There's no denying that dining out in Miami can be hazardous to your wallet. Just a quick burger and a soda can run beyond $20. That's great for a once a week outing, but too many weekday lunch outings can break the bank.
Richard Hales learned firsthand that Miamians are conscious of what they spend on the midday meal. The chef/restaurateur, who owns the fast-casual Sakaya Kitchen and Blackbrick — both in midtown Miami — says he noticed people were choosing one of his eateries over the other for lunch. "A lot of people were going to Sakaya Kitchen, and that was the main thing. It's not apples to apples, but people were saying that for lunch, they didn't want to spend $30."
So Hales decided to create a lunch menu that would allow diners to enjoy a sit-down meal for about $10. He chose the restaurant's most popular items and cut the price in half, for the most part. "These are basically lunch-sized portions of about three-quarters the dinner size."
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Favorites on the lunch menu include General Tso's Florida gator ($11), Florida orange peel crispy steak ($11), and kung pao chicken with peanut, jalapeño, and sichuan peppercorn ($10).
Hales also added some new items, such as honey garlic chicken with Duroc bacon ($10), a modern interpretation of a Chinese restaurant staple.
The restaurant also offers a large selection of dim sum for lunch, including several dumplings that can be made gluten-free upon request. Dim sum items range from $4 for chicken thigh sticky rice or Chinese spare ribs to $12 for lobster dumplings. Most items cost $5.
If you're craving noodles, Hales says you can ask for a lunch-sized portion of any of the noodle dishes on the Blackbrick dinner menu for half price. That offer is good for lunch only. Singapore curry rice noodles with pork, shrimp, and scallions cost $22 for a dinner portion and $11 for a lunch-sized version.
Hong Kong pan-fried noodles with seasonal vegetables and Feng's sauce will please any noncarnivore ($18 dinner portion).
Hales also offers a lunch mojito for $6 and Tsingtao Chinese beer for $5. In addition, there's a full roster of JoJo tea, including two exclusive Blackbrick blends.
Blackbrick's lunch happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, the restaurant offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dim sum is available any time the restaurant is open.