When New Times was first invited to try Fooq's dinner service, we noted a disheveled-looking man in an adjacent lot with a sign reading, “$10 parking." A year and quite a few changes later, the man is still there, and so is Fooq's quirky charm.
During Art Basel, Fooq's launched Saturday brunch service, which avoided opening the otherwise closed restaurant Sundays. The restaurant then extended its brunch to Fridays as well, something to consider during a long weekend or day off. Starting April 10, it will finally offer Sunday service too, giving in to the 305's unwavering love of Sunday brunch.
Still, on a weekend around noon, amid construction zones and 24-hour nightclubs, you won't find many people wandering the streets near Fooq's. But the downtown eatery, located around the corner from Club Space, hasn't let the location dampen its mood.
On a recent visit to Fooq's for brunch (New Times was invited for a taste), executive chef Bryan Rojas explained that though foot traffic is light, its brunch has been well received. Now the challenge is spreading the word beyond regulars familiar with the area. That's where the eclectic menu comes in.
The menu is small but strong. A dozen dishes offer a bit of everything — light, hearty, savory, and sweet, integrating Persian, French, Italian, and American flavors.
Prices range from $12 to $20, but one dish is enough to keep you full the rest of the day. Wash it down with Fooq's sangria, made with rosé and seasonal fruit such as strawberries and clementines.
Photo by Clarissa Buch
For something light, consider the granola with fruits like those found in the sangria, along with Greek yogurt and rose petals. Or try the fattoush salad, featuring salinova greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, radishes, herbs, toasted naan, and mustard vinaigrette.
Go hearty and savory with bucatini carbonara. It's mixed with Schaller & Weber bacon, Parmigiano Reggiano, and black pepper and then topped with an egg yolk. The thick noodles are enough to fill two diners.
Photo by Clarissa Buch
For something meatier and a bit more fun, try the choripapa, made with Proper Sausages chorizo and a poached egg. It tastes like spaghetti in meat sauce, but the noodles are swapped for skinny hand-cut fries. Think of it as more sophisticated version of a 7-year-old's dream plate. It looks too large for just one diner, but you'll want it all for yourself.
Forgo salty with an order of French toast. By far the sweetest plate on Fooq's menu, it blends macerated berries, toasted almonds, spiced chantilly cream, and maple butter into a messy delight.
Fuse savory and sweet with a brunch favorite: Persian-spiced fried chicken. Two large pieces are served atop a pair of yeasted pistachio pancakes. A fried egg and a few sprinkles of cilantro go on top.
Though there's no dessert menu available during brunch, ask for a cookie à la mode. The homemade chocolate chip cookie arrives warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It's a delectable ending to a flavorful meal.
Brunch runs Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and reservations, visit fooqsmiami.com.
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