Miami isn't exactly overflowing with praiseworthy brunch spots, so we get unusually excited any time a cool restaurant launches a brunch program. This weekend it happens to be Loba, an intimate gastrobar in MiMo serving Latin and South American cuisine.
The hybrid meal is owner Jessica Sanchez's favorite, so to test the waters, she encouraged diners to share their likes and dislikes during two pop-up brunches. Sanchez wants the brunch menu -- like the dinner menu -- to include healthful options (chia seed pudding, anyone?) and vegetarian entrées in addition to decadent items, such as the Ring of Fire. The dish consists of a sweet potato waffle, jamón serrano, Spanish fried chicken, chipotle butter, and Vermont maple syrup ($18).
Slightly less intense is the Southern Benedict, featuring brisket, a poached egg, roasted poblano hollandaise sauce, an open-faced buttermilk biscuit, and crispy potato ($17). And then there's the lighter Madre Mia, which comprises an arepa with scrambled egg, roasted tomato, scallion, and fresh queso.
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On the sweet side, you can try banana bread French toast ($10) or pop tarts ($2.50). The latter are prepared by Jessica Hernandez, who is also the pastry chef at Michelle Bernstein's Crumb on Parchment.
And because brunch isn't brunch without cocktails, Loba has those too. Sanchez is giving every customer a complimentary mimosa. And keeping with the restaurant's literary theme and name, there's a Wilde Wolf beverage. It's a combination of Dirtwolf IPA, mango, Cointreau, agave, and sour mix ($9).
Just as they do at dinner, 28-year-old Sanchez and her Colombian mother, Libia E. Sanchez, will do the cooking during brunch. The ingredients are local whenever possible, and the java is provided by Panther Coffee.
Loba's cozy setting and friendly staff should make for a great brunch atmosphere, so let's hope the food holds its own.