Brunchers in the MiMo district will have a new weekend spot for eggs and mimosas when the Vagabond Restaurant starts Sunday brunch service March 15.
Every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., chef Alex Chang will offer his unique take on the festive weekend meal, saying his brunch menu "tries to tackle some more traditional brunch ideas and also provides a couple more adventurous options. Instead of chicken and waffles, we're going to have fried quail and waffles, which will be pretty similar to the one we offer at dinner."
Chang, a transplant from California, says Miamians take brunch a bit more seriously than Los Angelenos, whose "work schedules vary from the typical 9-to-5 largely because of the entertainment industry. With that, there are a lot of people eating breakfast or brunch every day of the week. I think it's great how enthusiastic people are about brunch down here. It makes it feel a little more special."
Thus, the chef says hosting a good weekly brunch is really important for the Vagabond, as well as for the neighborhood. "We really want to gear this toward our local crowd. The goal for this restaurant is to be open for all meals of the day, and this is our second step in doing that."
Chang is still working on the full menu, but offerings include quesadilla of Oaxacan string cheese, squash blossoms, epazote, eggs, and salsa tatemada; yeasted waffles with plantain butter, mascarpone, and maple; and shakshuka with merguez sausage, lebni, and fermented potato flatbread.
A complementary Sunday cocktail menu includes a Jersey Squirrel, made with almond milk, crème de noyaux, crème de cacao, and egg white ($12); a BiBo Fizz, made with fresh mandarin orange juice, mint, rum, lime, and Blanc de Blanc; a Shim Shim Sherry ($12), with PX sherry, Amaro Montenegro, Vecchia Romagna, and Blanc de Blanc; white sangria ($8 per glass, $32 per pitcher); a Tinto de Verano ($10), made with red wine, Carpano Antica, lemon, and Sprite; and a bloody mary, made with a choice of vodka, gin, tequila, or mezcal, that sounds like a walk through the garden with beets, tomato, carrots, avocado, roasted habañeros, fennel, and caraway ($12, add $2 for mezcal). You can also enjoy afternoon cocktails at the pool bar from 1 to 5 p.m.
In the end, the chef wants his brunch to be a great start to the week, with foods that won't leave you feeling heavy. "Most important, we just want the food to be really tasty but don't want it to be superheavy. We want you to feel energetic to have a great rest of your Sunday instead of going back to sleep."