busy brunch destination. Bustling, constant movement, people eating and talking, oysters shucking, gorgeous smells swirling – it’s a riot of brunch activity. Small plates prevail and everyone can have a bite of the at least 2-3 plates recommended per person. The food comes out when it is ready so there is very little waiting once the Panther coffee is poured. The servers are friendly, know the menu, and smile as they weave between tables, deftly dropping new bites and gathering empty plates. All senses are engaged and you will leave sated and ready for some Miami exploring.
I chose Michael’s Genuine to bring my out of town guests because I always love the experience and the food is always high quality and interesting. The menu changes daily, weekly but many items incorporate familiar favorites like Michael’s kimchi, house smoked meats, Florida rock shrimp, and deviled eggs.
We started with the just tangy enough Grouper and Shrimp Ceviche. The only thing we missed was a secondary delivery system like crackers or chips, but after one bite, the spoon was just fine. I loved the surprising addition of peaches which brought the sweet to balance the acid.
Deviled Eggs and Cinnamon Bun with Cream Cheese Frosting kept us entertained until the brunch “proper” plates started arriving. The Deviled Eggs size is just 1-2 bites per egg and is all about coating your mouth in lush, creamy temptation.
Michael’s Genuine has incredible sweets and I could make a brunch out of just that portion of the menu. We couldn’t say no to the Cinnamon Bun that comes with the frosting on the side so you can spoon it to your liking. The bun had a great texture difference from the firmer outside to the fluffy inside. We liked. We spooned more. We liked again.
Brunch equals Benedicts to me and I am always eager to see what spin restaurants put on them. Kimchi Benedict was a score. Michael’s Genuine kimchi is fresh and fluffy (a weird word to use for kimchi but after one bite you would understand!) and when combined with a crispy pork belly and a kimchi hollandaise, I was in heaven. Next time, I would order two – one for the table and one for my greedy self. Since the food is expedited so quickly from the kitchen, there is no chance that the English muffin gets soggy. Another score!
A friend had the Housemade Biscuit Sandwich with Shiitake Mushrooms, a folded egg, and cheddar cheese, plus we added the housemade bacon. The first bite was amazing, but an interesting thing happened … the shiitakes overwhelmed the sandwich a bit. We dumped the mushrooms to the side and then … nirvana! The biscuit is everything you want in a flaky, light biscuit and with just the egg, bacon, and cheddar, call it breakfast sandwich heaven.
Sara, the Home Cooking Goddess, ordered a table favorite as well – the Crispy Rice Cake with housemade chorizo, Florida rock shrimp, chili aioli, and an egg. Just WOW. Not articulate but the flavors popped and impressed me to not words! The rice cake was a delightful revelation of chorizo, rice, and shrimp. Smokey, sweet, crunchy, with the aioli flavor pop and you have another dish that I would not want to share!
The House Smoked Ham with a peach glaze and a fingerling potato hash is just … intense! BIG flavor and smartly paired with the potato hash. We liked it but at the end of our brunch it was almost too much. Note – order it first to truly engage your palate!
The intense ham left me longing for a bit of sweet to end brunch. It was a toss up between the Butterscotch Bread Pudding and Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with maple whipped ricotta and almonds. The pancakes won, but it was a close call. THIS was the ending that was simply perfect … no syrup needed for airy pancakes that had blueberries and ricotta popping in every bite. Pancake savor and the fourth Panther Coffee refill was the punctuation in a fabulous brunch.
I am already daydreaming of my next visit and the Oyster Bar. I highly recommend it for locals and visitors alike. Be warned that this is not necessarily a leisurely brunch, but the activity and excellent food are a fantastic start for your day. I have not had dinner at Michael’s, just lunch and brunch, but I am sure that you cannot miss with whenever you choose to visit. I find the price point reasonable and the service has always been superb.
Valet parking is available and much easier than cruising the streets!
From Michael’s Genuine, we headed to The Palms for our overnight! Stay tuned for that post this week!