Brunch in a Gastropub: Try the 50/50 Burger at 180 Degrees at the DRB

Whether you're in the mood for breakfast or lunch during Sunday brunch, consider satisfying your appetite with chef Ryan Martin's 50/50 burger at 180 Degrees at the DRB. The gastropub, located in the heart of downtown Miami at 501 NE First Ave., is a mecca for comfort-food-style bites and boozy, brunch-inspired drinks during its Sunday brunch fix.

With pricey prix-fixe menus and over-the-top entrées the norm at many Miami eateries on Sundays, 180 Degrees keeps it simple. Many dishes crafted by Martin are twists on traditional favorites. "My brain works in mysterious ways," he says. "There's no rhyme or reason to explain why I do what I do with food. I don't follow the rules."

Before you begin, opt for bottomless mimosas all meal long for $15. It's the perfect way to set the tone for what's to come.

Begin brunch slowly with appetizers to share. Consider the snow crab egg rolls with cream cheese, green onion, and yuzu ponzu; the maduros y queso frito with candied bacon on the side; or the Salmon Gyration, Martin's Japanese spin on lox and bagels. The sweet potato roll is fried and then stuffed with smoked salmon, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, frizzled onion, poppyseeds and drizzled with ikura, spicy lime aioli, and truffle oil.

For the entrée, Martin's menu offers a slew of choices, from meat-centric plates to seafood and salads. "The best way to describe it would be global ingredients done my way," he says. "There's such a mix between Asian and American themes."

If it's your first time at 180 Degrees, try the 50/50 burger. It's made with a mix of chorizo and Angus beef, topped with queso frito, maduro, a fried egg, and drizzled with spicy citrus aioli. Have it as a burger or ask for the slider version. Earlier this year Miami New Times awarded Martin's burger as “Best Burger” for the "Best of Award," and once you take a bite, you'll know why. 

But if you're looking for a more traditional brunch entree, try the bacon egg 'n' cheese. It's made with candied bacon, fried egg, queso frito, and topped with truffle oil and shichimi. A double-decker sandwich with smoked gouda and bacon or a homestyle grilled cheese are on the menu too.

For seafood lovers, the battered soft-shell crab or the tuna tataki with sesame soy caramelized red onion, shaved red onion, and yuzu ponzu are among diners' favorites. For something lighter, there are a variety of salads offered too. All have a choice to add grilled chicken, smoked salmon, and yuzu butter poached shrimp. 

Martin is known to be inventive with his dessert selection. He created a Twix-inspired sweet treat, made with bacon-chocolate ice cream, bacon caramel sauce, crushed frozen Twix, a tempura deep fried Twix bar, and bacon sugar. "Things just pop in my head," he says. "When I go to put them together, they generally end up working really well."

Don't stop there. Try the chocolate peanut butter mousse with nitrogen-frozen peanut butter, and ask about the liquid nitrogen ice cream flavors prepared in-house. To get a taste of each, split a few different desserts for the table.

Brunch runs on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.

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