Once upon a time this midday weekend meal was a swank and dapper affair. Now, brunch has taken off its white gloves and traded out shiny silver chafing dishes for skillets and mason jars. The breakfast-meets-lunch service is the hippest and most awaited meal of the week. While it’s undeniable that brunch master New York City groomed the hangover cure and weekend daycap into its current state of existence, regional players have stepped up their game and taken a bite from the Big Apple’s most popular Sunday afternoon menus.
A decade ago, I could count the brunch offerings in Miami with one hand. Today the city has put its eggs in more than a handful of baskets. But a simple omelet is no longer enough for locals who expect more, or for tourists who flock to Miami and the rumors of a spicy and sour Korean benedict, Captain Crunch pancakes, and pig wings with waffles. These are the places to thank for that, and then some.
In a sea of limitless oysters, sushi, and tataki, only the poached egg station evidences its brunch time. No Japanese izakaya would be complete without a perpetual robata grill turning out smoked chili beef skewers, and a cast iron rice pot for the table loaded with wild mushrooms. Sip Lychee martinis against the refined backdrop of rice paper panels and granite and try to forget about the new cost of brunch. It’s damn worth it.
Edge Steak & Bar
It’s easy to fall off the edge into gluttonous territory with Chef Aaron Brooks’ infinite brunch offerings that defy the gastronomic anatomy of a typical buffet. Nowhere else will you find an oyster shucker and a suckling pig within 10 feet of each other. When in-season, order the stone crabs claws, or one of the kitchen’s half dozen egg dishes a la carte. Sometimes going over the edge is a good thing.
Executive chef Michael Schwartz awoke the brunch beast when, after two years, he began to open his doors on Sundays for small, shareable plates. Five years later, his straightforward, honest, and unpretentious approach continues to delight everyone who has a taste of his famed kimchi benedict. Its fraternal twin, a kimchi Bloody Mary with Florida rock shrimp, proves even a liquid brunch is a good thing.
Since its debut, towering Cap’n Crunch pancakes slathered in condensed milk syrup and piled with candied cereal have been the main attraction at the Wakin-n-Bacon Brunch. Chopped winner, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, vetoes standard maple syrup altogether at his flagship restaurant. Aunt Jemima’s other surrogate, guava and cream soda syrup, can be found drizzled across Cuban bread torrejas with whipped cream cheese.
The Federal Food & Drink Provisions
With its taxidermy deer mounts and repurposed leather belts, the homey Old West tavern is an unexpected playground for owner and chef Cesar Zapata’s bottomless boozy brunch. The mimosas appear without pause while guests work through enormous concoctions such as cookies and cream French toast with Oreo crumble. At the proclaimed “pig whisperer’s” table, don’t miss buffalo pig “wings,” or the Seuss-style Green Eggs & Ham with roasted poblano pepper and pulled-pork poached egg.