Deli Lane Café & Tavern
George Martinez

Who says that a delicious, well-prepared breakfast need be reserved for Sunday brunch? At Deli Lane, the thick red plates are constantly full of fluffy eggs and perfectly browned Belgian waffles. If Leslie Knope ever left Pawnee, Indiana, for Miami, she would quickly forget about JJ's Diner after a meal at Deli Lane. Operating hours start bright and early at 7 a.m. every day. So you have plenty of time for a filling breakfast before work (or naptime). Tip: Try the power-up breakfast, which includes two eggs, potatoes, toast, two pancakes, and choice of ham, bacon, or sausage for $6.50. It's served Monday through Friday from 7 to 11 a.m. Other breakfast items are served all day long. But don't walk in asking for all the bacon and eggs they have, because they just might abide by that request.

Bulla Gastrobar
Courtesy of Bulla

Coral Gables is now a bona fide cool dining destination, and we have Bulla to partly thank for it. The name is pronounced boo-yah, which is Spanish slang for the ability to create a stir. Indeed, everyone is talking about the chic gastrobar's relaxed ambiance and unique take on popular Spanish dishes. Bulla's impressive brunch has also been the source of chatter, and you'll understand why after sampling the cojonudo y cojonuda ($8). It consists of warm toast crowned with quail egg, chorizo, and Spanish blood sausage purée. Like almost everything here, it's deployed with the utmost care and boasts a delicate taste. Meanwhile, classic small plates from the dinner menu such as the croquetas de jamón and the albóndigas (veal and pork meatballs) are available during brunch as well ($9). Got a sweet tooth? There's French toast whose brioche is infused with the Spanish liquor orujo and enhanced with vanilla berry syrup and white chocolate chantilly ($12).

Zak the Baker Deli
billwisserphoto.com

It's May 4, 2014, and Zak Stern, standing atop a wooden counter in his brand-new, gleaming-white Wynwood bakery, is giving a godawful speech. He begins to talk about the challenges he and his wife, Batsheva Wulfsohn, have overcome, only to interrupt himself every time a familiar face passes through the bakery's open bay door. Zak the Baker, as he is known, smiles and stutters on his way to eventually thanking nearly everyone in the room. But not a person in the audience is put off by his address. First of all, their mouths are stuffed with delicious sourdough bread. Second, the speech is vintage Stern: goofy, honest, and — like his loaves — all natural. It's been a decade since Stern dropped out of college to travel the world, along the way learning how to farm, bake, and make cheese in far-flung locales such as India, Sweden, France, Israel, and Italy. In 2011, he moved to Miami and began using the traditional methods he learned overseas in baking. He rented a shop in Hialeah and sold his loaves to heavyweights such as Steven Perricone and Michelle Bernstein. Soon his bread was in sandwiches at Panther Coffee and on charcuterie plates at Oak Tavern. But none of his past success compares to opening a bakery in the most bustling neighborhood in town. He now has his own mixer and oven, capable of churning out 140 loaves per hour. Tomorrow, Wynwood will wake up to the smell of sunflower and sesame, fennel and rye, olive and za'atar, walnut and whole wheat. So we can forgive Zak the Baker this Sunday evening as he struggles through his inaugural speech. Besides, it's not like we've got anything to say. Our mouths are stuffed with sourdough.

POC American Fusion Buffet & Sushi

Buffets aren't known for providing quality over quantity, but that doesn't apply at POC. It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options that won't leave you asking where or when your food was prepared. POC has become a popular brunch spot on Sundays, when the buffet special goes for $17.19 and mimosas cost only $3 each from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can choose from standards such as fried rice, honey chicken, and caprese panini sandwiches, or go with any of the made-to-order options like crepes, Belgian waffles, or chimichurri-glazed churrasco. There's even a sushi bar with more than a dozen sushi combinations that are constantly being restocked. Be sure to grab a fortune cookie and enjoy a postmeal espresso ($2.50) before you fall into a food coma. POC is open every day of the week for lunch and dinner. Food to go and catering are also available.

Pizza is a democratic food item. Most people like pizza — unlike, say, escargots — at the very first taste. And, unlike escargots, it's a humble meal made from bread, tomato, and cheese. The best pizza remains true to its working-class roots in style and price. Indeed, Pauloluigi to Go itself is humble. The small Coconut Grove spot is strictly take-out and delivery. Order a margherita pizza to go and open the box. The gentle aroma of cheese and bread soothes as your eyes take in the perfect brown crust and the islands of cheese and basil floating on a tranquil sea of marinara. Bite into a slice and experience cheesy nirvana. The sauce is mellow and slightly sweet, the cheese has a subtle nuttiness, and the crust is firm enough to fold — a pizza necessity. The prices are also humble. An 18-inch margherita costs $17.56 with tax and easily feeds four people. Can you satisfy a hungry group with a quality meal for less than $20 elsewhere? Fuhgeddaboutit!

Mario the Baker

Having pizza brought right to your door is a beautiful thing. At Mario the Baker, a franchise with multiple locations, delivery wait times are short, prices are affordable, and the pies are extra-good. Thin-crusted, lightly sauced Neapolitan-style pizza is eschewed in favor of thicker pies laden with a rich red sauce and a generous serving of gooey cheese. The classic cheese ($7.95 to $12.95) is utterly comforting, and — perhaps more important — tastes excellent when eaten cold the next day. You can also opt for less traditional creations, such as the Buffalo chicken pizza, topped with Buffalo wing sauce, chicken, and mozzarella and served with a side of blue cheese ($17.45 to $18.95). Mario the Baker certainly doesn't skimp on pizza varieties, and the large menu also boasts subs, salads, soups, pastas, and meat dishes. The popular chicken parmigiana ($12.95) comes with a side of pasta with tomato sauce and two delectable garlic rolls. Oh, and for less than six bucks, you can get a traditional Italian dessert too.

Etzel Itzik Deli

Fluffy green falafel, that is all. You have come to expect those balls from Etzel Itzik, a popular Israeli deli where Hebrew is spoken all around. Glossy photos of customers grace every inch of the walls here. Pictures are also stuffed beneath the glass on the tables at this casual eatery. Owner Itzik Younis wants everyone to feel welcome, and just in case you forget that, a green chalkboard sign near the kitchen reads, "At Itzik's you're at home." The deli offers a bounty of bowls with free salad to grace your table as soon as you are seated, but it is those neon-green falafel balls that are most memorable. Break through the crisp brown exterior and you'll find a warm interior with some extra bounce. You can get them in a pita ($5.95), on a baguette ($6.95), or as part of a plate ($7.45). Whatever the vessel, the falafel will shine through. It's a religious and familial experience you'll want to keep popping into your mouth. Hallelujah.

Jerusalem Market & Deli

Server: Olive oil and paprika?

You nod.

Sever: Good, you like it like we do.Just like that, you have the perfect hummus. Wissam El-Zoor goes by Sam, and he knows how to sling delicious kebabs, shawarma, dolmas, and a plethora of fresh salads to patrons whom he effortlessly schmoozes. All of the items served at this market and deli are stars, but the hummus stands out. It is velvety smooth and made fresh every other day. You really taste the nuttiness of the tahini in each bite as you spread it on your pita. Sure, you can buy all the ingredients at the market portion of the shop to make your own, but why bother? Sam and family have you and your wrap covered.

Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop

In Miami, it's hard to get a Cuban sandwich wrong. The ingredients are simple (and common) enough: Cuban bread, ham, cheese, some mustard, a squirt of mayo, a pickle or two, and a delicate slice of pork. Sounds heavenly, right? It is if you're taking a bite of the Cuban sandwich at Enriqueta's. The bread here is toasted to just the right crunchiness, and inside the bun are layers and layers of carne. Go ahead, take a bite; feel like an honorary Cuban during that lunch break of yours — and it'll cost you only $6.25.

El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas is the king of all Cuban burgers. Every ground-beef patty is seasoned with a secret family blend of herbs and spices, slathered in a tangy ketchup sauce, served with diced onions, and crusted with crunchy shoestring papitas that overflow the plate. And El Rey, the 2013 victor of the Frita Showdown, offers a variety of sandwiches fit for royalty. Try the frita dulce ($4.75), stuffed with chunks of plátano frito for a burst of sweetness; the frita a caballo ($4.75), served with a fried egg for an extra protein fix; and the B.S. frita ($5.75), loaded with bacon and Swiss cheese. If you're as hungry as a peasant, there's the frita doble ($6), which brings twice the meat with crunchy potato goodness.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®